By Josephine Remo
Yes, Copenhagen solo travel is popular!
Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, has been ranked the best city in the world for all sorts of criteria. It has also won the award as the most liveable city four times.
Not only is Copenhagen an excellent city to live in, but it is also the perfect solo female travel destination.
First of all, Copenhagen is an extremely safe city for women and second, Copenhagen has a ton of great things to offer. The city is beautiful, easy to get around, and will keep any traveler entertained for days with its many activities, restaurants, bars, amazing cafés, and ambiance.
This reputation has made Copenhagen a popular travel destination over the years, but it still has that local feel rather than that of a tourist circus.
Small cobbled streets with colored houses, canals and colorful architecture are just the beginning.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT COPENHAGEN AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER
Copenhagen is small but punches way above its size. Since Denmark is the oldest monarchy in Europe, the capital has evolved and perfected over centuries. Not only is the city extremely beautiful, but it is also very comfortable and easy to visit.
Denmark is an extremely liberal country and has been the first to legalize different legislations promoting freedoms. Copenhagen is the epicenter for this mentality and is vibrant and fun, even less restrictive than other Scandinavian countries, with people free to do as they please, when they please (within reason, of course).
Copenhagen is a great travel destination for art and history lovers. Because of its age, the city is full of historic buildings and monuments and even hosts the oldest amusement park in the world. Culture and history have been shaping the city for centuries and this gives the city a very unique touch and ambiance.
If you are a lover of museums, Copenhagen has something for every art lover, from modern art to classical, ranging from the SMK (National Gallery of Denmark) to the underground art and event location Cisternerne.
Denmark is world famous for interior design and The Design Museum of Denmark is an amazing place for design lovers. Visit here to look at beautiful interiors and to understand a big part of Danish culture.
An outstanding aspect of Copenhagen is the outdoors, with too many options to count.
The city is full of green spaces and water, making it a perfect for taking walks, enjoying a park, or even swimming in the canals. The ocean running through the city is clean enough for swimming, and the air is clear and crisp. Even though it is the capital, you’ll never feel claustrophobic in Copenhagen, surrounded as it is by nature.
And if for some reason you do feel the need to escape, take a day trip to Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one you might know better as Elsinore Castle, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
IS COPENHAGEN SAFE FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Copenhagen is an extremely safe travel destination for solo female travelers. You can walk around freely at all hours of the day and most places even at night. Harassment is mostly absent and catcalls and comments are exceedingly rare.
The most popular areas and the city center are usually full of people and you always have someone to help if anything happens. That said, when walking around alone, and especially at night, use your usual common sense: be aware of your surroundings, and don’t cut yourself off from caution by using headphones and the like. Pay attention. No city can be 100% safe, but Copenhagen comes close.
While not overly common, like most cities, Copenhagen has its share of pickpockets, so keep an eye on your possessions, especially in and around stations and crowded venues, like the Tivoli Gardens. Try to use some protective accessories, like a money belt or an anti-theft purse.
The biggest thing to be aware of as a female solo traveler in Copenhagen is walking or biking around the city. Cycling is the most common means of transportation, and locals take it seriously. They go from A to B by bike and usually go fast. Think of bike lanes as you think of streets with cars. Look each way and double-check before crossing any street. Many tourists confuse the bike lanes for sidewalks, which is not only dangerous but will also make locals quite angry.
The easiest part of being a tourist in Copenhagen is that everyone speaks English. You will be able to communicate everywhere you go and get help if needed. Most signs are translated and if not, Danish people are happy to help out if you ask.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN COPENHAGEN AS A FEMALE SOLO TRAVELER
The liberty state of Christiania is the most unique aspect of Copenhagen.
Stepping into this little area feels like stepping into a different city. The vibe changes completely and it is a beautiful place. Walk around and check out the little shops, art galleries, and cafes around.
Unfortunately, Christiania is also famous for selling illegal substances. Pusher Street is where it is all sold and here you should be attentive. Mostly they sell marijuana but just about anything is sold, so avoid the district at night and never take any photographs on Pusher Street. You’ll know where it starts since there are huge signs on both ends.
Take a canal tour
Taking a canal boat tour is a great way to relax while seeing a lot of the city. You can jump on from different canal stops, but the most common place to start is from Nyhavn. The tour will take you to different architectural and historical sites, as well as to monuments like The Little Mermaid statue, based on a fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.
Eat at a bakery
If you’re wondering where to eat alone in Copenhagen, the answer is: anywhere! But Danes are world-famous for pastries and bread and you can’t visit Copenhagen without visiting a bakery. You’ll find bakeries and great cafés all over Copenhagen, selling some of the best bread in the world. For a mind-blowing experience, try Juno the Bakery, Hart Bakery, Andersen & Maillard, or Mirabelle.
Try a tasty smørrebrød
The open-faced sandwich is the most famous and most common thing to eat for lunch in Denmark. Try smørrebrød for a unique Danish food experience. You’ll find smørrebrød all around Copenhagen: just pick the slice you want from the display, and pay.
For a high-end smørrebrød experience visit either Aamanns or Restaurant Palægade. Both are quite pricey but will serve you one of the best Danish lunches in the city.
Go on a free walking tour
Free walking tours are a popular way to explore a city. Part of the reason they have become so well-known is because they’re convenient and easy. You can show up to any of the tours without having to worry about booking ahead. European cities often have a variety of free walking tours operated by different companies, with a few in the morning and others in the afternoon or evening.
