10 Budget-Friendly Things To Do on a Hot Summer's Day in Copenhagen

Confession Time: This is the very first summer I spend in Northern Norway entirely. I moved here in mid-August 2014 and basically jumped right into autumn when I arrived, and last year I spend July and August in Denmark, Greenland, Iceland and Germany and skipped the Arctic summer completely.

Now as you can imagine, summer in Northern Norway does not mean barbecues in the sunshine and working on your tan - that is unless you're willing to do that in 12 degrees. I have to admit, the weather this weekend wasn't quite as bad as usual and I did get a slight tan but I still miss the "real summer".

Last July, I spent 3 weeks in Copenhagen to do fieldwork for my MA thesis and I had such a blast! Copenhagen during summertime means warmth, lots of sunshine, the occasional thunderstorm and rainfall but overall pretty nice weather and high temperatures - especially if you're used to the Arctic.

So in order to work on my summer depression and re-live my summer in Copenhagen, I thought I'd show you 10 budget-friendly things to do on a hot summer's day in the Danish capital city!

Visit the National Museum

National Museum Denmark
National Museum Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark has a focus on Ethnography and History and shows Denmark during medieval times and the wars but also dozens of other cultures in the world, including Greenland. I spent a few days at the museum to do fieldwork and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the dark and chilly exhibition rooms while it was 30 degrees outside.

The museum is situated a stone's throw from Christiansborg Castle and the canals. Entrance is free - yay!

Go on a Canal Boat Tour

Who wouldn't want to spend a hot and sunny day by the waterside? Luckily the water is never far in Copenhagen and I'd say the best way to see the city is by boat anyway. You can rent a boat and play captain if you want, though this option is pretty expensive.


There are however 2 tour operators offering sightseeing tours by boat and although one is significantly cheaper than the other, I'd still go for the slighly more expensive version as they just provide you with way more information - in different languages too!

They do have the same route though so it's up to you whether you want to learn something about the city or just lay back and relax.

Have an ice-cream or slushy by the canals

If you're not a fan of sightseeing tours or get sea-sick, why not relax by the canal and eat an ice-cream to cool off? I've spend most of my lunch breaks at the canal and just couldn't get enough of this view!

Work on your tan at Amager Beach

Amager Beach
Amager Beach

Yes, Copenhagen has a beach! It's about half an hour from the city centre by metro - halfway to the airport - and it's huge! They have a real beach park at Amager that's bigger than some beaches in Spain.

Admittedly, temperatures are a little more chilly here but that shouldn't stop you from visiting. On clear days, you can see Sweden and the Öresund Bridge in the distance and the sand dunes are just lovely no matter what the weather is like!

Read a book at Damhus park

Okay, it doesn't have to be Damhus. Copenhagen has plenty of parks and green areas. I just happened to stay in the Valby district and they have a lovely lake called Damhussøen there with a surrounding park that was only a 10 minute walk from my Airbnb.

I spent plenty of time reading and sun-bathing there and just had a blast!

Watch the thunderstorms roll in from the ocean at Christiansborg Castle Tower

Christiansborg Tower
Christiansborg Tower

The tower of Christiansborg Castle right in the city centre can be visited free of charge and offers you a 360 degree view all over Copenhagen and the Öresund Strait.

It was one of those hot and humid days when we visited so it was no wonder that a thunderstorm rolled in that evening. We basically got to watch it come closer from the ocean but luckily made it to our restaurant across the street in time before it hit.

Go visit the Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is of course THE main attraction of Copenhagen and you shouldn't miss paying her a visit. And even though you can see her from the boat tours, it's an entirely different thing to see her up close.

The statue is situated a little outside of the centre but the 30 minute walk leads you past beautiful parks and the waterside so visiting the mermaid is a perfect activity for a sunny day in the city!

Go for a stroll at Kastellet Park


Right next to the mermaid is a park called Kastellet that's actually a little star-shaped island surrounded by embankments that's been used as a fortress in the past.

You can visit both the island and fortress and go for a stroll. It's so lovely!

Visit the North Atlantic House and day-dream about the Arctic

If the city is just getting too hot for you, go and visit the North Atlantic House at "the other side of the canal" for an imaginary trip to the cool Arctic.

Nordatlantens Brygge
Nordatlantens Brygge

The North Atlantic House hosts the embassies of the Nordic countries, as well as the tourist information of Greenland and some exhibition space for Nordic-themed art exhibits.

They also have a cafe and a gift shop where you can buy all kinds of books and souvenirs from Iceland, Greenland and the Faroese Islands. The exhibition halls can be visited for a small entrance fee.

Drink a beer at famous Nyhavn

And last but not least, is there a better place in Copenhagen than Nyhavn? The new harbour has become THE postcard image of Copenhagen and even though restaurants in the area tend to be a bit on the pricier side, it pays off to buy a sandwich or drink in one of the cafes or bars in the alleyways close by and then go back to the canal to sit at the waterside and eat or drink.


The views at Nyhavn are just fabulous and there's always something going on in the area so it's perfect for some mingling if you're up for it!

Now are you up for a summer in Copenhagen? And what are your favourite spots in town?

Visiting Copenhagen during summertime and wonder what to do? Here are 10 Things that won't strain your wallet!
Visiting Copenhagen during summertime and wonder what to do? Here are 10 Things that won't strain your wallet!

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And if you've never been to Copenhagen before, read my post on How to Spend 24 Hours in Denmark's Capital

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Wanderful Wednesday
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