Where to Find the Best Views of Copenhagen

12 Places to See the Danish Capital From Above 

Climb one of Copenhagen’s Iconic Towers for Panoramic Vistas OF THE CITY

Stroll the cobblestone streets of Copenhagen’s old city and you will very soon see several of the historic spires and towers that dominate the Danish skyline. Come to Copenhagen she said. And see it from above. This compact and colorful city is walkable, or better yet – bikeable. Partly because it is so flat, flat, flat, flat. Great for getting around, but not as beneficial for finding breathtaking vistas where you can survey the city as a whole.

To get a bird’s eye view from above – you have to go up. Into one of those iconic towers. In the historic center of the city, building restrictions limit new construction heights, keeping the tallest structures you’ll see the same as they were centuries ago. Lucky for you, a wonderfully charming vista of old-school architecture comingles perfectly with modern Danish design. And it’s all there for you to see. Climb up one of these towers. Step above the streets. Here are the twelve best places to catch the city views from above.

COPENHAGEN’S 12 BEST PLACES TO SEE ABOVE THE CITY

Here are the best places to photograph the Danish capital from above. Despite having an overactive fear of heights, I am always attracted to try to see a place from a different vantage when traveling. It has gotten me into a little trouble atop the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain or climbing the Bell Tower in Split, Croatia. Sweaty palms, panicky heartbeats and inability to stand up straight are real and visceral when it hits. You too? I’ve rated each site with a “fear factor” assessment if so. Don’t worry – if I wouldn’t do it, I’ll let you know. You can decide for your own self. Let’s start with my favorite. It’s fantastisk. That’s Danish for fantastic. Come with me. Let’s climb to the top today.

1 | Copenhagen City Hall | Københavns Rådhus

Rådhuspladsen 1, 1599 København

The tower atop the Copenhagen City Hall is one of the tallest in town. At 105.6 meters (346.5 feet) it affords my favorite view of this fair city. And I will admit it took me nearly four years to find it. But you shouldn’t wait that long. The tower is only accessible by ticket tour offered once or twice daily. So if you want to see it, you’ll have to plan your ascent ahead. Believe me, it’s worthy to walk up all those steps.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Get tickets from the Tourist Information office just to the left of the main entrance on Rådhusplads. Note, there is no elevator up to the tower and you will have to walk up nearly 300 stairs from street level to access the views here. No bags or suitcases are allowed past a certain point, but free guarded lockers are available. The climbing is fairly easy and broken up with informative displays at each level if you need to take it slow or catch your breath.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW TO MEDIUM
The stairs up can be narrow in sections, but not confining and there is plenty of space to enjoy the views without having to step out too far. There are no protective guards or fences, but the building walls are high enough and thick enough to make even me feel safe.

HOURS FOR TOWER ACCESS:
Mon–Fri Tours at 11:00 and 14:00
Sat at 12:00
You will have 25 minutes once your bags have been stowed to climb the steps, take your photos and explore the historic artifacts at the mezzanine level. I found it to be plenty of time.

COST:
30DKK or free with Copenhagen Card
The Copenhagen Town Hall is free to enter and look around, even walk to the third floor. But you can only see the top at the designated times. Click on the pic below to pre-purchase your Copenhagen Card* before coming to this fine city. *No extra cost to you. A tiny kickback to me. For more on my website’s affiliate links and disclosures – click here. 

Copenhagen City Hall


READ MORE: ALWAYS TIME FOR TIVOLI

Views of Round Tower, Portland Towers in distance back left and then out to Sweden
Views of Copenhagen Canal and out to Øresund Bridge and Sweden
Dome of Marmor Kirke, the Marble Church


2 | The Round Tower | Rundtårn

Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København

The Round Tower was built between 1637-1642 under direction from Danish King Christian IV. Originally the tower was designed to be an observatory that would continue the work of the late Tycho Brahe, the Danish astronomer who made great strides in planetary and stellar observations at that time. You can still look through the telescope during special opening hours. But even if the observatory is closed, you are welcome to walk the unique spiral ramp to the top where you can enjoy full-circle views of Copenhagen from the roof of the tower. See inside the attached and beautiful Trinitas Church as well as the bell tower. At the library hall level, a rotating art exhibit affords a little culture with your vista seeking. A lovely place to plan a break.

