The Lakes, known as Søerne, consist of three rectangular lakes: Sortedam Lake, Peblinge Lake and Sankt Jørgens Lake. Once the sun comes out, locals and families walk around the lakes and picnic in the nearby green spaces. In the summer, rent paddle boats from Søernes Bådudlejning (Copenhagen Lakes Boat Rentals), situated by the Dronning Louises Bridge.
Torvehallerne Market is the perfect place to see the locals living their daily life. From produce stands to fish markets to wine stalls, this market showcases how the locals live, eat and survive. Here you can pick up from bread and cheese for a cheap sandwich or sample local favorites such as fiskefrikadelle (fish cake) or an open-faced smørrebrød sandwich. Prices feel more expensive than other countries, which is normal as there is no getting around to spending some money in Copenhagen.
This tiny Danish restaurant sits in the Christianshavn neighborhood and is known for its quintessential Danish atmosphere and cuisine. On the cheap, it is the perfect stop for a cup of coffee, dessert or a glass of wine and soak up whatever sun you may find at the street side tables. Warm and cozy on the inside, if you decide to splurge, this is the right place as there is no better place to eat like a local than here. This place is vegetarian friendly.
Scandinavian cultures are known for its cafes. How could they not be since it is cool and cloudy most days of the year. Stay warm and awake with a latte at one of Copenhagen's many cafes. There are plenty of historic cafes in Old Town alongside with modern, chic coffee joints around town. If you are here for several days, you'll be able to explore a myriad of local places. WeCycle Copenhagen is the perfect place to mix cycling and coffee. The Coffee Collective is a modern, sleek Scandinavian "hyggelige" coffee shop with an Instagram-worthy interior.
Christiana is a gritty, ultra-liberal yet controversial part of Copenhagen. Technically it's own country, Christiana is an alternative society founded in 1971 during a housing shortage. The Green Light District is where marijuana dealers do their thing and The Free Town is where organic, dairy-free restaurants co-exist. The district sits on 34-hectares of green space including hiking trails and lakes. Pictures are not allowed to be taken in the district.
One of the most popular statues in Copenhagen is The Little Mermaid statue inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. The statue depicts a lady on a rock of a mermaid who turns human on land. The picture above shows the The Black Diamond (Den Sorte Diamant) Mermaid, which is two-miles away from the original statue, nearby the Royal Library.
The Royal Library
The Royal Library is the seat of the Danish government, and is worth an exploration. There are two sides of the library, the old and the new. The original building, founded in 1648, is the traditional foundation of the library where as the modern extension was completed in 1999. The juxtaposition is a sight to see, but the library features almost every book ever written in Danish, dating back to 1482.
Nyhavn is a must visit in Copenhagen. This charming 17th Century nautical district features the beauty of ancient Danish architecture as well seeing the fisherman way of living come to life. Once a lively waterfront neighborhood packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pub houses, and fishermen is now a bit more refined with high end cafes and luxury restaurants. The restaurants in this area are expensive, but worthy of a sachet through the street side cafes.
The less attractive side of the water showcases the best views on Nyhavn. Visit house 20 where Danish author, Hans Christen Anderson lived in 1835 when he published his first volume of fairy tales, 'The Tinderbox', 'Little Claus and Big Claus', and 'The Princess and the Pea.'
If budget allows, take a one-hour boat canal tour from Nyhavn to explore the waterfront regions of Copenhagen. Cost is approximately $15USD. On the tours one discovers historical landmarks such as churches, castles, old homes and famous landmarks.
Old Town Copenhagen is another must-visit while in town. During peak season, up to 10,000 visitors walk the streets of Old Town to savor the local flavor and to purchase local goods. Discover plenty of shops on Strøget street. For something quieter and more scenic visit Magstræde and Gråbrødretorv square.
Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is one of the most popular cycling cities in Europe. Even if you're not into riding bikes, just admiring the bike parking spots is a sight to see at the main train station as well as near the Torvehallerne Market. Every shop is different but some places allow reservation bookings before even stepping foot in the city. WeCycle coffee shop features rentals. Here is a list of rental places in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen interestingly fuses old world charm with modernism. Although bizarre, some of the newer buildings are not necessarily "bad," but offer reflections that look into the past, but also into the future. Studying the various squares and waterfront canals offers a glimpse into Copenhagen's past, but also into it's future.
What cheap and free things do you recommend doing in Copenhagen?