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Is Copenhagen Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Is Copenhagen Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is one of the most popular cities in Europe with tourists. Over 10 million people visit the capital each year, eager to check out the beautiful architecture, rich history, and vibrant modern culture.

Popular landmarks include the colorful harbor neighborhood of Nyhavn, the imposing Amalienborg or Queens’ Residence (still the home of the Danish royal family), and the historic Rosenborg Castle.

Children and children at heart will enjoy the world-famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park and the statue of the Little Mermaid.

Young people visit Copenhagen for the world-famous design, shopping, nightlife, and bohemian areas such as Christiania. It sometimes feels like a fairy tale city thanks to its beautiful facades.

However, it is still a real city with the same challenges many big cities around the world face, including potential safety risks. But don’t worry — our travel experts have done the hard work for you.

If you want to visit the city but are worried about traveling to a new city, keep reading this guide to learn about safety precautions you can take to keep yourself safe.

Is Copenhagen Safe to Visit in 2024?

People mulling about in the open-air marketplace of the Nyhavn port in the central part of the city for a guide titled Is Copenhagen Safe to Visit

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, AUGUST 21, 2016: View of old Nyhavn port in the central Copenhagen, Denmark/Trabantos/Shutterstock

Yes. You don’t have to worry about your safety when visiting Copenhagen because it is actually one of the safest cities in Europe!

It is clean, well-maintained, and extremely pleasant for visitors and locals. Although there is some crime, crime rates are low and crime offenses are mostly petty in nature.

Copenhagen is not just one of the safest cities in Europe, but it is one of the safest cities in the world. According to the Safe Cities Index from The Economist (published in 2021), it’s actually the safest city in the world!

The ranking used a few different factors, including digital security, infrastructure, personal safety, public health, and environmental health to rank cities.

Copenhagen scored extremely high on all of the factors, making it deservedly one of the safest cities in the world. It is also one of the best places to live in the world. Of course, even the safest city in the world still has some challenges.

The UK government warns about the risk of some crime in its travel advisory for UK citizens traveling to Denmark. Luckily, most of those crimes are petty in nature and won’t affect your physical safety, just your pride and your wallet.

The most common crimes affecting visitors in Copenhagen include:

  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Theft of unattended items
  • Scams
  • Drug abuse

As long as you exercise basic precautions when walking around Copenhagen, especially in areas that are prone to theft, you should have a great time in the city. However, there have still been some acts of terrorism and mass violence.

In 2015, two terrorist attacks targeted controversial artists and a Jewish community leader. In July 2022, the city was rocked by a mass shooting in a popular shopping center, when a Danish gunman killed several people.

These acts can happen again, and you can take precautions when in crowded areas or places that are potential targets by keeping an eye out for exits and trusting your instincts regarding suspicious behavior.

However, such incidents are extremely rare in Copenhagen, which is why they shocked the Danish public so much when they happened.

Natural disasters are rare. The city has been the victim of floods in the past, for example in 2011, but they are not very common. Winters do get very cold, so prepare accordingly!

Crime in Copenhagen

For a guide to whether nor not it's safe to visit Copenhagen, a photo of the food tents and stands at the Reffen Market pictured on a busy and clear-sky day

Copenhagen. Denmark. July 25, 2019. Various beautiful street food cafes. Reffen is a city square and street food market/Vatolstikoff/Shutterstock

Crime is probably your primary concern when visiting Copenhagen. Although the crime rate is not very high, it is still present. You probably won’t be the victim of a violent crime, but crime can ruin your vacation.

In 2021, the greater metro area reported 75,575 total criminal offenses. The overall population was 1,359,000 that year. That means that the crime rate overall was 5,561 incidents per 100,000 people, a low to moderate rate for a big city.

The crime rate has risen slightly since 2021. However, this is because COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in 2021, creating more opportunities for crime. Crime is still lower than it was during the peak of 2016.

Most residents and visitors of Copenhagen feel safe in the city. According to Numbeo, the city scores a 25.69 out of 100 on the crime index, which is a low value.

Although 55% of survey respondents report concern that crime is rising over the past few years, they still report low levels of crime for most offenses.

What’s interesting is that people feel safe walking during the day and at night. Most offenses in the city are petty in nature.

The most common crimes people worry about are petty offenses such as drug abuse, vandalism, and non-violent theft. These are also the crimes that you are most likely to witness or experience during your visit.

Copenhagen does experience some violent crime. For example, the rate of gun deaths in the city is 1.28 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Although violent incidents do occur, they are fairly rare, especially for a capital city of this size. Most violent crimes are connected to gang violence or interpersonal disputes, not random acts of violence.

They also tend to occur in neighborhoods where tourists rarely venture, meaning that your likelihood of witnessing or experiencing violent crime is very low.

As you can see from the crime statistics, although Copenhagen does experience some crime, it is hardly a dangerous city. As long as you take some precautions, you should have a very safe time in the city.

Petty Theft

As with any other city in the world, the city experiences a lot of petty theft. Most theft incidents are non-violent forms of pickpocketing and purse snatching.

Thieves take advantage of the security people feel in famously safe Copenhagen, which makes them let their guard down. The UK government mentions the risk of petty theft in its official travel advisory for Denmark.

