Copenhagen may not be your typical summer travel destination but perhaps it should be. The Danish capital has a lot to offer during the warmer months and delights visitors with lush greenery, beautiful beaches, glittering palaces, and great things to do.

The vibrant city life truly blooms once summer starts, making Copenhagen the perfect city to spend a relaxed vacation surrounded by lush nature and exciting activities on warm summer days. Stay active by exploring the city by bike or going for a swim, cherish the local food culture and attend the best festivals and cultural events of the year.

Dive into the local food culture

Copenhagen is famous for its vibrant and lively restaurant scene. What better way is there to treat yourself after a long day of sightseeing than with delicious food from all over the world? You can discover the unique food culture of the city by strolling around the harbour and making your way to Reffen.

This street food venue is home to over 30 different food vendors, neatly located right at the harbourside. The food stalls here offer delicious snacks and meals from all over the world. Here you can find homemade ice cream, African dishes with regional ingredients such as Baobab juice, fresh burgers as well as kebabs from the Middle East.

Whether you want to try out something new or are craving your favourite snack, you’ll likely find it here. This is the perfect place to refuel and enjoy a refreshing drink on a warm summer day. And you will also find live entertainment and games at Reffen as well.

Relax on Copenhagen’s beaches

Even if Copenhagen doesn’t strike you like the typical beach holiday location, the Danish capital is surrounded by plenty of beautiful beaches just outside the centre. Amager Strand is easily reachable with public transport and is Copenhagen’s biggest beach. The beach is not only ideal for water sports or a picnic but is also the location of many cultural and other fun events during warm summer evenings.

The Svanemølle beach in Østerbro is popular among tourists and locals alike. While the sand area is relatively small you have a beautiful view over the water and the city from here, making it the second most popular beach to spend a sunny day in the Danish capital. Nearby you can find the best pizza and ice cream to enjoy a relaxed day in the sun.  

Tips for the perfect summer in Copenhagen

Explore Copenhagen by bike

As one of the cycling capitals of the world, Copenhagen is incredibly bike-friendly. And when the weather is nice, exploring the city by bike is lots of fun. Luckily the city offers several bike tours and bike rental opportunities.

There are general bike tours that visit major sights and local hotspots. But there are also themed tours, such as Green Bike Tours and a Bike Art Tour. When you are in Copenhagen, you'll see plenty of locals riding their bikes, it's best to join them!

Trip to Dyrehavn

If you prefer to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend it amongst some trees, just take a short trip north to Jægersborg Dyrehave. This park was once a hunting area for Danish royalty but today it is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. At the park you can find more than 2000 free range deer as well as lush green forest, beautiful small lakes and wide landscapes.

Dyrehave is the ideal destination to take a break from your city trip and take a long walk through nature. And it sits about midway between Copenhagen and Kronborg Castle. Visiting both makes for an amazing day trip from Copenhagen.

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Take a refreshing dip into the water

The beaches in and around Copenhagen are not the only opportunity to take a dip into the water to cool off. Did you know that the water in Copenhagen’s centre is actually so clean you can swim in it? Join the Copenhageners at the Havnebadet Islands Brygge in the heart of the city.

The venue consists of four different outdoor swimming pools, allowing you to take a refreshing break in the cool water while enjoying a scenic view of the city at the same time. The outdoor pools are accessible for free and make a unique experience to add to your Copenhagen itinerary.  

Explore the harbour by kayak

Hop-on hop-off buses and cycling are both great ways to explore the city but why not change it up and discover Copenhagen from a different perspective? Take a fun kayak tour through the capital’s harbour! The area consists of many different providers to rent a kayak from.

GreenKayak offers kayaks for rent while doing good at the same time. You can jump into one of the bright green kayaks for free in exchange for collecting trash around the harbour and sharing the companies mission on social media. This way the company has already been able to collect more than 100,000 kg of ocean waste!  

Tips for the perfect summer in Copenhagen

Copenhagen's best festivals

Copenhagen’s calendar is filled with many fun festivals and cultural events during the summer months. Distortion starts of the summer with a week full of orchestrated street chaos. From 29 May till 2 June in both Nørrebro and Vesterbro thousands of locals celebrate one of Europe's largest street parties.

The Copenhagen Summer Festival delights with classical chamber music from new, young talents and high-profile artists. The festival is an important stage for young, musical talents, the stars of tomorrow. In 2024 the festival takes place from 4 to 15 August in Kunsthalle Charlottenburg along the water at Nyhavn.

Ever since the 1950s Copenhagen has continuously built its reputation as a jazz city. The Danish capital’s distinctive connection with jazz resulted into the annual 10-day long Copenhagen Jazz Festival, one of Europe’s largest jazz festivals. It features more than 600 concerts taking place at 150 venues. You can enjoy this lavish musical celebration on the streets of Copenhagen and all over its clubs, cafes and concert halls.

Lush parks

In Copenhagen you can find several luscious green gardens and parks around the city. They are the ideal spots for a picnic in the grass, taking a stroll or relaxing on a sunny day. Especially if you don't want to leave the city to visit either Dyrehaven or Kronborg Castle.

One of the most popular parks is King’s Garden. It lies directly next to Rosenborg Castle and was constructed under Christian IV in the 17th century. The Renaissance style garden is the oldest royal garden of the country and is especially beautiful in summer due to large beds full of colourful flowers.

Other parks to visit in the city are Østre Anlæg, behind SMK (Statens Museum for Kunst), and Langelinieparken right by the Little Mermaid statue. The Botanical Garden also offers a great escape from the city noise, and holds the largest collection of living plants in all of Denmark. And, of course, Tivoli is a not-to-miss amusement park with lots of greenery and flowers.

And then there is the Copenhagen ZOO in Frederiksberg, which is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. It is the home of more than 4000 animals from all over the world, and it is one of Denmark’s most visited attractions. The ZOO is surrounded by Frederiksberg Gardens, Søndermarken park and Frederilsberg Palace.