Denmark’s capital is a treat to explore with children in tow, from its fairytale turreted castles to the wonderland of Tivoli Gardens. Small in size, rich in history and full of fun-filled diversions, it’s an enriching family holiday destination.
Take to the waters with a one-hour canal tour of the city – long enough to see some beautiful sites and not too taxing on children’s patience. Pass the Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace and the Little Mermaid. Children under five years are free of charge.
Changing of the guards
The Amalienborg Palace is the main residence of Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark. When she is in, the palace will raise the flag – a fun observation for little ones. At 11.30 each day the Danish Royal Guard marches from the Rosenborg Castle through the streets of the city for the changing of the guard outside the Amalienborg Palace at 12:00 – something worth a look.
A visit to the Tivoli Gardens is a magical experience for any age. Stroll through this 15-acre wonderland past fairground rides, food pavilions, Chinese pagodas and the world’s tallest carousel. Opened in 1843, it’s part of the fabric of the city’s history and Hans Christian Anderson used to stroll through the gardens. At night the park lights up with hundreds of twinkling fairy lights.
Spend a sunny afternoon at the Copenhagen Zoo on the edge of the Frederiksberg Gardens. Visit the elephant house, see sea lions being fed and spend time with the polar bears in the Arctic Ring, designed to replicate the Greenland coast. There is also a Children’s Zoo with stage shows and the chance to meet and pet tame animals.
A truly Danish food experience is to enjoy a smørrebrød, an open rye bread sandwich with a choice of toppings. They’re served at lunch all over the city and are a must-try.
Found on one of the cities hippest streets, Jægersborgade, Lyst is the place to go for a fresh juice and a relaxed breakfast. A kid’s playroom with toys helps keep the little people amused and on weekends they serve brunch with pancakes.
Sporvejen is a burger restaurant in the city decorated to replicate an old fashioned tram – just in case any of you Melburnians are feeling homesick! It’s not far from the Christiansborg Palace and is a fun family experience.
Kids & Coe is an ‘air bnb’ of sorts, specifically focused on providing family-friendly vacation rentals. Verifying every listing and providing useful information for parents about the neighbourhood, property features and why they rate it, the site makes traveling with little ones that bit easier.
One of their Copenhagen listings is the Christian IXth Residence, found in the heart of the city’s charming old town. Walking distance from key attractions, this bright and airy property is full of cool Danish homewares and has a children’s bedroom with bunks and a cot.
Walk the surrounding cobble stone streets to local cafes for breakfast, explore the modern waterfront and, if you visit over summer, catch a children’s show performed in the nearby King’s Garden.
With its culture accustomed to treating children as mini adults, travelling through Denmark with little ones is a wonderful experience.