Since starting full time work in London, its safe to say my life now revolves all around city breaks. Not long ago I discovered I had enough air miles to take me first class to Copenhagen, where some friends were conveniently spending the weekend so I decided to join & check out Denmark for the first time!
Where to stay
The decision to spend the weekend in Denmark was a bit of an impromptu one, so I booked to stay at Urban House Hostel without checking any recommendations or comparing – it was literally the only thing affordable left on Booking.com for the next day. Thankfully, it turned out to be ABSOLUTELY amazing! Probably one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in actually. Really modern facilities, comfortable and clean rooms (they even give you a towel) and I was lucky enough to roomshare with 2 absolutely amazing ladies (1 other Brazilian and 1 Swiss) who eventually became my sightseeing guides for the weekend considering I had not done any prior research. Urban House Hostel is conveniently situated 5 minutes from Copenhagen’s central station – especially ideal as there’s no Uber in the city. On my way back to London this location was especially convenient I was able to just walk there at 4.30am to get to the airport for 5am and catch my 7am back to work on Monday!)
Day 1 (Saturday)
The first thing I did before setting off was to buy a Copenhagen Card at the central station. This was around £45 for 24hrs and gave me unlimited use of public transport for the weekend as well as free entrance to 72 attractions (although I didn’t actually use the card for any attractions in the end…)
I met up with my friends Becca and Cris and we did Copenhagen’s highlight: the area of Nyhavn situated downtown. This is a riverside concoction of beautiful cafes, shops and restaurants and has become the tourist centre. The juxtaposition of bright and pastel coloured buildings were great for pictures, and the thing I most enjoyed was devouring a nutella & banana crepe whilst walking along the river.
We then walked to the neighbourhood of Christiania labelled as Copenhagen’s ‘Freetown’. There is no other way to describe this place other than an arty haven resembling a homeless junkyard (but in a good way). Talking to the locals, we quickly learned that this area is known to be a completely separate district to the rest of the city due to its hippie nature: marijuana is freely sold and smoked, cars are banned and . Because of this, you generally aren’t allowed to take pictures of its homemade houses, art galleries, shops, cafes workshops, and of course, the weed stalls.
I liked seeing old hippy souls such as bikers yet with tourists and their kids running around. It was a really interesting neighbourhood, but to me very very bizarre. It reminded me of Ninbin in Australia.
Following this stroll we decided to do something quite random and hire those swan pedalos to restore a bit of normality to the morning. These were situated in the area of Nørrebro, another ‘hip, multicultural neighborhood, popular with students and creative types’.
One of Copenhagen’s other main attraction is the amusement park of Tivoli, which is situated right in the heart of the city. I actually skipped out on this one whilst Becca and Cris spent the evening there, as I decided to spend my pennies on food instead… I had dinner with my hostel roomies in Restaurant Cofoco (£££). This was a pricey and luxurious option in a basement location, and #26 best spot of 2,090 in Copenhagen. Our 4 course meal and red wine was worth every p
After dinner we headed to the meatpacking district and boogied the night away at Bakken bar – a very trendy club with lots of young tourists and locals. It is so trendy you can even pee en pair:
Day 2 (Sunday)
To cure the previous night’s hangover, my roomies and I had brunch at Mad & Kaffe , which is one of Copenhagen’s top rated brunch hotspots. Because of it’s popularity, we queued for an hour (in the rain). If you don’t fancy the wait, just take a stroll around the neighbourhood of Vesterbro and you’ll find many other trendy, clean-eating chic breakfast spots.
Following breaky, we headed to the tower at Christiansborg palace where you can go right up to the top and enjoy the views of the city. Not the best tower in the world, but nice to do nonetheless. What it does have however is a nice view of Stroget – one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, and home to the ILLUM department store (where if you go right to the top of the rooftop café, you can see some blessed view of Copenhagen’s centre).
Some final thoughts…
Compared to other European cities, I found Copenhagen very very expensive. However, with many instagrammable streets, meals and beautiful Danish design at every street corner, it really is worth the price. Copenhagen’s many cyclists makes it easy to compare it to somewhere like Amsterdam, but as far as my experience in Scandinavia go, I must admit I still prefer Stockholm.
During my time in København, I discovered the Danish word Hyggr after talking to a local. It refers to the cosy, charming, content, simple and minimalistic way of life the Danish live. And, with it being regularly voted the happiest capital city in the world (despite the cold) I kind of fully understood why.
Disclaimer: All the comments, opinions and views expressed here represent my own.