GOOD TO KNOW:
There is no elevator here, but it is an easy walk up a wide spiral ramp and then up a small spiral staircase to the viewing platform. During high season from May-August and weekends throughout the year, there may be a small wait to go up and down from viewing platform. Strollers are allowed on the ramp at own risk, but not up the last staircase.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW
A wide-open viewing platform surrounded by guard rails make it very difficult for anyone to fall. Fear level very low. I love it.

HOURS:
Summer Season:
1 May – 30 Sep 2018
All days 10:00 – 20:00

Winter Season:
1 Oct – 30 Apr 2018
M, Th-Sun | 10:00 – 18:00
Tue-Wed | 10:00 – 21:00
Closed 24, 25 Dec 2018 and 1 Jan 2019

COST:
Adults | 25DKK adults
Children 5-15 | 5DKK 
Price includes rotating special exhibits.


3 | Illum Rooftop

Østergade 52, 1100 København

I always take visitors to the top of Illum when we take a tour of the town. First, because it’s a great viewpoint. And second. Coffee. Maybe first coffee. Then later wine. Or a spritz. You can do it all up here. Plus food! With a view! It’s fab.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Illum is a high-end department store with a great home goods section showcasing local Danish design. The rooftop has lots of restaurants, bars, a food market and one of my favorite coffee shops in Copenhagen – Original Coffee. Not in for shopping or browsing the goods? Find elevators straight to the Rooftop on Købmagergade side.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW TO MEDIUM
I don’t like standing at the railing looking over, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I have no problem up here.

HOURS:
Mon-Sat 10:00 – 24:00
Sunday 10:00 – 22:00 (Note: Kitchens finish two hours before closing.)

COST:
about 25DKK+
For the price of a cup of coffee or a cold drink, you can enjoy the view and people watch above the beautiful tiled square and stork fountain on Amagertorv.


4 | Hay House

Østergade 61, 1100 København

Time to covet some fresh Danish design and snag that perfect snap of Copenhagen’s pedestrian walking street called Strøget. Directly across from Illum and set above the classic Café Norden in Amagertorv, you can head into Hay House to peruse the gorgeous furniture and home goods. And get that cool city shot.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Hay is a world-famous Danish design company that creates colorful modern furniture and home goods. Entrance is on the Illum side, take the elevator or walk up the stairs. Best photo spot is on the second floor of this historic building.

FEAR FACTOR: ZILCH*
*Unless pretending to be fancy for five minutes fondling furniture for a photo makes you nervous.

HOURS:
Mon-Fri | 10:00 – 18:00
Sat | 10:00 – 17:00
Sun | closed

COST:
Free*
*This is a furniture and design store, with no outside viewpoint. Ogle the chairs, pick up some deliciously designed desk wares (the pencils are reasonable) and snap your pics.


5 | Nikolaj Art Hall | Nikolaj Kunsthal

Nikolaj Plads 10, 1067 København K

Nikolaj Kunsthal is a modern art space set in a beautiful former church that has been gracing the Copenhagen skyline since the 13th century. Until now, the tower, which you can see from several vantage points around the city, has not been open to the public. Starting Wednesday 29 August 2018, tours of the tower will take you to the top. I can’t wait to see the views over Copenhagen from this angle.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Exhibits rotate seasonally and your ticket allows you free access to nearby Thorvaldsens Museum within a 48 hour period. Currently opening on August 29th the museum will feature the work of Danish Street artists Husk Mit Navn and Tegn.

FEAR FACTOR: TBD
I will update as soon as I make it up top. Although the website recommends not to take children under 5 up the tower, so it may be scarier, or less safe than it looks? Stay tuned.

