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Top things to do in Copenhagen in summer

Soak up the beauty of the Scandinavian summer and watch Copenhagen truly come to life once summer starts. From lush greenery to scenic beaches and baths, the vibrant city life and the fact you can easily bike from one activity to the next – Denmark’s capital is the ideal spot to enjoy a laid back vacation full of exciting activities and warm summer nights, enriched by the unique local food culture and numerous cultural events and festivals.

Kayak around the harbour

While bicycles or the Hop-on Hop-off bus might be your go to way to travel comfortably through the city, make sure to take a refreshing kayak tour through Copenhagen’s harbour. The harbour is a popular meet-up place in summer, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities to rent a kayak here.

Do you want to do good while enjoying your kayak trip? At GreenKayak, you can rent one of the bright green kayaks for free in return for collecting trash from the areas around the harbour and sharing the companies mission on social media. So far, GreenKayak has been able to collect more than 104,000 kilograms of ocean waste this way!

Explore Copenhagen’s best parks and gardens

KingCopenhagen is home to several lush green parks and gardens, the ideal spots for a picnic on the grass or simply to enjoy the lively atmosphere. Take a break between the rose garden and pavilion in the King’s Garden, right next to Rosenborg Castle, where multiple huge flowerbeds are especially spectacular during the summer months. The Renaissance style garden, established under Christian IV in the 17th century, is Denmark’s oldest royal garden and a popular oasis in the heart of the city.

If you want to enjoy a peaceful walk far away from the hustle and bustle of the Danish capital, just take a short trip north to Jægersborg Dyrehave. This resort was once used as a hunting area for Danish royalty and is nowadays protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Today it is not only home to more than 2000 free range deer but also filled with luscious green forests, wide landscapes as well as several small lakes – the perfect spot for long walks, jogging, romantic picnics or even horseback riding.

For adventure amongst the trees visit Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s most famous attraction. Unlike most amusement parks, there is far more to Tivoli than the optional rides alone. The park is filled with different types of gardens to engage all your senses. Throughout the green gardens of Tivoli, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to try different food from around the world. And then of course there are around 30 rides to enjoy as well.

Go for a swim at Copenhagen’s beaches and baths

Did you know that the water in Copenhagen’s harbour is so clean that you can actually swim in it? The Havnebadet Islands Brygge consists of four different outdoor pools. Here, you can join the locals in taking a refreshing dip into the cool water and enjoy beautiful views of the city at the same time. The entry to the outdoor pools is free and guarantees a refreshing break after a day full of sightseeing.

Copenhagen beach

If you prefer to swim at the beach, you can easily reach Amager Strand, Copenhagen’s largest beach, with public transport. The lagoon is surrounded by a beautiful dune landscape and an urban park. From a variety of water sports to volleyball or a scenic picnic, the beach is packed with cultural and other exciting events throughout the long days of summer.

Summer Festivals

Copenhagen is a popular location for cultural events and festivals of all sorts. For classical chamber music, make sure to visit the Copenhagen Summer Festival. Here, high-profile artists perform together with many young musicians, the stars of tomorrow. This festival is the most important stage for young talent in Copenhagen.

The Distortion Festival takes place in Nørrebro and Vesterbro from the 31 May to 4 June. The 5-day-long festival brings together thousands of locals celebrating one of Europe's biggest street parties.

Copenhagen has been one of Europe’s jazz capitals since the 1950s. The city’s unique connection with jazz resulted into the annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival, one of the largest of its kind in all of Europe. This 10 day-long festival features more than 600 concerts at 150 venues. You can enjoy this sumptuous musical feast on the streets of Copenhagen and all over its clubs, cafes and concert halls.

Celebrate the summer solstice the Danish way by attending the Sankthansaften festivities. This traditional midsummer celebration takes place on June 23rd and features bonfires, singing, and community gatherings across Copenhagen. It's a unique cultural experience that offers insight into Danish traditions and a chance to enjoy the longest day of the year.

Street food

Explore the famous local food culture

Spend the warm Scandinavian summer nights strolling around the harbour and discover Copenhagen’s unique street food culture. Make your way to Reffen, a market with over 30 food stalls right at the harbourside. The vendors offer food from a variety of cuisines.

From one of the favourite fast foods of the Copenhagener’s, burgers, to colourful homemade ice cream and from regional African dishes with Baobab juice to delicious Middle Eastern kebabs - whatever you’re craving after a long day at the beach or out on the town, this is the perfect spot to enjoy refreshing drinks and tasty dinners on a warm summer day.


If you're looking to escape the busy city centre read our blog about the 8 best day trips from Copenhague!