Copenhagen is a city of style. It leads you through its culture with a curtsy and then sits you in a craft brewery for a pint of tasty ale. It has you strolling alongside chic bicycle riders on city fixies with baskets and subtle colour schemes. It has Noma around one corner and a river-side street food emporium around another. It has Roskilde. And one day it will again have me.
Our Copenhagen journey went like this: one day/night exploring the city, staying at the budget but cool Annex Copenhagen, followed by four days at Roskilde music festival (yeehah! More on that soon) where on one day we escaped the festival madness for an afternoon in the hipster neighbourhood Norrebro, followed by two more days experiencing the city, staying at the incredible design hotel Hotel SP34.
As an introduction to the city, wander from wherever you are staying (Copenhagen is flat so it’s lovely to stroll around) to Nyhavn – the iconic, colourful waterfront dining district that dates back to the 17th Century. Grab a glass of wine and become acquainted with the variety of boats lining the canal – from tugboats to houseboats, cruisers to sailing boats and probably others, but I don’t know anything about boats dammit! But watching a tangle of ropes and decks and swaying vessels was a fine way to pass some travel time. Once you are ready to meander on, head back down to the river end and jump on the ferry at Nyhavn which will take you straight across the Copenhagen Harbour (Kobenhavns Havn) to Papirøen (Paper Island) Street Food where you can taste all kinds of small eats. But more on that in my post here.
SHOP: Those Danes know a thing or two about style – and I’ve mentioned before how much I loved exploring the city with the Copenhagen Style Guide by Anna Peuckert and Søren Jepsen – but my absolute fave shop recommended in there is Project 4 (where I bought the below ring and discovered ARKK Copenhagen sneakers – AARK have free shipping worldwide people!) which you can find on Larsbjørnsstræde in København K (pretty much central Copenhagen).
ROSKILDE MUSIC FESTIVAL POST COMING SOON…
Another good spot to shop is the prominade Østergade, not too far from Project 4, which has the famed homewares store Hay House, which has an elevated position with pretty views over the street.
Another must-visit in Copenhagen for your culture fix is the inspired Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art gallery, which holds canon artworks by worldwide greats, hosts great exhibitions (we saw Gaugin and right now there is Degas), and has a beautiful interior courtyard which is a little sanctuary of calm in the city.
Don’t know about you, but there are only so many days I can spend at a music festival these days before I’m relatively keen to put some distance between myself and anything that resembles a port-a-loo, so mid-fest we caught the train (only about 1/2 hour) back into town to visit the hipster district of Nørrebro. We arrived quite late on Saturday afternoon, but were still able to get a feel for the place and visit the likes of the whimsically beautiful Assistens Cemetery (which houses the remains of of Hans Christian Anderson and Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard) and a wander down the popular street Jægersborggade, which surprisingly used to be quite dodgy, but is now super hip.
Beer lovers flock to Norrebro for amber delights like those they’ll find at Crate, which houses the feck-yes combination of beer and vinyl and also an outlet of the world-renowned Mikkeller bar (of which there was another close to the Annex Hotel which we also visited for a tipple).
EAT: If you haven’t yet heard about GRØD, famed for its cult-status organic porridge, you haven’t done enough web browsing of the city. We arrived a little late in the day for porridge and the dinner menu was in action, so I had a cabbage and apple salad while Skymie the vego had “GRØDDELLER” which is fried risotto, also served with cabbage salad and sourdough bread. Both were delicious.
After sleeping in a goddamn tent for 4 nights at Roskilde (Skymie slept on a can of tuna as I mentioned in this post) we checked in to Hotel SP34 and lived in a dream-like state of Scandi simplicity and style for a couple of days.
There is little doubt in my mind that I will return to Copenhagen – it quickly became one of my favourite European cities and certainly my fave in Scandinavia. So as I will definitely be returning, I’d love to hear from YOU if you have been – any tips on what to discover next time we venture to Denmark?
Although not set in Copenhagen per se, I also want to recommend the book The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell, who I was lucky enough to interview on my show. Loved the book! It’s a fascinating insight into all things Danish and a good one for living vicariously through Helen’s adventures if you can’t make it to Denmark any time soon.
Here’s one of my fave COPENHAGEN TUNES to get you in the mood!