If we were forced to wake up in one city for the weekend, without doubt, it would be Copenhagen. For those that know, you know. For those that don’t, get exploring using our nifty little guide to get the most out of your Copenhagen Weekender.
Lonely Planet has rated Copenhagen number 1 in its Top Cities, Best in Travel for 2019. Quite rightly, Copenhagen is described as the ‘capital of cool’, a comment that is totally justified and for good reason. Situated as a proverbial feather in the cap of Europe, it is an eclectic, booming city with something to offer for everyone. We have had the pleasure of visiting half a dozen times or so, and have found something new, interesting and quintessentially Copenhagen every time. We guarantee that it is somewhere you will want to go back to time after time.
Be warned, your trip to Copenhagen won’t be cheap, but it will be fabulous.
There are some things that you just must do in Copenhagen. One of them is to visit the world famous Tivoli Gardens. Built in 1843 with a vision of being an ‘Arabian fantasy castle’ come Danish chic, Tivoli provides a nod to Copenhagen’s long and rich history. Tivoli offers up dining, amusement rides, music concerts and a great place for a stroll, a drink and some people watching.
The Gardens were visited heavily by Hans Christian Andersen and are rumoured to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney to build his very own Disney World. A visit will show you just how readily that inspiration would have come, given the magical setting of the place. Our favourite time of year to go is in the Christmas opening season which currently is between the 16 November – 5 January. Think chunky knit jumpers , beanie hats, and a glass of mulled wine or cider, whilst enjoying all the spectacles and grandeur of what’s on offer.
What do you think the Danish do with an island which was historical an industrial area once home to some of the world’s largest shipyards? What else, turn it in to an uber hip, totally Danish, peninsula housing some of the best street-food, bars and restaurants that you will find anywhere in the world. Why not!
This gem of an area is called Refshaleøen, and is either a 15 minute bike ride, or about a 40 minute meander from the city centre. We highly recommend the walk.
You cannot, and we seriously mean cannot, miss out on a trip to this part of town. Our favourite haunts are Reffen – Copenhagen’s Street Food market which hosts some 50 odd stalls selling local and international cuisine all with a Danish twist or interpretation. Prices, are affordable and cater for all budgets. Reffen is a great place to grab something tasty to eat, something refreshing to drink, and to sit on the dock and take in the atmosphere and the fresh Copenhagen air.
Afterwards, why not give CopenHot a go for a bit of luxury down time. What is it? Why, it is a floating spa experience with fire heated barrels and hot tubs with panoramic views of Copenhagen’s waterfront. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy!
Keeping with the gastronomic theme – look no further than Copenhagen for food heaven, it does exist. Its name is Torvehallenrne, and in our honest opinion, is one of Copenhagen’s best kept secrets.
Open 7 days a week, Torvehallerne is a coveted food market and visited by over 100,000 Copenhageners weekly (but surprisingly few tourists). Made up of some 60 odd indoor stalls, you will find everything from pastries and local produce to exotic foods on offer. It's the perfect place for breakfast, grab a coffee and a Danish Pastry to start your day and fuel your exploration.
Equally, if you are hoping for a slower start you won’t be disappointed and will find something to enjoy throughout the day. We would highly recommend taking in the comings and goings of the market with a glass of bubbles - at the very reasonably priced Le Petit Vinbar, which offers up some of the best champagne available.
For many visiting Copenhagen, one of the ‘go-to’ places recommended is Nyhavn – the brightly coloured quay side location close to the city centre. Whilst Nyhavn is wonderful, and well worth a visit, our choice every time is to opt for a trip to the Copenhagen Lakes just a little walk North West from the city centre.
Here at the Lakes is where the real Copenhageners come to stroll, jog and socialise. For us a meander around the Lakes at sunset, followed by dinner at any one of the excellent restaurants or cafes that line the waterfront and/or the roads that adjoin this location, is the perfect way to end a busy and enchanting weekend trip to Copenhagen.
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