HOURS:
Tue-Fri | 12:00 – 18:00
Sat-Sun | 11:00-17:00
Monday closed  

COST:
Entrance to Exhibition:
Adults | 70 DKK
Students | 50 DKK
Children (0-17 years old) | Free admission
Wednesdays admission is FREE for all to the current exhibition (tower extra.)

Entrance to the tower:
Adults | 70 DKK
Students | 70 DKK
Children (0-17 years old) | 40 DKK
NOTE: We do not recommend children under the age of 5 to go up the tower.

Entrance fee exhibition + tower:
Adults | 100 DKK
Students | 90 DKK

BONUS: Your ticket to Nikolaj Kunsthal gives you free access to nearby Thorvaldsens Museum within 48 hours.

A post shared by HuskMitNavn (@huskmitnavn1) on


6 | Christiansborg Palace | Christiansborg Tårnet

Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218 København

Smack in the very center of the where the old city started sits the Christiansborg Palace, now home to the Danish Parliament. You can see the ruins of the original castle built by Copenhagen’s founder Bishop Absalon in the 12th century underneath the current structure you see today. But the views are better from the top. And extra plus? It’s free! Hungry? Make reservations at Bojesen’s Restaurant up top inside the tower for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Regular entrance from the Palace Square has been closed due to construction n 2018. See map online (here) for current access points.) There are two queues to access the tower. One for the restaurant and one for viewing platform alone. You will have to go through an airport-like metal detector and put all bags through a scanner. There is an elevator (or lift) to the top and then one flight of stairs to the platform.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW
Unless claustrophobia in a packed elevator is your fear, Christiansborg Tower viewing platform is very safe. Protective fencing provides safety but still allows for great views.

HOURS:
For Tower View:
Mon | Closed
Tue-Sat | 11:00 – 21:00
Sun | 11:00 – 17:30

For Restaurant Bojesen:
Mon | Closed
Tue-Sat | 11:30 – 23:00 (Last entry and kitchen closing time | 21:00)
Sun | 11:3o – 17:30

COST:
FREE

Views of the old Copenhagen Stock Exchange (Børsen) and Vor Frelsers Kirke in the background.
View of Nikolaj Kunsthal from Christiansborg Tårnet

7 | The Culture Tower | Kulturtårnet på Knippelsbro

Knippelsbro, 1400 København K

What a unique and lovely place to witness all the action on the Copenhagen canal. The beautiful green coppery towers that stand watch over the Knippels Bridge are some of my favorite structures in Copenhagen. One of them has been transformed into the Culture Tower where you can grab a drink, peruse some art and just enjoy the view below. It’s one of the best places to toast the town al fresco.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Kulturtårnet is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but is available for private events and celebrations. Pop-up dinners with local chefs and organic wines happen on Friday and Saturdays. Check the calendar for the latest happenings.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW TO MEDIUM
The viewing platform is small with tiny fold-away tables. I prefer to sit closer to the tower than the side is all I’m saying. But I still love it up here.

HOURS:
Wed-Sat | 12:00 – 22:00
Sun | 12:00 – 17:00
Closed on Mon-Tue and holidays.

COST:
20DKK
Price includes rotating special exhibits


READ MORE: COPENHAGEN’S BEST PLACES TO GET DRINKS OUTSIDE

8 | Our Savior’s Church | Vor Frelsers Kirke

Sankt Annægade 29, 1416 København K

One of the most beautiful towers in town, Vor Frelsers Kirke is topped with a gilt spiral staircase that takes you to the top. Sitting in Christianshavn since the late 1600’s, this tower takes some courage to tackle. Not only are there 400 steps to the top, the last 150 are outside. OUTSIDE. The iconic 90 meter (295 foot) spire is made of wood and has been said to sway on a windy day. Gulp. Do you dare?

GOOD TO KNOW:
Entrance to the outside spiral staircase is weather dependent and can be closed due to high winds, heavy rain or snow.

