Amsterdam vs. Copenhagen | Where to Visit in 2024

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Wondering the differences between Amsterdam vs. Copenhagen? Keep reading!

Amsterdam and Copenhagen are two very similar yet very different cities. They both offer a very different experience in terms of things to do, food, people, and beyond.

Having lived in Amsterdam for 5 years I know the city VERY well. I have also spent some time in Copenhagen after being told the two cities are very similar so I had to check this out for myself.

Keep reading to discover the differences and similarities between Amsterdam and Copenhagen and which is best for YOU to visit.

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

Amsterdam vs. Copenhagen Overview

About Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe that has something for just about everyone. Here are some key insights about Amsterdam:

  • Amsterdam is famous for its elaborate canal network, which is perfect for exploring the city by land and water.
  • Cycling is a way of life here, with dedicated bike lanes and rental services everywhere!
  • Amsterdam is rich in cultural experiences, from world-class museums like the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum to vibrant street art and diverse cuisine.
  • Amsterdam is known for its liberal, laidback vibe.
  • The Netherlands is synonymous with tulips attracting visitors from around the world every year in the spring season.
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About Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a charming blend of historic charm and modern innovation. It is the quintessential Scandinavian city, here are some highlights:

  • Copenhagen is home to iconic sights such as the colorful Nyhavn waterfront, the historic Tivoli Gardens amusement park, and the contemporary architecture of the Copenhagen Opera House.
  • The city is famous for its commitment to sustainability, with numerous bike-friendly lanes and eco-friendly initiatives.
  • Copenhagen’s culinary scene offers a mix of traditional Danish cuisine and innovative gastronomy, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.
  • The city’s progressive mindset, thriving arts scene, and friendly locals contribute to its welcoming atmosphere.
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Similarities and Differences Between Amsterdam and Copenhagen

Let’s delve deeper into the similarities and differences between Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

CriteriaVisit Amsterdam if you like…Visit Copenhagen if you like…
ArchitectureHistoric canal houses and ancient facadesModern design and innovative architecture
Art & CultureClassical art museums and amazing festivals and eventsContemporary art galleries and design exhibitions
NightlifeLively bars, clubs, and Red Light DistrictCozy cafes, trendy bars, and alternative scenes
CuisineInternational flavors and Dutch specialtiesNordic cuisine and innovative dining experiences
Outdoor ActivitiesCycling along canals and exploring parksRelaxing in gardens and strolling along waterfronts
Historical SitesAnne Frank House and historic landmarksAmalienborg Palace and royal residences
ShoppingBoutique shops and bustling marketsDesigner boutiques and pedestrian streets
Overall VibeRelaxed atmosphere and liberal attitudesUrban sophistication and sustainable living

Arts and Culture

Firstly let’s take a look at the differences between the arts and culture in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Two very different cities with their own unique musuems, events and more just waiting to be enjoyed.


Amsterdam’s arts and culture scene is vibrant and diverse. The city is renowned for its world-class museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank House, showcasing masterpieces and historical artifacts.

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The city also hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, theater, and literature. With its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts and music scene and endless world-famous museums Amsterdam is an arts & cultural hotspot.

💡 The festival and music scene in Amsterdam is unmatched and welcomes some of the best DJs and artists from around the world! Be sure to check upcoming events when you are visiting!

➡️ Visit Amsterdam for classical art and a vibrant festival scene. The city’s renowned museums cater to classical art enthusiasts. while the numerous music and festivals are perfect for enjoying a different side of arts and culture.


Copenhagen’s arts and culture scene is a blend of tradition and innovation. Famous for its contemporary design and architecture, notable landmarks include the Copenhagen Opera House and the futuristic Black Diamond Library.

The city has an array of modern art galleries and museums like the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK), showcasing both Danish and international works.

➡️ Visit Copenhagen if you like contemporary design, innovative architecture, and modern art galleries.


Both Amsterdam and Copenhagen have two different official languages.


In Amsterdam, Dutch is the primary language spoken by the majority of the population. However, English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, restaurants, and shops.


Similarly, in Copenhagen, Danish is the predominant language spoken by locals. However, English proficiency is very high among Danes.

➡️ Both Amsterdam and Copenhagen are VERY English-friendly and you will have no problem with just speaking English.

Things to do

The things to do and activities in Amsterdam and Copenhagen are VERY different. There is a little overlap in a few things but generally what you will find in each city is very unique to it and special for what you can expect when visiting.


