Did you know that apparently the Danish have the highest standard of living in all of Europe and possibly the world? And the highest standard of living in Denmark must be in Copenhagen, so I reckon it must be a very, very cool place to visit especially with kids: clean, safe, and beautiful (and by the sea!).
We are very lucky to have Christine, a mom of two who runs a maternity cafe called Lille Du and a lovely webshop called Happy Boheme, give us a list of things to do in Copenhagen. Reading her recommendations makes me want to book flight tickets and jump on a plane right this minute!
THE ROUND TOWER —Europe’s oldest functioning observatory. From the outdoor platform, which runs around the observatory, you have a perfect view over the old part of Copenhagen. The way to the top of the observatory goes through the 209m long spiral corridor– a great hit for energetic children. However, you might want to bring a stroller for the younger ones – and a snack for everyone when reaching the top.
HABOUR AND CANAL TOURS — Enjoy Copenhagen’s scenery and sights from the waterfront. The guided tour takes you through some of the oldest parts of the Copenhagen; you pass the royal residence, The National Museum, the old Fish market, the seat of the Danish parliament and past The little Mermaid statue, representing the fairy-tale by Danish Hans Christian Andersen.
AMALIENBORG PALACE — The residence of the Danish royal family and the venue of the famous balcony scenes, which take place whenever the royal family seizes the occasion to greet the people. Visitors have the chance to experience some of the royal chambers that are not in daily use and to watch the guards with bearskin hats, who are always in place in front of the four palaces. The guards are a sure hit among children.
THE DANISH NATIONAL GALLERY — Features 700 years of classical, modern and contemporary art and cultural history under one roof. The museum welcomes children and has an entire Children’s Museum of Art section, where children can learn painting techniques, experiment with clay and other materials.. The creative workshops are guided by the artists. Also there are free children’s tours around the gallery every weekend.
COPENHAGEN ZOO – A genuine old school city-zoo with lots of history, exciting species and modern exhibits showing the animals in natural surroundings. Apart from the many exotic animals, the Zoo also has the most enjoyable Children’s Zoo, with many children-oriented activities.
TIVOLI GARDENS — A delightful amusement park and pleasure garden right in the center of Copenhagen. Great for a day of roller coasters, ferries wheel, small motorboats and hair-raising amusement rides for the brave ones. It is also great for eating ice cream in freshly baked waffles, having picnic by a scenic lake, enjoying free pantomime performances and sniffing the flowers of the large flowerbeds around the garden. The Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843.
VALBY PARK NATURES PLAYGROUND — A 20.000 square metre public nature playground in full organically formed play structures: climbing ropes, willow huts, towers, slides and climbing possibilities. We love that the playground has lots of space, lookout points and hiding places. During opening hours (daytime) it is possible to borrow tricycles, balls and other equipment. Remember to dress according to the weather as these are serious outdoor activities. When you and your kids need a break, stroll down the avenue in the surrounding park area and visit the rose garden or the other 17 theme gardens along the way.
EXPERIMENTARIUM — You will find adventurous interactive exhibits about science and technology. You can easily spend a day – and more – exploring the physical phenomenas. Play with water, boats, pumps and sluices, feel the power hidden in the sun, the water and the wind. You can also explore the inside of your own body and try standing in a giant soap bubble. Every various demonstrations are on offer, for example the dissection of a pig’s eye or the experience of a hot air balloon show.
THE BEACH — In Denmark you are always close to the water. On a warm day, visit Amager Beach with 4.6 kilometres of white sand beach – only a few kilometres outside the city centre. With small children, this is the perfect place to enjoy a lagoon where the water is shallow and warm and without waves. There are also good playing fields, kiosks and areas reserved for small bonfires, so you can bring a picnic. You can also dine at the Beduinoasen restaurant – a great place to bring children along.
A high quality “build your own sandwich”-bar with a well-optioned selection. It’s always a treat for kids to be able to choose what they would like in their sandwich. The atmosphere is rustic and cosy with candles on the tables. When the weather is good, you can enjoy your sandwich outside – right on a small cobblestone plaza in the Latin Quarter.
