A Review: The Best Free Walking Tours in Copenhagen
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A Review: The Best Free Walking Tours in Copenhagen

Mathias Mølgaard
Mathias Mølgaard
May 31, 2024
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Exploring Copenhagen through free walking tours is an excellent way to experience the city's rich history and vibrant culture at a low cost. However, if you're wondering, "Are they actually free?" the answer is no. Most of these tours operate on a tips-based model where the expected contribution is around 100-200 DKK (15-30 euros).

After trying most of the tours offered in Copenhagen, I found that the only truly free option is Copenhagen Local Walks provided by the Copenhagen Municipality. Local Walks is a series of self-guided audio tours service that you can take whenever they want to as it's done entirely through the phone – the tours available in multiple languages and actually free.

But let's get to it ... Here’s my detailed review of the main options to help you choose the best free tour for your visit in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Local Walks by Copenhagen Municipality

Free Walking tours in Copenhagen with Local Walks

Overview

Copenhagen Local Walks is a unique initiative by the Copenhagen Municipality, offering truly free walking tours in Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Østerbro, Amager and Inner Copenhagen. These tours cover various aspects of the city’s history, architecture, and culture. The goal of Copenhagen Local Walks is to make lesser-known parts of our wonderful capital accessible, especially to visitors, by guiding them to unique places such as Superkilen, Assistens Cemetery, The Meat Packing District, and Copenhagen waterfront. Along the way, you'll listen to great stories about the history and soul of the main attractions as well as lesser-known gems.

Highlights

  • Actually free: The tours cost nothing and you will never be asked for anything as it's paid for by Copenhagen Municipality
  • Flexible and available 24/7: The tours are accessed on your phone which means that you can take them whenever you want to and in your own tempo
  • A mix of stories: Get a mix of Copenhagen’s history, cultural scene, local life and hidden gems, gathered from locals and curated by Copenhagen Visitor Service

Tours that are actually free

As the only truly free option, these tours offer incredible value. The storytellers are passionate and knowledgeable, providing an authentic experience of the city. The flexibility and availability in multiple languages make these tours a standout choice. Disclaimer: the project is a collaboration between Copenhagen Visitor Service and StoryHunt so I do have a stake in it. However, each year more than 100.000 people take the tours so we must've done something right. If you prefer something else, keep reading!

Booking and More Info

Visit Copenhagen Local Walks

Copenhagen Free Walking Tours

Free walking tour starting at Storkespringvandet

Overview

Copenhagen Free Walking Tours offers a variety of themed tours covering different aspects of the city. Their main tours include the Grand Tour of Copenhagen, the Classical Tour, and the Christianshavn Tour. Many of their tours start in the city centre (close the picture above) which is very convenient.

Highlights

  • Grand Tour of Copenhagen: This tour is a fantastic introduction to the city, covering major sights like the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn, and Christiansborg Palace. It lasts about 2.5 to 3 hours and starts at the City Hall Steps.
  • Classical Tour: This tour dives into Renaissance Copenhagen, visiting the Round Tower, Copenhagen’s Cathedral, and Rosenborg Palace. It’s a shorter tour, about 90 minutes, starting at Højbro Plads.
  • Christianshavn Tour: For those interested in Copenhagen’s alternative side, this tour explores the bohemian Christianshavn neighborhood and the Free Town of Christiania.

My Experience

In May of 2024 I joined a Copenhagen Free Walking Tour with Magnus as our guide, and overall, it was a positive experience with one downside ... That it's not actually free! Magnus was exceptionally knowledgeable, providing fascinating historical details, especially during the Grand Tour and the Christianshavn Tour. We visited major sites like Nyhavn and Amalienborg Palace, which were well-explained and engaging. However, despite being marketed as "free," there's a clear expectation to tip at the end, which can feel a bit pressured. While the information and sites were great, be prepared for the tipping aspect.

Booking and More Info

Visit Copenhagen Free Walking Tours

FREETOUR.com

Christiania free walking tours

Overview

FREETOUR.com offers a range of tours, including the Classic Copenhagen Tour and tours of Christiania. The tours are tip-based and can be booked on their website.

Highlights

  • Classic Copenhagen Tour: This tour covers the main sights in the city center, including Amalienborg Palace and Nyhavn
  • Christiania Tour: Delve into the unique, self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of Christiania, learning about its history and culture

My Experience

In March 2024 I joined the Christianshavn walking tour in Copenhagen organized by FREETOUR.com, and it was a mix of fascinating insights and a few challenges. Our guide, Jarrod, was exceptionally knowledgeable and shared engaging stories about the unique history and culture of Christianshavn, including the famous Freetown Christiania. We explored key sites like the Church of Our Saviour, the Christianshavn Canal, and various local landmarks that highlighted the neighborhood's bohemian vibe and alternative lifestyle.

However, one downside was the difficulty in hearing Jarrod clearly throughout the tour, especially in busier areas or when there was a lot of ambient noise. This made it challenging to catch all the details of his explanations, which slightly affected the overall experience. Despite this, the tour was informative and enjoyable, offering a deep dive into one of Copenhagen's most distinctive neighborhoods. The tour operates on a tips-based model, so while there’s no upfront cost, tipping the guide is expected at the end​. If you're interested in learning more about this place, check out this article about Christiania.

