So, you've got the weekend in Copenhagen. 48 hours to swoop in, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells this Danish capital has to offer, and then you're away again. What do you? Well, never fear, because I've written this little guide to the speedy version of enjoying this chilled out and slow-paced city.
I am hosting my very first Airbnb-ers this weekend, and they have asked me for some suggestions for fun things to do. So I figured, hey, why not write a blog post about it as well?!
Let's pretend you arrive on the dot of 10am Saturday morning, or else emerge from your swanky hotel all bright eyed and ready for the days' delights. The last thing you want to do is laze about indoors for 2 hours eating and drinking coffee. I suggest you grab a to-go filter coffee or a latte and a couple of delicious pastries from Lagkagehuset and have a brisk walk through Copenhagen. Walk by the Rådhuspladsen just off H.C Andersen boulevard, walk down Strøget, the large, slightly tacky tourist street, and head towards Ny Havn.
(It's pronounced new hawn) and it is the delightful, postcard pretty district that sums up old Copenhagen in every sense. Sit on the waterside, imagine yourself living aboard one of the ships docked nearby, and take lots of pictures. This is the prettiest place in the city.
The Little Mermaid/Den Lille Havfrue
Langelinie, 2100 København Ø
The Little Mermaid is probably the most over-rated tourist destination in Europe, but you're going to go anyway, so you may as well get it over with early in the day. I'm just kidding, she's sweet and I had a tear in my eye the first time I visited (I'm a sucker for fairy tales), but she is absolutely tiny, and there are usually hoardes of tourists there.
A mere 20 minute walk from Ny Havn, you get to see the harbour, maybe a docked military vessel or two, and one of the most iconic statues in the world. Worth a visit.
designmuseum.dk/ | Bredgade 68, 1260 København | Opening hours: 11:00-17:00 Tue-Sun, Wed until 21:00 (closed Mon)
The design museum is amazing, we went on a school trip last year and I really loved it. Great for a thoroughly systematic introduction to the world of 'Danish Design'. Trust me, you want to be in the know.
lele.dk | Vesterbrogade 40 1620 København V
After all that, and only a pastry in your tummy, you'll want lunch, so I suggest LêLê nhàhàng for delicious Vietnamese food. They offer fresh and tasty food, in a lovely atmosphere, and cool cocktails. A word of warning, it is pricey, but hey, you're on holidays, right?
biomio.dk/ | Halmtorvet 19, 1700 København V
If you don't mind walking/getting a taxi for your lunch, Biomio is a bio (organic) restaurant a little bit past the city centre in Vestebro. I lived in the same complex as one of the chefs last year. It's reviwed very well, although I've never been there. The food is wholesome and filling, but the prices are truly 'Copenhagen', so it's up to yourself, really.
The Round Tower
http://www.rundetaarn.dk/en/the-tower/ | Købmagergade 52A
After all that food, a stroll through the centre of town once again to the Round Tower is a nice way to see the whole of the city, and maybe watch the sun set, depending on the time of year. It only costs 25 dk to get in and there's usually a nice exhibition inside, too. In spring/summer they're open until 20:00.
Dinner, Drinks, and Whatever you Like
My advice to you after this is to head to Nørrebro. As evening approaches and you want a cool night out, stay far away from the tacky nightclubs and rip-off bars around Gothersgade. You will not leave there happy. Instead, walk across the bridge to Nørrebro and do like all the cool Copenhageners do.
For a cheap bite head to one of the many kebab restaurants. There's a place hilariously named Kebabistan that I have never tried, but it's supposed to be good. Really, I would recommend just strolling around until you find somewhere that takes your fancy.
The key to fitting in here is to look as if you've made absolutely no effort. Don't fret about 'dressing up' for a night out. Wear runners (New Balance will do the job), tie your hair in a top knot if you're a lady, skinny jeans, black tshirt, just keep it super casual.
Head to Jaegersborggade and find somewhere cool, dark and understated. Alcohol is quite expensive, so it's best to either buy some cans of Tuborg like the locals do and drink them on the way, or head to a cheap Bodega. After, you'll probably want another falafel.
There's only one place I suggest for a massive breakfast/brunch on a Sunday morning, and that is Paludan Bogcafe. It's so ridiculously reasonably priced, has massive portions, and the coffee is great. Get a smoothie too, go on, you've earned it.
Vesterbrogade 3 | Opening times vary
Tivoli only opens in late Spring, but if you do happen to be here when it's open, it's a must-see. It's a quintessentially Danish spectacle, with sweet fairground rides, arcades and music shows. A great place to while away an afternoon. Grab some food from a stall and keep the energy going with some candy floss or sugary treat.
Kongens Nytorv 13, 1095 København | Open daily 10.00–20.00
I absolutely love this department store, from which you can hop straight onto the Metro at Kongens Nytorv. It honestly is everything you could ever want from a department store, high end fashion, cheap and modern designers, a homewares section to die for, a trendy cafe downstairs, a Myers Bageri (set up by one of the Noma founders), and even a supermarket for foreign delicacies or high end local produce. I browse there constantly, and I'm not a gal that is known to spend hours in shops (unless they're supermarkets, I inherited that habit from my dad).
The best part of it is, as a foreigner you get a 10% discount on absolutely everything! Just show a passport or drivers license! I would suggest sticking this at the end of your trip, spend an hour or so browsing, grab a delicious hot chocolate downstairs (and maybe a couple of Meyers pastries, for the trip, ya know) and then head off to the airport on the Metro, which will take all of 15 minutes.
Copenhagen's airport is really nice. Wander around the fancy shops, get one of the most expensive Starbucks in the western world, and grab a cheeky hotdog and Coke before the flight. A delightful end to a lovely weekend in the most hyggelig city on earth.
Vi ses i København!