FEAR FACTOR: HIGH
I will admit that I have yet to brave the spiral stairs at Vor Frelsers Kirke. The stairs become narrower the higher up you go. And the thought getting stuck on the outside against the railing whilst someone works their way back down makes my palms sweaty. Have you done it? Was it scary?

HOURS:
Spring Season:
24 Feb – 30 Apr 2018
Mon – Sat | 10:00 – 16:00
Sun/holidays | 10:30-16:00

Summer Season:
1 May – 30 Sep 2018
Mon – Sat | 09:30 – 19:00
Sun/holidays | 10:30-19:00

Fall Season:
1 Oct – 15 Dec 2018
Mon – Sat | 10:00 – 16:00
Sun/holidays | 10:30-16:00
Open on Kulturnatten Fri 13th Oct from 18:00 – 24:00 (Access with Cultural Pass, can be purchased on site.)

Winter Season:
16 Dec 2018 – Feb 2019
Closed.

COST: (Depends on season)
Low Season (Spring/Fall)
Adults | 35DKK
Students/65+ | 25DKK
Children 0-14 | Free

High Season (Summer)
Adults | 50DKK
Students/65+ | 40DKK
Children 0-14 | 10DKK


9 | Frederik’s Church (The Marble Church) | Marmorkirken

Frederiksgade 4, 1265 København

You can’t miss the elegant domed Frederik’s Church, especially when you seek out the changing of the guard at nearby Amalienborg Palace. Known locally as the Marble church, they say you can see to Sweden on a sunny Saturday or Sunday. I’ve only been up here once and it was a foggy, foggy day mid-winter. We couldn’t even see the street below, much less the nearby Amalienborg Palace and out to the Opera House.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Start times for tours here are hard and fast. Don’t be late or you won’t be allowed to join. The ascent takes you through some very small and narrow stairs before you enter the interior of the dome. Note that tour times may be canceled due to weather or special events. Check the website to confirm.

FEAR FACTOR: MEDIUM – HIGH
The climb itself is not so bad, a bit claustrophobia-inducing in parts. Once inside the dome, fenced metal platforms and stairs take you to the top. I felt secure and safe. That is until she opened the hatch that allows you to climb up out onto the viewing deck. The floor seems to slope away from stairs and towards the street. My husband had no problem walking the entire ring, but I felt compelled to enjoy from inside the stairs. Note that it was damp due to the fog and if it were a sunny dry day, the fear factor could potentially be considerably lower.

HOURS:
High Season:
15 Jun – 31 Aug 2018
Autumn Holiday 15 Oct – 21 Oct 2018
Dome is open every day at 13:00

Low Season:
Sat, Sun | 13:00

COST:
Adults | 35DKK
Children 0-17 | 20DKK
They only accept payment in cash, so come ready.

The Marble Church on a sunny day. You can see to Sweden!
View from the dome of the Marble Church on a foggy day – you can barely see the street.
Hold on to the gilt railing above the Marmorkirken dome.

10 | Maersk Tower

3b Blegdamsvej, 2200 København N

One of the newest viewpoints in the city, the recently opened Maersk Tower in Nørrebro neighborhood offers a vista that includes the Copenhagen lakes.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Bicycle parking under the building. Follow the signs to the left of the building entrance. Take the elevator to the 15th-floor viewing area. Depending on where the sun is shining, glare from windows makes it difficult to get perfect photos, but come winter it will be wonderful to see the frozen landscape from inside the warm building.

FEAR FACTOR: ZERO
Viewing point is indoors through windows.

