A 7.5 Hour Layover in Copenhagen

Why a Long Layover in Copenhagen

While Copenhagen has always sparked my interest as a place I would like to visit; it never interested me enough to be the focal point of one of my trips. To see cities similar to Copenhagen, I often look for long layovers. A long layover in Copenhagen is precisely what I found when booking my return trip on SAS from Nice, France.

I knew a long layover would not allow me to see the entire city, but I hoped that I would at least get to tour the main points of interest.

Since my flight was coming from France, which is in the Schengen Area, I wouldn’t have to clear passport control which meant I could walk off the plane and walk right through customs.

Within 10 minutes of deplaning, I was waiting in line to purchase my Metro Ticket. I chose to take the Metro Yellow Line to Kongens Nytorv, which was the station closest to Nyhavn.

To Begin My Long Layover in Copenhagen I had to Follow the Signs to the Metro
To Begin My Long Layover in Copenhagen I had to Follow the Signs to the Metro
Plenty of Metro Kiosks to Purchase Tickets at Copenhagen Airport
Plenty of Ticket Kiosks to Purchase Tickets
Copenhagen Metro Map
Copenhagen Metro Map

A Long Layover in Copenhagen, Denmark - Table of Contents

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First Stop During My Long Layover in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

Copenhagen's - Kongens Nytorv Station
Kongens Nytorv Station

To begin my long layover in Copenhagen, I took the metro to the famous Nyhavn area. After exiting the station, I walked about a block to the famous Nyhavn. Nyhavn is a narrow inlet of colorful houses and buildings and is one of the best-known tourist sights in Copenhagen.

Created in the 17th century, Nyhavn was once a busy port for cargo and fishermen. Today, the canal is home to many different restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.

Nyhavn was the First Stop During My Long Layover in Copenhagen
Nyhavn was the First Stop During My Long Layover in Copenhagen

Since I had only 7.5 hours during my layover in Copenhagen, I chose to walk both sides of the streets of Nyhavn and take in the sights of the bright, colorful buildings.  As I strolled down the sidewalk next to the canal, tour boats and dinner cruises departed full of tourists.

Nyhavn 17 Building - Copenhagen, Denmark
Nyhavn 17
The Colorful Buildings of Nyhavn
Famous Colorful Buildings of Nyhavn

As I neared the end of Nyhavn, I stopped to eat dinner at a restaurant which advertised an “All you can eat grill buffet.”  Not being one to turn down an all I can eat buffet I quickly ate dinner and then continued towards the famous Inderhavnsbroen Bridge.

My Plate at the Grill Buffet - Nyhavn Area of Copenhagen
My Plate at the Grill Buffet

Second Stop on My Long Layover of Copenhagen - The Inderhavnsbroen Bridge

One of the main methods of transportation in Copenhagen is bicycling.  Bikes are popular primarily because of the flat terrain which makes riding a bike possible with little effort.  The Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbour Bridge) spans across the inner harbor and has a lane for bikes and a lane for pedestrians.  

The Second Stop on My Long Layover in Copenhagen - Inderhavnsbroen Bridge
Inderhavnsbroen (The Inner Harbour Bridge)
Walking Across the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge
Walking Across the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge

When visiting Copenhagen, I highly suggest walking at least halfway across the bridge to get a great view of the small harbor in front of the North Atlantic House.

The North Atlantic House promotes cultural exhibits featuring the North Atlantic countries of Ice, Greenland, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands.

North Atlantic House Seen from the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge
North Atlantic House Seen from the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge

To the right of the North Atlantic House is Kroyers Plads.  The contemporary looking apartments create a picturesque view of the tiny harbor.

Kroyers Plads - Copenhagen, Denmark
Kroyers Plads

After crossing Inderhavnsbroen to get back to the other side of the inner harbor, I began walking towards Langelinie.  As I walked, I saw a group of kayakers paddled under Inderhavnsbroen.  There were lots of people in the inner harbor in kayaks and small boats.

Another View of the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge
Another View of the Inderhavnsbroen Bridge
Kayakers Near Inderhavnsbroen
Kayakers Near Inderhavnsbroen

Third Stop on my Long Layover in Copenhagen, Denmark - Langelinie

Langelinie is the name of a pier, park, and walkway next to the inner harbor.  To get to Langelinie, I followed the inner harbor towards the Opera House (which was on the opposite side).

The walk to get to Langelinie is about one mile and took around 15 minutes to complete.

Copenhagen Opera House
Opera House
Walking Towards Langelinie During My Long Layover in Copenhagen
Walking Towards Langelinie During My Long Layover in Copenhagen

The Royal Pavilions mark the beginning of Langelinie.  Just past the pavilions is a restaurant called Københavns Toldbod.  The restaurant featured a mix of seafood and burgers and provided a spectacular view of the Inner Harbor.

Anchor in Front of the Royal Pavilions - Copenhagen, Denmark
Anchor in Front of the Royal Pavilions
Københavns Toldbod Restaurant - Copenhagen, Denmark
Københavns Toldbod Restaurant

After walking past the restaurant, I made my way to Langelinie Park. One of the sights I most wanted to see on my long layover in Copenhagen was the little mermaid statue.  To get there I had to walk through Langelinie Park.

