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Looking for a weekend getaway that promises unique architecture, unexpected nature, and the coziest of settings? Look no further than Copenhagen, Denmark.

As an American living in Germany, I attempt to visit all of Germany’s bordering countries. Having visited Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France already, my destination this late fall was Copenhagen, Denmark.

How to get to Copenhagen from Düsseldorf

As a tightly budgeted young adult, I searched for the cheapest flights I could

The best deal I got was a Ryanair flight from Cologne-Bonn Airport to Copenhagen Airport for just 45 euros for a roundtrip ticket.

Ryanair only flies between these two airports on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so one must be flexible with their travel dates. Of course, there are other ways to get there, but if you’re planning on a budget, some flexibility is required. You can also compare your transportation options using a comparison website like Omio


How to get around Copenhagen

We arrived in Copenhagen by 10 pm on a Saturday and were in our cozy Airbnb in Sydhavn drinking 10% alc Danish beer by 11 pm.

I emphasize this because I found public transit in Copenhagen to be incredibly punctual and frequent. Most inner-city destinations are no more than 20 minutes away from each other, usually much less. One can purchase a daily 2-zone city pass for only 24 DKK (3.21 Euros) and can access the airport, the Hauptbahnhof, and the most important sightseeing parts of the city.


The Best Places to Visit on a Budget Weekend Getaway in Copenhagen



1️⃣ – Walk and Wander: City Center (weather permitting) 

One of the greatest parts of Copenhagen is how compact its city center is. One can use the punctual public transit, but can just as easily get their steps in and wander the streets. I recommend this method of transit because then one can see the incredible variation in architecture all over the city.

From traditional brick buildings like the Rathaus to the romantic and imposing Danish Parliament building, to the gigantic angular city library on the water, there is no end to the variation in architecture of this city. My personal favorite way to learn about this variety and history of architecture was to visit the Danish Architecture Center in the BLOX building, only a 10-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof.  

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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The historic city hall of Copenhagen with traditional Danish architecture (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)

Additionally, one won’t have to try hard to find the cozy, picturesque rows of colorful houses and canals that draw so many tourists here. In winter too, it is easy to see why so many Scandinavians value Hygge. The cold weather and early darkness encourage tourists and locals alike to cozy up inside coffee shops and bars or experience the festive Christmas markets in the city center.

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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A charming view of Nyhavn, a neighborhood full of colorful houses, boutique restaurants and shops, and picturesque boats. (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)


2️⃣ Visit a historic independent community: Christiana

Christiana is an independent community located in the heart of Copenhagen that was formed in 1971 as a result of squatters living long-term in a military base. The only rule of the community is: You can do whatever you want as long as you aren’t hurting others. The community is filled with members’ self-build homes, small businesses, and farmland. Photos are not always welcome here, but in front of some small businesses like this colorful and creative art shop, some signs welcome it.

The community members make and sell beautiful homemade crafts and art pieces that you can buy at various small shops. The community stretches north for a few kilometers, and there is a forested path that takes visitors along the river to see the interestingly constructed houses.

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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A vibrant art shop in Christiana, the independent community in the center of Copenhagen. (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)

A bonus visit to make is to the Church of our Savior only 5 minutes outside the Christiana community. For about 9 euros one can walk the 400 steps up to the top of the church tower, giving a beautiful view of Copenhagen, Christiana, and the North Sea.

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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A scenic view from the top of the Church of our Savior in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)


3️⃣ Munch: Eating Smorebrod & Polse

Traveling Americans and Germans alike may be surprised by Copenhagen’s specialty: Pølse, otherwise known as hotdogs. Compared to American hotdogs, Pølse is loaded with mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, and crunchy fried onions. They are sometimes served inside a hotdog bun with no vertical cut, just a hole at the top where the hotdog sticks out.

The other Danish specialty is Smørrebrød, which are small pieces of dense dark bread loaded with delicious fresh toppings. A traditional topping may include potatoes, mayo, dill, and fish, but due to its popularity in the city, one will find all sorts of elaborate toppings. We sampled salmon and leek, egg and truffle, herring and wasabi, and pumpkin puree.

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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Smorebrod with various toppings of fish, egg, and even pumpkin! (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)


4️⃣ A light hike: Sydhavnstippen Naturpleje

At our Airbnb in Sydhavn, we were a mere 10-minute ride by S-Bahn to the city center. It still felt relatively urban, but taking a 10-minute walk south brought us to a drastically different landscape. Streets and Kindergartens faded away into walking trails, farm animals, and creeks.

Eventually one gets to Sydhavnstippen Naturpleje, a nature park on the water where one can see free-roaming sheep and alpacas. The walk is easy and flat, with charming views of open water on one side, and low brushy trees on the other. I recommend going in the early morning when the fog hangs low over the fields. The sheep and alpacas are friendly enough, but give you your space unless they believe you have food. It is mentioned on several signs not to feed the animals.

It feels a bit magical to walk through the foggy forest and watch sheep and alpacas peeking back at you from between the trees.

Copenhagen Weekend Getaway
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A herd of sheep wandering the open fields of the Sydhavnstippen Naturpleje. (Photo Credit: Violet Jetton)

Returning to the Cologne Bonn airport after our long weekend away was simple and punctual. Travel from the city center to the Copenhagen Airport takes only about 20 minutes, and the Ryanair flight was on time. Anyone who visits this picturesque and unique city will certainly come away with an appreciation for architecture, free expression, and all things cozy and comfortable.

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