The Four Hour Layover: Copenhagen

by  Karen Gardiner | Oct 7, 2013
Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark / MissPassionPhotography/iStock

If you are planning to take advantage of Norwegian Air's low-cost flights to Europe, chances are you'll find yourself with a layover in a Scandinavian airport some time soon. If that city happens to be Copenhagen, you're in luck because the airport is close enough to the city to offer the chance to get out for some sightseeing even on a short layover.

Getting Around:  

Getting in to the city couldn't be easier than with one of Europe's fastest airport-to-city links. Six trains an hour depart Copenhagen-Kastrup and reach the city center in under 15 minutes. Taking the yellow-colored M2 line and getting off at Kongens Nytorv station will put you within easy access of many of the city's attractions.

Relax in Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn
Kongens Nytorv, or King's New Square, is the city's biggest public square, laid out by 17th-century king, Christian V, whose statue you will find astride a horse in the center. The square is surrounded by grand 17th-century buildings, including the iconic Hotel d' Angleterre, home to Champagne bar Balthazar, in the back of the hotel, which serves more than 160 different Champagnes and Champagne cocktails, including 11 different Champagnes by the glass. The square is also where Strøget (Europe's longest pedestrian shopping area) ends so, if you'd rather skip the alcohol, you'll find lots of cafés filled with weary shoppers.

A short stroll east of Kongens Nytorv will bring you to Nyhavn, a canalside stretch of brightly colored buildings and bars and cafes. While away your time with a Carlsberg and a traditional Danish smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich).

Take a Canal Boat Tour

Leaving from Nyhavn, several boat companies offer tours through Copenhagen's waters, past such sights as the Little Mermaid, the Black Diamond library, and Amalienborg Palace. Copenhagen Boat Tours offer up to six departures per hour for its one hour guided harbor tour. Tickets cost $14 and the boats are heated or covered in the winter.

Get a Bird's Eye View of the City

Copenhagen's most notable landmark, the twisting, soaring copper-and-gold spire of Von Frelsers Kirke (Church of our Savior), a 15 minute walk southeast of Kongens Nytorv, also offers the city's best vantage point. You can climb the 400 steps of winding staircase (150 of which are outdoors) to the top of the spire for views across central Copenhagen and to the harbor. Note that the top of the spire is closed from November to March.

Tivoli Gardens

Denmark's most-visited tourist attraction, the Tivoli Gardens are home to an amusement park, pleasure gardens, fine dining restaurants, and music venue and theater venues. A stroll through the beautifully landscaped 21-acre park, past the Moorish Nimb Hotel,  is a relaxing way to spend your layover and, if you are in Copenhagen in November or December, you can do some gift shopping at the Christmas market.

The Tivoli Gardens are just a couple of minute's walk from Copenhagen Central Station (København H), from where you can jump on the Øresund Railway Line and make it back to the airport within 20 minutes.

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