Langelinie Park - Copenhagen, Denmark
Langelinie Park

To get to the Little Mermaid Statue, follow the path through Langelinie Park.

The Langelinie Park Path
The Langelinie Park Path
King Frederick IX - Langelinie Park
King Frederick IX - Langelinie Park

As I walked close to another mile I finally came in view of a large gathering of people.  They were admiring the Little Mermaid Statue which is one of Copenhagen’s best known artistic sights.

A Group of People Near the Little Mermaid Statue - Langelinie Park
A Group of People Near the Little Mermaid Statue - Langelinie Park

The Forth Stop on My Long Layover in Copenhagen - The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid Statue - Copenhagen, Denmark
The Little Mermaid

The statue itself is not exactly overwhelming.  It is more the beautiful view of the entire area that makes the Little Mermaid worth seeing. 

Edvard Eriksen sculpted the Little Mermaid in 1913.  It was Danish Writer Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Little Mermaid” that inspired the Eriksen Sculpture.

A Close-up of the Little Mermaid Statue
A Close-up of the Little Mermaid Statue

At this point, I had walked almost two miles to the end of the inner harbor.  As it was getting late, I decided to backtrack back to Nyhavn so I could walk around Strøget Street and buy a few items for my showcase.

Walking Back to Nyhavn

Ships in the Harbour - Copenhagen, Denmark
Ships in the Harbour - Copenhagen, Denmark

I was delighted to see a float plane come into land just as I walked by the float plane terminal.  

Seeing a Float Plane on My Long Layover in Copenhagen, Denmark
Seeing a Float Plane on My Long Layover in Copenhagen, Denmark

Also, as I continued my walk back towards Nyhavn, I stopped to take a picture of the windmills.  Denmark, like much of Scandinavia, uses wind power as one of their primary sources of energy.

Windmills in Copenhagen, Denmark
Windmills in Copenhagen, Denmark

Instead of walking down the canal-lined streets of Nyhavn, I decided to go the back route.  This route took me down the flower-lined streets of Sankt Annæ Place.

Sankt Annæ Place - Copenhagen, Denmark
Sankt Annæ Place

My Fifth Stop During My Long Layover in Copenhagen - Strøget Street Shopping

As the sun set, I walked down Strøget Street which is a pedestrian-only street in the heart of the shopping district.  Many of the stores we closing so I quickly bought a pin for my backpack, a Little Mermaid Statue, and three wooden Nyhavn buildings for my showcase.

Shopping Strøget Street During My Long Layover in Copenhagen
Shopping Strøget Street During My Long Layover in Copenhagen

Continuing to Rådhuspladsen

At the end of Strøget Street was the Rådhuspladsen also known as the City Hall Square.  I did not have my tripod, so it was challenging to capture the beauty of the square.

Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square)
Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square)

Industriens Hus

Just across the street was one of the most interesting buildings I had ever seen.  Industriens Hus also known as the Danish Industries Building is a colorful building that has many advertisements on the side.  The chain link fence like pattern of lights changes colors and creates a futuristic looking view.  Once again, I really wished my tripod was not packed in my suitcase as I could have taken a spectacular picture.

Industriens Hus (Danish Industries Building)
Industriens Hus (Danish Industries Building)
Another Photo of Industriens Hus

My Final Stop on My Long Layover in Copenhagen - Tivoli

My route to the train station to return to the airport took me by Tivoli which was one of the world’s first amusement parks.  Tivoli opened in 1843 and is visited by just under five million people annually.

Tivoli
Tivoli

Heading Back to the Airport from Copenhagen Central Station

I was now a few miles away from Kongens Nytorv Station.  To get back to the airport, I decided to take a train from Copenhagen Central Station.  

Inside Copenhagen Central Station
Inside Copenhagen Central Station

The airport train was an express train only making a few brief stops, and within twenty minutes I was back at the airport.  Since this was merely a transfer, I did not have my luggage and was already checked in.

Train to Copenhagen Airport
Train to Copenhagen Airport

Back at the Airport

As I walked around the airport waiting for my flight to depart, I found an unusual sight.  Air Greenland only has one plane, an Airbus A330 which makes the journey between Copenhagen and various cities in Greenland. 

I took a picture of the plane and then found my gate and worked on my website until my flight was ready to board.  While I was exhausted, I was thrilled to have been able to experience the top sights of Copenhagen in just under five hours.

Air Greenland's Only Plane at Copenhagen Airport
Air Greenland's Only Plane

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You get nice views of Rosenborg, Christiansborg, Stroget and Nyhavn to name a few places. This PhotoTour through Copenhagen’s diverse urban landscape gives you the opportunity to experience the city in a new and exciting way.

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Copenhagen Canal Tour
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During the tour your captain will show you our favorite sights in the harbor. There is plenty of time to ask questions and we hope you want to engage in a conversation about life in Copenhagen. Our ambition is to give you a sense of the city more than an overload of historical facts. The route is not 100% standardized as we want to try to accommodate specific wishes of the group and special events in the harbor. We will give you a good overview of the main sights in the central city in a relaxed way. The 2-hour Hidden Gems Tour will take you off the beaten track from the standard canal tour routes in the inner town, exploring the upcoming residential areas of either the South or North harbor.

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