Amsterdam vs Copenhagen: What you need to know

Which is better: Amsterdam or Copenhagen?

This is a question that has travellers from all over the world scratching their heads, trying to decide which of these two amazing cities to visit.

While both have their own unique charms and attractions, it can be tough to decide which one takes the cake.

So, what’s the verdict?

Which city should you choose for your next holiday destination?

Let’s take a look at a city comparison of Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

Amsterdam vs Copenhagen: City Comparison

The little mermaid statue sitting on a rock besides the water in Copenhagen in winter

Arts and Culture

When it comes to arts and culture, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are two of the most fascinating cities in Europe.

Amsterdam city is home to the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum, as well as the Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum.

The music scene in Amsterdam is also very diverse, with everything from SKA to international artists represented.

Copenhagen is equally impressive when it comes to arts and culture.

The city has an abundance of art on every corner, with bronze statues dedicated to mariners, royalty, or artists dotting the landscape, of the Little Mermaid is the most famous.

The National Gallery of Denmark is also located in Copenhagen and is home to 260,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings from Denmark and internationally.

Copenhagen is also better known for its contemporary art scene, which includes the Kunsthal Charloteenborg – one of Europe’s largest contemporary art museums.

Where as Amsterdam is known for its more traditional Art.

Language: Dutch vs Danish

The Dutch and Danish languages are quite similar in that both languages have the same roots – they are both Germanic languages.

However, Dutch is a West Germanic language while Danish is a North Germanic language.

This means that the two languages are not mutually intelligible – unless you can speak both of them, neither one will be able to understand the other.

Biking in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to biking, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the two top cities in the world. Both are very bike friendly, with almost everyone riding to work or school.

In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than people. That means that locals are used to seeing bikes everywhere and are generally very tolerant of tourists biking around.

However, it also means that you need to be extra careful not to get in the way of locals who are just trying to get from A to B.

In Copenhagen, around half of commuters do so on a bike. That means that there is less traffic on the roads, making it a bit easier for tourists to get around.

The infrastructure is geared (pardon the pun) towards cyclists and there are great bike lanes and parking places around both cities.

However, if you’re planning on staying for a longer period of time, it might be worth purchasing a second hand bike in either city, as rental prices can add up quickly.

Bike tours are also a great way to see the sights and learn how to get around both cities like a local.

The size of Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

Amsterdam and Copenhagen are both smaller cities and have a similar population of just over 1 million people within the CBD and greater city.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and has a population of 1.37 million people which is an increase of 0.81% from 2021.

While Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands and has a population of 1.165 million people which is an increase of 0.72% from 2021.

Christmas Markets in Copenhagen

The weather in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

Amsterdam is located 4 degrees south of Copenhagen’s latitude, meaning that it tends to be a bit warmer in summer and colder in winter. It also rains more in Amsterdam, with around 189.3 days of rainfall per year. In contrast, Copenhagen only sees around 170 days of rain per year.

Snows more in Copenhagen than Amsterdam, with around 21.5 days of snowfall each year.

However, Amsterdam has warm sunny days but long cold and dark winters- the sun only shines for around 9 hours a day in December!

Copenhagen has warm days in summer but very cold nights. In winter it is cold and snowy, with temperatures often dropping below freezing point (-5 degrees Celsius).

In terms of weather predictability, Copenhagen is less predictable than Amsterdam- the cold patches can occur all year round.

White tulips in Amsterdam

The Best time to visit Amsterdam and Copenhagen

When it comes to visiting Amsterdam and Copenhagen, timing is everything. The weather, the events and the tourists all play a role in what’s the best time to visit. Here’s a breakdown of when you should go to get the most out of your trip.

Amsterdam:

The best time to visit Amsterdam is in the spring (March-April) or autumn (September-October) when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists around. However, if you’re looking to experience the tulip fields in full bloom, you’ll need to visit in April.

Copenhagen:

The best time to visit Copenhagen is in the summer (June-August) when the weather is warm and there are plenty of events and festivals taking place. However, if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit in May or September.

The Green spaces in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to green spaces, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are two of the world’s most impressive cities.

Both have vast parks where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and both offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

So which city has the best parks? Let’s take a closer look.

The Vondelpark in Amsterdam is the largest park in the city, and is located close to the Van Gough Museum.

It’s a great place for runners, picnics, and live entertainment in the open air theater in the summer.

