Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, has it all. The city is beautiful, edgy, historic and organized. I visited with a friend from London, and we were lucky enough to each have a friend living there. I think the best types of trips are the ones where you get a sense of the history (you know, a tourist attraction or two) as well as a feel for how the locals live.
We started our two day tour in at a cafe called Mokkariet in trendy Nørrebro, just around the corner from our one bed Airbnb. Effortlessly cool, the cafe had plenty of seating inside and outside, as well as a wall of tiered seating to give you a great view of the place. We had a vegetarian Smørrebrød, the famous open-faced sandwich.
Next we stumbled in to Torvehallerne, a gorgeous market, looking for a glass of wine. Here they sell everything from meat and fish to vegetables and wine. Many stalls are also small restaurants, and the doors of the market slide open so you can eat outside. It was an amazing welcome on a sunny day!
Then we happened upon a great view at the top of an old tower, Rundetaarn. It’s right in the shopping district, and has a spiral ramp that takes you all the way to the top. Tickets are 25 DKK and the 360 degree view at 34m up is worth it!
Later we met a friend for gin and tonics at The Bird & The Churchkey, followed by an overwhelming street food experience at Paper Island, formally known as Copenhagen Street Food. Another food market, this one has the feel of an artisan Oktoberfest with people milling everywhere, drinking and standing in lines. If you see a table make sure someone holds it, then rotate to get your food. It’s tough to walk through on a busy evening, but definitely worth a visit! Note: There is talk of Paper Island’s food market closing down in 2017 to make way for redevelopment. Get there as quick as you can!
We took our host’s recommendation to have Sunday brunch at Cafe 22. We didn’t realise how perfect a spot it was until we arrived at 11am to find small tables along both sides of the street. One half lined the lake, glistening in the sun. They offer an all day brunch buffet for 115DKK.
On our Sunday afternoon we did as the locals do. We rented bikes to zip around town and see a few of the highlights. A lot of the bike shops are closed on Sundays, but Copenhagen Bikes ApS was able to sort us out until 4pm!
We cycled through the city towards Christiansborg, home to Christiansborg Palace, which has been long occupied by the Danish government. I think my friend was more excited to be walking on to the set of her favourite Scandi-drama, Borgen.
We visited the Royal Reception Rooms (90DKK) where I nearly died of excitement in the Queen’s Library, but you can also get a ticket that includes the Ruins, Stables, and Kitchen for 150DKK.
Whatever you do, go up the tower. It’s free! And it’s the highest view you’ll get in the city.
We made a quick wine stop at Christianshavns Bådudlejning & Cafe, a canal boat serving food and drinks. I’d recommend allowing time to sit here on a sunny day.
On the way to dinner we wandered through Christiania, an autonomous anarchist district of the city, where there is (semi-controversial) open sale of drugs. It was a former military barracks that people started squatting in after the military moved out in the early 1970s. You’re not supposed to snap photos in the area, so if you’re curious you’ll have to check it out for yourself!
Our treat for the weekend was dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant, 108. It’s located at the end of the Inderhavnsbroen bridge, and is an amazing example of modern Nordic food. There were things on the menu that I wouldn’t normally like, but they managed to make even the most skeptical eater enjoy it!
The last day of our long weekend started with breakfast on trendy Jaegersborggade in Nørrebro. Unfortunately we got there too early on Monday morning for any of the shops or galleries to be open, but we found a cute cafe for pastries and coffee.
From there we wandered through the famous Assistens Cemetery, the resting place of many well-known Danish figures including storyteller Hans Christian Anderson. Continuing through the centre we made our way towards the spectacular Rosenborg Castle.
And then it was home time! Make sure you take the Copenhagen Metro to get in and out of the city. The airport stop is called Lufthavnen and it’s an 18 minute journey into Nørreport station. Tickets are only 16DKK, the equivalent of 2.15 EUR.
Enjoy your trip!