If you’re looking for a honeymoon destination that exudes charm and happiness, then Copenhagen deserves a closer look. This Scandinavian city consistently ranks as one of the happiest places in the world, and it’s easy to see why. With its thriving design, food, fashion, and art scenes, Copenhagen offers a laid-back and liveable atmosphere perfect for couples wanting to experience a “Hygge (the Danish concept of coziness) Honeymoon”.
The first-time visitor to Copenhagen could be left wondering which came first: Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales or the historic castles, the welcoming people and delightful environment that were his inspiration?
When Crown Prince Frederik chose an Australian bride as his princess all those years ago, it simply confirmed Copenhagen is a place where romantic dreams really do come true.
What to See & Do on your Copenhagen honeymoon
Straddling a series of islands interlaced by scenic canals, Copenhagen is a visually appealing, compact city that is easily walkable and navigable by bike, so perhaps consider hiring a couple – or go tandem so you see the sights (even closer) together.
Crossing the length of the old city section is Strøget, the longest pedestrian street in the world. This two-kilometre meandering walkway is hugged by quaint old shops, lively bistros and cafés, modern Danish stores such as Illums and the prestigious Bang & Olufsen boutique showroom, along with several celebrated stores that are ‘must-visits’.
The narrow cobblestone lanes and alleyways that veer off this popular thoroughfare each bring surprises of their own with stylish boutiques, cosy eateries, and pavement cafes until you reach the quaint and enormously picturesque 1673 harbour precinct of Nyhavn. Now a popular entertainment area, the waterway is edged with centuries-old gelati-coloured gabled buildings with appealing pavement cafés and alfresco bars popular with sun-loving Danes and visitors alike – so go there, simply to soak up the atmosphere.
Nearby, man-made Ofelia Beach attracts summer sun-bathers, and those just wishing to catch up over a glass of wine at the umbrella bar on the boardwalk by the Royal Danish Playhouse.
A canal cruise from here should almost be obligatory, not just to help orientate yourself, but to see the city from a different perspective. It also includes some smart navigating through the man-made yacht-lined canals around the old commercial centre of Christianshavn with its mix of the old and the new and many restored warehouses, built in the early 17th century during the reign of King Christian IV to resemble Venice.
One of the top tourist attractions is the Tivoli Gardens in the heart of the city. In summer the gardens are filled with tulips, daffodils and cherry blossom and some four million visitors come to hear live singers and bands on the many open-air stages, dine in one of the many restaurants, or enjoy its many amusement rides and adventures.
Cuddle up on one of the most romantic rides – The Flying Carpet, based on one of Andersen’s many fairy tales. Adjoining the gardens is the überchic 14-room Nimb Hotel housed in a century-old Moorish-style building overlooking the gardens. It is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World and is in fact owned by Tivoli. Book early for dinner and take in the live Tivoli concert on Friday nights at The Nimb Brasserie.
Check out the Happiness Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to happiness. With various exhibits showcasing different perspectives on happiness from around the world, it’s a unique and enlightening experience. Denmark is known as one of the happiest countries in the world so why not visit and explore the secrets to a happier life?
Frederiksborg Castle, also known as Frederiksborg Slot, is located on three islands in the charming town of Hillerød, which is about 30 kilometres north of Copenhagen, on Lake Slotssøen. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and a serene lake, is an ideal destination for a day trip from Copenhagen. In addition to its stunning architecture, the castle is also renowned for housing the Museum of National History. This museum offers visitors a captivating journey through 500 years of Danish history, showcasing a diverse collection of art, furniture, sculptures, and other historical artifacts.
For the ultimate Danish tête-a-tête, watch the sunrise over the beach from Svanemøllestranden or Charlottenlund Fort a few kilometres away where on a clear morning you can see Sweden.
Where to eat & drink
The Alchemist in Copenhagen is renowned for its exceptional dining experience. With a grand entrance made from two tons of bronze, guests are immediately captivated by the unique atmosphere. Offering nearly 50 courses, the restaurant combines culinary excellence with performance art and immersive decor, creating a truly unforgettable experience. It is no wonder that the Alchemist is considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Tickets are released in three month batches and you’ll need to prebook your dining experience online.
ARK has made a name for itself by revolutionising plant-based cuisine. The food is entirely vegan, and the restaurant prioritises sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. The attention to detail extends to the restaurant’s furniture, made from recycled materials such as seaweed and salvaged floor beams. The nine-course tasting menu showcases the chef’s creativity and skill, with each dish offering surprising and delicious flavours. Every bite is a delight, from the refreshing seaweed jelly to the umami-glazed blue oyster mushrooms. The bar offers a range of drinks that are natural and/or bio dynamic wines and unconventional beers. ARK is truly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with meat-free cuisine.
Alouette is a hidden treasure in the Danish dining scene, tucked away behind a nondescript garage door and a graffiti-covered hallway. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its bright and inviting atmosphere. Guests can indulge in a set five-course menu that showcases the best of small producers and seasonal ingredients. What sets Alouette apart is its commitment to changing the menu every week, ensuring a fresh and exciting culinary adventure for its patrons.
POPL Burger is not your average burger bar. Created by the renowned team behind Noma (who announced they are closing in 2024, hence not being on our list of places to eat in Copenhagen), this burger joint offers a unique and elevated dining experience. Located in the charming Christianshavn neighbourhood, POPL serves mouthwatering burgers made with organic beef sourced from free-roaming cows. The team at POPL has cultivated relationships with top biodynamic farmers, fermenters, brewers, and winemakers, ensuring a commitment to quality, innovation, and environmental sustainability. Vegetarian options are also available for those seeking plant-based alternatives. The interior of POPL, designed by Copenhagen-based architects Spacon and X, features custom furnishings and natural colours that pay homage to Noma’s famous garden. Due to its popularity, making a reservation before visiting is recommended.
Know Copenhagen’s neighbourhoods
When exploring Copenhagen, there are several neighbourhoods that you should know about.
The City Centre is a must-visit, with its iconic Nyhavn district and picturesque canals. Nørrebro is known for its diverse population and is home to some of the city’s best pan-Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants. Vesterbro, once considered the red light district, now offers a mix of nightlife and family-friendly areas. Within Vesterbro, you’ll find Kødbyen, Copenhagen’s meatpacking district.
Frederiksberg offers great shopping opportunities and attractions like the Frederiksberg Palace and Copenhagen Zoo.
Finally, Christianshavn is a cluster of small islands with charming row homes and beautiful waterways, perfect for renting boats or kayaks and exploring the canals.
Getting around Copenhagen
When it comes to getting around Copenhagen, there are several options available. The city has a well-connected public transportation network that includes trains, buses, and metros. Tickets can be purchased at various locations, including kiosks, through mobile apps, or online. You can also opt for a City Pass if you prefer unlimited access. To stay updated on schedules and delays, you can download the Rejseplanen app.
Taxis are plentiful in the city, and you can easily contact companies like Dantaxi for a pickup. You can book town car or black car services with companies like Sixt if you prefer a different car service. Another option is to use the zero-emission ride-sharing service, Viggo. It’s important to note that Uber or Lyft does not service Copenhagen.
And finally, as mentioned earlier in this story, one of the best ways to get around Copenhagen is by bike. Nearly half of the city’s residents commute to work on bikes. Numerous biking routes and bridges throughout the city make it easy to plan your ride and explore all that Copenhagen has to offer. For a more adventurous experience, you can even try tackling the bike route used in the 2022 Tour de France Grand Départ, which took place in Copenhagen.
Heading to Denmark? Why not add an unlikely island escape to your itinerary and visit Bornholm?