The King’s Garden in Copenhagen is also popular, and features some impressive landscaping and sculptures.

Both cities have lovely “beach” areas to explore, with Copenhagen having a great skatepark in Nørrebro.

And when it comes to outdoor eateries, both cities come out on top!

Amsterdam has some outstanding restaurants located within its parks, while Copenhagen offers a wide variety of international cuisine options.

The beer in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to beer, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are both pretty proud of their breweries.

Both have a vast array of breweries and beer gardens, and both offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Heineken Brewery is located in Amsterdam while the Carlsberg Brewery is located in Copenhagen. Both have 5% alchohol and are served in Green bottles. They are both easily found within each city.

The Heineken experience in Amsterdam is pretty impressive, offering a tour of the historic brewery and a chance to sample some of the beers.

Carousel at Tivoli Gardens Christmas market

The Nightlife in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to nightlife, Amsterdam and Copenhagen offer two very different scenes. Amsterdam is known for its legendary party scene, while Copenhagen has a more elite feel, with some prestigious cocktail bars.

Whether you’re looking to let loose or sip cocktails in elegant surroundings, these two cities have something to offer everyone.

Amsterdam: If you’re looking to party, Amsterdam is the place to be.

The city is home to some great bars and clubs, including AIR Amsterdam, a famous night club that draws in tourists from all over the world.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, there are plenty of bars in Amsterdam where you can relax and enjoy a few drinks with friends.

Copenhagen: Copenhagen’s nightlife has a more sophisticated feel than Amsterdam’s.

The city is home to some of the best cocktail bars in the world, including Gefährlich and Reflections Ice Bar.

If you’re looking for something a little different, Nørrebro has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife. The area is home to many bars and clubs, and there’s always something going on.

Whether you’re looking to party or relax, Copenhagen has something to offer everyone.

The Transport in Amsterdam vs Copenahagen

When it comes to transportation, Amsterdam and Copenhagen both have bikes in common.

Amsterdam is known for its bikes, buses, trams and trains, while Copenhagen is known for its bikes and metro.

Amsterdam’s public transportation system includes trams, which are a popular way to get around the city and for day trips out of the city.

Copenhagen’s metro system is efficient and easy to use, and there are also a number of bus and train lines that connect the city to other parts of Denmark.

The Prices in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to prices, Amsterdam is much cheaper than Copenhagen. For tourists, this can be a major drawcard for the Dutch city. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics…

Taxes are cheaper in Amsterdam than Copenhagen (19% vs 25%)

There are more free attractions in Amsterdam

You get what you pay for in Copenhagen – it is very clean, the public transport is excellent and the residents are happy and healthy.

So, what does this mean for tourists?

If you’re looking to save some money on your trip, Amsterdam is the place to go.

However, if you don’t mind spending a bit more, Copenhagen offers superior quality in many aspects.

The Danish People vs the Dutch people

When it comes to the topic of nationalities, there are two that always seem to be compared: the Danish and Dutch people.

Both cultures have their own unique quirks and traditions.

The Danish People:

When it comes to the Danish people, they are known for being some of the happiest people in the world.

This is likely due to their emphasis on Hygge – a feeling of cosiness that is enjoyed during wintertime especially.

If you’re looking for a culture that embraces cosiness and happiness, then Denmark is certainly a place you should visit!

The Danes are also known for being very welcoming and friendly people, so you will feel right at home when visiting this country.

The Dutch People:

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more vibrant city with plenty of nightlife options, then Amsterdam may be the place for you!

The Dutch are renowned for their open and welcoming nature, as well as their love of languages – there are more languages spoken in Amsterdam than just Dutch and English.

Amsterdam vs Copenhagen: snow falling at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

The Coziness in Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

When it comes to coziness, both Amsterdam and Copenhagen rank high on the list.

Though they have their differences, both cities know how to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

– Both cities are known for their love of coffee shops. In Amsterdam, some coffee shops take on a slightly different meaning, but they still provide a cozy place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

In Copenhagen, hygge is well known, which is basically taking some time out of your day to relax and enjoy the simple things in life, alone or with loved ones.

– Both cities have beautiful indoor scenes that are perfect for snuggling up in during the cold winter months.

– Neither city is too big, so you can easily walk around and explore all the cozy corners.

How inclusive is Amsterdam vs Copenhagen?

When it comes to inclusivity, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are two of the most welcoming cities in the world.

