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Things to Do While Studying in Copenhagen

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As the capital city of Denmark, and QS Best Student Cities ranking entrant, students will never be stuck for things to do in Copenhagen. With activities for every season, from Christmas amusement park fun to summer swims in the harbor, there’s a reason why Copenhagen is such a popular city with students.

Read on to find out our top 10 things to do while studying in Copenhagen and find out more about the top universities in Denmark (including the University of Copenhagen) here.

1. On your bike

Cycling in Copenhagen 

Make buying a bike your top priority when you move to Copenhagen – there are bike shops all over the city, and you can find second-hand bikes easily over Facebook and student groups. Cycling is how most students get around and is a great way to explore this cyclist-friendly city, with 49 percent of Copenhagers commuting to work or university by bike.  

2. Soak up the midnight sun

Copenhagen sunrise

Take advantage of the long summer nights, with daylight hours reaching up to 17 and half hours per day during the summer months. You can easily see in the sunrise with your friends after a night out, and many businesses (including bars and cafes) stay open later in the summer.

3. Copenhagen Dox

Copenhagen Dox

Image credit: bjaglin, Flickr

Open up your mind at the Copenhagen Dox film festival, one of the largest documentary film festivals in the world. Not only can you experience some of the most cutting-edge new documentaries, the festival also hosts workshops, seminars and art exhibitions. If your student budget won’t stretch to a ticket, some of the films will be shown online for free at the end of the series. 

4. Take a day trip

Dyrehaven

There’s so much to see and do in Copenhagen that you’d be forgiven for never leaving the city during your studies. But there’s so much more Denmark to explore – try a day trip to Dyrehaven (the deer park), a UNESCO world heritage site with over 2,000 free-ranging deer or try camping near the beautiful coastal walk of Møns Klint. 

5. Visit Christiana

Freetown Christiana 

Image credit: Kieran Lynam, Flickr

Christiana is an independent community in an abandoned military barracks in Copenhagen. It’s a mishmash of art galleries, music venues, workshops, bars, cafes and restaurants. It is also probably best known for its many stalls selling cannabis, which is illegal elsewhere in Denmark. Try an alternative tour of Christiana to learn about the history and future of the community for around €20 to really make the most of your visit.

6. Amuse yourself

Tivoli Gardens

One of the most famous attractions in Denmark, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park and pleasure gardens is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. It’s only open in summer and at Christmas and Halloween, so pick your time to visit carefully. Their Friday night concerts are a particularly special way to spend a summer evening. Or have a ride on the wooden rollercoaster, Rutschebanen, built in 1914 – if you’re brave enough… 

7. Rock out

Roskilde Festival

Go to the Roskilde Festival in late June, the largest music festival in northern Europe. The four-day festival, located 30km out of Copenhagen, has a diverse range of acts to suit all music tastes – recent festival line-ups have included The Cure, Cardi B, The Weeknd, Arcade Fire, Robyn, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Kendrick Lamar (amongst many, many others).

8. Water, water everywhere

Harbor Baths, Copenhagen 

Water is central to city life in Copenhagen, with both the coast and canals right on your doorstep. You can take a trip on one of the larger canal tours, or, even more fun, get a group together and captain your own boat for the day! In summer, you can swim in the waters of the city – the harbor baths in Islands Brygge are the perfect place to cool off.

9. Visit Superkilen

Superkilen

Superkilen is a diverse public park commissioned in 2008 in the Nørrebro neighbourhood, designed to bring refugees and locals together. The park aims to promote tolerance, representing more than 60 nationalities with installations and facilities including an outdoor Thai boxing ring, swing benches from Baghdad and a fountain from Morocco. The park is divided into three key areas: The Green Park for sunbathing and picnics, the Black Market for games like chess and backgammon and the Red Square for sports and cultural activities. 

10. Drink like a local

 Mikkeller

Image credit: kallerna, Wikimedia Commons

Whilst Carlsberg and Tuborg are undoubtedly the most famous beers associated with Copenhagen, there are plenty of microbreweries providing the perfect pint, such as Hancock, Mikkeller or Nørrebro Bryghus. As a student, you’ll probably have no trouble sampling the local offerings, but if you want a more (ahem) educational experience, there are plenty of craft beer tours of the city available.

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Written by Julia Gilmore
Julia is the Assistant Editor for TopUniversities, publishing articles for students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.

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