3 Days in Copenhagen As A Female Solo Traveler
When it comes to solo traveling, I see it as a unique way to get to know yourself better.
I had a friend who took a solo trip to Belize, she filled her days with food tours, Airbnb experiences, and met several kind-hearted people along the way. I was really excited for her, she decided she didn't need to wait for anyone to say "yes" to go on a trip and decided to make it happen on her own. It inspired me to take the plunge. Not long after, I booked my own trip to Denmark and it has been one of my most proud moments.
Here's what I did for three days in Copenhagen.
Day 1: Breakfast & Coffee at Ø12
Savory or sweet, this corner cafe has you covered. Try their hazelnut and berry pancakes or for something lighter, sourdough toast with scrambled eggs and iced coffee (this was by far my favorite coffee while in Copenhagen). I loved the atmosphere, it was airy and close to the metro, Tivoli Square, and Strøget.
Ø12 is attached to Hotel Alexandra, making it convenient for me since this is where I booked my stay! If you plan on staying more central to the city, I recommend checking this hotel out, it's quite small but it worked perfectly for what I needed.
Visit the oldest functioning observatory in Europe.
Since 1642, the Round Tower has been a Copenhagen treasure. It’s one of Denmark’s most visited sites.
The Round Tower houses:
•A library hall
•Gift shop with light bites.
But what’s unique is the spiral walkway to the top. Inspired by German castles, it wraps around the center 7 1/2 times! At the end of the walkway, you’ll approach a staircase with a timer and a green and red light letting you know when you’re able to climb to the observation deck. It’s extremely narrow so there’s only one way passing. The timer helps with crowd control.
The 360 view from the top is pretty captivating (and windy)! The tower is also attached to the Trinity Church so you just might hear the bell ring, too!
Walking tour with a local
I booked an Airbnb experience walking tour to see "15+ of Copenhagen’s greatest hits such as Amalienborg, New Harbor, The Marble Church, The Opera House, The Gefion Fountain, The Kings Square, and other beautiful post-card landmarks." I find these types of tours help you meet new people and socialize with other travelers in a more intimate setting. My group had about seven or eight people so it was a manageable crowd. We walked roughly three miles over the two-hour period -- bring comfy shoes!
I really loved Langelinie Park near Kastellet, a castle formerly owned by King Christian IV. There are plenty of green spaces and even a pond with a few swans! They're gorgeous and native to Denmark, no wonder why it's the country's national bird.
And the tour would not be complete without a view of the bronze Little Mermaid. The petite statue is a major attraction so expect to see people flocking to see her. It's a treasured piece that unfortunately has been vandalized more than once, including having her head and arm sawed off on two separate occasions. Hopefully, she will be intact when you visit.
Airbnb tour ticket: $44 USD per person
Snag a late lunch near Strøget
By late afternoon, I was starving! I grabbed a salmon-filled sesame bagel near the last stop of our tour. I asked my tour guide what some of her favorite places were, here's her list!
Lebanese and Arabic:
I love to plan how my day is going to look but I also wanted time to just wander around and get a little lost. After a quick bite, I took a stroll by the canal and had a photo session, taking in all the architecture and 200+-year-old statues until sunset. I took the metro back to my hotel before nightfall and got prepped for the next day and a second tour.
Day 2: Get breakfast pastries at Denmark's Oldest Bakery!
Address: Sankt Peders Stræde 29 1453 København, Denmark
Fuel up with some sweet treats and coffee at one of the most beloved eateries in Copenhagen that's more than 300 years old!
Since 1652, Sankt Peders Bageri has been serving locals and tourists warm pastries from its tiny corner shop. There's some seating inside under its black chandelier or you can pull up a seat outside and enjoy the buzz of the city. Although a popular spot, it wasn't overwhelmingly busy when I arrived at 8:30 in the morning. I ordered the raspberry jam-filled croissant, it was fresh and crispy!
Take a Canal Tour Through The City
What better way to view a new place than by a canal ride? There are several agencies you can book through but I chose Stromma since they operate in multiple cities and countries, including The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Germany.