Both cities have a long history of supporting the LGBT+ communities and their rights, and they are also very family friendly.

In addition, both cities have plenty of activities for tourists to enjoy. Let’s take a closer look at how inclusive each city is.

Amsterdam:

When it comes to inclusivity, Amsterdam is one of the most welcoming cities in the world. The city has a long history of supporting the LGBT+ community and their rights, and there are plenty of activities for tourists to enjoy.

Amsterdam is affordable for families and has plenty of activities for everyone from young to old.

Amsterdam is also well known for its tolerance towards drugs (coffee shops don’t sell coffee, head to a cafe if you want a coffee) and the red light district.

A tour of the red light district is well worth it to hear about the history behind the area. Did you know there is a day care center in the red light district?

Copenhagen:

Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is known for being very inclusive of the LGBT+ community.

The city has a number of parks and gardens that are perfect for spending time with family, as well as a number of nightlife options for those who want to let loose.

Copenhagen is also one of the cleanest and most efficient cities in Europe, making it an excellent choice for those who want to experience all that the continent has to offer.

Some of the most popular attractions include Tivoli Gardens and a trip to Legoland in Denmark.

Wrap Up: Which city to Visit: Amsterdam or Copenhagen?

So, which city should you visit – Amsterdam or Copenhagen? Both cities have a lot to offer tourists, but in different ways.

Amsterdam is perfect for those who want to experience the city’s history and culture, as well as its nightlife.

Copenhagen, on the other hand, is great for families due to its many parks and gardens, as well as its cleanliness and efficiency.

No matter what you’re looking for in a city break, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are sure to have something for everyone.

FAQs: Amsterdam vs Copenhagen

Which is better Amsterdam or Copenhagen?

It really depends on what you are looking for when visiting a city.
Amsterdam is perfect for those who want to experience the city’s history and culture, as well as its nightlife.
Copenhagen, on the other hand, is great for families due to its many parks and gardens, as well as its cleanliness and efficiency.

Is Amsterdam or Copenhagen cheaper?

It really depends on what you are looking for when visiting a city.
Amsterdam is affordable for families and has plenty of activities for everyone from young to old.
Copenhagen however is quite expensive but it can be done of budget if you are happy to eat from the markets and stay in a 3 star hotel rather than a 5 star hotel.

Is Copenhagen colder than Amsterdam?

Copenhagen is colder than Amsterdam.
Amsterdam sees more rainy days than Copenhagen and Copenhagen has more snow than Amsterdam.
Amsterdam has warmer summers but they days can be grey.
Copenhagen has warm summers but the nights are very cold.

Fiona xoxo

Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro:

Flights: To find the best flights I always search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. For even cheaper flights, fly mid week and pack in a carry on!

Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.

If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link

Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.

Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.

Train Travel: If you are planning on taking the train in Europe, I cannot recommend the Eurail enough! Check out The Ultimate Guide to the Eurail Pass to find out why

Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!

Luggage Storage: Some times when we are travelling our check in and check out times don’t match with our departure times so we have to put our luggage into storage. Stasher Luggage Storage is the biggest Luggage Storage Network across the UK, France and Germany

Here are my favourite travel resources for planning travel like a pro:

Flights: To find the best flights I always search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. For even cheaper flights, fly mid week and pack in a carry on!

Accommodation: I always use booking.com (I love their price match and flexible cancellation policies) or Airbnb (if I want a little more space) to book trip. If you prefer hostels, I suggest Hostelworld.

If you are new to Airbnb you can get an awesome discount using this link

Travel Insurance: After a few hairy moments on my travels, I ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. It may seem like a big cost now, but if the worst happens, it will save you a lot of money and heartache. I personally use World Nomads (and love them!), but I recommend that you do some research to find the insurance company that suits your needs.

Tours: While I prefer to travel independently, I do love doing some tours once I’m in a destination. It is a great way to find out history, hidden gems, taste local food and get a local insight into your destination. I always use Viator to book my tours.

Train Travel: If you are planning on taking the train in Europe, I cannot recommend the Eurail enough! Check out The Ultimate Guide to the Eurail Pass to find out why

Car Hire: Planning an epic road trip across the US or through Europe, or anywhere! Check out Europcar, they are my go to for car hire all over the world!

Luggage Storage: Some times when we are travelling our check in and check out times don’t match with our departure times so we have to put our luggage into storage. Stasher Luggage Storage is the biggest Luggage Storage Network across the UK, France and Germany

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