Copenhagen from above is a blog post I have been excited to write. I don’t know about you, but I am a keen viewpoint person. By that, I mean I obsessively look for either a tall tower or a hill whenever I travel to a new city to get an extensive overview of it. The bird’s eye perspective always gives me a nice concept of how the area is laid out allowing me to plan my visit accordingly. Although in the Danish capital I would not recommend you to look for hills – it is flat as a pancake – perfect for a running tour. Unless you book yourself into a roof-top apartment, then the below spots are perfect to soak up the magic of Copenhagen.
Copenhagen from above – Top 3 viewpoints
Without any doubts, the Roundtower (Rundetaarn) is one of the icons of the city and it is packed with history. It offers an excellent view of the fairy tale old town of Copenhagen. Apart from its main function as a stargazing platform, the tower also houses a legendary library where Hans Christian Andersen studied once. The middle of the tower used to serve as the „zero point” of the city where all the distances were measured from back in the 1760s.
You can check out this spot by going into the niche at the top of the spiral walk.
If you are not scared of standing on the niche’s glass floor looking all the way down to the bottom, then you will find yourself right in the former “middle of Copenhagen”.
Climbing up the 268,5-meter long spiral ramp ensures that you burn all the calories you consumed in the form of yummy Danish chocolate buns and cinnamon snails. In case you have not visited any of the bakeries yet, you can plan your pastry-trip based on our favourite bakeries.
The Tower of Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot) was the home of the Royal Family until the Great Fire in 1789 when they all moved to their current residence, Amalienborg and never returned. Today it houses the Danish Parliament and the tower has recently opened to the public providing free access to the tallest tower of Copenhagen. I mean, who would not want to see the city from the former kings’ and queens’ point of view?
There are a couple of reasons why Christiansborg is still my favourite spot for horizon gazing. Firstly, it is the start point of our Christiania and City Tour simply because it has an unquestionably important role in Danish history. Secondly, if you are lucky enough to go up on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the newly built Øresund Bridge, that connects Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmö.
In addition to the breathtaking view, Christiansborg’s tower that used to be a prison is now home to the Restaurant Tårnet.
Church of Our Saviour
Church of Our Saviour (Vor Frelsers Kirke) is one of Denmark’s most famous churches, best known for its unique, external spiral staircase that allows you to enjoy a stunning, panoramic view over central Copenhagen. It is located in the middle of Christians Harbour (Christianshavn), right next to Christiania.
In 2007, this view was voted the best in the city by locals.
Not recommended, if you are not friends with heights as the last 150 steps are outside of the spire and running anticlockwise.
But after the challenging stroll, your reward is waiting for you at the very top where you will be treated to a sweeping view as far as the outskirts of the city. Watching the sunset from the peak is a must.
Alternatively, you can spice up your bird-eyes-perspective experience and accompany the magnificent view with hair-raising speed by taking a ride on Northern Europe’s tallest carousel. On the Star Flyer in Tivoli you can enjoy a 360 panorama from 80 meters and at 70 km/h. To ensure the most magical view from it, make sure you take your ride after sunset when the city is all lit up.
Apart from the above-mentioned attractions, there is a lovely outlook of the Royal Danish Opera house from the dome of the Marble Church (Marmorkirken) just by the royal residence. And even though I am not a big fan of city halls in general, the tower of the Copenhagen City Hall does have a wow factor with its superb view of the nearby amusement park, Tivoli.
In case you are looking for a meal with a view, your craving can be satisfied at Sky Bar & Restaurant with all the Danish classic meals you wish to try. Sky Bar is on the top floor of the Bella Sky Hotel that is a few kilometers outside the city centre, and its view of Copenhagen at a distance is incredible. There is also Sticks’n’sushi located on the 12th floor of Tivoli Hotel, that prides itself on having a great rooftop restaurant for sushi lovers. This list would not be completed without restaurant Alberto K, on top of Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. Alberto K is one of the many gourmet restaurants in Copenhagen and what makes these high quality Danish restaurants special in my opinion is that, they use ingredients from small local farms aiming to avoid excessive manipulation.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour and saving your legs from walking. Let’s come down to earth now, it is time to enjoy the city from my other favourite perspective, the runner’s point of view (Yay for active sightseeing!)
Off to run now,