10 Non-Touristy Things to do in Copenhagen

February 7, 2015

Copenhagen is full of colorful buildings, thousands of bikers, and a wild nightlife. If you’re visiting Copenhagen and want to experience the city as a local, there are tons of unique things to do that may help you figure out why Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. Be sure to check out my post 10 Non-Touristy Things to do in Copenhagen (Part II) for even more fun activities around Copenhagen! 

1. Rent a bike

Nearly all the citizens of Copenhagen ride their bikes regularly; be it to school, to work, on errands or just casually, biking is a huge part of the culture there. It is easily the most cost effective mode of transportation, and a good way to show the locals that you can hang. And it doesn’t matter if it’s hot and sunny or if there’s a full blown blizzard, Danes are hard to discourage from riding their bikes.

There are lanes in Copenhagen designated for bikers, as well as traffic lights! If you’re biking during the morning or late afternoon “rush hour,” you will find yourself among dozens of bikers taking up the entire street- it’s quite a sight.

Looking to rent a bike? Check out one of the top rental companies in Copenhagen!

Donkey Republic’s bike rental is the easiest way to rent a bike in Copenhagen. Not only do they have bike rentals for a great price, but they also let you book a bike through their app! Simply book and unlock the bike with the Donkey Republic app on your phone from many locations around Copenhagen. There’s always a bike for you nearby! Visit their website to learn more. 

2. Visit Nørrebro

This is a section of Copenhagen that is hip, trendy, and off the beaten path. Cross over the bridge from Indre By and into Nørrebro, and you’ll be greeted with street art and cozy cafes where the locals hang around. You may even find yourself walking in the graveyard where Hans Christian Andersen is buried.

If you’re visiting Copenhagen in the spring/summer months, there will be dozens of Danes hanging out on the bridge that connects Nørrebro with Indre By, the main section of Copenhagen. There better be a Carlsberg or Tuborg beer in your hand!

3. Zefside

Looking for some funky beats and hip vibes? Zefside cocktail bar is the perfect place for that. Located in the city center with an unmarked door, this bar has some of the best music (if not the best) I’ve ever heard. Their tunes are incredibly interesting and leave you feeling euphoric. Check out my post about Zefside.

4. Kent Kaffe Laboratorium

You’ll probably think you’ve just ended up back in science class. There are many different ways they make coffee here, but one of the coolest was when Bunsen burner heated up the coffee which was in a flask. The process of making coffee is a very complex one at this cafe (hence the “scientific” name).

Don’t ask for milk- the person behind the counter will look at you as if you asked for Starbucks instead- the milk “masks over the fullness of the flavor.”

non-touristy things to do in copenhagen

5. Visit Møns Klin

Picture this: Pure white, chalk cliffs, set against water that looks like it was pulled from the Carribbean, all on the Southern coast of Denmark. And yes, you’re probably mispronouncing it (I can’t even pronounce it).

Though Møns Klint isn’t actually in Copenhagen, you can easily get here from Copenhagen via train and then bus- or, you can do what two friends and I did- take a train from Copenhagen to Vordingborggade (vording-bor-gale), and then bike on a hilly, two laned, 35 mile road, along farms, water, across bridges, through small Danish towns, and ultimately, to Møns Klint.

It was the most physically exhausting and exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, but I highly recommend this adventure! There is also a Geocenter near the cliffs, where you can learn about the history of Denmark. This is the perfect day trip if you’re taking the bus, and the perfect two day weekend trip if you end up biking (there’s a hostel nearby). 

non-touristy things to do in copenhagen

6. Amagerstrand Beach Park

A beach- in Copenhagen. It’s quite a serene place to go to, to escape the bustling city and constant rattling of bike chains. During the summer time, this beach is packed. I went in May, when It just started to get warm out, and there was virtually no one there.

7. Deer Park (Dyrehaven)

About 8 miles north of Copenhagen is the oldest amusement park in the world, or, Bakken. This amusement park is at the entrance of a roughly 2500 acre wooded park.

It’s called deer park for a reason. If you’re lucky enough, you will see dozens of red and fallow deer prancing through the woods, camouflaged with the foliage, and bathing in the sun.

The first time I went, I saw a ton of deer. A week later I took my friend, and after telling her you won’t believe how many deer are at this park, we didn’t see any. There are a ton of paths through the woods, and Hermitage Palace sits at the top of a hill, overlooking the park. This was built during the reign of Christian VI. You can either take the bus, the metro, or bike here.

non-touristy things to do in copenhagen

8. Jump Into the Canals

Ah, warm weather in Copenhagen- it’s as if everyone comes out of their hiding spots. The canal near the Black Diamond Library becomes a hot spot for those who wish to sun bathe and swim.

You’ll find people jumping into the icy waters of the canal off of a ledge designated exactly for this. Or, if you’re like my friend Lauren and I, you’ll find a random spot along the canal and go swimming anyway. There were ladders leading invitingly into the water, so of course we were allowed to! Right…?

9. Climb Church our Savior

For 25 Danish Krone, you can climb to the top of this church and see beautiful aerial views of Copenhagen. Watch out, though- the climb up this tower is hard. You’ll be climbing ladders, going through narrow archways, and climbing up steep steps. It’s well worth it though. This church is right near Christiania park.

non-touristy things to do in copenhagen

10. Paludan Bog & Cafe

A sense of relaxation and calmness will take over as you sip your cappuccino in a chair situated between shelves of large leather bound books. This cafe serves delicious food and drink, but also acts as a book store. Who knows, maybe you’ll even walk out of there smarter than you were before. 

Accommodation Information: Try Couchsurfing and Airbnb, two ways to live like a local in Copenhagen. 

Looking for top accommodation in Copenhagen? 

  • Copenhagen Admiral Hotel
  • SP34
  • Avenue Hotel Copenhagen
  • Absalon Hotel

Food: Grocery shop at the Netto, or eat the street food. They have anything from delicious hotdogs, to Thai food, to schwarma. The Glass Market is also a great place to visit to eat cheap and local food. 

Read my guide on how to see Copenhagen on a budget, and the types of things you can do that are free and cheap!

What other non-touristy things can you do in Copenhagen? Comment below! 

Follow me on Instagram for up to date pictures and videos @globe_trottica

Make sure to always purchase travel insurance before traveling in case of any medical emergencies, lost or stolen items, or sudden trip delays or cancellations. I use World Nomads and can’t recommend them enough. Get a quote today!



  1. Comment by Roger

    Roger May 19, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Did you REALLY climb down to the beach at Mons Klint? I can’t remember the number of steps, but it is a lot!

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica May 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Hahah I did! There were a ton of them… climbing down was easy, but climbing back up was SO hard!

  2. Comment by Jason

    Jason February 9, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Great post! Quick question, where did you and your friends get the bikes at Vordingborggade to bike to Mons Klint?

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica February 9, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Thank you! We rented them in the beginning of January from a shop in the center of town. We had the bikes for the duration of the four months that we were living there :] I highly recommend biking to Mons Klint! If you have any questions about it, feel free to contact me!

  3. Comment by Shirley

    Shirley March 29, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Just visited Mons Klint yesterday and it was amazing!! My boys and I counted the steps on our climb back- 495!

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica April 2, 2016 at 4:35 am

      It’s such a beautiful place! Wow!! No wonder I was exhausted by the end- haha!

  4. Comment by Emittra

    Emittra July 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I enjoyed reading this! I am planning on going to Denmark for the first time and these are some great tips!

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica July 29, 2016 at 5:44 am

      Thanks so much, Emittra! Enjoy Denmark, you will absolutely love it:]

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