We recently spent 4 amazing days in Copenhagen with our kids. As one of the safest places in the world your family is bound to have a great trip. Here’s are some tips to help you plan your own vacation to Copenhagen with kids.
How To Get To Copenhagen Affordably
We knew we wanted to take advantage of the Memorial Day Holiday and didn’t care where we went, it just needed to be cheap. So I searched Skyscanner for flight deals from Miami/Fort Lauderdale during that time. Their free app is definitely worth downloading and I admittedly spend way too much time on it.
We flew Scandinavian Airlines. When flying with babies on international flights I always recommend requesting a bassinet. While I was able to use one with my 11 month old on Qatar Airways on the way to Phuket and with my 15 month old flying Delta on our way to Venice SAS has different rules. They only allow bassinets to be used for infants under 9 months and under 24lbs. They offer a 25% discount for children’s tickets ages 2-11 and lap infants fly for 10% of the adult fare.
How to Get From Copenhagen Airport to the City Center
Like most European countries the public transportation in Copenhagen was great. There is a train station at Terminal 3 of the airport which takes you straight to Central Station the city in 13 minutes. At Central Station you can transfer to other trains or buses to take you elsewhere.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen with Kids
When traveling with kids staying in an Airbnb is often our top choice. The Copenhagen Airbnb we chose was perfect for families. It had two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with a toddler bed. Our host even provided a baby cot for our infant. They also provided us with a very flexible check in time which was great as our flight landed at 7:10AM. Want a $40 credit towards your first Airbnb, sign up here. Nervous about Airbnb? Here are 8 Tips to Guarantee a Great Airbnb Experience. Want the exact Airbnb we stayed in, pictured below, click here.
Things to Do in Copenhagen with Kids
Day 1: Copenhagen Zoo and The Meat Packing District
Our flight landed at 8AM giving us a full day. However, our Airbnb host let us know we were actually arriving on one of Denmark’s National Holidays. Many of the attractions and museums would be closed. I like to keep the first day light with the kids since sometimes they can be cranky/tired from jet lag. The Copenhagen Zoo is open 365 and it was the perfect place to take the kids to get them excited and keep them up until nap time to avoid jet lag. The Zoo is included in the Copenhagen Card so it was even more perfect.
We spent half the day there and then headed back to our Airbnb for nap time, for all of us. I only allowed us to sleep for two hours so we wouldn’t be up all night. We walked to the Meatpacking District for dinner where they have an abundance of restaurants, all with outdoor seating!
Day 2: Bike Rentals, Canal Tour, The Kings Garden, The Little Mermaid, Kastellet Fort, and War Pigs
Renting Bikes in Copenhagen with Kids
To get the local feel I wanted to rent bicycles for the day. Bikes are the main mode of transportation in Copenhagen and there are more bikes that cars and people. We went to 3 bike shops before we got to one that have two bikes with child seats and by the grace of God we got the last two.
We rented ours from Kobenhavn’s Cyklobors and they provide helmets and a bike lock. For an additional fee you can rent a GPS but we used my Google maps since I had service on my phone. When we finally get the bikes our youngest daughters starts throwing a fit because she does not want to sit in the seat. I was like Lord not today please, lol. She is obsessed with music so thankfully we had this WavHello Soundbub Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Soother that also doubles as a kid’s toy. We put her favorite song on, thank you Bruno Mars, and she calmed down enough for us to secure her. Finally all smiles!
Canal Tour in Copenhagen with Kids
Everything is Copenhagen is pretty close to one another so by bike, each location was between 4-15mins away. Our first stop was to go on a Canal Tour. These last 1 hour and show you the city by boat, you can get on the tour at Gammel Strand or Nayvn.
Exploring The Kings Garden in Copenhagen with Kids
It reminded me a lot of Central Park in the summer, on a much smaller scale. We got a close up look at the castle, walked through the garden and laid out a bit before heading to our next stop.
