After eating far too much in Copenhagen and telling you allll about it in Part One , here is where I pretend I’m actually much more cultured when I head on a city break and don’t spend all my time eating (honest). There are so many amazing things to do in Copenhagen, here’s a selection of my faves.
P.S. I’m currently listening to The Year of Living Danishly and so far I LOVE it! Review to follow…
Even if you don’t stay in SP34 (mentioned in part one), do visit the Latin Quarter anyway. It’s full of seriously cool bars and cafes and only a ten minute walk from the main shopping street Strøget. We loved it for breakfast options and nightcaps.
Tivoli Gardens stole my heart. It was the first thing we did once we landed (after a little nap, obvs) and I spent the rest of the weekend wondering if I could find an excuse to go back. It’s the second oldest theme park in the world so it’s like stepping back in time, everything is so pretty and even the inevitable commercialism of a theme park was tasteful in a way only Copenhagen can manage (I wanted to buy everything in the gift shop for the flat – when do you ever say that about a theme park’s wares?!). The rides are a lot of fun and range from tame to only-safe-for-daredevils but if you don’t like rides it’s still worth a visit for the bars, restaurants, pretty stages and to walk around marvelling at the total lack of theme park chavs!
Illum Bolighus is a total babe of a department store. Somewhere between John Lewis and Liberty but BETTER, this place took a few hours of our time and I don’t regret it for a second. I wandered around imagining I had a cool flat in the city and could fill it with everything from the amazing rooms they’d designed. The store sells anything you could want for the home, plus a whole other store nearby that sells clothes, perfumes and gifts (there’s even a Sephora inside). I loved this shop and bought a few prints for the flat and lusted after a lot of stuff which is now on my Christmas list. If you’re with someone who hates shopping you can bribe them with the rooftop food hall.
There’s more shopping to be had in this area too – Weekday and Cheap Monday, Cos, H&M Home (all much cheaper than at home), Hay design store, flagship Tiger and LEGO stores (complete with the cutest mini Copenhagen models), interesting independent interiors shops… the list goes on and on. Save some cash if you find it hard to resist a spree (like me!).
The Design museum was a great way to spend a few hours looking at how Danish design became so iconic. There are danish chairs for days (much to H’s delight) and a stunning print exhibition which was on while we were there. The café is also superb and we sat outside in the courtyard gardens eating amazin open sandwiches and catching some rays before our next adventure.
Prints for days
Nyhavn is the classic postcard view of Copenhagen and I was desperate to see it when we arrived. Although it was crammed with tourists it didn’t disappoint. Head to the ice cream shop for a sweet treat before you explore the side streets or hop on a boat.
You can also hire your own boat (‘Go Boat’) which is a lovely idea but it’s ten times the price of hour-longong tourist jobby, and given we’d spent all of our money eating and drinking we went for the touristy boat option which was actually more impressive than expected. We also got to see the Little Mermaid which is a trek if you go on foot (and slightly underwhelming?!).
Christiania is my penultimate must-see place. A law unto itself, this neighbourhood is like nothing I’ve ever seen in any other city. We spent a few hours exploring the beautiful park, lake and graffitied ‘town’ and had a soft drink in the only non-alcoholic bar they have where I got chatted up by a homeless man. It’s a mind blowing mix of hippies and hedonism and I’m so glad we made the trip.
Christiansborg Palace was our only foray into the many castles and public buildings you can discover in CPH. This one, on the tiny island of Slotsholmen is well worth a visit. I have an overactive imagination when it comes to visiting stately homes and castles so I like to imagine what it must have been like to live there, to have a moat in your house and silver lions in your dining room. The app has a great English guide too so you don’t miss out.
Finally, the central area of Indre By was lovely to walk around both for its flagship Scandi stores (Filippa K and J Lindberg to name a few) but also for the restaurants and coffee shops. We headed here after a few hours in the palace and had yet another open sandwich from one of the cafes.
Copenhagen, you are beautiful and I will be back!