HOURS:
Mon – Fri | 08:00 – 17:00
Sat – Sun | Closed

COST:
Free


11 | Lüders Playground | Konditaget Lüders

P-hus Lüders på Helsinkigade, Helsinkigade 30, 2150 København 

Located atop a parking structure in Copenhagen’s newest neighborhood known as Nordhavn, the Konditaget Lüders is a playground slash workout area with wonderful views of the water and harbor. Test your stair speed by pushing the button at the bottom and running up to the top. With exercise stations and play equipment, you can get your workout in while your littles swing and climb. When you’ve taken a bounce and soaked up the views, cool off with a Baltic dip in the newly opened public swim area along Sandkaj.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Nordhavn is easy to get to by bike or walking from Nordhavn Station. Park your bike under the modern silo-looking Portland Towers. The playground Lüders is located above the Netto behind the Towers.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW

HOURS:
Daily | 07:00 – 22:00

COST:
Free

Take the stairs for a workout with a view
Fun for the whole fam at this playground with views from above
Scope out the scene at Reffen from the top of Nordhavn

READ MORE: COPENHAGEN STREET FOOD IS NOW REFFEN

12 | Bella Sky Hotel

Center Blvd. 5, 2300 København

Venture a bit further afield and enjoy the Skybar at the Bella Sky Hotel in Ørestad. A unique piece of architecture in it’s own right, the views up here offer far and wide and unobstructed. Remember, Denmark is flat. Hungry? Restaurant Sukaiba offers asian-fusion fare on the 23rd floor.

GOOD TO KNOW:
You don’t have to be a guest enjoy the views. Toast the town (for many a krone) or just take your tea in one of the hanging chairs with floor to ceiling windows. If you are visiting the city and not staying in this part of town – you might skip the Bella Sky. But if it is near where you’re exploring, it’s worth a trip up to the top.

FEAR FACTOR: LOW
The bar is indoors and completely safe.

HOURS:
Lunch at Sakaibo: 
Mon – Sun | 12:00 – 15:00
Dinner at Sakaibo
Sun-Wed | 17:30 – 23:00
Thu-Sat | 17:30 – 23:00
Bar:
Sun-Wed | 12:00 – 00:00
Thu-Sat | 12:00 – 01:00

COST:
Depends. As cheap as a cup of coffee.


 

So there you have it. The twelve best places to see the city from above when wandering around Copenhagen. How many towers have you tackled? Did I miss one? Do tell. Do tell.

Hej hej from Denmark. – Erin

33 thoughts on “Where to Find the Best Views of Copenhagen

  1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

    Oh! Awesome! Sooo – you went up the spiral tower at Vor Frelsers? Was it scary? I bet you got amazing views. I’m drawn to try to conquer my fears, but know I’ll be nervous up there! Glad you had a great time. Cheers from Denmark.

  2. We love climbing towers wherever we go! I love how you included fear factors! We’ve climbed some pretty terrifying towers with rickety wooden staircases that are too tight to move much. Definitely prefer ones with wide staircases! #FarawayFiles

  3. I had no idea there were so many good places to get high Copenhagen! I love the look of Illum just the name sounds so alluring and futuristic. And that coffee, wow, the excellent dense creamy foam on top, perfectly blended with the coffee …. anyway the views, the views! Our Savior’s Church looks simply beautiful. There’s a building in Paris which is an ugly atrocity so you go up there for the view so that the ugly building you’re in isn’t in your view. It looks like you don’t have that in Copenhagen because all the buildings look stunning. #FarawayFiles

  4. Oh, this looks absolutely amazing!! I have visited some of these towers when I was in Copenhagen, but I guess there’s just a lot more to explore. Excellent!
    #FarawayFiles

  5. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    I can’t quite believe it but, just double-checking on my blog, when we visited Copenhagen in 2011 we climbed the tower of Our Saviour’s Church. Our son was 15 at the time. I’m now rather proud of this, seeing your Fear Factor rating! The views were great, from what I remember. But, to think, I could have done something far more civilised which involved coffee!
    #farawayfiles

  6. It’s a fun perspective to see cities from above. But, like you, I am also afraid of heights. I like to stick to wide platforms and inside viewing areas. #farawayfiles

  7. I went to Denmark many years ago, and unfortunately only had a very short 2 day stay in Copenhagen… but it is high on my list of places to return to! I had no idea there were so many options to see the city from above, I can’t wait to try some of these. And your “fear factor” rating is super helpful! I’m not afraid of heights personally, but my husband is terrified. This will help me plan so as not to make my husband hate me haha. Thanks for the great info!

