I visited Copenhogen once before, only for six days though so that doesn’t really count. This trip with VisitDenmark was more than welcome. And boy o boy it was good. Because let’s face it, everything is nicer in Scandinavia. The people, the clothing, the design, everything is right. This goes for the whole of Scandivia, but specifically Copenhagen.
The city is a great mix of history and modernization. The old Nyhavn and the royal palaces form a beautiful contrast with the glass buildings and the architectural innovations. Because besides besides beautiful, the Danes are very innovative when it comes to architecture. They use river water to cool buildings and are building a glass parking garage under water. Parking with the fishes, how cool is that!
WHERE TO STAY?
I stayed at the Generator hostel. When I heard it was a hostel I was a bit hesitant. I’m not one for sleeping in bunk beds with 7 other people in my room. Luckily, this hostel was perfect. The location in the middle of the city centre, just a few steps away from Nyhavn and some great bars, is great. The 100 rooms range from 10 bunk rooms to rooms for 2. Almost all of them have a private bathroom and the breakfast is not to bad either. And more important, the bar is way too cool. There is an actual petanque area laid out on the roof terrace. Reason enough for a visit, I’d say.
WHAT TO DO?
Rent a bike
Copenhagen is –like Amsterdam- known for its bike culture. It makes sense that the best way to explore the city is by bike. The best thing is that they make it so easy. Massive bike lanes (or highways) and super convenient racks to hold on to while waiting for the lights to turn green. Awesome!
Like I said, everything is prettier in Scandinavia and they have there amazing sense of style to blame. So skip the big European chain stores and go visit Filippa K (big favorite), Acne, WoodWood, Cos and Tiger of Sweden (best jeans ever). Don’t forget to stop by Magasin du Nord. All the Danish perfection under one roof. And if you’re more into design Copenhagen’s got you covered. Go to Hay and then cross the street to visit Royal Copenhagen for the most expensive porcelain I’ve ever seen.
WHERE TO GO
Almanak in The Standard
This place deserves more than a few words, so I’ve devoted an entire article to it (here). For now I’ll tell you the food is amazing. Oh, and the owner also started Noma, which just happens to be the best restaurant in the world…
Nørrebro lies in the north-east part of the city. The neighborhood used to be known for it’s high levels of crime, but recently had a real make-over. Now known for it’s multicultural vibe, it is home to many artists, students and great coffee bars. A must visit.
Danish Smørrebrød and sushi had a baby and then this happened: Smushi. Tasty dishes, small enough to try them all, but big enough to share. If this is not convincing enough, Royal Smushi offers a massive range of teas, from green rhubarb to black H.C.Andersen (which tastes surprisingly good;) and everything in between. The restaurant is based in the same building as Royal Copenhagen en uses the same classic porcelain. And the rest of their interior is as special as the concept itself.
Gran Torino or any other Madklubben restaurant
Copenhagen, and Scandinavia in general, is anything but cheap. Especially when it comes to food. Living in the city and experiencing this on a daily base, the guys from Madklubben came up with a concept. A really nice meal for a really nice price. You pay around €10,- per serving, which is very decent for Danish standards. In the past few years the Madkubben guys have opened 9 restaurants throughout the city and the great thing is that they are all very different. I’ve had dinner at there Italian place (Gran Torino), but you can choose from sushi, French, steaks and traditional Scandinavian. One tip: Order the truffle pizza. Just sayin…
I arrived early on a Thursday and still had some work to do. But where… A little online search brought me to Paludan. A café based in a bookstore, just a second away from the university. Perfect, because I’m not the only one staring at my screen. A lovely coffee and a giant tuna sandwich helped me finish up fast and enjoy the city.
The reason is easy. It reminds me of New York, so it must be good. This part of Copenhagen lies behind the Central Station around the corner of the Red light district. It is literally the place where the butchers are, but you’ll also come across the nicest bars, clubs and restaurants. I’ve had cocktails at Mesteren & Laeringen and danced the night away at KB3.
Visited Copenhagen before? No? When are you leaving?!