Copenhagen is a beautiful city, with stunning architecture, even better interior design & some of the most interesting food I’ve ever had (can you tell I’m in love?).
… which makes planning a short trip there rather tricky, as there’s so much to do / see / eat but very little time to do so!
But difficult is not impossible, so if you’re heading to Copenhagen soon, this rather comprehensive 3-day itinerary of the very best of city should come in handy…
9 AM: Pick up coffee & pastries from organic bakery Meyers Bageri (St. Kongensgade 461264 København K).
The bakery opens early in the morning, and is often crowded, which is no surprise considering how good everything is. The cinnamon rolls “kanelsnurrer”, made with Valrhona chocolate and the fragrant blueberry & cardamom rolls are especially worth the wait.
As there is only room for a handful of people to seat, it’s best to haul away your loot to the nearby harbour for a spot of breakfast with a view!
10 AM: Walk along the harbour to the world famous Little Mermaid statue.
Many people seem disappointed to find out how small she was, but I found her languing pose, face towards the sea in the hope of catching a glimpse of her beloved prince, very touching.
Walk back through the Kastellet, one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe that houses various military activities but mainly serves as a public park and a historic site.
12 PM: Stroll by picture-perfect Nyhavn.
Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front, Copenhagen’s ‘New Harbour’ is lined by rows of brightly coloured houses and one of the city’s dreamiest area.
1 PM: All this walking around, pointing at glorious buildings, super-well-dressed people and stunning design-ey interior in litterally every café you passed by probably left you ravenous… in which case, Papirøen (Trangravsvej 14, 7/8, 1436 København K) is the place to be!
Run by The Association of Copenhagen Street Food, Papirøen is the city’s first and only genuine street food market and home to 35 food stalls, food trucks and containers.
Pasta, pizza, burgers, sushi, all the (delicious) usual suspects are available, as well as some less common options, including Korean food, stuffed omelette, tacos and Moroccan stuffed bread.
Plus you get to enjoy your haul with a stunning view over the Opera house, the Royal Playhouse and the harbour of Copenhagen… Not a bad deal eh?
2 PM: Explore the wild side of Copenhagen in Christiana.
Also known as Freetown Christiania, it’s a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood with a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989.
The rules forbid stealing, violence, guns, knives, bulletproof vests and hard drugs but are otherwise very permissive, especially regarding cannabis consumption. Home to a mixed bunch, including social security recipients, pensioners, immigrants and clients from social institutions, arts are everywhere in Christiana and its impressive murals are one of the main attractions to its yearly half a million visitors.
4PM: Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the streets of Christianshavn & Holmen.
With narrow cobbled streets, Michelin-starred restaurants and cosy cafes along the canal, Christianshavn is a much-desired area for Copenhageners to live. And it is easy to see why.
Originally, it was laid out as an independent privileged merchant’s town with inspiration from Dutch cities and still carries a strong nautical atmosphere today.
8 PM: Dinner at Geist (Kongens Nytorv 8, 1050 København K).
With a creative build-your-own degustation menu, it’s the perfect place to experience New Nordic cuisine through rather out-there combination of flavours such as Geist’s signature ‘Turbot with fennel ravioli on gruyère’ or ‘Vanilla ice cream with blueberries and olives’ & of course, the restaurant trademark petit four: citrus cotton candy!
Read the full review here.
9 AM: Start the day at Amalienborg Slot, the residence of the Danish royal family.
Consisting of four identical classical palace façades gathered around an octagonal courtyard, it was originally built for four different noble families but became the royal family’s residence after Christiansborg Palace burned in 1794.
10 AM: Pop by Frederiks Kirke.
Directly inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, this colossal Evangelical Lutheran church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia and is the perfect example of Nordic church design (typically with no or short naves).
11 AM: See Rosenborg Slot.
Originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606, Rosenborg castle is a great example of Christian IV’s many architectural projects.
