Eleven Fun Things to Do in Copenhagen
Eleven Fun Things to Do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a perfect city break destination…
Nowadays, Copenhagen is one of the most exciting cities in Europe; it is also one of the most prosperous, known for its rich history, innovative design and culinary achievements. I went to Copenhagen on a very impromptu trip back in August, and I am so glad that I did! The real standout was this city’s eclectic and charming mix of the old and the new: grand historical sights juxtaposed against sleek modern developments, interspersed with canals, cobbled streets and squares. Oh, and I must not forget some of the best food that I have ever had in Europe!
The old architecture of the city is very charming and a real feast for the eyes and for the camera: red bricks, copper spires, grand royal palaces, and vividly coloured houses lining the canals. And then there are impressive examples of contemporary Danish architecture, realised through minimalism and clean lines: the imposing 14-story Royal Danish Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse are the perfect examples.
Overall, Copenhagen is one the best choices for a European weekend city getaway. Regardless of the fact that Copenhagen is the second largest Scandinavian city, it is small enough to be fully explored within two or three days. Here are some highlights from my Copenhagen visit back in August.
1. Exploring the City on the Bicycle
So far, Copenhagen is the most bicycle-friendly city that I have visited – even more so than Amsterdam! – and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Danish capital on my orange bicycle! Separate lanes exist on nearly every road, which means that drivers and cyclists move about in perfect harmony. In addition, Copenhagen is spread out enough for bicycles to be the most efficient and convenient means to get around the city.
2. Having a night out at Tivoli
Tivoli is a large amusement park slap bang in the middle of city. It makes you wonder what urban developers were thinking when they lay down the plans! A slightly bizarre, but yet a brilliant idea that adds a playful atmosphere to the city center. Since I was a little girl, I have always been a fan of amusement parks: Disneylands, Six Flags, Ocean Parks, you name it! As soon as I found out that a place like Tivoli existed within a fifteen minute stroll from my hotel, I simply could not contain my overflowing excitement.
Rather than visiting Tivoli in the middle of the day, definitely make a night out of Tivoli! Make your way there after an early dinner; this charming park, with its countless amusement rides, carnival games, and live music transforms into something that little bit more magical with all the fairy lights and firework displays!
3. Spending an afternoon lunching and people watching at Nyhavn
Colourful Nyhavn is your typical postcard view of Copenhagen. This bustling late 17th century waterfront development lined with vibrantly painted houses and classy restaurants is a perfect spot for either a late al fresco lunch or for a beer whilst sitting by the quayside, especially in the summer. Nyhavn was initially a busy commercial port, where ships from all over the world would dock, and unload their goods. Many of the buildings are originals, which have been carefully restored.
4. Visiting Christiania for few hours’ of unforgettable and fascinating time
Christiania is perhaps Europe’s most unique neighbourhood: a self-governing society, independent of Copenhagen’s government,founded by hippies back in the early seventies. See my full post here.
5. Take in Copenhagen’s picturesque cityscape from the top of the Church of Our Saviour
Church of Our Saviour is a beautiful baroque church, most famous for its corkscrew spire with an open winding spiral staircase to the very top of the spire. If you climb to the very top of the spire, which is not particularly strenuous, you will be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views of Copenhagen. At the time when I was ascending the staircase, occasional sudden gusts of wind were so strong I thought that I would get blown away like a feather: a rush of adrenaline and an added element of fun!
6. Indulge your taste buds during one of the most unforgettable dinners of your life
As you might already know, Copenhagen is home to the World’s Number One restaurant Noma (according to San Pelegrino list of World’s Top 50 Restaurants), a spot that it has retained for several, albeit non-consecutive years. Noma is a pilgrimage destination to many a foodie, which of course implies that a reservation is practically impossible to come by… However, there are, of course, other top-notch places! I would highly recommend booking a table at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, a truly theatrical and charming dining experience. This beautiful restaurant is set in a former royal summer residence in the middle of a park, away from all the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen city centre.
7. Where to stay in Copenhagen: Guldsmeden Hotels
There are four wonderful and eco-friendly boutique hotels in Copenhagen run by the Danish company, Guldsmeden Hotels; for no particualr reason, I picked to stay at the one called Carlton Guldsmeden. Just a few things I love about any Guldsmeden Hotel: all are small and cosy; charming decor throughout: i loved my four-poster bed decorated with shells and a persian carpet in my living room area; always a warm welcome from the reception team; delicious organic buffet breakfasts perfect for kick-starting your day of exploring; organic, heavenly toiletries; great location, just a few minutes’ bicycle ride from the city centre; good price… And the whole ambience if the hotel was just so inexplicably Danish! So unless you are looking for a luxury hotel, definitely pick one of the Guldsmeden Hotels.
Where to Eat and Drink…
8. Best for Smørrebrød: Aamanns smørrebrødsdeli
You absolutely cannot leave Copenhagen without indulging in the famous Danish open rye-bread sandwiches at least once! You are only excused in case you are gluten-free… The toppings are very varied and come in all shapes and sizes: meat, fish, vegeterian concoctions; hot or cold; thick or thin… In any restaurant serving Smørrebrød you will be spoilt for choice! Aamanns smørrebrødsdeli is one of the best places in the city, albeit slightly off the beaten track, to sample this Danish phenomenon…
9. Best for Herring: Nyhavns Færgekro
If you are a fan of herring (which I totally am!), Nyhavns Færgekro is the perfect place for an al fresco lunch: the restaurant is situated along the colourful Nyhavns meaning that you can indulge in herring and people watch at the same time.. Nyhavns Færgekro is well known for its herring buffet serving herring cooked and marinated in a myriad different ways with all the necessary condiments. For a very reasonable price, you can eat as much as herring as you wish; trust me, it is very difficult to know when to stop…
10. Best Food Market: Torvehallerne
Torvehallerne is the place to while away your Sunday afternoon; it biggest food market in Copenhagen with over sixty individual stalls selling some of the top-notch food and drink that you can find the Danish capital. The market focuses on diversity- no two stalls are the same – and on the freshest seasonal produce available: here, you will find everything from the freshly caught fish to delicious freshly baked pastries, the best coffee of the city (The Coffee Collective) and a very charming champagne bar!
11. Best for “trendy” dinner: Kødbyens Fiskebar
Occupying a former factory in trendy, post-industrial Kødbyenneighbourhood, this trendy seafood restaurant serving stellar seafood is one of the best place to eat on the weekend, as it offers a glimpse of where all the cool locals like to socialise during the weekend.