Copenhagen for a student – a guide to the city
Where to begin? You have probably arrived in Copenhagen at Kastrup airport. If you want to get to the city center, you should go to the end of the airport arrival hall where the railway station and The Copenhagen Metro station are located. You can take either of them, but the metro seems the smartest choice. Trains run every four minutes and the journey takes 15 minutes. The tickets are available in ticket machines and you can pay with a credit card. If you are just visiting for a few days you might consider getting a Copenhagen Card which covers tickets for buses, waterbuses, metro or train and free admission to over 80 museums and various attractions as well as other discounts in restaurants and cafes. The Copenhagen Card is valid for 24,48, 72, 96 or 120 hours and you can preorder it online and pick it up at Copenhagen Airport to use it right after you get there. Otherwise, you can get the City Pass which is a ticket to public transportation delivered on your phone and allows you to travel across the city without worrying about the zones and fares.
Upon arrival to any new city, it is always smart to visit the Tourist Information Center as a starting point. Copenhagen Visitor Service is located on Vesterbrogade 4 and will present you with recommendations on attractions, shops, food and both current and upcoming events. You can also collect a printed city map there.
Now that you have a map you can start…
Copenhagen is located on islands, partly on the eastern shore of Zealand and partly on the island of Amager and on some natural and artificial islets between the two (like Amager Strandpark – a 2 km long artificial island with beaches!). The city centre is defined by old ramparts and is the oldest part of the city. Around you will find some residential neighbourhoods like Nørrebro, Vesterbro, Østerbro and Amagerbro.
Public transportation in Copenhagen is reliable and comfortable and can be accessed with the same ticket (just be sure how many zones you will pass during your ride), but we really encourage you to jump on a bike. The infrastructure is one of the best in the world, there are countless safe bike routes and bike rentals, so do not hesitate!
Have some fun in Copenhagen
So, you’re in Copenhagen and looking for places for entertainment? Head to Vesterbrogade 3, to the Tivoli Gardens. This is a famous amusement park right in the centre of Copenhagen. It is a spectacular garden, beautiful in each season, there are great historic architecture, restaurants and cafes and a wooden roller coaster from 1914! Tivoli is open all year round and is especially beautiful around Christmas time. There is another amusement park worth visiting but you have to leave the city centre, a 10-minute drive north to Klampenborg, Dyrehavevej 62. Bakken Amusement Park (also called Deer Park Hill) opens seasonally. There is plenty of attractions as well as beautiful surroundings.
Food shopping might be fun as well – go to Frederiksborggade 21 to visit the food market called Torvehallerne. It is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch, dinner and grocery shopping. Or you can just browse around as it offers many shops with Danish delicacies, local vegetables, fresh fish and much more.
Longing for more street food? Reffen – Copenhagen Street Food is the largest food venue in the Nordics. Go to Trangravsvej 14. This is the place to enjoy the cheap nightlife in Copenhagen. Good food, cheap cocktails and a great view of the water.
Copenhagen offers lots of cool bars and clubs depending on your preferences and budget. Everyone will find something that fits their taste.
Culture and events in Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s cultural scene is well established. Apart from numerous museums, galleries and theaters, lots of events are taking place throughout the year. Let’s name just a few of them:
- Roskilde Festival – established in 1971 is one of the most famous in Europe, so if you’re in Copenhagen in July, pack your gear and head towards Roskilde for 8 days that will be filled with music, partying and numerous events.
- Stella Polaris – a one-day event like few others – if you are a fan of electronic music you should attend. It takes place in Frederiksberg Have, one of the nicest parks in Copenhagen, where you can have some fun and chill on the grass.
- Distortion Festival – each summer Copenhagen’s streets are taken over by fans of electronic music. Over 100,000 people take part in daytime parties in Nørrebro and Vesterbro, at night they rush to the best clubs in the city.
- Copenhagen Jazz Festival – one of the city’s oldest music festivals and one of the biggest in Europe. It takes place during the summer and is full of inclusive events in the streets, city squares and music clubs.
- Frost Festival – different than all above, it is about light installations and music performances in bizarre places all over the city (like empty swimming pools or abandoned churches). Frost is taking place in February.
There are many more festivals in Copenhagen – smaller, more local, in different neighborhoods with various lead subjects.
Fancy an evening at the movies? There are many cinemas, of course – but catching a movie in Imperial (on Ved Vesterport 4) is special. It is the largest cinema in Scandinavia and has been used for premieres and special events since 1961. The screen is one of the world’s biggest and there are as many as 1002 seats!
If you prefer something cozy and stylish you might want to try:
- Empire Bio – Guldbergsgade 29
- Damar Teatret – Jernbanegade 2
- Grand Teatret – Mikkel Bryggers Gade 8
How about classical theatre? The Danish Royal Theatre (Kongens Nytorv 9) has something for every taste – a number of plays, a classic opera or an elegant ballet. There is a discount if you are under 25 years old.
Copenhagen is home to many wonderful places of entertainment, fun and culture. A great source of information and guides for Copenhagen experiences can be found at www.visitcopenhagen.com.