Through large windows, Café Hovedtelegrafen offers an impressive view over the Copenhagen rooftops. During the summer it is possible to have a table on the large outside terrace. The Kitchen’s speciality is Scandinavian fish and seafood dishes. The café is a part of the Post & Tele- Museum and is accessed only though the museum in opening hours. The museum also has a great play area worth visiting.
A family friendly downtown café and restaurant. The weekend brunch is especially popular, so table reservation is recommended. Children are very welcome and strollers are allowed inside the restaurant. Sult is located right next to King’s Gardens from early 1600s. The gardens are a popular retreat, and during the summer season the gardens are the setting for picnics and various musical and theatrical events.
Find Morgenstedet in colorful Christiania – a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood Copenhagen since 1971. The delicious and very affordable menu is based on sustainable and vegetarian choices. The café has great outdoor surroundings with lots of room for children – both in the garden and at the playground right next to the café.
Copenhagen’s only 100% organic certified restaurant. You pick up your food at the counter and the chef is happy to tell about your food. The menu shows inspiration from around the world, based on Danish ingredients. The large open room is decorated in original slaughterhouse look with cow’s heads on the walls, long wooden tables and reveals that the building is part of the old meatpacking district.
Has existed for over 100 years. A untraditional outdoor, summer café in maritime surroundings, where you can rent a boat for a private canal tour or simply enjoy a meal and the special atmosphere by the canal.
An authentic cosy Danish café. This is the place where families meet for coffee, lunch and dinner, where the children make the café their own and the adult enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The café is a mix of unpretentious retro, bohemian and flea market feeling. In the open kitchen the children can follow the preparation of today’s menu: simple servings of high quality foods. Among the family friendly initiatives are wireless internet access, children’s-corner with toys and children sized furniture, changing facilities and no lifted eyebrows. And the owner is the kindest ever.
STRØGET — A car free zone in the heart of downtown – and the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe. The area is crammed full of pedestrians, street musicians, shopping centers, independent shops, high-end designer boutiques as well as bookshops, farm stalls and cafes. Extremely busy especially during the summer months.
ISTEDGADE — The influence of immigrants, students, creatives and bohemians has turned the old worker’s quarter and red light district into the hippest neighborhoods in town. Start in the area near Enghave Plads and make your way towards downtown, since the other end of the street is still red light. You will find lots of small creative shops, vintage shops, children’s stores, funky fashion stores and cafés along your way.
bObles — Be sure not to miss bObles: Danish design multifunctional furniture. A series of geometric shaped tumbling animals, each with its own shape and numerous creative functions. The animals are produced in a firm foam with a soft surface, very easy to clean under the shower. Free of any toxin or phthalates. Can be found in Glasalfen.
RETRO VILLA — At Retro Villa you can find original Retro Wallpaper, one of a kind furniture, handmade porcelain and wonderful Danish children’s clothes like Strawberry Flavour and Bang Bang Copenhagen. All wonderful treasures.
SUNGIFU — Organic and ethical treats. Baby and children’s clothes, toys, fair trade knitwear for adults, skincare and accessories. The shop is decorated using recycled and environmentally friendly materials and furnishings.
Donn ya Doll — A multibrand fashion shop with a large selection for moms. It always features new expressions, new approaches with colors, patterns, edge and sculptural details. It is a great place to find that special thing.
HOTEL FOX — The children will love it. Playful 61 rooms with creative experiences – uniquely designed rooms from wacky comical styles to Japanese Manga, flowers, fairytales, friendly monsters and much more. Choose for example the “Sleep Seasons” room, replete with a bed draped by a tent-like canopy and campfire renderings. Right in downtown walking distance to some of Copenhagen’s great dining and shopping experiences.
TIVOLI HOTEL — A Tivoli themed hotel with swimming pool, play centre, outdoor play yard and a Sky Bar on 12th floor with a superb view over the rooftops and the water. Enjoy the view from a swing. The personel is extremely patient and great with children. Tivoli Hotel is within walking distance to Tivoli and City Hall. Tickets for Tivoli are included the stay.
Danhostel Copenhagen City — An economical option in the heart of Copenhagen. The hostel is located in a tall building with an exceptionally fine view over the city’s roofs, the harbour and the Opera house, a few minutes walk from Tivoli and City Hall. The Danish design company GUBI, which has supplied furniture to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is behind the interior design in all rooms and living areas. One of the bedrooms has four beds.