Copenhagen with kids
Copenhagen is one of these capitals in Europe that are just the right size for discovering with children. It has the perfect size for a metropolis: big enough to have lots of fun things to do but not as big as other capitals of the old continent.
Know before you go
Before heading out to Copenhagen, it is best to give the kids a little information. We like to give them books, videos, activities, anything that will resonate with them and help grab their attention.
Travel books for kids and adults:
- Lonely Planet Denmark
- Let’s Explore… City (Lonely Planet Kids)
- The Copenhagen Affair
- Copenhagen PopOut Map
- Copenhagen Coloring Book for Adults
- Citixfamily Copenhagen: Travel With Kids
- Hans Christian Andersen’s Complete Fairy Tales
- Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Check out Romantic European Honeymoon destinations for non-kid related Copenhagen activities.
Top 12 things to do in Copenhagen with kids
- The Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and is the most magical place there is. The Gardens are located in the centre of Copenhagen and there is something for the whole family: fast roller coasters and small boats, fabulous restaurants and great entertainment. Tivoli got it all covered for you. For the Disney lovers out there, this is where Walt Disney came several times to get inspired before he opened DisneyWorld.
- Den Blå Planet, or the Blue Planet, is the largest Aquarium in Northern Europe. Meet the lovely and funny sea otters or have a look at hammerhead sharks. A fun and educational tour.
- The Experimentarium in Hellerup, 10 min north of Copenhagen is the ultimate place for small and all science lovers in general. A very hands on experience with interactive exhibitions that will introduce distribution systems, the human body, energy and my favourite the labyrinth of light, where you can play music on a light laser harp.
- Probably the most famous way to discover Copenhagen: the boat tours. Discover the city sailing in the harbour and the canals of the Venice of the North. See the little mermaid, Christianshavn and just enjoy the best views of Copenhagen.
- A huge hit with Danish kids and a very traditional favourite is the change of the guards. It happens every day as the guard departs Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace, the official residence of the Queen. They march with music (when the Queen is home) through the city.
- Along with the change of the guards are the visits of the castles and palaces of Copenhagen. Rosenborg, Amalienborg, Christiansborg, are some of many castles to visit and learn about the life and history of Danish Kings and Queens.
- Bakken is another amusement park and this one is the oldest in the world: it was founded in 1583. Dyrehaven, the woods where it can be found, is located a few train stops away from the centre of Copenhagen. It is traditionally the working class amusement park and the crowd much different to Tivoli. The setting though is wonderful.
- Copenhagen Zoo houses over 3’000 animals – from the Elephant house designed by Norman Foster to the Arctic Circle where you can meet polar bears or a petting farm in the children’s Zoo.
- The Tycho Brahe Planetarium offers an educational visit for the whole family and that older kids will really appreciate.You can watch IMAX and 3d movies on the 1’000sqm Dome shaped screen – it is really an amazing experience! The exhibition hall is a fun place to learn all about the planets.
- Copenhagen is full of beautiful parks that kids will love to run around in. Kongens Have is a favourite – the park dates back to 1720 and is used today for many concerts and other cultural events. Another park very worth a visit are the Botanical gardens, located next to Copenhagen University: 27 glasshouses dating back to the 19th century, 13’000 species and even a greenhouse suitable for arctic plants.
- Built by Christian IV in the 17th century, The Round Tower, is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. You can walk inside the tower all the way to the top, not on stairs but on a paved road where the King used to ride up on a horse! You are guaranteed beautiful views of the old Copenhagen.
- Finally, when you have visited Copenhagen you can always take a day trip to Malmö in Sweden. Try the train and cross using one of the longest bridges in Europe. Øresund bridge is nearly 8km long and a true architectural masterpiece.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
Best Budget Hotel: Saga Hotel
Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Maritime
Best Luxury Hotel: Copenhagen Plaza
Best Airport Hotel: Zleep Hotel Copenhagen Airport
Thank you, Christine, for inviting me to write about Copenhagen! I am born in Denmark but moved when I was a kid and have never moved back – I do however feel very proud of being Danish and was in Copenhagen with my 2 kids, aged 6 and 8, this summer for the first time in 10 years. At the moment I live in Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, where I blog on WanderingExpatFamily about our expat life.