Copenhagen is my absolute favourite city to visit with children so far. It’s feels new, fresh, clean and the whole place is a complete wonderland for little ones. Copenhagen was the midway point of our trip, so we wanted to take it slow to make sure the little ones could recuperate after a couple of days of intensive travel. So here is what we got up to when we spent 3 days in Copenhagen with toddlers.
The weather was really lovely during our time in Copenhagen, so we started every morning by taking a stroll, finding a coffee house and loading up on caffeine and croissants. There are so many amazing coffee houses dotted around the city, so it isn’t hard to find a good one.
The Aquarium is a little outside of the city, but as we had the car with us that wasn’t an issue for us. The building is really impressive, it is such a contemporary and modern design, with wide corridors lined with large, well designed tanks that recreate natural habitats. The information plaques are modern, electronic versions that allow visitors to select a different language and choose what animal they would like to learn about. The aquarium is home to a a large range of fish, sharks, interactive rock pool and even some sea otters who have both an indoor and outdoor area, so visitors can see their playful characters anytime of year. The shark tank also has an underwater tunnel, so visitors can literally walk through the tank. If all that wasn’t enough though, there is also an outside play area that includes water play. If you are visiting Copenhagen with little ones… Copenhagen Aquarium is an absolute must visit!
Papiroen Street Food Market
As I said in my previous Amsterdam post, whenever we arrive somewhere new we seek out street food and Copenhagen has the crème de la crème of street food. Our hotel was actually a 45 minute walk from the market, but Copenhagen is such a lovely city to walk through we didn’t mind the stroll. The food available at the market is incredible! With stalls offering everything from Brazilian and Korean to Indian and Dutch. It was so difficult to decide what we wanted to eat, but that was made a lot easier by so many vendors offering samples to try before we bought anything. The children were in the element, with the music playing, the relaxed atmosphere and huge offering of different cuisine, Copenhagen’s street market was somewhere we made a point of visiting for our evening meal every night during our visit to the city!
To be honest Copenhagen has so much green space and a large number of them are completely free to visit, so it was difficult to choose which ones to go to! Luckily friends of ours had recently returned from a trip to Copenhagen and as they are very outdoorsy, had already scouted the best ones to visit with toddlers. King’s Garden has so much space to run around, but it also has a wonderful play area, complete with a wooden dragon that gets little imaginations going. The boys loved ‘riding the dragon’, digging in the sand and climbing on the play equipment. One thing we did notice was that there were a lot of older children in the park, so I asked a mum what age the children start school in Denmark. She told me in Denmark they believe a child should be given the time to be a child, so they don’t actually start school until they are six. The Danish have among the highest education and happiness statistics in the world, so they could be onto something there!
Tivoli Gardens (daytime)
Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest theme parks in the world and is rumoured to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland parks. Tivoli Gardens is such a great place to visit with young children because the gardens are so quirky and creative, the little ones were mesmerised. To go into Tivoli Gardens there is an entrance fee that doesn’t cover the cost of rides, we also spent a little bit more to include the evening ticket, even if we left the park to get dinner elsewhere. The staff at the ticket counters are so friendly and helpful, they will make sure you get the right ticket for what sort of experience you want.
A lot of rides are designed with young children in mind as well, meaning even though Bear is only three and Monkey is only 18 months they could still go on a good amount of them. To go on the rides there is the option to buy a wristband for unlimited rides or to buy singular tickets. For us personally we found the cheapest option was to buy a wristband for Bear, a companion rider wristband for myself and as Monkey is only 18 months and could only go on a handful of rides, singular tickets for Monkey.
Tivoli Gardens (night-time)
Tivoli Gardens at night time is just stunning and something you really must do if you visit Copenhagen. Walking through the park at night, while all of the lights are lit up is like walking through a little fairytale land, it is just beautiful! There are also illuminations where water and mist are used to create a spectacular lighting display that is in time to music. We did let Bear stay up so much later that we would ordinarily to see the illuminations, but it was absolutely worth it and he loved watching the show.
As I said previously, Copenhagen has so much green space it is difficult to not visit at least one of the parks or gardens situated in the city. The Botanical Gardens really are absolutely stunning and the perfect place to just sit and enjoy the surroundings. We took a stroll around the gardens to get the boys to have their nap, then laid down on the grass in front of the iconic Palm House greenhouse to just spend some time as a couple.
The Nyhavn waterfront
Once the boys had woken up from their nap, we took a walk along Copenhagen’s iconic Nyhavn waterfront to have some lunch at one of the restaurants. My main tip for visiting this region is that it gets very busy, very quickly so make sure to get there early if you are taking little ones for lunch there.
The Little Mermaid
After a good lunch of mussels, followed by ice cream we decided to take a wander to see The Little Mermaid statue. The statue was unveiled in 1913 after being gifted by Carl Jacobsen, since then the statue has been subject to vandalism, but is always restored so that she can bid welcome to travellers as they enter Copenhagen Harbour.
Copenhagen is such an amazing place to visit with children because there is so much to do, even if – like us – visiting on a budget. What makes Denmark such a lovely place to visit is that considering it is Denmark’s capital city, it is surprisingly easy to take yourself away from the hustle and bustle. I can see us returning to Copenhagen in the future.
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