One would wonder how a city break could be termed “laid-back” but that was the thing about Copenhagen. Its compact size and easy, relaxed vibe demanded slowing down and focusing on the good stuff – like a glass of wine, a bit of sunshine, a good book and a hearty meal. I felt out of place to rush and try and do too much and I was happy to meander wherever the city took me.
Copenhagen is easy on the eye, but not so much on the pocket. Paris has been my benchmark of an expensive city but Copenhagen beats that – the food, transport and hotels all come steep. But don’t let that discourage you, it is a beautiful city, friendly and cozy and you won’t leave it feeling dissatisfied.
We rented an Airbnb in the very hip Norrebro district, with great public transport connectivity and a wide selection of neighborhood bars, cafes, galleries and boutiques to browse through. Norrebro is a part of the city with its own distinct charm, youthful and bright.
Get a bike
It would be a pity to not cycle in a city made for cyclists 🙂 ( I also found Danes to be fairly patient on the cycling track). Be prepared for a hardcore workout though if you are riding against the winds as they can get very strong. As I discovered while uphill on a bridge with the wind against me, it was so difficult that for a moment I was literally standing on the pedals and the bike wouldn’t budge!
Go on a walking tour
If you are not sure on what to spend time on in a new city and prefer a quick browse first, a walking tour will be perfect for you. Most guides on these tours are very friendly and will be happy to share recommendations of places to explore, eat and things to do. I joined the Sanderman’s walking tour which started at the Town Hall Square and took us through the iconic Tivoli Gardens, Danish Royal Palace, Nyvahn Harbour, Amalienborg, The Marble Church, Copenhagen Opera House and more over two and half hours. The city is stunning on foot, with its canals and architecture and color.
A “Freetown”, established in 1971, with its own currency and laws intrigued me enough to pay a visit. This town was built on the spirit of community living by squatters and artists and became somewhat a hippie commune. It’s got a bunch of art galleries, organic cafes, coffee shops and is home to nearly a thousand people today. The place was busy with enough curious tourists. Around afternoon, some people started selling cannabis (photos not allowed), and suddenly there was loud music playing on the street and the residents came out to drink and dance. It was a unique and confusing experience for me (will share more in another post) but there is probably no place like this on earth, and for that you should pay it a visit.
The name had me and I was desperate to give this café a try. The breakfasts are quite popular but we didn’t make it in time hence we went for the lunch menu. We basically ate a whole lot of eggs – on top of avocado and with a stew of sausage and tomatoes along with an open chicken sandwich, a croissant and some wonderful coffee.
An Italian restaurant with a wood fired oven in the old meatpacking district, this restaurant has great food at decent prices by Copenhagen standards. We tried the Burrata, with vine tomatoes, rucola & of course gooey oozing burrata itself as the star of the show. We finished off with Panna cotta and candied orange.
This is a street food market, built in a warehouse across the harbor, serving local and fresh produce across a wide variety of cuisines. It has a cool, easy vibe and I absolutely loved this place. So much so, that we went here both nights for dinner. You basically browse the stalls, decide what you want and pay directly at each stall. There are a bunch of benches and chairs around on you can plonk yourself. If you do want to make sure you have a table, there is something called as The Greenhouse, where you can make a prior reservation for a table for 2 hours. The benefit is that there is a bar inside the Greenhouse and they serve you drinks on your table. Food is self serve, whether you eat here or outside. It’s open till 9pm all days and 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. The food and variety is amazing, prices are great too. Overall, a must visit!
That was all I packed in for a 3 days 2 nights trip. Have you been to Copenhagen and what were your favorites?