The boat is spacious with options to sit under the enclosure or out in the elements. The entire one-hour tour gives you history lessons and glimpses into hidden neighborhoods, views of classic churches, and even further into the harbor near the opera house. I booked mine in the morning but a sunset tour would be just as magical.
Ticket: $15 USD per person.
In some parts of the route, our guide turned the mic off to be respectful of residential "quiet zones," the clip below is from one of those moments.
Spend the afternoon in Malmö, Sweden
Just 30 minutes away via train, you can explore the coastal city of Malmö. You'll have a chance to gaze at amazing architecture, peek inside historic churches, and grab a bite in the bustling city square.
You can purchase your ticket at Copenhagen's central station located by Tivoli Square, trains depart every 20 minutes giving you some flexibility. I paid less than 20 dollars for my ticket so it's pretty affordable. I also took my passport with me just in case -- although no one asked for it. Better safe than sorry. Also, don't be afraid to ask staff for help in locating what platform you should be on, it's busy and can be a bit confusing.
Location: Banegårdspladsen 1, 1570 København V
By this point in the day, I needed some food! I stumbled upon this cool cafe/record store called Folk & Rock. The two-level shop also hosts mini-concerts. After scarfing down a spinach quiche, I roamed the top floor to check out their selection. Such a variety, not to mention the band merch and posters.
Location: Skomakaregatan 11, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 am-6 pm
Friday 11 am - 8 pm
Saturday 10 am- 6 pm
Sunday noon -6 pm
Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to see everything but here are a few recommended attractions:
According to Planetware, "The Turning Torso is Sweden's most talked-about building....it is the tallest building in Scandinavia [and] the world's first twisted skyscraper."
Malmö Art Gallery (free!)
Malmö Castle "It is the oldest preserved Renaissance castle in the Nordics."
Day 3: Peaceful Morning at Nyhavn
Nyhavn is just as picturesque as you can imagine. If you want this place to yourself --wake up early! I set my alarm for 7 am to catch the sunrise. According to my tour guide, you will never see this area empty because the boat owners are paid to keep their boats stationed here for tourists! They have to coordinate when they want to take their boat out for vacation to ensure it’s always full.
Museum Crawl - SMK
I love the arts so I wanted to carve out some time to visit a few museums on my last day. SMK Museum is the most popular and for good reason. It has a blend of classic work and modern pieces, as well as a special Henrie Mattise exhibit. The cafe and gift shop on the first floor were also great spots to hang out. I made sure I was there as soon as it opened to get first dibs!
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday, 10 am – 8 pm Monday, Closed
See treasures more than 400 years old at Rosenborg Castle. Here you'll be able to see home furnishings owned by royalty, art, tapestries, clothing, and all types of special keepsakes. You can explore the basement, ground level, and first and second floor.
"The castle began humbly as a small summer palace, but over the course of 28 years it went through four stages of development, and the castle we know today was finished in 1633. Christian IV loved to stay at the castle, which became his favourite."
11 am- 4pm daily
This museum is part of the royal palace. "A visit to Amalienborg Museum gives you access the private interiors of the most recent kings and queens along with an exhibit on the monarchy today with its many traditions." Other than seeing personal items belonging to the royal family, you can also see the changing of the guards at noon!
Hours often change so make sure you check them before booking a ticket!
For my final museum, I decided to squeeze in the Design Museum. It was the most interesting cosidering the tyes of art installations and how it showed the evolution of furniture and home interiors over the decades. If you're looking for funky decor inspiration, this is the place to be.
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday, 10 am – 8 pm
Dinner at John & Woo
After hours of walking and art gazing, I needed to fuel up. I had dinner at John & Woo, felt like eating some comfort food so I ordered a classic burger and fries with an aperol spritz. The place has a nice ambiance, cozy and quite but elevated.
With a full stomach, I headed back to my hotel to relax and spend my last morning picking up souvenirs before catching my flight to Amsterdam where I met up with a friend. I came to Denmark not knowing what to expect and surprised myself at how capable I am of navigating a new place on my own. This is a great first solo trip for my fellow female travelers -- but truly for anyone! I felt safe but still used common sense!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!