If you want to see Copenhagen in a day, we recommend that you start bright and early. While the city itself isn’t that large, the sights are rather spread out, so be prepared to put in a long day of walking supplemented by taking the train; alternately, renting a bike like the locals do is a good way to see more sights faster.
Start at Nyhavn to gaze at the brightly painted houses and old wooden ships in the harbor. From there, walk to Kongens Nytorv, or King’s New Square, before heading onto the pedestrian street of Strøget for some strolling and shopping. Don’t miss the department stores Magasin du Nord and Illum, if you’re after Scandinavian fashion or design.
After a stop for lunch, perhaps at The Royal Café for some smushi (open-face smørrebrød sandwiches that are small, like sushi), spend a couple hours at Statens Museum for Kunst viewing Scandinavian art or to Rosenborg Slot for some castle- and garden-viewing (or see both, if you’re quick).
If it’s summer and the daylight hours are long, cap off your afternoon with a tremendous vista of the city by climbing the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). Then dine in one of the famous Nordic-cuisine restaurants, or catch the thousands of twinkling lights along with the light show on the lake at Tivoli, Copenhagen’s renowned gardens/amusement park.