The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen
With the large crowds huddled to take a photo there is no way you can miss this little Little Mermaid statue. On our canal tour we learned that The Little Mermaid has had a tough life. She’s been beheaded twice, lost an arm, and had a bikini graffiti’d on her amongst other things. I guess we were lucky to catch her on one of her good days!
Make a Stop at Kastellet Fort
Kastellet Fort is a military base in the city. It houses the only remaining working windmill in Copenhagen. There are walking trails and it was fairly empty so it’s a nice place to unwind and relax.
Day Three: Amalienborg Palace, Nyhavn, Christianborg Palace Tower and Tivoli Gardens
We were supposed to return our bikes in the morning but we had so much fun the day before and it was so easy getting around we decided to keep them for another day.
Visit Amalienborg Palace to Watch the Changing of the Guards
When visiting Copenhagen with kids taking them to Amalienborg Palace to see the Changing of the Guards is a must. It that takes place daily at 12PM. While it’s really not much to see for adults our eldest daughter really enjoyed seeing the guards in the uniform. She also asked us about 500 questions about what they were doing.
Colorful Buildings on Nyhavn
You cannot visit Copenhagen without visiting Nyhavn. It’s just a two minute bike ride from Amalienborg Palace and filled with boats and colorful lined buildings. The walkway is filled with restaurants but most are much more expensive than others due to its location. We opted to have lunch in a less touristy location and I’d recommend the same for you.
Lookout at Christianborg Palace Tower
After taking another short bike ride, about 4 minutes, you’ll arrive at Christianborg Palace Tower. Although free, the line to get up to the tower feels like payment. I wish we would have gotten here when it opens at 10AM to avoid the line. However, I did like that they only allow a certain amount of people up at a time. Although you have to wait a long time for them to leave you aren’t fighting to see the views once you reach the top.
In addition to the tower, there is a garden and the rest of the Palace that you can wander around. If you have the Copenhagen card like us admission is covered. It was now time to give back our bikes so of course, we had to have a photo shoot first.
As you can tell Kennedy was obsessed with the WavHello Soundbub Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Soother. Not only is it a Bluetooth speaker and toy it also plays white noise for when it’s time for Kennedy to go to sleep. This actually helped a lot to put her to sleep on the plane and the first night when we were combating jet-lag.
Tivoli Gardens, a Must When Visiting Copenhagen with Kids
It is probably a crime to visit Copenhagen with kids and not take them to Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli is Copenhagen’s Disney World! It stays open until midnight so even arriving at 6PM we still had plenty of time to play. Entrance to the park is covered by the Copenhagen Card but you’ll have to purchase tickets or a wristband for the rides.
They do have a great option where you buy a wristband and any adult can go with the child. This way both my husband and I didn’t have to buy one and we just switched off going on rides with Jordyn. Some of the ride attendants even let us both go on rides that Kennedy could go on even though we didn’t buy two wristbands. The lines are much shorter than at Disney too!
Day Four: Day Trip to Malmo and Freetown Christiania
Exploring Sweden While Visiting Denmark
On our last day we took a day trip to Malmo, Sweden. It’s a 30min train ride and trains leave every 15-20mins. Our first stop was to the main square Strotorget.
Next we walked over to Malmo’s famous residential building the Turning Torso. It’s 1 mile away and takes about 30 mins. There is a bus that will get you there much faster but we wanted to see the sites. If you do want to take the bus you must have Swedish money, as they don’t use the same currency as Denmark. The bus is 25 per person each way.
Nearby is the beach with views of the bridge that takes you from Copenhagen to Malmo. You can even see Copenhagen from there.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see all Malmo had to offer. I really wanted to check out Malmo Museu, the oldest castle in Scandinavia but because it started raining earlier in the day we lost about two hours waiting it out and the museum closed before we could get there. We also planned on checking out Lund, another city in Sweden, 10 minutes from Malmo but because the last train back to Copenhagen was at 6:53PM we didn’t make it.This was poor planning on my part because I assumed since the trains ran to Malmo until midnight it would be the same coming back. Since we didn’t get to see as much as we wanted I didn’t think the trip to Malmo was worth it, however, if I had planned properly I’m sure we would have enjoyed the trip more.
