Copenhagen surprised me. I had been once before just after highschool on a backpacking trip and my experience then was…interesting. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t my favorite place either. This time, though, I loved exploring the city with George: shopping and eating our way through Copenhagen. It may even be my favorite city we’ve visited since living here…aside from London, of course!
We arrived around noon on Saturday and almost immediately set off for one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods: Norrebro. We shopped, we ate cinnamon buns, we drank coffee. All the best places are found on one street called Jægersborggade.
Next we headed to the city center to climb to the top of the Rundetaarn for some amazing views. The Rundetaarn (Round Tower) was built in 1642 with a spiral ramp so that royalty could ride to the top on horseback. At the top, there is an observatory which claims to be the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. And supposedly, on a clear day, you can see across to Sweden!
Afterward, we walked around the pedestrian area and did some more shopping. The shopping really was amazing in Copenhagen (and totally unexpected!). There were so many beautiful pieces of Danish design I wanted to bring home.
For a quick snack, we got hot dogs from Torvehallerne. It is a food market, so there were lots of tasty options to consider. But for a proper meal, we had already decided to go to the meatpacking district later that night.
For the next hour or so, we hung out at the library bar across from Tivoli at the Plaza Hotel. The drinks were pretty pricey, but the Amaretto Sour was probably the best I’ve ever had. It was the perfect place to relax and talk while surrounded by floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
After leaving the library bar, we decided we still were not hungry and instead went to the Mikkeler bar to sample some local beer. It was totally packed, but we found a seat fairly quickly. I highly recommend this place!
The next morning, we tried to get up as early as possible to see Nyhavn harbor expecting there to be tons of tourists there later in the day. Although when we got there at 9 am, we basically had the place to ourselves. Could have been the fact that it was such a dreary day!
Nonetheless, we had a great time strolling past the colorful houses and taking way too many pictures of pretty boats. For lunch we popped over to Papirøen, or Paper Island, for some delicious smørrebrød. The Danish open-face sandwiches at this street food market were so tasty. Also, the seating options here were great! Much better than any London market.
The only thing on our agenda for the rest of the day was the Design Museum. However, the Amalienborg Palace just happened to be on our way there so we opted to check it out. You can watch the changing of the guards here everyday at 12:00.
We were also able to see the Kastellet military fortess as it was just a few minutes past the Design Museum on foot. More than anything, I loved the colors here. It was a nice place to go for a walk, especially with all the leaves changing color.
When we finally made it to the Design Museum, we realized you can basically see the same designs just by going shopping. Specifically, by making a stop at both Illums Bollighus and the Royal Copenhagen store. I would give the museum a miss, because I would rather have spent that time shopping for pieces that are actually available to purchase (even if they were crazy expensive).
That night, we made reservations to have dinner at a place called Väkst. Both of our meals were amazing, not to mention surprising and (compared to other Nordic restaurants) affordable. The decor was super cool as well, centered around a greenhouse with a cozy, urban style basement. It was the perfect end to our trip and I’m so glad we got to experience some modern Nordic cuisine before heading back to London.