Things to do in Copenhagen when you’re 10

copenhagen nyhavn

After a hectic few months, Flea and I wanted a short break at half-term. We wanted something that was a short flight away, affordable, and with plenty to keep us entertained over three or four days.

A bit of Googling later and we settled on Copenhagen.

It’s just a 90-minute flight from Manchester to Copenhagen and return flights cost a shade over £200. That meant after an early start on Friday, we were in Copenhagen by 10am, and ready to explore!

It’s a perfect city for kids – easy to walk around, plenty to see and virtually everything is in English as well as Danish – from restaurant signs and menus to museum instructions and travel timetables.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do with kids in Copenhagen – and a couple of things you can safely skip!

Nyhavn (New Harbour)

We booked into the Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Nyhavn, the picture perfect restored harbour.

IMG_0075_2

The harbour is lined with colourful buildings, many of which used to be home to shipping and boating companies – now they’re mostly restaurants and bars, serving a range of local cuisine. Although it was below zero when we visited, there were plenty of hardy guests sitting outside the cafes, which provide lanterns and blankets on every table to ensure you don’t freeze while you’re drinking your coffee!

Take a Cruise

Weirdly, I never really knew that Copenhagen is built on a canal system. But it is. You can pick up a canal cruise at Nyhavn, although it’s busy there, so the queues are non-existent at Gammel Strand – head there on busy days.

The cruises take place on long, low boats which are mostly covered. Different tours cater for different languages, and the whole tour takes around an hour. You’ll get a great view of lots of Copenhagen’s spectacular architecture old and new, and Flea loved skimming under the bridges (the boats are designed to the exact height of the city’s bridges).

The Round Tower

round tower copenhagen

In the heart of the city, you’ll find the Round Tower, a seven-storey high tower, which you climb via a dizzy cobbled pathway that sloped up the inside of the building. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views around the city. At certain times of the week you can visit the Observatory inside, and there’s a spot halfway up where you look down the hollow centre of the tower and see the spot from which the kingdom used to be measured.

Small note – don’t lean on the walls. The back of your coat will instantly be covered in chalky white paint residue. Sigh.

copenhagen round tower

Flea’s favourite part of this attraction, though, was watching the local kids who skateboarded back down, listening the wheels ratting over the cobbles and the inevitable crash and yell as they fell over. Hilarious.

 

 

Visit Castles and Palaces

Copenhagen’s architecture is fascinating. There are some amazing new buildings to walk around – the opera house and the national library were spectacular highlights, but Denmark does castles particularly well.

IMG_0147_2

Right in the heart of the city, we stumbled upon the Rosenborg Castle, which has a treasure chamber in the basement, and fab gardens to explore. You can also see Amalienborg Castle, the residence of the royal family, which was actually splat next door to our hotel. Flea loved seeing the royal guards and thinks every family should have a guard called “The Order of the Elephant”.

Go (Window) Shopping

Among its claims to fame, Copenhagen is home to the longest pedestrian street in Europe – Stroget is home to pretty much every major store you can think of, including a really fun flagship LEGO store. But be warned – Copenhagen is wicked expensive and almost everything you see will be substantially more expensive than the equivalent in the UK. We saw some DM boots that we bought recently in the UK for £65 selling for £170 in Copenhagen.

Visit the Experimentarium

Just across the water from Nyhavn you’ll see a huge warehouse-style building called Papieren, or paper island. Within the building is the Experimentarium, a hands-on science museum for children. Actually, calling this a kids’ museum is misleading because so many of the activities and exhibits involve entire families. When we visited, there was a fitness-themed exhibition where families register as a team, and then log-in to each exhibit using an RFID wristband.

experimentarium copenhagen

Each interactive exhibit is designed to show kids something about being active, and your family team accumulates points at each exhibit, depending on how well you do. It’s a bit like being part of a giant Japanese TV game show, but less painful. Our highlights were the bathroom where you have to bust a move to some disco tunes while cleaning, and the kitchen where you have to jump from one giant kitchen utensil to another without touching the floor.

experimentarium

I really love that each exhibit takes a photo of you, and then emails it to you. Genius!

One note – there’s no cafe to speak of here and you can easily spend all day, so consider bringing a picnic or heading next door to Copenhagen Street Food. Speaking of which…

Copenhagen Street Food

IMG_0050_2

Situated right next to the Experimentarium on the water-front, Copenhagen Street Food is home to 38 pop-up food stands serving almost every sort of food you can imagine – Colombian vegan street food? Check. Surf and turf on a burger? Check. Mexican wraps? Oh yes indeed. We opted for fresh burgers and those of us who had got up very early and were feeling the need had a cold beer.

copenhagen street food

Prices are reasonable (in Copenhagen terms) and there are drinks stands aplenty and lots of benches for seating. It’s all very informal, and a lot of fun.

