I thought it was about time; post the Christmas madness and before the New Year, to give you my guide to Copenhagen. Funnily enough, I’ve already heard that 3 of my friends have booked to visit this wonderful city in the New Year. I’m hoping my array of pictures on my Instagram had a little something to do with it!
So, for anyone that doesn’t know, I recently visited Copenhagen with my boyfriend, in time for us to enjoy the Christmas markets and crisp weather, as well as giving me a perfect excuse to ask for endless amounts of cuddles in the cold. I must say, I think Copenhagen is one of the favourite cities that I’ve visited. It’s small enough to explore by foot, the people are so friendly, the buildings are beautiful, and of course I should mention, the shopping is pretty great too!
We arrived (after what was a pretty horrendous journey with the disruption of the snow in London) to a gorgeous hotel; ‘STK Petri’, situated in what we thought was the perfect location. Originally a department store, this hotel had a cool, laid back and warm feel, with great sized rooms and THE comfiest pillows and beds EVER! I must admit, we did often find it hard to wake up on a morning to get out and explore. Another plus point to this fabulous place was the breakfast included in our deal. It is one of the best breakfasts I have had in a European hotel; from fresh fruit, pancakes and waffles and build your own breakfast bowls, to fresh tea leaves and silk bags to make your own tea. There were also great options for a gluten and dairy free foodie like myself!
Things to do
Tivoli Gardens – an amusement park in central Copenhagen offering rides, beautiful lights, food stalls, ballet, and major concerts. I think it was particularly great at Christmas with all the lights and a ‘winter wonderland’ (but better) kind of atmosphere, however I’m sure its great in other months too!
Torvehallerne– GO GO GO! The best food market I have ever been too, and let me say, it’s not one of those markets you have to walk around and hold your nose as you go. Instead, it’s more of a food hall with pop eateries, both savoury and sweet. We ended up having dinner here two nights in a row, as there was just too much to choose from. Read on for more and to see some serious food porn!
Nyhavn– I call it the Notting Hill of Copenhagen; a long walkway of pastel coloured buildings, and a district of Copenhagen that feels authentic and quaint in comparison to the main part of the city. From here we took a boat tour which passed some of Copenhagen’s best sights and attractions. *TOP TIP- the main boat tour company (which is situated at the front of the canal as you walk towards Nyhavn itself) is double the price of the one advertised just around the corner + the tours are exactly the same! Save some pennies.
Vesterbro – a contrast to some of the other districts, less busy, where the streets begin to widen and you can tap into a Danish living vibe that manages to be laid-back yet sophisticated. We just took a walk, window shopped, explored (via maps on our phones) and ended up in a pretty cool bar for a late afternoon tipple and snack. The best thing about holidaying is to explore with no time constraints and see where you end up; in a bar is a perfect way to finish!
Shopping- head to the main shopping street named, Strøget, to find all the best shops, both Danish and international. Be sure to go up and down some of the side streets to find some other hidden gems. This ones for the ladies…my favourite clothes shop was a Danish brand named, ‘MOSS Copenhagen.’
Sonny- industrial style decor, perfectly instagrammable, but of course, most importantly, great coffee, and from what we saw, some tasty looking avocado!
Original Coffee – found in four locations around the capital area, where coffee is served with locally roasted coffee beans as well as sandwiches and cakes from an organic bakery. We visited one of the coffee bars situated on the rooftop of Illum (one of the main department stores), giving us beautiful views of one of the main city squares.
Coffee Collective – this looked like a great little coffee shop, found in multiple places around the city, however unfortunately they only use dairy milk?! In a time of all things dairy free and vegan, I found this pretty bizarre. So, of course I couldn’t give it a try, but if you go, let me know what it’s like!
Places to eat
Instead of having a lot of sit down meals, we decided to be a little more adventurous by eating from pop up stalls and food markets. Sometimes, discovering street food gems can be so much more fun, interactive an adventurous than a sit down, candlelit dinner. Anyone agree?
We arrived on a Sunday evening, and just to make you aware, the locals seem to eat very early, meaning the restaurants aren’t open too late, especially on a Sunday! We found a little gem called ‘Flottenheimer’, tucked away in a small square of restaurants (SKINDERGADE 20 · 1159 KØBENHAVN K). We both devoured a burger and chips (naughty) after a horrendous day of travelling. I had a gluten free burger, with fresh chicken breast and some seriously juicy chips!
We ate twice at Torvehallerne; an amazing fresh food market situated right by Nørreport Station. They say, it’s not a supermarket- it is a super market! At Torvehallerne in, you will find over 60 stands selling everything from fresh fish and meat to gourmet chocolate and exotic spices, as well as small places where you can have a quick bite to eat.
Gorms Pizza- *gluten and dairy free options
GrØd- the worlds first porridge bar, we both tried a savoury porridge bowl, (don’t knock it just yet) made with Asian rice, organic chicken, ginger, peanuts, spring onions, and a whole lot of yumminess!
Ra Hygge- The tasiest, gluten free and vegan deserts! This one had a brownie base, it was ‘melt in the mouth’ kinda tasty.
It says it all in the name, a restaurant serving all ‘paleo’ foods; and if anyone doesn’t know what that is, in short… if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you. Regardless, if you eat paleo or not, the food here was great. My boyfriend can even vouch for me, and he’s not normally one for ‘free from’ foodie restaurants.
A few travel tips…
If you don’t mind taking pounds with you, with the current exchange rate, it is definitely best to change your money once you are over there! There are plenty of money exchanges and banks that will happily change your money, and hopefully give you a better exchange rate.
A great way to get around the city is by bike. It was far too cold when we were there, we couldn’t face the wind in our faces on bikes, however in spring and summer months, biking would be a great way to explore the city. Even better, you can hire bikes with an installed sat nav!
Wear comfy shoes, there’s a lot of walking!
Get the Metro to transfer from the airport to the centre of Copenhagen. It was so easy, quick and cheaper in comparison to a cab, plus it’s also a little bit exciting to get on the train and experience that moment of ‘is this going the right way?’…or is that just me?