Amsterdam is a city full of history, culture, and charm. From its iconic canals and historic landmarks to its lively streets and unique neighborhoods, Amsterdam offers a ton of experiences for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Top Things to Do in Amsterdam:

  • Explore the Canal Ring
  • Visit Amsterdam’s Various Museums
  • Go to the Anne Frank House
  • Cycle Around the City
  • Visit Street Markets
  • Visit the Jordaan District
  • Go to the Red Light District
  • Vondelpark
  • Heineken Experience
  • Enjoy the Nightlife


Copenhagen is a city that blends modernity with centuries-old charm. With its stunning architecture, progressive culture, and vibrant atmosphere, Copenhagen offers a plethora of experiences for visitors to immerse themselves in Danish history, art, and cuisine.

Top Things to Do in Copenhagen:

  • Admire Nyhavn
  • Explore Tivoli Gardens
  • Visit Amalienborg Palace
  • Go to The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK)
  • Visit Christiansborg Palace:
  • Go shopping Strøget
  • Indulge Copenhagen Street Food
  • Go on a Bike Tour

➡️ Visit Amsterdam if you like exploring historic landmarks, world-class museums, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary experiences, all within a scenic and bike-friendly city.

➡️ Visit Copenhagen if you enjoy modern design, contemporary art, cozy cafes, and outdoor activities, in a sophisticated city dedicated to sustainibility.


➡️ Amsterdam and Copenhagen have a very similar climate and weather. With mild summers and cool winters. Plenty of rainfall in both cities with 170+ days of rain per year.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Amsterdam and the best time to visit Copenhagen are quite similar but with a few key differences on when you’d visit each and why.


The best time to visit Amsterdam is during the spring (April to May) or the early autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is generally mild, with fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

Spring brings blooming tulips and vibrant colors to the city’s parks and gardens, while autumn offers cooler weather and beautiful fall colours along the canals.

Additionally, cultural events and festivals, such as King’s Day in April, make these seasons particularly amazing in Amsterdam!

➡️ Read More: Best Places to Visit in Europe in November


Similarly, the best time to visit Copenhagen is during the spring (May to June) or the late summer (August to September).

These months offer pleasant weather, with mild temperatures and longer daylight hours, ideal for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions and waterfront areas.

Spring in Copenhagen brings cherry blossoms and greenery to the city’s parks, while late summer offers opportunities to enjoy outdoor events and festivals, such as Copenhagen Pride in August.


The prices you can expect in Amsterdam and Copenhagen do vary slightly. Check out an estimate of what you can expect for some key things in both cities: hotels, getting around, food and drink, and activities.


CategoryAverage Cost in Amsterdam
Hotels$$ – $$$ (Moderate to High)
Getting Around$3 – $4 for a single tram/bus ticket, $15 / day to rent a bike
Food/Drink$12 – $30 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant; $5 – $8 for a pint of beer
Activities$20 – $40 for museum admission; $15 – $100 for a canal cruise


CategoryAverage Cost in Copenhagen
Hotels$$ – $$$ (Moderate to High)
Getting Around24-hour ticket for public transport: $12; Single ride ticket: $4
Food/Drink$15 – $40 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant; $7 – $10 for a pint of beer
Activities$20+ for museum admission; $15+ for a canal cruise

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it rain more in Amsterdam or Copenhagen?

On average, Copenhagen experiences slightly more rainy days per year compared to Amsterdam. Copenhagen typically sees around 175 rainy days per year, while Amsterdam has an average of about 170 rainy days annually.

Is Copenhagen close to Amsterdam?

The distance between Copenhagen and Amsterdam is approximately 520 kilometers (about 323 miles).

Traveling between Copenhagen and Amsterdam typically requires taking a flight, which takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, or a longer journey by train or car.

Is there a direct train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen?

There is no direct train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. The most common route involves taking a train from Amsterdam to Hamburg, Germany, and then transferring to a train to Copenhagen.

Another option is to take a train from Amsterdam to Puttgarden, Germany, followed by a ferry crossing to Rødby, Denmark, and then continuing by train to Copenhagen. The entire journey usually takes around 10-12 hours.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

Here is the best hotel in Copenhagen
➡️ NH Collection Copenhagen

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Here are the two best hotels in Amsterdam
➡️ The Conservatorium Amsterdam
➡️ Hotel TwentySeven

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