Get Lost

One of my favourite things about Copenhagen is that it’s perfect for just wandering. On our first afternoon, we simply hit the streets in Nyhavn, and walked from there.

IMG_0220_2

We found the Stock Exchange, the Parliament, walked along the water front to see the new National Library, the Opera House, and so much more. Wrap up warm, and when you’re hungry, stop at one of the countless hot dog stands (the Danes LOVE their hot dogs) or check out one of the Vaffelbegeren for a hot, fresh waffle with ice cream or chocolate.

 

Skip It..

If you take a boat cruise, you’ll see the Little Mermaid from the back – and honestly that’s enough. The statue is small, surrounded by crowds of people an apparently it’s not even the original statue, which was stolen yonks ago. Maybe it’s just me…

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

Share:

15 Comments

  1. 24th February 2016 / 7:55 pm

    I love wandering in new cities too, particularly if the route happens to pass a local cafe/bakery! I’ve thought about visiting Copenhagen several times but I’m a little put off by how expensive I perceive it to be. Maybe next year…..

    • 24th February 2016 / 8:04 pm

      It’s drinks and things that sort of shock you – we paid around £30 for lunch in a Starbucks-type cafe – a pot of pasta salad, a cheese sandwich, one Coke, one coffee – but my friends tell me that’s the price of paying people a fair wage!

      So yeah, it is expensive but I think with planning you can reduce the cost – we shopped at grocery stores instead of eating at the hotel, and headed for cheaper cafes and hot dog stands for lunch rather than eating out for every meal. We walked a LOT rather than using cabs. And you can also get various cards from the tourism office with discounts on admission fees etc.

  2. 24th February 2016 / 8:24 pm

    I saw some really good deals for a weekend in Copenhagen but didn’t book, I’ll have to search again and make the trip…looks great and it’s always nice to know the kid friendly places in cities…makes taking a city break with kids in tow much more appealing!

    • 24th February 2016 / 8:59 pm

      Oh do, when we checked the flights were great value.

  3. 24th February 2016 / 8:26 pm

    In a non-creepy-internet-weirdo way I feel like I’ve watched little Flea grow up on this blog and so I spent most of your post jut thinking ‘No way!’ at each photo of her looking like such a grown up young lady.

    Where does the time go? *sniff* (I’m crying over my own growing children, not yours, by the way – not *that* much of a weirdo… )

    • 24th February 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Ha! I know exactly what you mean, I love looking back at my posts about little baby Flea – as does Flea. It’s so lovely we have this record of our kids growing up, isn’t it?

  4. 24th February 2016 / 8:34 pm

    That looks like such a cool city to visit and very child friendly too. It is on my wishlist for places to visit, even more so after seeing the look of that burger!

    • 24th February 2016 / 9:00 pm

      It was an epic burger 🙂

  5. 25th February 2016 / 8:22 am

    I would like to start doing these mini breaks to Europen destinations when we are in England for two weeks. It’s much more expensive to come from Israel but it would be perfect to take three days out of our visit to Grandma in London. I look to you for inspiration.

  6. 26th February 2016 / 11:21 am

    Such a lovely post, have never been to Copenhagen before but would love to take Belle now!

  7. 26th February 2016 / 8:43 pm

    That Mermaid! I got taken there in sub zero temps on my first business trip to Copenhagen. A memory that will stay forever. It’s a lovely city though and apart from the prices which do make you squirm at times, it’s somewhere I’d love to explore with my son too. Some great pointer there.

  8. 29th February 2016 / 7:29 pm

    I have never even thought of visiting Copenhagen before, I had no idea their was so much for children to do there. Flea looks like she is having an amazing time in all of those photos xx

    • 5th March 2016 / 2:21 pm

      It’s gorgeous, definitely worth a short break 🙂

  9. 8th March 2016 / 11:30 am

    We’ve been to Copenhagen twice in the last 18 months and love it! We were thinking it might be the ideal spot to take our first break as a family when the baby arrives this summer. The fact it’s flat, easy to get around and everyone speaks perfect English is a massive bonus! I’ll be keeping this post for future reference 🙂

  10. 19th June 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Taking my four year old to Copenhagen (to celebrate his brand new shiny passport) in a few weeks. Really excited! Thanks for the useful tips 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge