Is it worth visiting Copenhagen with a toddler in winter? What are the best things to do in Copenhagen with young kids and where to stay?
Copenhagen was one of our first European city breaks with kids, and we visited in the depths of winter when the boys were 1 and 3 years old, lured by very cheap easyJet flights. It was bitterly cold, even in the middle of the day, and I was worried that our boys would moan the entire time and that Copenhagen would be too expensive for our budget. But we went prepared with thermals and snow gear, and thankfully we found lots of things to go in Copenhagen with a toddler, and many of them free!
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Things to do in Copehagen with a toddler
Copenhagen has so much going for it that we couldn’t hope to cover all of the sights in a few winter days but the following were some of our toddler-friendly highlights:
1. Wandering the streets around Nyhavn
If you’ve seen one photo of Copenhagen before, it’s probably of the colourful, picturesque street named Nyhavn. It’s a great way to spend an hour or so, checking out the boats, grabbing a quick hot-chocolate and taking the obligatory selfie on the bridge.
2. Visit the Lego store
We didn’t know Lego came from Denmark until we arrived (how things have changed now with our Lego-obsessed youngest)! How lax of us, but we soon made up for it by escaping the cold and spending almost an hour marvelling at these tiny pieces of plastic turned into amazing sculptures at the Lego Store. The super-friendly staff were always on hand to help keep the little ones entertained in the various free play areas.
If you’re kids are big LEGO fans, it’s really worth doing a family trip to Billund, the home of LEGO.
3. National Gallery of Denmark
Visit the brilliant children’s workshops at the National Gallery of Denmark if you’re there on a weekend and let your little ones get their creative juices flowing with paints, crafts and crayons. The museum is well worth a visit on any day of the week with the building itself a spectacular sight. Leave your buggy outside and borrow one of the museum’s to give you and the little ones a smooth ride around the gallery. There are also free cloakrooms and spaces to eat your own food. Great place to visit, highly recommended.
4. Take the number 26 bus out to the little Mermaid statue
Head to the edge of the city and see the iconic Mermaid statue, fight the crowds to get the perfect picture and grab a delicious cup of coffee or hot chocolate when you’re done.
5. Spend some time at the fantastic National Museum of Denmark
The National Museum of Denmark is one of the few museums we’ve ever visited which has a dedicated Children’s section where the kids are encouraged to touch, climb and interact with the exhibits – a definite relief for parents not to have to constantly tell them not to touch things – the kids will love it.
6. Play in the park near Rosenborg Castle
If the weather is kind, head to the Rosenborg Castle in the heart of the city. Play in the children’s playground, walk around the grounds and take in the views of the fairytale castle.
How to keep to keep to budget on a family trip to Copengagen
Our preconception proved to be wrong as we didn’t find Copenhagen as expensive as we’d been warned, mainly because we stocked up on the fantastic hotel breakfast, caught the bus most places, didn’t drink alcohol (much), and had a supermarket nearby which we used to stock up on the essentials most days.
The public transport is efficient but not incredibly cheap if you only buy single trip tickets each time you travel. However, there is a travel pass (Copenhagen Card) which covers all travel in the city over a 72 hour period – recommended if you intend to use public transport a lot during your stay.
As with most other cities, there is also a city card available which includes access to most major sights, museums, galleries and monuments, plus all public transport. It’s quite a large initial outlay but would be good value if you planned to fit a lot into your trip. We did the sums and decided not to get one but your mileage may vary.
Toddler friendly accommodation in Copenhagen
We stayed at The Savoy which was within walking distance of the station and we had a family room on the top floor. It was a fantastic room, spacious (for a European city hotel) with a lovely view over the surrounding rooftops, the chiming of the church bells nearby reminding us it was time to head out and find some food.
This was another advantage of the hotel; right in the heart of things with numerous bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets right on the doorstep. We also took advantage of the tasty, filling and complimentary breakfast each morning which was a perfect start to the day, lots of coffee, fruit juice, pastries, bread, meat and cheese to choose from. Plus the added bonus that when we returned each evening there were complimentary pastries available in reception which were a welcome treat before bed.
We also took advantage of the excellent number 26 bus which stopped outside The Savoy and took us to most of the places we wanted to get to. Tickets worked out quite expensive if you only used them for a short hop but they were valid for an hour so would be better value if you were making either a long trip, or managed to hop back on-board within the time limit and in effect hitched a free ride.
How to get from the airport into Copenhagen city
We caught the train from the airport to the station; an easy, cheap and efficient way to reach the city. Make sure you buy your ticket before you board – there are machines in the baggage collection areas, plus a main ticket office in the arrivals hall. The journey only took fifteen minutes and
We stayed at the Savoy Hotel on Vesterbrogade in the heart of the city. The room rates include an excellent breakfast.
We flew with EasyJet from London Gatwick airport, the 90 minute flight was very straightforward (it takes almost as long though to walk from the arrival gate in Copenhagem to baggage collection though – be warned!)
Looking for more ideas? Check out 25 Unique Things To Do In Copenhagen