Found in the world’s happiest ranked country, Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful Scandinavian cities you should experience with your family. Creativity roams through every street corner taking multiple forms; from endorsing sustainable ways of living, to promoting educational experiences for children in engaging and progressive ways. The interplay between modern and historical architecture makes sure to encapsulate memories and stories from the past and honor them for future generations. Besides getting to know the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids, this complete guide also includes important information like the most optimal time to visit, the best areas to stay in and local delicacies to try when you’re exploring the city.
When to visit Copenhagen
Winter (December, January, February)
Copenhagen remains quite cold during most months of the year. December tends to be the time where temperatures start decreasing most drastically, but for some, this month in particular is still quite good to travel on. In December, the city comes to life with an enormous Christmas spirit – endless twinkling lights, markets and the wonderful hygge culture starts to emerge. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the meaning of hygge lies in the art of living simply, and cozily. However, we consider January and February to be far too cold to pay the city a visit. The temperature is too low for pleasurable walks along the city, so we’d probably skip the idea.
Spring (March, April, May)
In Spring, the weather improves slightly but it’s still rather uncomfortable for outdoor strolls and sightseeing. Many of Copenhagen’s best highlights are out in the city itself or in open spaces, so it’s not recommended to book a trip during this time. If spring is the only time you have free time, we strongly suggest that you aim for May, since it’s usually the month where warmer days and longer daylight hours tend to begin.
Summer (June, July, August)
Like any other city who primarily lives in the cold, summer is definitely one of the best times to visit Copenhagen. The city comes to life! Restaurant terraces open up, countless festivals are scheduled in public parks and spaces, and street artists fill the streets with music and a joyful atmosphere. While there are endless things to do in Copenhagen with kids in the summer, it also happens to be the time where most tourists arrive to see the bright colors of the city, as you may expect. Copenhagen is one of the most popular cruise destinations, so be prepared to find the city rather crowded. But the city remains exquisite and charming; so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Fall (September, October, November)
From August onwards, the weather cools down, and the tree leaves start to turn into all kinds of colors. Since the tourist season is over, you’ll see fewer people surrounding the main attractions, and it’s quite a pleasant time to visit. In September, temperatures are around 62°F (17°C), so it’s still pretty manageable and easy to plan outdoor sightseeing activities. In October and November, the weather starts getting a little difficult, so we suggest sticking to September if you travel during fall.
How to get around Copenhagen
Public Transport (Bus, Tram, Train, Ferry)
In Copenhagen, you’ll have no problem getting around the city. The public transport in the city is among the safest and most reliable in the world. Since it’s managed publically, it’s even easier to navigate with the Copenhagen Card. You can purchase the card in all train stations, and they’re valid for all buses, trams, trains, and ferries; which are more than enough options for traveling around such a compact city. These cards have additional benefits like discounts on popular attractions. If you’re traveling to Copenhagen for a short time, this is a great option. They have reduced fares for kids from 10 to 15 years old. Better yet, children until 9 years old can ride for free!
Copenhagen is known for having an incredible bike culture. Quite frankly, you could get anywhere in the city with a bicycle; but we understand how this can be difficult if you’re not used to it, or if you’re traveling with children. But if you’re feeling up for it, it’s definitely a great experience, and you’ll be able to explore the city from a local’s perspective. The city has been built around this heavy bike culture, so you can be sure that picking it up is actually quite simple, and safe. There are bike lanes, bike riding etiquette, and stoplights; and since many tourists tend to take on bike riding activities, the locals know how to ride safely around you. There are many great bike rental places with several kid-friendly options like child seats and children’s bikes.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to go – there are clearly designated bike routes for tourists that take you to the best attractions or activities around the city, so you can be sure not to get lost.
Best Areas to stay in Copenhagen
Inde By (Old City)
Like most other European cities, Copenhagen’s most iconic and landmarked area is the old inner city, otherwise known as Inde By. This is definitely the area where you’ll find the most tourists, tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Housing prices here are very high, so it’s unlikely that you see any locals living here at all. That being said this is the perfect area to stay in Copenhagen with kids because of its proximity to places of interest such as the Queen’s palace, Amalienborg, and the beautiful Rosenborg Gardens. It’s a great way to experience the royal and historical side of the city, without losing track of the innovative and modern aspects that make this city shine so brightly.
Located at the east side of the city across the river, is Christianshavn. Although it still forms part of the inner city, Christianshavn has a personality and atmosphere of its own. It’s most widely known for being home to the famous Freetown of Christiania; a small independent town overtaken by hippies in the 1970s. Today, it’s a colorful neighborhood full of creatively self-made houses, with its residents following heavily sustainable and free-spirited lifestyles. Christianshavn is surrounded by water with blissful canals that are a pleasure to explore either by boat, bike, or foot. This area is also quite remarkable for its availability of “hygge” restaurants and cafés, and tends to be a rather liked area by the locals.
