Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, salty old queen of the sea.
That is what my Dad and I have sung each time that each of us visited Copenhagen, once together with the whole family for a few hours before a flight; I’ve since driven through and had two mini breaks of a mere 24 hours in this beautiful little city.
If like me you’re only on a short visit you’ll be glad the central part is quite small and easily walkable. But to make it a tad bit easier to navigate I’ve condensed this stunning city down to the best bits just for you.
Things to do/see
The little mermaid
Thought up by the genius that is Hans Christian Anderson and spread the world over in Disneys animated film. As you may or may not know my life long ambition is to become a mermaid. Not only is she iconic & a piece of art, she’s also surprisingly little. Okay, maybe the name gives it away but it surprises me every time.
Home to the crown jewels, stunning interiors and surrounded by the most beautiful gardens! Definitely on my must visit list.
You may even find a little hole in the wall to whisper through and be projected into the adjacent corner – child dreamhouse level achieved!
The round tower
Want the best view in Copenhagen?
‘course you do!
Twirl your way up the tower, along it’s smooth floors – no stairs, much incline – to the very top take a cheeky snap on the kissing seat and climb a small set of stairs to gain a stunning view of the city below you.
Starting in Nyhavn – the gorgeously over photographed multicoloured harbour – you jump on a boat either under their transparent roof or open to the elements at the back. Either or, you get a fabulous tour taking you round the outer islands of Copenhagen giving you fun tidbits of information. Refshaleøen is an island full of outdoor sports in the summer and papierøen is a foodie heaven with pop ups and street food markets held there regularly – definitely on the next to do list!
Weaving through the Amsterdam esque canals we came to the fun and the bustling Christianshavn, an area that is a little further out but by the looks of things it has lots of quirk and shops, cafes and restaurants to explore.
The architecture here is beautiful and as you wind round you’ll see lots of stunning church spires. I really have this thing for spires, and the spire on the stock exchange building caught my eye with its goofy-like dragons entangled tails forming the point.
A great way to get an overview of the city and decide where you’d like to home in on.
The sparkly signs are ever so enticing as Has Christian Andersson looks up at it. At Christmas it’s an absolute delight. Fire pits to huddle around; shops full of local trinkets, art and clothing; & the lights are a real highlight – pardon the pun!
During the rest of the year it’s still a great theme park and probably something to do if you’re staying for a little longer, but I personally love exploring a city more than going on rides.
Places to Eat
I’ve split this section for eases sake into fika or coffee and snack places & lunch and then dinner.
This chain is scattered throughout the city – Seriously delicious paninis, not as we know them anywhere else, in a sort of crumpty textured bread, beautifully fresh & delicious filling and those with cheese are just so sooo good, or should I say gouda?
However, if you’re a coffee buff, Just save yourself the bother. No crema, in my eyes no crema, no coffee.
Cafe Du Nord
Perched at the top of Magasin shopping mall you’ll find a little oasis of restaurants and cafes. If you can, grab a seat in the alcoved windows, snuggle down & watch the antlike people weaving their way below & see a few beautiful rooftops. Otherwise there are greatly comfortable wicker chairs, draped with reindeer hides. But their outlet on Storget is just as hyggelig to enjoy a real danish fika and again a good deal of people watching.
A fabulous chain that you’ll find throughout Copenhagen & the rest of Denmark I believe. Delicious cakes, pastries & sandwiches. Much to my pleasure the coffee is fantastic as well, but strong, so be warned. If you’re a chai latte drinker (then again who isn’t?! Am I right?), I suggest you order one, because they are just b-e-a-utiful here! What I’m basically saying is that they’re amazeballs & everything they serve is heavenly.
Situated on a grand shopping road, plenty of cafes, but This is the place to find authentic Danish baked goods & if you’re a bit short for time, or prefer a danish to enjoy whilst window shopping you can pop into their bakery, only a few doors down, stacked high in the windows are all manner of loaves and sweet treats are found beyond the glass counter. Definitely worth a visit for their super yummy cinnamon rolls and scrumptious chai lattes!
One my visit with Jo, Kathryn & Scott we went here for a delicious dinner, fabulous service & phenomenal drinks. The cocktail menu is thorough and the abr staff are happy to recommend a tipple for any palate whilst you await a table to become clear. It’s genuine Danish fare, beautiful people serving you and they are super kind & will explain anything, no matter how ridiculous your question/silly your interpretation of their Danish in Swedish!
Oh my! Wow. Portion sizes humongous, absolutely delicious food & typically Danish. You feel as though you’ve entered an old Danish cottage in this cosy little spot the lights are low hanging, the table cloths checked & the service super friendly.
I had the plank steak and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t finish it. Absolutely gargantuan in weight, smothered in garlic butter and a mountain of creamy mash won the battle, this time. They do tastings of their aquavit too. Certainly a “cultural experience” & amazing to try before and after food, they actually do taste different it’s not just ponces who say that – Oi! Don’t call me a ponce!
You can’t visit Copenhagen without traipsing down Støget, the longest pedestrian road in Europe. Plenty to choose from with food, high street, high end, souvenirs & trinkets. You can’t go far wrong here, plus its on the way to the ever beautiful Nyhavn, probably the most photographed buildings in Copenhagen.
If you prefer a little less hustle and bustle, a little more Danish chic this is perfect. Not only for shopping & fika-ing, but great for people watching – those Danes are ever so stylish! This is where you’ll spot Meyers & I highly recommend you stop by.
Where to stay
Danish people and customer service seems to be impeccable wherever you go, so I really couldn’t imagine anywhere being dreadful. I stayed at Mayfair hotel & Hotel Astoria. The Mayfair hotel is beautiful, attentive and amazing breakfast spread & not too pricey. Hotel Astoria is fabulous for service, very basic rooms, but perfectly situated – also who doesn’t love free wine during their happy hour & free tea or coffee in the morning! As they say it’s the little things!
Basically as I say Copenhagen is perfectly walkable, most hotels are situated around the train station which is a great base to drop your bags and go off & explore.
When I was talking to Luisa she said that Air bnb’s in Copenhagen are quite dreamy and scandi chic for a great price!
If you do go or have been and have any must do’s add them below as I’m sure to be back!
Now for my blogs first ever competition!
For all you lovely people that slog through my ramblings I’ve got a little competition. I’ve got codes for 20 GPSmyCity app for Any city of your choice! Essentially it is a tour guide in your phone. Tapping into your GPS and giving you information on famous sites, monuments and local gems, as if you were getting a private tour.
To be in with a chance of winning a free tour app from GPSmyCity, just fill in the rafflecopter below.