Built in the Dutch Renaissance style typical of Danish buildings during this period, it now houses a museum exhibiting the Royal Collections, artifacts spanning a breadth of royal Danish culture, from the late 16th century to the 19th century, including the Crown Jewels, the Danish Crown Regalia and the Throne Chair of Denmark.
The Rosenborg Castle Garden, the country’s oldest royal garden, is also well worth taking a look at.
1 PM: Smørrebrød lunch at Aamanns (Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København Ø).
A modern deli and restaurant, Aamanns specialises in Danish open-face sandwiches or smørrebrød.
Smørrebrød typically consists of a piece of buttered rye bread, topped with Pålæg (toppings) of cured meat, fish or vegetables & Aamanns offers an extensive choice of traditional & new wave, creative versions to choose from, each prettier and more delicious than the last!
Read the full review here.
3 PM: Walk across the Botanical Garden.
Covering an area of 10 hectares and containing more than 13,000 species, almost all of which have been collected in the wild, Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden is a part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
It serves research, educational & recreational purposes & is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouses dating from 1874.
5 PM: Get hip in Vesterbro.
The infamous red light district and former working-class area of Copenhagen is actually one of the most fashionable places in Copenhagen to shop, eat, drink and have a great night out.
Lined up with fashionable and cozy cafes, including the stunning Mad & Kaffe (Sønder Blvd. 68, 1720 København V), it’s the ideal place for a spot of shopping.
Favourites of mine include Blomsterskuret (Værnedamsvej 3A, 1819 Frederiksberg C) for all things flowers and Dora (Værnedamsvej 6, 1619 København C) for homeware, but the fun’s mostly in popping in and out of stores, with maybe a lil’ coffee & cake break somewhere in the middle!
7PM: Drinks at Mikkeller (Victoriagade 8 B-C, 1655 København V).
Set up by gipsy-brewer Mikkel, Mikkeller Bar offers 15 taps from Mikkeller and the world’s best breweries, cheese, snacks and a specialized bottled selection.
8 PM: Dinner at Fiskebaren (Flæsketorvet 100, 1711 København).
Located at the heart of the trendy Meatpacking District, Fiskebaren is all about the freshest fish & seafood served in an informal atmosphere with rough interiors and deliberate use of second hand décor.
Rewarded by a Bib Gourmand in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities 2015, the food there is, in complete New Nordic fashion, fresh, seasonal, creative & much more than the sum of each dish ingredients.
Full review coming soon.
9 AM: Climb the Rundetårn.
Originally built as an astronomical observatory, the Round Tower is famous for its equestrian staircase, a 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the top, and for the fantastic views it affords over Copenhagen!
On a sunny day, it’s absolutely breath-taking from up there!
10 AM: Reward your efforts with some chocolate milk & a spot of shopping!
With fantastic stores, ranging from small brands showrooms to gigantic department stores offering the best Nordic brands, the area around Strøget is any shopping-addict’s dream come true.
Must-visit include Illum (Østergade 52, 1100 København K) is you’re after specific big-brand items and Notre Dame (Nørregade 7, 1165 København K) for all those home things you didn’t know you needed but will buy regardless!
Magasin du Nord (Kongens Nytorv 13, 1095 København K) has a very well-stocked food hall and the Lego Store (Vimmelskaftet 37, 1161 København K) is also well worth a look, if only for the incredible displays made entirely out of the brand’s signature plastic bricks.
1 PM: Hotdog at DOP (Købmagergade 50, 1119 København K).
A trip to Copenhagen isn’t really complete until you have sausages in a bun, and if there are stands all around the city, none quite compares to DOP’s fabulous organic offering.
So good in fact that in 2010, the city guide Ibyen/Politiken awarded it Best Eatery ahead of among others a Michelin-starred restaurant…
2 PM: More shopping…
If you still have time on your hands (as well as room in your bags and money in your purse), there are always more stores worth taking a look at, one of my personal favourites being Posterland (Gothersgade 45, 1123 København K), an absolute poster-paradise with hundreds of references…
Have you ever been to Copenhagen? What’s top of your list of things to see/do/eat there?
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