Out by the east, where the land touches the sea, you’ll find Østerbro. Østerbro is considered one of the best places to stay in Copenhagen with kids because of how close it is to large green spaces like the Faelledparken, and one of the city’s most loved landmarks, The Little Mermaid. Especially in the summer, it’s a great area to enjoy the charm of Copenhagen away from all the crowds. You could even make a special trip to the Svanemøllen beach, extending over 4000 square meters. Our special tip is to pay Olufs a visit – they have the most delicious variety of Italian popsicles!
Things to do in Copenhagen with kids
The first on the list for the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids definitely has to be the Tivoli Gardens. It’s located right in front of the City Hall, so you certainly won’t have any trouble getting there. Had you ever heard of a city having an amusement park right in the center? You can probably see why Copenhagen is seen as one of the most creative and progressive cities in the world.
The Tivoli Gardens is the oldest amusement park in Denmark dating back to 1843. It actually served as the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Disneyland! The park itself is beautiful; with lush gardens, some of the oldest yet working rollercoasters, and a spectacle of fairy lights and decorations that illuminate the night. There is live music every day at Tivoli, with larger and more popular events like Friday Rock and Summer Classic happening throughout the year. We suggest you go on Thursdays to catch some local Dutch bands perform their talents on the stage. There are heaps of places to eat here as well; from food courts to more upscale and elegant restaurants. This is one of the places in Copenhagen that both children and parents love the most. You can be sure that the entire experience will be incredible for all of you.
Website: Tivoli Gardens
Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
Sun - Thu 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Fri - Sat 11:00 AM - 11:45 PM
Cost: From 135 DKK (Price depends on the ride package you purchase. Otherwise, you can have a free admission the purchase of a Copenhagen Card!)
The Old Harbour (Nyhavn)
If you had to use an image to capture the essence of Copenhagen, Nyhavn is probably the one you’d choose. In the past, Nyhavn was an incredibly large and lively commercial port. It docked many, many boats, and was filled with bars, pubs, and alehouses. Today, this spirit is still kept alive with beautifully renovated colorful houses and antique boats setting the scene. Visiting Nyhavn in the summer is among the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids. They’ll be mesmerized by the buzz of endless jazz music, and vibrant energy from locals and tourists coming together to celebrate warmer weather.
One of Copenhagen’s best curated museums has to be their national aquarium, Den Blå Planet. The aquarium is built in a way for visitors to experience all kinds of incredible species of the wonderful creatures that live across the seven seas of our planet. From otters in Alaska to giant hammerheads roaming the water tunnels of the aquarium, this museum is bound to be one of the most cherished and great things to do in Copenhagen with kids.
Besides learning and discovering everything about life underwater, the Water Playground is a great place for children to let go some of some energy on the interactive water display and games, monkey bars and swings.
Website: Da Bla Planet
Address: Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, 2770 Kastrup
Mon 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Adults: 170 DKK
Children (3-11 years old) 95 DKK
Free admission also possible with Copenhagen Card
Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet)
There are open-air museums all over the world, but there is nothing quite like the one in Copenhagen. Being the largest and oldest of them all, they’ve sure set the bar high for the rest of them! Extending over more than 80 acres of land, this museum showcases a replica of old Danish villages containing houses, farms and mills from all over Denmark from the 1650s. Actors fully dressed in traditional costumes and adopting behaviors and mannerisms from back in the day do a wonderful job in showing how different life used to be for the locals.
You’ll see farm animals that used to live in their fields and gardens that used to supply their vegetables. Families tend to have a ball while exploring the grounds – you won’t even feel time passing by! There are lots to discover and it’s truly one of the best ways to understand Danish culture to the fullest. The museum also has several festivals and activities scheduled throughout the year. The Day of Dance, short theatre shows and storytelling of Hans Andersen’s best stories are some of the best ones! It’s definitely a must place to visit in Copenhagen with kids!
Address: Kongevejen 100, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby
Tue - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Adults: 80 - 90 DKK
Children (0-17): free
Adults + Children package: 70-85 DKK
Free admission also possible with Copenhagen Card
The Six Forgotten Giants
A huge part of Danish culture is the magical nature of forests and fairytales. One of the best ways to explore these traditions is by hunting down the Six Forgotten Giants hidden in the forests and meadows of Copenhagen’s suburbia. Crafted out of recycled materials, artist Tomas Dabo has installed six huge sculptures of giants in the greater region of the city. They’re originally intended to encourage locals to dive into nature in their free time, but it’s quickly become a well-liked attraction among visitors as well. It’s one of the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids for families who are looking to see something outside the typical tourist path.
