HOT DAMN – this place is incredible. When can I go back?
We knew we were going to love Copenhagen before we even booked the flights (more on that process here, if you fancy a helping hand in booking your next city break). Everyone who had visited had tipped it as one of their favourite destinations and predicted that it would be right up our street – and boy, were they right. It was CRACKING. It’s got a ‘grand’ feeling like Stockholm with a waterfront and big open roads. The cute side streets of Amsterdam. Culinary stops to rival Madrid (one of my favourite places for food in the world), and some of the best shopping, museums and historical buildings I’ve seen. Great museums, great food and a gem of a vintage shop around every corner? It was a winner for sure.
Of course as always, the trip was made all the better for your recommendations and so to say thank you, here’s my collation of the best tip-offs, should you be lucky enough to ever find yourself in that part of the globe. Here’s the T.A.E guide to Copenhagen…
How To Get Around
We managed to find some cracking flights via good ol’ London Gatwick via Norwegian Air which took around 90 minutes each way (HELLO FREE IN-FLIGHT WI-FI!). Mark and I have just discovered the wonder of the paying the extra £5 to stay in the short-stay car park at Gatwick, which means that you don’t have to wait for a bus to take you back to your car when you return; instead it took us an hour from the time our flight landed to when we got home and it blew our minds.
Copenhagen doesn’t have Uber, but taxis are easy enough to find and in our experience the hotel and restaurants were more than happy to book them for us. We opted for taxi transfers from the airport to our hotel as we landed late and left early and each ride cost us the equivalent of around £35. Once we were there we found ourselves doing a lot of walking, but I’d recommend downloading the CityMapper app as always, as the buses are really the fastest way to get around, unless you fancy braving the bike lanes. Once we switched to using the bus we were able to fit so much more sight-seeing in and didn’t feel so knackered come the end of the day.
After weighing up the airbnbs available and searching for hotel reviews, we booked in to SP34 as there wasn’t that much difference price-wise between the two. Not only was the room Instagram gold, it was quiet, warm, clean, centrally located and had a free wine hour everyday in the lobby between 5-6pm. FREE WINE. I know. I highly, highly recommend it.
Where To Eat
We had the hotel’s breakfast buffet every morning, so we didn’t use any of these recommendations but they were all ones that cropped up time and time again. Ipsen & Co apparently do the best avocado and toast in the city, Mad & Kaffe operate a mezze-style brunch sharing platter which we had for lunch one day and was LUSH, Andersen & Maillard is the place to grab an almond croissant from and Grød is a café that specialises in all kinds of porridge. Brus looked like a cool spot and did all kinds of food, from brunch to dinner.
Lunch is always a tough one when you’re on a city break as the chances are that you’ve had a hefty breakfast and have a dinner planned and so just need to some sustenance to keep you going. We found the Torvehallerne food market to be a good option; slap bang in the centre of town and with lots of traditional foods to try. Atelier September and Cafe Dyrehaven came highly recommended too
Being home to what is dubbed the best restaurant in the word – Noma, which from what I’ve seen can cost up to £1000 for a two person meal – the offshoots created by ex-employees and chefs are pretty outstanding, but are very oversubscribed. So my advice would be to book most of your dinners for when you’re there as all the good spots in town can get extremely busy. We booked into Høst which was wonderful. Not the cheapest meal we’ve ever had (but we did opt-in for the wine pairing), but every single dish from the tasting menu we had was memorable and delicious. We booked into BÆST too and thoroughly enjoyed their in-house made cheese selection. The meat-packing district is home to some top recommendations too; like Mother (great pizza!), Kul (apparently one of the best in the area) and Warpigs (good for beer and BBQ food – we went there on our final night).
Where To Explore
The museums and exhibitions here are really one of the main drawers and we found each one to be really reasonably priced. Highlights included the Danish Design Museum (the chair room is WONDERFUL!), The Cisterns (a little out of the way, but easy to access on the bus and it was SO COOL) and Glyptoteket (probably my favourite of them all). Other places of interest include the Amalienborg Palace, the home to the royal family, Rosenborg Castle, a renaissance castle and gardens and Rundetaarn, you get a great view from the top – we managed to see all of these just wandering around and walking from our hotel to the Design Museum. EVERYONE said to visit Tivoli Gardens and we did, although I’d recommend going when it’s dark to really get the atmosphere.
All these recommendations, along with the food and shopping suggestions above and below break themselves down into three main areas: Vestebro on the west of the city (sometimes referred to as the Meatpacking District), Nørrebro on the north west and Indre By which is the centre of town. I’ve added them all to a Google map here so you can see where everything is. We found that this broke down pretty well into our three day and four night trip, but if you did have an extra day there or fancied a trip out of the city then I had approximately 4657 recommendations to visit the Louisiana Museum, a modern art museum which is about an hours train ride from the centre of Copenhagen. If we were to revisit, we would 100% factor that in.
Where To Shop
Ahhh – the shopping. This is very rarely a beefy section of my city guide, but the shopping in Copenhagen is unreal. Write a list and ensure you have some spare space in your luggage, because you can bet your bottom krone that you’ll find a clothing item (or four) that’s destined to come home with you. In terms of chain stores I’d recommend popping your head into Norse Projects (great for both womenswear and menswear), Ganni (there is a Ganni outlet too), Stine Goya and Mads Nørgaard. Adelié and Mr Larkin were well worth a wander off the beaten path and Passage 21 and Time’s Up were both great vintage stops (from the latter I picked up a vintage Celiné silk shirt from the seventies!). Mark really loved Native North and Wood Wood.
Homewear and jewellery shops are abundant and if you see one that tickles your pickle from the outside, then it’s worth taking a look inside too. HAY House is a solid choice, although we loved the stationery from Cinnober. Illum is the large department store in town and it’s worth a wander around. We just needed to use the loos, but it’s a stunning building absolutely crammed with some top-notch shopping. See? I told you. The shopping is goooood.
Photos by Mark, taken on a Canon EOS 33
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