  8. So many domes and towers! I didn’t realize Copenhagen has all these choices for views. What a lovely city. I have to smile at your fear factor ratings. That’s a helpful feature I haven’t seen on blogs before! You may not want to go up in the Eiffel Tower! You obviously were able to take lovely photos, even with sweaty palms!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I’m fine in the Eiffel Tower if I stay in the middle of elevator and back from edges! All that safety fencing makes me ok. It’s when there is no guard rail and easy places to careen over that send my panic into overdrive! 😉

  9. I’m always looking to see the world from above, and this is just the type of post I hope to find when traveling to a new place! I do get nervous about heights, but mainly when visiting places with no railings. I think I would be okay visiting most of these. I would love to go into the dome of the marble church even on a foggy day it looks so cool! #farawayfiles

  10. Copenhagen is beautiful from every angle and especially on high. Somehow I found out about the Illum spot on my first visit – was it from you? That is a special coffee spot. I remember the light refracting through the windows. So lovely. One day I’ll return to CPH armed with your guide – appreciate the fear factors.. now I know what to avoid!!

  11. The Culture Tower and Illum both look great, I like the idea of being able to stop for a drink rather than just reaching the top and coming back down again. Lovely photos and such an interesting selection of places. #FarawayFiles

  12. Beth

    Ohhh I was excited to read this post, as we did a couple of heights when we visited CPH a few years ago. We did Our Saviours Church which I agree, its a bit of a sweaty-palm ascent/descent. But fab views and I love the architecture. We also did Christiansborg Palace (?). (The CPH Card was a great value for us, by the way, I saw that you mentioned it within the post.) I am not so afraid of heights as I am of the fear of edges, so railings and firm ground is key for me. Stick one of my kids in the mix and my anxiety goes up even higher, however. I will brag, though, and say that we all did that crazy swing at Tivoli, and I thought I was about to DIE! It is literally breathtaking, I’m glad I did it. But you have to lock up your cell phone with all purses, etc. That should give you a clue as to the risk involved…. yikes! I saw you didn’t even go there with that vantage point….haha! 😉 Cheers from London!

  13. Hej Erin! The Old Saviour’s Church caught my eye and I thought, interesting architectural design for a church and then I looked closely at the pic…oh gosh, the spiral staircase is outside of the tower..that’s insane! Good on you for having climbed some of these tall buildings for views even though you have a fear of heights. I can imagine the scary feeling as I often feel the same. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Can you believe that I have been on those swings?! Only once and I was white knuckling the entire time and could not look down and was praying for it to end. Don’t ask – it was peer pressure. Gah!

  14. I have another one to add – from the top of one of the rides at Tivoli Gardens! But you might need nerves of steel for that one! I remember my two days in Copenhagen last year – and I decided to be like a child and go to Tivoli one night and do some crazy rides. I’m not usually a thrillseeker but my husband’s antics have clearly rubbed off on me! Anyway, one of them in particular took me straight up, up, up, up and UP – an amazing view of Copenhagen until the ride dropped, then I started screaming! Great view – even if only for a few second!
    Christiansborg Palace was closed the day I was there (Monday). Such a shame. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes! I’ve been on that one as well – ONCE. It’s called the Golden Tower and it is 63 meters high! Gah! There was no way I was taking a pic up there!!! Holding on for dear life. I usually get convinced to do it once, but will admit I’ve never ridden the planes that go around and around and upside down at Tivoli!

  15. I’m not great at pretending that I am in a store for the right reasons, so I’d probably stick to the options other than the furniture store. I particularly like the playground up high – something for the children who usually oblige with lots of fun parent activities when on holidays!

  16. Those views are amazing! And thanks for including the fear factors- sometimes the hike up is worth the view but there have been a few times where I’ve popped my head out of the stairs and that’s about it! #farawayfiles

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