With its colourful buildings, quaint cobblestone streets, sprawling gardens, and picturesque waterfront, Copenhagen is a photographer’s paradise. Everywhere you turn, a perfect shot beckons – a bicycle leaning against a historic building, boats sailing in the harbour, or produce piled high at the local market. With so many picture-perfect places to explore, it isn’t easy to choose the best, but here are some of the favourites I never get tired of photographing.
The most photographed attraction along Copenhagen’s harbourside promenade is the Little Mermaid, but between the city centre and the famous statue is the incredibly photogenic Gefion Fountain. This huge fountain of the goddess Gefion and her four oxen is best captured against St Alban’s Church. In this area you’ll also find the historic Kastellet fortress, as well as statues and flowers, including cherry blossoms in the spring.
Of the three towers in Copenhagen offering sweeping views of the city, Christiansborg Tårnet is the highest (it’s also the only one that’s free to climb). From high above Christiansborg Palace, visitors can take in the fantastic scenery in all directions and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Sweden. It’s the perfect spot to photograph the cityscape from above.
Torvehallerne is a pair of glass covered markets with an outdoor produce and flower market in between. The market is a cornucopia of colours, with piles of fresh fruits and vegetables, cases full of cheeses, baskets of exotic spices, and shelves of perfectly assembled and delectable-looking smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches.
This Amsterdam-inspired canal runs through the man-made island borough of Christianshavn. Historic buildings line the waterfront, and boats sail past and bob in their moorings as locals sit at the water’s edge enjoying a picnic in warm weather.
This wildlife reserve in Klampenborg is worth the short trip out of the city centre. The sweeping woodlands are home to hundreds of wild deer, who roam freely. Both the deer and the surroundings are beautiful at any time of year – spring and summer mean flowers and fawns, autumn offers the most impressive colours, and winter is when the animals gather along the walking paths to feast on the hay and root vegetables left by the wardens.
Rosenborg is a Renaissance castle built in the 1600s as a vacation home for the Royals. Not only is the castle itself both beautiful and charming, it’s set in the King’s Garden, offering additional photo opportunities of tree-lined paths, statues, and a rose garden. The interior offers lavishly furnished rooms including a throne room with a narwhal tusk throne, and a treasury showcasing royal jewels.
Amagertorv is a bustling square found along Copenhagen’s busiest pedestrian street. With the beautiful Stork Fountain as its centrepiece, Amagertorv is gorgeous from every angle. Surrounded by stunning architecture, with the green spire of Nikolaj Kirke towering overhead and views of Christiansborg Palace, you are sure to have lots of great shots to choose from.
Copenhagen has many lovely little side streets just begging to be photographed. One of the oldest streets in Copenhagen, Magstræde is also arguably the most beautiful. The gently curving cobblestone street is lined with historic buildings in a range of bright colours, and makes for some stunning shots.
Denmark’s royal residence is unique in that it’s made up of four identical mansions centred on a square. With the largest domed church in Scandinavia on one side, an impressive fountain on the other, and a statue in the centre, the Palace offers lots of opportunities to capture Copenhagen’s Royal heritage. In addition, members of the Royal Life Guard, dressed in their navy tunics and fluffy bearskin helmets are fantastic photo subjects, especially if you visit during Changing of the Guard at noon daily.
The colourful buildings and tall ships of Nyhavn are the most iconic photograph of Copenhagen, one that every visitor takes, so much so that for some people Nyhavn IS Copenhagen. I admit, it frustrates me – there is so much more to Copenhagen than Nyhavn, both well-known spots and hidden gems, which I love to discover and photograph. But, the truth is – I also love Nyhavn, and I love photographing it. It’s just such a gorgeous spot, and I never get tired of it. So go ahead, and take that classic shot!