A short while back Iban whisked me away for a weekend, I had no idea where we were heading until we reached the airport gate. Copenhagen was the destination! We flew out Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening, in hindsight we would recommend 3 days 2 nights, though it is completely possible to do this city over a weekend.
Below are our top 10 favourites from the whole visit, it’s a really cool, stylish city, with plenty to see and do. The beer is awesome, the girls are stunning, the guys are hot… So prepare for that and prepare to splash some cash… It’s pretty expensive.
What to do!?
1. Explore the insta classic Nyhavn – the iconic tourist picture of Copenhagen, lots of colourful buildings running down a strip next to the marina. Some really nice places to choose from for lunch and drinking spots, quite a few underground bars too. We would recommend that you have a wonder before choosing where to go, we based our choice on which place had the most people speaking Danish sitting outside… It worked out well!
2. Take a stroll down Stroget – the worlds longest pedestrian street for those pub quiz fans! Loads of really nice fashion and home-wear stores, both big chains and independents. There was so much we wanted to take home! Our favourite part of Stroget was finding some awesome pubs, look for the ones that are really old on the outside. Sorry in advance… here is our favourite though we cannot remember the name! We just remember that you will see a dark wooden door and thick curtain at the entrance that you have to open… good luck!
3. Find the little mermaid! This little beauty, and we mean little, was the inspiration behind Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale and Disney’s classic… The Little Mermaid… Now we see why the film is called this! It’s a bit like the Mona Lisa moment… A complete let down though good to say you have seen it.
4. Go windmill spotting at Kastellet – A really nice place for just wondering. There are lots of things to see here including statues, a windmill, army barracks, a castle and moat. We found it strange that it changes from a very industrial area to this quite suddenly. The castle is really cool and one of the best preserved fortresses in Europe. It’s a perfect place for a chilled, romantic walk or even for a run around its pentagonal-shaped park.
5. Eat amazing food at Norrebro Bryghus – 100% we recommend this place to eat and to also checkout the surrounding area. Norrebro is the equivalent of London’s Shoreditch, hipster vibes, coffee shops, candlelit cocktail bars… A great place for spending the night out. This particular restaurant, Bryghus, is one of Copenhagen’s best and one that we will certainly remember. There’s a brewery inside, the place is spilt on two floors, the bottom is really casual, live jazz, craft beers (so many of them!) with crazy %’s of alcohol! We settled for the 9.3% bad boy! The top floor, an incredible restaurant. The food was some of the best we have ever had, very organic and locally sourced, the creation of each dish is explained to you before you tuck in. Definitely head to this joint!
6. Breakfast time! – We found that Danish food is generally pretty healthy, though they can also satisfy a pair of sweet-toothed guys for breakfast. There was a lovely surprise awaiting when we discovered a very inviting patisserie just round the corner from our hotel. Those muffins were loaded with tasty chocolate and we could choose from so many options! It took us a few minutes to make our minds up… Don’t forget to try the flatbread sandwiches!
7. Tackle a huge beer – It took Iban almost a year to get used to the size of the pints in England as in Catalunya the beers are usually 330ml, though the real challenge was awaiting him in Copenhagen: 1 litre! After few hours exploring the city it was time for a refreshment and we found the best pub for it in Stroget. This old, stylish brown caffe (the Danish equivalent of our pubs) has a pretty decent selection of beers served in massive glasses. Ivan did well with the challenge, we had a couple of rounds in the end! (Again, sorry about the name, lesson learnt ready for our next post)!
8. Climb the round Tower – one of Copenhagen’s landmarks and a very nice building architecturally. You will find a queue of tourists wanting to climb the 300+ stairs to get to the top and discover a great view of the city. We bumped into the tower just after leaving the brown caffe, so we sensibly decided that it wasn’t a good idea to climb a circular staircase after having had nearly 2 litres of beer!
9. On your bike! – If you think of a bicycle only city, you would probably think of Amsterdam. Well, the Danish capital has as many bikes as the Dutch. Quiet streets with low traffic makes cycling the best way to commute and explore the city. The public cycle scheme is a great option, the bikes come with a tablet on the handle bar so you can check the best way to get to your destination or read tourist information on the landmarks around you. We saw a lot of places where you can rent a bike too… or borrow one! Most of the bikes on the street didn’t have a padlock or chain on them! This was a refreshing sign of the low crime levels in Nordic countries, pretty unbelievable and very different to London.
10. Visit an extreme hipsterville in Christiania – hippie central! This strange community is a ‘city without laws’, the people live outside of any Danish or European regulations. This decadent, utopian place has a dark side and it is the main crowd puller. Christiania has a market where you can buy marijuana or cannabis from military style huts, run by fully masked mysterious people. We can’t really describe how abstract this place is, picture Russian mafia style gangs ruling the roost, all wearing balaclavas and constantly watching your every move, even from high up in the buildings. On one hand you feel that you have walked right into a death trap, on the other hand it is actually completely fine and a fascinating place. We managed to take some pics for you, though we advise to follow the three rules: don’t run, no photos and no phones.
Let us know what took your fancy in this city, was there anything you can’t believe we missed? P.S dependant on when you go, be sure to wrap up warm!
See you soon,
Shay & Iban 👬 🇩🇰