Website: Six Forgotten Giants
Address: Check this blog for exact locations
Bakken Deer Park
The Tivoli Gardens isn’t the only amusement park worth seeing in Copenhagen. Bakken Deer Park is not only the oldest amusement park in the country, but it’s the oldest in the world, founded in 1583. But don’t be alarmed, it’s not what you’re typically used to seeing in a theme park. It’s not full of neon lights, loud music, or animated characters. It’s actually been able to keep its image within traditional and subtle standards; giving the park an atmosphere that’s as historically authentic and tasteful as it can get. In fact, brands and other aspects that may cloud over its unique personality. The highlight of this park has to be the 82-year-old roller coaster, that is still fully functional and safe for your kids to enjoy.
Speaking of the woods and their heavy importance Danish culture, the park is appropriately located in the middle of the Deer Park forest; which simply adds onto its enchanting image. Besides the rides, you can find food, drinks, entertainment, music, and market stalls selling eccentric and wacky items. and their integrated entrance to the park is completely free, but you will need to pay tickets for each ride you want to go on.
If you feel like you need to rest from the theme park, you can always go for a stroll down to the Deer Park. It’s absolutely beautiful and you’ll be able to see full packs of deer walking freely a few meters away from you. Don’t worry, they’re not dangerous and won’t get too close.
Address: Dyrehavevej 62, 2930 Klampenborg
1st March - 31 August: Mon - Thu 09.00-16.30
1st September - 28 February: Mon - Thu 09.00-15.30
The Nature Playground
Scandinavia is known for being good at many things; education, and being home to the happiest people on earth. There’s no better place to truly grasp them than at the Nature Playground. This playground is not only the largest in the country – it raises outdoor fun to a whole new level. The idea behind this park is to rediscover the joy in simplicity, and fuel children’s imagination through play and adventure. It’s actually considered one of the best playgrounds in the world!
The grounds are covered with walkways and paths leading to all kinds of original playground games and installations you’ve likely never seen before. There are climbing walls, ropes, towers, a beautiful lookout spot and a hanging bridge around the perimeter of the park. It’s much more than a playground – this is truly one of the best experiences you’ll have in Copenhagen with kids. Barbecue sites are available, so taking a picnic basket with you is always a good idea.
Website: The Nature Playground
Address: Hammelstrupvej 41, Copenhagen 2450 Denmark
The Kid’s Workers Museum
In a few words, it’s a history museum with a bit of a twist. The Kid’s Workers Museum is beautifully designed, and definitely one of the best things to do in Copenhagen with kids. It captivates children by showcasing life for children their age in lower social classes a couple of centuries back. Since the museum focuses on children, it’s easy for kids to identify with the exhibitions. They actually find it quite interesting to compare their own lives. We think it’s a great way for kids to learn about gratitude and empathy. It really manages to put life into perspective! The exhibitions are set out to be quite interactive. There are props and costumes for children to wear, exhibitions painting a fantastic scene for schools, markets, and houses from the 19th century.
Website: The Kid’s Worker’s Museum
Address: Rømersgade 22, 1362 Copenhagen K
Thu - Tue 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wed 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Adults: 90 DKK
Children (0-18 years old): Free
Students and Young Adults (18-25 years old): 65 DKK
King’s Garden (Rosenborg Garden)
Although Copenhagen has many open and green spaces, if there’s one you should visit with kids it’s the King’s Garden. Found in the Rosenborg castle, these are the country’s royal gardens and are also the oldest. In the 1600s, it served to grow the vegetables that would feed the residents of the Copenhagen Castle. But the king really just used the gardens to walk around for pleasure.
Summertime is definitely the time where the gardens shine the most. Endless rows of colorful flower beds spring the grounds to life. Inside the gardens, there are a couple more things besides the spectacle of flowers to look out for. The Hercules Pavilion is one of them; it’s now a café, but it’s never a bad time to sit and enjoy a warm drink with Danish pastries. The famous statue of Hans Christian Andersen is also located in the gardens. Make sure to keep your eyes for the other statues – your kids will have fun hunting down. Of course, you can expect your kids to have an even better time at the lovely artistic playground; with a friendly dragon and plenty of fairytale-like installations and wooden statues to discover. Make sure to look out for the puppet shows for kids in the summer!
Website: King’s Garden (Rosenborg Garden)
Address:Øster Voldgade 4, 1350 København K
Summer 08:30 AM -18:00 PM
Winter 08:30 AM -16:00 PM
Round Tower of Copenhagen (and Lego store!)
