Last month I finally jetted off to Copenhagen on a very last minute holiday and it’s safe to say that Denmark’s capital didn’t disappoint. Between getting lost (numerous times I might add), to seeing the classic sights and even enjoying the tastiest foods I was truly mesmerised by what a city I had landed in. Spending a short four days there I managed to fully pack them out, so much so I couldn’t actually walk come the evening. And I’m not exaggerating because Copenhagen is such a big city and, as is an often occurrence in such places, walking is the best way to see everything… Oh, and maybe a little boat trip or two!
So here is my mini guide to all things Scandinavian… Enjoy!
First things first it’s tackling the metro and bus links. I found them pretty easy to use having been to Barcelona last year and having to endure the London Underground every day and, after a few attempts, I found Copenhagen pretty easy to navigate your way around.
I used this journey planner to help plan my trips to and from each destination before I went, but when deciding to shake it up a little and attempt the bus (which confuse the hell out of me no matter the country) Google Maps came in real handy as it will easily point out which bus to get and even help you get to the right stop. But there are loads of apps you can download to use, too.
THINGS TO DO & SEE
Torvehallerne: A street food market in Copenhagen is a must and the one I ended up at was called Torvehallerne, which is right near the centre of the city. On one side is the sweet treats and mouth-watering pastries, as well as smoothies, chocolates and great coffee hubs. The other side is one for the meat lovers as it is where you can buy fish, meat and other main food delights. In between these two little buildings are flowers and fruit stalls, which were busy with the hustle and bustle of many tourists.
Tivoli Gardens: Sadly, after a very long-winded bus journey here I found out it was closed for Halloween set-up (tear face emoji), but totally plan on going back to experience this one day because it’s not worth missing. What’s the big deal? Well, it’s basically an amusement park and pleasure garden, as described by Google, and is basically an Instagram dream! Fun fact: the Tivoli Gardens actually inspired Walt Disney with California opening four years after his trip there in 1951.
The Little Mermaid: I actually saw this whilst on a boat trip (more of that in a mo) as I didn’t want to walk the long trip to see it, but it is worth a little visit. The statue is one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions and situated at Langelinie, a promenade and park also worth visiting. It really is just that though, a mermaid statue, but if you’re a history enthusiast it’s actually worth going to see and finding out more about (FYI: she had her head chopped off a couple of times, poor thing).
Boat Trip: A city break is surely not complete without either a walking, bike or boat tour, right? And with Copenhagen being a city of charming canals a boat trip was the best option, and what a great one it was. I went with Canel Tour Copenhagen and for an hours journey you get a detailed tour of new versus old, history mixed with contemporary and tales of the city that are actually really interesting… especially, for me, when it involves their Royal family.
Nyhavn: Of course this was going on my list. I was desperate to get down to this famous landmark and see it in person after trawling through Instagram wishing I was there. Buildings slot into place as if the city was built like a game of Tetris before being painted in autumnal colours of oranges, red and yellow, whilst the surroundings are layered with restaurants, boats and cobbled pathways. Nyhavn looks just as pretty in pictures as is does in real life and part of the trip meant I had to see it during the day and night, with both sets of scenes just as breathtaking and picturesque as each other.
Christiansborg Palace: I ventured to the palace as I wanted to head up the tower, which gives you a breathtaking view of the whole city. You do have to wait a little as the trip up there is long and slow one thanks to the tiny lifts, but it is worth it if you want to see the city in all its finery, even in the hammering winds and grey skies I experienced. You can also visit rooms inside the palace or take a bite at their restaurant if you can fit it in!
PLACES TO EAT
I googled everywhere I wanted to eat beforehand, just so I could find those perfect places at an affordable price. They do say that Denmark can be pricey when it comes to eating and drinking, which I did notice in a couple of places, but really it’s the same prices as in the UK for a meal or coffee. I also sent myself on a mission to try some real Danish food, but only managed to track down a Smørebrød, which is basically an “open sandwich”.
Gasoline Grill: Who knew a petrol station could also be a burger take-out? Well, I managed to somehow come across this little slice of heaven and knew it was worth a visit. Delicious, yes, but if you’re heading here just go all out because you won’t regret it, although your waistline might.
The Union Kitchen: I was hesitant to go here but it comes up on every food list when searching for places to eat, so it stayed on the list and MY GOODNESS am I glad it did! The breakfast is divine, as is the coffee (albeit I have decaf) and equally is the quirky interiors of dark walls and prints in frames. Making a trip is worthwhile no matter the meal as they serve top grub you’ll want to recreate at home.
Hooked: This cool little seafood bar is another dent on the old waistline, but another tasty must! Ok, it is a little away from the centre but if fish and chips with a little twist is needed then this is the place to go and, with added Instagram-worthy interiors, it’s a nice little hideaway to watch the city go by.
Mad & Kaffe: Head here for breakfast or a light lunch and you won’t be disappointed, and it was actually here I tried the Smørebrød (who knew baked almonds and avocado went together, huh). A hidden little gem that took some time to get to, yet one worth the trip not only for the price but the quality and hideaway feeling it presents itself with.
Gorm’s: Who can never say no to a pizza? Well, me and Gorm’s was a must for me. Every pizza is handmade to perfection and with the candlelight interiors making it a cosy nighttime retreat after a days walking you’ll easily say yes to dessert and another glass of wine. Tip: Try and book a table because they get seriously busy!
Wulff & Konstali: This was the perfect way to end my trip, but I was lucky to get a seat because this is one popular destination. The idea of this delectable place is you get a menu and tick off what you would like and with everything from pastries to eggs and classic yoghurt and museli the results are a tasty little breakfast platter.
All in all, I’m already itching to get back here (twice now I’ve come close to booking flights) to finish off the list, which includes Christianshavn and Amalienborg Palace. Going there soon? Let me know what’s on your to-do list…