Finally getting around to writing up my weekend in Copenhagen, many many weeks on from actually going there on a girls weekend with one of my besties. Such a fab city to visit, I’d been wanting to go for so long and it did not disappoint. Of course it also helped that we lucked out on the weather, so lots of strolling and exploring in the sunshine made for just the perfect city break experience.Where we stayed:
My friend and I booked a one bed apartment via AirBNB in Frederiksberg, which was perfect for the two of us and in a nice, sleepy/safe neighbourhood. We did have a bit of a walk to places, but that was fine and there are also plenty of options to hop on the Metro or jump in a cab, so it worked for us.Where we ate:
Our first evening (a Friday night), we found our way to a gorgeous and understatedly brilliant little neighbourhood wine bar/restaurant called Ancestrale – which is in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro area. Totally fell in love with this place. No wine list or menu presented, they “found” wines we might like by talking to us and finding out what we’d normally enjoy and then getting us to try some different things. Amazing. Food wise, they offer 5 Nordic inspired plates – you can have all 5 or pick a few, each starter size portions, every bloody one of them delicious. We went for all 5. Each. Naturally.
Honestly, can’t recommend this place highly enough. It gave me an opportunity to indulge in a fantasy of being a native Copenhagen-ite, enjoying a Friday evening in my local neighbourhood bar and soaking up a hygge atmosphere in the very best way possible.
On the Saturday evening, we were all set to go to the renowned and Michelin-starred 108, but we’d got chatting to some friendly locals the evening before and they were absolutely insistent that we cancel and instead head to one of their Copenhagen restaurant favourites, the unassumingly named Pony.
Also located in Vesterbro, Pony did not disappoint. Knowledgeable and super friendly staff guided us on the wine to drink and match with our food choices. It was all utterly delicious and at a much more palatable price tag that some of the lauded fine dining spots. A great recommendation and a place I’d be happy to go back to again and again.
So whilst we didn’t go to 108, we did end up enjoying a quick lunch at The Corner 108, which is a cafe by day and a wine bar by night and is literally on the corner of the 108 restaurant. A great spot for lunch if you find yourself wandering through the canals area: it’s located in København.
If you have a sweet tooth, then make sure you visit Conditori La Glace – founded in 1870, it is Copenhagen’s oldest confectionery shop and its Sportskage (crushed nougat in whipped cream with a macaroon base, decorated with caramelised chou pastry) is really something to write home about.
What we did:
I found that unlike other cities I’ve visited, like Paris or Rome or Berlin, it didn’t feel like Copenhagen had an obvious list of “sights” to tick off. But what was nice about that is that you felt like you could just wander aimlessly and soak the place up, without feeling guilty that you hadn’t packed your day with sightseeing!
While we were there, we did however do A LOT of walking and exploring one way or another, and so took in a mixture of sights + neighbourhoods + browsed the shops.We did of course take a walk through Nyhavn, to see all the pretty coloured houses on the canal. I have to say though that although picturesque, it was so unbelievably crowded with tourists (and stag groups I think), that it wasn’t quite the experienced I’d imagined. But, still worth a quick walk through for sure.The whole area by the water/canals is definitely a lovely place to stroll around on a sunny day and you can take in the stunning Copenhagen Opera House, which really is a very impressive modern building right on the water.
One place I’d definitely recommend visiting is Rosenborg Castle: a 17th century castle that is located in the beautiful King’s Gardens.
One place I’d definitely recommend visiting is Rosenborg Castle. We didn’t actually go in/around the castle itself but stumbled across a nearby cafe/restaurant – Garden Restaurant & Bar – which does takeaway picnics for you to enjoy in the gardens around the castle: frankly just genius! We ordered a picnic – cold meats, cheeses, amazingly divine bread – and paid a little extra for a mini bottle of Prosecco, then sat in the sunshine under the watchful eye of the castle and enjoyed a lazy lunch. It was just perfect!
We did also visit Freetown Christiania, a neighbourhood established in 1971 by a group of hippies that runs completely independently of the Danish government. It was kind of interesting, but we ended up walking in and out of it in about 10 mins and generally felt it wasn’t a particularly nice place to bother with: for me, the overwhelming smell of weed and general feeling of the place just didn’t do it for me.
Shopping wise, there is A LOT of temptation and amazing, amazing, amazing places to shop. Incredibly, I actually didn’t end up buying anything, but there’s lots of fun opportunities for browsing even if you don’t buy. Head for the side streets off the main shopping road off Strøget and you’ll find lots of boutiques as well as recognisable Danish brands from By Malene Birger to Ganni to Custommade. Also worth visiting Ilums Bolighus – a flagship store for Danish and international design, the store itself is beautiful and it’s crammed with uber stylish homewares, fashion, furniture. A bit of everything. Oh and of course, not forgetting, Lego… worth a visit to the flagship store in København.
And also…The bread. The pastries. They are wide-ranging and they are delicious. Make sure you carb load big time: Danish pastries, bread rolls, the whole nine-yards. You won’t regret it!
If you dreamt of a photo against the Instagramable coloured houses of Nyhavn but end up disappointed because the crowds make it impossible to take a decent pic, then you might want to pop along to the quieter pink perfection of the Palads cinema in København. My friend and I spent at least a half-hour snapping away here!There’s still so much more I’d love to have seen and done in Copenhagen if I’d had the time, so will definitely plan a return trip for the future. Have you been? What are your favourite spots? – I’d love to hear for next time.