Another witty activity you should really consider doing in Copenhagen with kids is going to the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). It’s found just a couple minutes walk away from the Rosenborg Castle, and offers a stunning view of the city. The tower is not only a lookout, but it’s actually an observatory dedicated to a famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The way to the top is not through a complicated and endless flight of stairs; it’s actually a quite pleasant upwards slope that causes no hassle at all.
A special surprise for the kids after visiting the tower is heading down to the nearby Lego store. Lego is one of Denmark’s proudest inventions, which have been sure to enamor the entire world. You can be sure that your kids (as well as yourself) will go crazy inside the shop. It offers endless variations and themes for this wonderful toy that remains close to the heart across many generations.
Website: Round Tower of Copenhagen
Address: Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København, Denmark
Winter: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Summer: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Adults: 25 DKK
Children (5-15 years old) 5 DKK
One free admission with Copenhagen Card
Things To Eat In Copenhagen With Kids
The best thing to eat in Copenhagen with kids also turns out to be the easiest to find. Another way to think about røde pølse is hot dogs; only that these are bright red. Like the popularity of hot dogs in New York, you can also find an incredible amount of røde pølse trucks all over the city; in parks, outside of public transport stations, squares, and many more places.
It’s certainly the most loved Danish street food, and comes with a range of toppings you can choose to suit your liking. For example, pickles, crunchy or raw onions, ketchup, mustard, and a unique herb dressing. It’s a great option for snacks or quick lunches during the day! To make it even more of a special Danish treat, opt for a bottle of Cocio chocolate milk for dessert. Even though it may have the most simple ingredients, there’s really nothing quite like it. Together, they make the perfect Danish lunch.
May sound simple, but something about Copenhagen makes fish cakes (or fiskefrikadeller) taste amazing. Danish fish cakes are a go-to for any local family, usually pairing them up with cucumber salad. They’re wonderfully made from salmon, chives, and potatoes; and never fail to please – especially children. You can find them pretty much at any restaurant in Copenhagen, but we suggest you to try and find a place loved by the locals. You’ll have more chances of enjoying homemade fish cakes, and those are definitely the ones you want to go for. Although it’s quite a popular place to eat, Copenhagen Street Food (Papirøen) has fish stalls that provide some of the best fiskefrikadeller you can find. It’s easy, tasty, and of the utmost quality. You can’t expect anything else from this city!
Frikadeller (Danish meatballs)
Of course, we can’t mention fiskefrikadeller as one of the best things to eat in Copenhagen with kids without including the original ideal, frikadeller. Otherwise known as Danish meatballs, there’s simply no way you can leave the city without enjoying a traditional recipe of frikadeller. Even though they may be quite closely associated with the famous Swedish meatballs, Danish meatballs are slightly larger, fluffier, and a lot tastier because of the ground pork. They’ve been in Danish tradition for over 200 years now, and are eaten continuously throughout the entire year. You can be sure to enjoy them in every restaurant you choose, but we recommend you take a look at Cap Horn or Cafe Petersborg for the best frikadeller in Copenhagen. These places are actually quite unvisited by tourists, while loved by the locals. You can only imagine how good they will be!
To many of us sandwiches don’t seem like such an extraordinary thing to eat…until you travel to Copenhagen. In Denmark, sandwiches are taken to a whole new level; and integrate art, intricate culinary knowledge and their philosophy of simplicity to create one of their most consumed and loved things to eat: Smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is best described as an “open-faced” sandwich with endless combinations of toppings. Typically, the base smørrebrød is dark rye bread, and the most common ingredients at the top are fish, shrimp or beef decorated with fresh dill, lemon, onions, pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, and their deliciously made remoulade sauce. You can have lots of fun trying out different smørrebrød around the city, and eventually pick the recipes up to make your own and enjoy it one of Copenhagen’s parks!
Last but not least, is pickled herring. Being completely honest, at first glance, this may not seem like the best thing to eat while enjoying Copenhagen with kids. Seeing raw fish on a slice of bread or even in a jar can be quite intimidating and off-putting for some people. But if you try it the right way like you will in Denmark, neither you or your kids will ever look back. We recommend eating it on a piece of rye bread with some butter and a salad. It’s actually incredible, and it’s been in Danish culture from the Viking age. It’s already been around for this long, so there’s no way it’s going to disappoint!
Thanks for reading! We hope this helps you plan the best itinerary to explore Copenhagen with your family. It’s an incredible city full of life, and with many lifestyles and philosophies to learn from. Let us know what your trip to Denmark’s capital was like in the comments!