Sunday, January 08, 2017

My best tips for Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a wonderful city!  So colourful, it is just a pleasure to walk around. The central area is not that large so you can easily walk to most of the sites. I have been there many times since it is so near to my summer house in Sweden.  So these are my tips cultivated over many weekend stops.  It is fun to bicycle around Copenhagen and pretend you are a native. They have bicycles to rent all over town. 

Top Things to Do
Tivoli Gardens—this is sort of like Disneyland but more charming.  The gardens are pretty and it is nice to stroll there, even if you are not interested in riding the rollercoasters.  It is worth taking the time to research the restaurants there because along with all the standard fast food, they have a few very nice dining establishments.

The Little Mermaid—Even though this is very touristy, there is something really magical about this little statue sitting in the water.  I recommend that you take a stroll here in the gardens early in the morning before the hordes of tourists arrive.  There in the quiet, you can really appreciate it.  If you go later, there will be crowds around and then it is just a statue.

Nyhavn—you must take a stroll down this famous harbour.  It looks just as beautiful as the pictures.  On a gorgeous day, crowds converge on the many restaurants.  It is a good place to have lunch, trying either seafood or the famous Danish sandwich.  Most places will have fried plaice served with potatoes and a curry mayonnaise sauce, which I love.  Or walk around the corner to get some modern Danish food at the Standard.

Canal Boat TourWhile I don't normally go in for such a touristy activity, a friend wanted to go on this and I didn't want to be a party pooper.  I was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  You get to see areas of the city that you wouldn't normally see, and of course Copenhagen is gorgeous from the water.  You can find several kiosks selling these tours in Nyhaven. 

Stroget—This main pedestrian shopping is street is another must. If you have kids, you will obviously be stopping at the flagship Lego Store. Illums Bolighus is a wonderful department store which carries a lot of high end Danish design items. Illums Bolighus also has a very nice chocolate selection! If you are hungry for lunch, I recommend Café Europa.  They also do a lovely brunch.  A good place to try Danish baked goods is at Lagkagehuset, which is located on the end of the street on the side of the Town Hall.


Amalienborg Palace SquareThis is where the current royal family live and it is worth taking a stroll over there when you are visiting Nyhavn.  The square itself is beautiful and has a lovely light stemming from the pinkish grey stone of the square.  There is a museum in one of the four palaces, but, if you want to be seeped in history, and have limited tolerance for dusty castles, then I would recommend the Rosenborg Castle instead.

Rosenborg Castle is located in pretty gardens and has the royal jewels.  It is a tiny castle, despite its importance and can be seen quite quickly.  The cafe is a nice place to have a cup of coffee.The Botanical Gardens are very near Rosenborg Castle so you can stroll through that on the same visit. 

National Museum—this is very interesting especially if you want to learn about Viking history.  I think it is even free.

Our Savior's Church Tower (Vor Frelsers Kirke)This was another surprisingly fun touristy activity.  It is not that strenuous to climb and you are rewarded with a stunning view at the top.  I do not recommend it, however, if you are claustrophobic because the stairs are tiny and it can be quite crowded.

GlypotekThis museum is full of Ancient roman and Egyptian statues and the like.  While it is worth a look, the best thing is the café in the middle, set in a pretty greenhouse, which is full of amazing pastries by a well known Danish chef.  This museum was founded by the Carlsberg beer family!

The Experimentium ( This is a hands on science museum which is a great place if you have younger kids.

Zoo and Aquarium—skip these unless you are very keen.  Monterey Aquarium and the San Diego Zoo are infinitely better.

Copenhagen Admiral Hotel (—this is a newish hotel in a modern style built in an old warehouse.  It is nicely located near Nyhaven.  The restaurant in the hotel was very good when I was there a couple of years ago.  For a family of four, they have nice rooms with a sofa bed and a double bed in a sleeping loft.

Copenhagen Strand (—I stayed here last two times I was there and was surprised at how nice it was, even though it is fairly inexpensive.  The location is great, and even better is that a fabulous sushi restaurant is around the corner, Karma Sushi.

First Hotel Kong Frederick (—I have stayed here twice. Good location near Stroget.  Not much in the way of amenities but perfectly nice.

If you want more luxury, the best hotel in town is supposed to be the Hotel D’Angletterre (  They have been remodelling it, so I have never been inside but it is open now.  I love hotel bars, so it is on my list to try their new Champagne Bar.  The swanky shopping area of Copenhagen is located in the quarter right behind the Hotel D'Angletterre.  If you need a break from shopping, try grabbing a luscious hot chocolate at the Hotel Chocolate (

There is a lot of good food in Copenhagen so it is hard to know where to start.

Kiin Kiin (
Last time I was there I went to Kiin Kiin which has a Michelin star.  They serve very refined Vietnamese food which I thought was truly delicious and exciting.  They do a cheaper and slightly smaller theatre menu, which is what I had.  They start you out downstairs in the lounge area and bring you some little appetizers and drinks.  Then, they move you upstairs to start your meal.

Karma Sushi (
Karma Shushi was delicious and not that expensive, considering.  I ordered a menu, their Signature, which was much more delicious than it sounded on the menu, including this wonderful dish of caviar and avocado!  They serve a lobster miso soup which is a lovely twist on the normal.  With it, they serve a crunch seaweek salad which was so delicious that we ordered an extra portion. The Signature fed the three of us quite well.  If you are more persons, you could augment it with a few of the a la carte items.  We also ordered a pitcher of water which they augment with cucumber, ginger and mint slices.  Very refreshing.

Cafe Europa (
This Cafe right on Stroget is a perfect place to stop for a bite.  It is particularly good for brunch.

Paper Island (
An old warehouse on a little island is now a thriving food truck hub.  It is a fun walk to the warehouse and even more fun to walk around and gaze at all the different types of food before plunging in.  Outside, there are benches, tables, and deck-chairs where you can sit and enjoy your food and the beautiful waterside location.

The Standard ( This gorgeous deco building is just around the corner from Nyhavn overlooking the water.  There are two restaurants and a jazz club in the building. I have eaten at Almanak which serves very nice modern Danish food in a luscious setting.

Bistro Royal ( Right next to the Hotel D'Angleterre, this airy cafe serves hearty meat dishes, burgers and sandwiches.  They have amazing french fries.  From the outside, it looks like an old fashioned cafe, but on the inside it is light and airy.  A perfect place to people watch over the square, although the square is currently under construction.

On my personal list of restaurants to try the next time I am in Copenhagen:
Perchs Teamroom (  The place to have afternoon tea.
Kanal Cafe (  Old school place to have smorrbrod.
Schonnemann ( Another old school place to have smorrbrod.
Aaman's Deli ( Modern take on smorrbrod.

Let me know if you have been to any of these and if you have any tips for my next trip!

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