Freetown Christiania, A Unique Experience in Copenhagen with Kids
When we got back to Copenhagen we went to explore Freetown Christiania. It is the self-proclaimed autonomous, car-free, hippie neighborhood. Here they have a ton of vendors selling weed in the streets and plenty of people walking around smoking it. We had planned of having dinner here but most of the places were just bars and cash only. I’m glad we got to experience it because I’d never seen anything like it and while there were a ton of other families looking around too if you don’t want your kids in that environment it’s probably best to skip it.
Things to Know About Leaving From Copenhagen’s Airport
If you don’t want to gate check your stroller know that once you pass security the airport provides complimentary strollers. They recline back so they are great for all ages.
Once we passed security we went to get something to eat before we headed to the gate. Little did we know if you are going to an international terminal even though you have already passed security you have to go through passport check before you get to your gate. We did not plan for this and the line wasn’t short. Our flight was just starting to board but they only allow you to skip the line if your flight status is “closed” which we didn’t understand at all because we thought by then it would be too late. Thankfully after 15mins in line two additional lines opened up and we made it.
Traveling to Copenhagen with Kids: What Kids Gear to Bring
Car Seat: There is no need to bring one. The city is so easy to get around by public transportation, walking, or biking it would be a waste to travel with one. We didn’t have to get into a car once.
Stroller: I highly recommend bringing one as there is a ton of walking. We walked an average of 4 miles a day. Strollers are allowed on all trains and buses and you do not have to fold them up, even double strollers. There is a designated space for strollers on the bus. Two strollers are allowed on each bus and if you have a stroller you enter through the second door and the space is on the right. If there are already two strollers on board you can fold yours up or wait for the next bus- they come every 5-10mins.
Carrier: Depending on the age/weight of your child a carrier may or may not be better than a stroller. We used the carrier for Kennedy when Jordyn was sitting in the stroller as some days we were doing too much walking for her. We also used the carrier the days we rented bikes once we parked it and were walking around.
How to Save Money in Copenhagen
Denmark isn’t the cheapest place in the world. We invested in the Copenhagen Card. It gives you free admission to 79 museums and attractions in addition to free transportation by train, bus, harbour bus and Metro. You can buy a card in 24hr increments up to 120hrs. Two children 0-9 are free with the purchase on 1 adult card. We ordered ours online to avoid lines to purchase it once we arrived.
When we checked the weather the weeks leading up to our trip and right before packing it said low 60s in the day and 40s-50s at night. However, when we arrived everyone was wearing tank tops and shorts and for good reason, it felt like it was high 70s, low 80s even thought the temperature still said it was 64 degrees.
Needless to say we were not dressed for the weather most of the trip. Luckily I packed layers for the kids so they weren’t super hot but not so much for me :-(.I was so excited to rent bikes and ride around. Right after we got our bikes we were going back to our Airbnb and I fell off my bike with Kennedy! Someone was trying to pass us and got a little too close and it didn’t end well for me. Luckily Kennedy was perfectly fine, she was strapped in tight in her seat with her helmet and didn’t even get a scratch. I on the other hand have a nice bruise on my knee to remember this trip forever!
Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Copenhagen. If you visit Copenhagen with kids don’t be surprised if you see strollers with babies outside of stores with no parents in sight. It’s customary for parents to do this in Copenhagen to teach their kids independence and build up their immune systems during the winter. If you found this article helpful in planning a trip to Copenhagen with kids please share it!
Thank you to WavHello for sponsoring this post. We really enjoyed using our SoundBub Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Soother on this trip. The bluetooth speaker helped us to hear our GPS directions better when riding the bikes and kept the whole family entertained with our favorite music. To learn more about the product click here.