The easiest way to find the best free walking tour near you is to look it up on Facebook (simply search “Free walking tour Copenhagen”), but you can have a look online too. Once you know where the tour starts and what times they run, you’re all set. The tours are also very affordable as they work on a tip basis, with enthusiastic guides.
Contemplate the pieces at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was founded in 1888 by Carl Jacobsen (who is also responsible for making Carlsberg beer so popular). On your visit you can explore centuries of history through period art. There is a large collection of Ancient Mediterranean art on display, and a number of French Impressionist pieces to admire.
The museum also has beautiful gardens, including covered gardens decorated with palm trees and exquisite sculptures. If you have a free afternoon on your itinerary, this could be the perfect way to fill your time.
Attend the Copenhagen Jazz Festival
If you love jazz and festivals, here’s one you’re going to love: the Copenhagen Jazz Festival runs twice a year, with a winter edition in February and a summer one in August.
The festival lasts around 10 days and hosts concerts at more than 100 venues at different times around the city, so you’re certain to find something to attend. Jazz fills the streets and some of Copenhagen’s finest jazz clubs.
Visit some of the city’s nature hotspots
If you start to tire of the city, escape to one of the many of Copenhagen’s green spaces. If the sun is out, enjoy a picnic lunch on a green lawn at the King’s Garden, once reserved for Denmark’s royalty.
Another popular destination is the Botanical Garden, home to Denmark’s largest collection of plants. The grounds are free to roam, and you can explore its various greenhouses and a charming butterfly house. Once you’re done, have a hot cup of tea in the garden’s quaint café.
Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or you’re just looking for some peace and quiet, Copenhagen has the perfect green space for you.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN COPENHAGEN
Biking around the city is by far the easiest and quickest way to get around, and also provides the most local experience. The bike lanes in the city are developed, organized, and wide, making it very easy to ride around. Finally, Copenhagen is completely flat so biking does not take a lot of effort.
You can rent bikes in different places around the city or even grab a city bike. These white bikes are placed all over the city and can be dropped off at any of the city bike stations. Be careful, though, as they are electrical and can go very fast.
Only ride a bike around in Copenhagen if you feel comfortable and you’re accustomed to riding in an urban area.
Think of biking as driving a car in the city. You are fully part of traffic and can get hurt if you don’t do the right thing. Stick to the right side of the lane, look over your shoulder, indicate a turn by sticking out your hand to the side, and hold up a hand to indicate if you plan to stop.
If you don’t bike, the next best option to get around in Copenhagen is to head for a metro station. The new metro opened in 2020 and connects the entire city with the city ring. It runs every four minutes during the day and will get you from one end of the city to the other in approximately 15 minutes. As it goes around in a circle, you can’t go wrong. All that will happen if you head the wrong way is that it will take longer to loop around. An irritating, but not fatal mistake.
Besides the metro, busses and trains connect all parts of the city. Visit DOT for information about public transportation. This user-friendly site shows you exactly how to get anywhere.
Finally, taxis are available all over Copenhagen. However, they are expensive, and can get stuck in traffic, wasting both time and more money.
That said, Copenhagen is a walkable city, so you can simply wander, or take a walking tour.
WHERE TO STAY IN COPENHAGEN
Copenhagen is shaped like a hand, with the city center being the palm, and the main areas being the fingers stretching out. The inner part of the city is contained within the city ring and has all the metro stops. The area within this circle is always full of people and is both safe and fun, so a good choice for accommodation.
Here are a few recommendations at different price ranges:
- Hotel Sankt Petri: an expensive but trendy and popular hotel in the city center
- Hotel Central & Café: this is one of the smallest hotels in the world and has one room on top of a very cute cafe
- Hotel Alexandra: a mid-priced hotel that has comfortable rooms and a danish design. Located within walking distance to some of the main attractions in the city
- Generator Hostel: a hostel offering private budget-friendly rooms in very clean surroundings. This hostel is located right in the very center of the city
There are many options for Airbnb in Copenhagen if you’d prefer.
FINAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR FEMALE SOLO TRAVELERS IN COPENHAGEN
- Cafés and restaurants all have excellent wifi, but the city does not have a public network.
- Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. In fact, some shops and restaurants no longer accept cash.
- In addition to avoiding Christiania, don’t walk around Istedgade at night. It is a street right behind the main train station and gets very dodgy at night. The beginning of the street is full of strip clubs, brothels, and shelters for homeless people.
- Don’t walk around alone at night in the outside areas of Copenhagen. The rule of thumb is to stay within the city ring if you want to walk around at night. The further out you go, the less populated the city becomes.
- If riding a bike at night, always use the light. It is illegal not to, and also unsafe since cars can’t see you.
- Taxi phone number: +45 35 35 35 35, +45 48 48 48 48
- Emergency phone number: 112
- Consider purchasing a Copenhagen travel guide book to help you plan your trip.
And finally, enjoy! You’ll find Danes to be very polite, friendly and helpful so never hesitate to ask locals for help.
Josephine Remo is a digital nomad who spent seven years as a flight attendant. Travel is her greatest passion. She lived in four countries before the age of 25 so she knows all about experiencing new cultures. You’ll find her travel guides and travel tips from around the world on her blog, josephineremo.com. You can follow Josephine on Pinterest and Instagram.