It’s practically inevitable that any big city that experiences a lot of tourism will have some petty theft incidents. Although the government has done its best to limit theft, it cannot completely eliminate the problem.

Certain parts of the city are more prone to theft than others. Hotspots for theft include the central Norreport Station and public transportation, as the crowds provide good cover for thieves.

Be careful in places that receive a lot of tourists, such as Kastrup airport, tourist attractions such as Christiania and Nyhavn, and businesses that cater to tourists such as hotel lobbies.

Most thieves are hardly masters of crime. Instead, they rely on people’s distraction to do half of the work for them. Basic precautions are usually enough to deter most of the city’s thieves.

Make sure that you keep a firm grasp on your valuables wherever you go in Copenhagen, especially if you are in a crowded area such as getting on and off the train.

Put important items such as your wallet and phone in a place that a thief cannot easily access, such as a zipped compartment of your bag or inner jacket pocket. While you don’t need a money belt, make sure your bag is secure against theft.

Although Danish people tend to be kind and open, be careful of people that seem too eager to interact with you and get your attention. Thieves often work in groups and use distraction tactics to attack their marks.

Luggage theft can happen at the airport, on trains, and at the central station. Never leave your luggage unattended. If you are putting your things in a luggage rack, make sure that your bags are still within sight.

Bicycle Theft

Copenhagen is one of the cities with the best cycling infrastructures in the world. Even the royal family cycles to school in the middle of winter! One of the best ways to see the city is to rent a bicycle.

If you are staying longer, you’ll probably want to invest in a bike of your own. However, having a bike makes you vulnerable to one of the most common forms of theft in Copenhagen and that is bicycle theft.

The study abroad program DIS actually warns its international students about bicycle theft in Copenhagen in its safety information packet.

The best way to prevent bicycle theft is to always securely lock your bike. Make sure that you have a secure bike lock, and you always lock your bike to a sturdy, unmovable object, even if you are just leaving it for a few minutes.

Don’t use only a wheel lock as that is easy enough for thieves to take apart. If you are leaving your bike for a longer time, make sure that you lock it in a secure location.

Avoid crowded areas that are hubs for bike theft such as the major train and bus stations. Copenhagen has a few secure bike parking lots that you can choose as an option.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Police raid the anarchist town of Christiania with signs and police trucks all over to illustrate the bad parts of Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark – July 12 2019: Police raid in the free city of Christiania/Konstantin Tronin/Shutterstock

Like any big city, Copenhagen has a few areas that are unsafe. The anarchist autonomous commune of Christiania is a very popular tourist attraction thanks to its bohemian spirit and free culture.

However, in recent months, the district has had a problem with gangs taking over the marijuana trade and causing violent crimes. It is still safe for visitors but try to avoid visiting late at night.

Christiania also has strict rules for visitors to follow, such as no photography. Make sure to obey these rules as people have been assaulted by angry locals before. They are posted at the entrance to the district.

The neighborhood of Norrebro/Nordvest has seen a lot of gang violence over the past few months. In fact, the Copenhagen Police placed it under a special visitation zone. Visitors should avoid this area, especially at night.

Things to Consider

Here are a few additional tips for staying safe in Copenhagen:

  • Keep an open mind. Local attitudes are fairly open about things such as public drinking. You may see things that you are not used to seeing back home, especially if you are visiting Christiania, but most people are not dangerous, just living their lives.
  • Avoid areas around main stations. The areas around big public transportation hubs tend to be sketchy, especially at night. If you are not sure about where to avoid in Copenhagen’s center, this is a good guideline to follow.
  • Taxis are usually safe. Taxis in Copenhagen are very honest, and drivers will even turn off the meter if they get lost to avoid overcharging. Just make sure you are hailing a registered taxi, with numbers on display.
  • Obey cycling rules (even if you’re not a cyclist). Danes take cycling very seriously and get annoyed with visitors for slowing down their commutes. Stay out of the bike lanes if you are walking. If you are cycling, use hand signals to communicate with fellow cyclists.

Frequently Asked Questions

To show that Copenhagen is safe to visit, even at night, the well-lit Lille Langebro cycling bridge pictured over the city harbor


Here are a few other questions fellow travelers had about Copenhagen:

Is it safe to walk around Copenhagen at night?

Copenhagen is almost as safe at night as it is during the day. You can safely walk around at night! Just make sure to avoid certain neighborhoods such as Nordvest.

Are there any areas to avoid in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen has areas to avoid just like any big city. Norrebro is probably the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. You should also avoid some of the suburbs such as Albertslund.

Is four days in Copenhagen too much?

Four days in Copenhagen is not too much if you organize your visit properly. You may not have that many more sights to see, but you can use your time to take a day trip or take a leisurely stroll.

Is Copenhagen better than Stockholm?

Both Copenhagen and Stockholm are beautiful, very safe cities. However, Copenhagen is more popular with younger visitors thanks to its alternative culture and design.

Is Copenhagen very expensive?

Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe. You can try to save money by eating at cheaper restaurants and not shopping, but you will still need to set aside a lot of money to travel there.

So, Should You Travel to Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is the perfect place to visit, even if you are concerned about safety. The crime rate is very low, and the worst you will encounter is probably some pickpocketing.

So, with so much to see and do, and a very safe environment in most areas of the city, what are you waiting for — book your trip today to experience for yourself all that this lovely city has to offer!