Booking and More Info

Visit FREETOUR.com

SANDEMANs New Europe

Copenhagen Free Walking Tours example

Overview

SANDEMANs is a well-known tour company offering high-quality, tips-based tours in major cities across Europe, including Copenhagen. They have both free and paid tours which vary over the season. Their main free tour is the Free Tour of Copenhagen, which covers a broad range of attractions.

Highlights

  • Free Tour of Copenhagen: This tour includes major sights such as the Royal Palace, the Little Mermaid, and Nyhavn. It’s a comprehensive tour that gives a great overview of the city
  • Paid tours available: Apart from their free tours SANDEMANs also offer paid tours

My Experience

In the spring of 2024 I joined a SANDEMANs New Europe walking tour in Copenhagen, and it was a generally positive experience even though the group size was a bit too large for my taste. Our guide, Ash, was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, sharing fascinating details about Copenhagen's history and culture. The tour covered major sites like Nyhavn, Christiansborg Palace, and the Royal Danish Theatre, providing a comprehensive overview of the city’s highlights.

One significant challenge was the large group size. With so many people, it was difficult to stay close to the guide and hear all the details, especially in crowded areas. This made it hard to fully engage with the tour at times. Additionally, the tour operates on a tips-based model, so while there's no upfront cost, there's an expectation to tip the guide at the end. Despite these issues, Ash's passion and storytelling made the tour enjoyable and informative.

Booking and More Info

Visit SANDEMANs New Europe

Free Tours by Foot

Free walking tour in Christianshavn

Overview

Free Tours by Foot offers a Renaissance Copenhagen Free Tour and other themed tours such as the Copenhagen City Center Tour and the Christianshavn Tour.

Highlights

  • Renaissance Copenhagen Free Tour: This tour covers notable Renaissance landmarks and ends at the Torvehallerne market, perfect for grabbing a bite to eat.
  • Copenhagen City Center Tour: Explores the heart of the city, covering essential historical and cultural sites.
  • Christianshavn Tour: Takes you through the picturesque Christianshavn neighborhood and the Free Town of Christiania.

My Experience

I recently joined a Free Tours by Foot walking tour in Copenhagen, led by Sarah. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about the city's history and culture, taking us to key sites like Nyhavn, Christiansborg Palace, and Amalienborg Square. The main challenge was hearing her in busy areas due to the large group size, which made it difficult to catch all the details. The tour is tips-based, so while there's no upfront cost, tipping the guide at the end is expected. Despite the hearing issue, Sarah's enthusiasm made the tour enjoyable and informative

Booking and More Info

Visit Free Tours by Foot

StoryHunt tours in Copenhagen

StoryHunt in Copenhagen

Overview

StoryHunt provides tours all over Copenhagen. Unlike most of the tours here, StoryHunt offers a clear and upfront pricing model, ensuring you know exactly what you are paying. The tours cost around 99 DKK (15 EUR) which is in the low end compared to the other "free" options.

Highlights

  • Upfront Pricing: StoryHunt offers clear, upfront pricing with no hidden costs or tipping pressure. You know exactly what you are paying, avoiding the uncertainty of tips-based tours
  • Self-Guided Flexibility: Explore at your own pace and on your own schedule, without the constraints of group tours
  • Personalized Experience: Enjoy a personalized tour experience with engaging audio guides that provide detailed insights about each location

Why We Founded StoryHunt

In 2018, we founded StoryHunt to remove the barriers of traditional guided tours and make exploring new places more accessible. We loved traveling and uncovering hidden stories but disliked the rigid schedules and group constraints of conventional tours. StoryHunt allows you to explore at your own pace, providing an engaging and flexible way to discover the rich history and culture of Copenhagen. Check out Discover Copenhagen if you want a great highlights tour in Copenhagen.

Booking and More Info

Find StoryHunt tours in Copenhagen

Conclusion

Each of the options listed offer a unique perspective on Copenhagen, making them all worth considering based on your interests. However, if you're looking for a truly free experience, Copenhagen Local Walks by the Copenhagen Municipality is the best option. If you're looking for something flexible, StoryHunt might be your choice. To see our selection, look on our tours page or check out Discover Copenhagen for a sure thing.

Learn more with a self-guided tour in Copenhagen...

Discover Copenhagen is an excellent option to discover the main highlights of the city – and it's even cheaper than many of the "free" options.

Discover Copenhagen

Discover Copenhagen

da, de, en, es, fr, it

Stroll through the center of lovely Copenhagen and discover its greatest sights.

Copenhagen
99 DKK
4.9

Opening hours and directions

Openings hours for (updated today)
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
Address: - directions
Website: official site

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Learn more with a self-guided tour...

Discover Copenhagen

Learn more with a self-guided tour

Discover Copenhagen is an excellent option to discover the main highlights of the city – and it's even cheaper than many of the "free" options.

StoryHunt

Discover Copenhagen

da, de, en, es, fr, it

Stroll through the center of lovely Copenhagen and discover its greatest sights.

Copenhagen
99
4.8

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