We visited Copenhagen in May last year and I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since. I love the laid back atmosphere, the friendly and way-beyond-my-level-of-coolness people and of course the coffee. We were really lucky and had a few sunny and unusually hot days but I would go back and visit on any weather, even on a chilly November day like today. As a disclaimer, I may be completely biased as we went to visit his cousin and we had the best time but I definitely wouldn’t mind moving there for a couple of years.
If you’re in Copenhagen for only a day or two, there’s a few things you might want to check off your list.
Our first stop was Nyhavn and all the Pinterest pictures won’t do it justice – it’s a colourful and lively place where you can easily spend an afternoon watching boats pass by. There’s loads of restaurants and terraces where you can unwind after a long day or you can grab a hot drink and a pastry and just sit on waterfront.
You can’t help but feel bad for all the people living across the water from the colourful houses you see on Nyhavn pictures. Their buildings are lacking personality and most importantly SUN! It only shines – if it does, because it’s damn rare – on the north side, depriving the southern residents of natural light and warmth but offering them quite the view.
For an even better viewpoint, go on a boat tour – it’s a speedy way to most of Copenhagen and you can take some really cool pictures.
Once on dry land, we headed to explore the city centre and see the Danish parliament at Christiansborg Palace.
There we saw the “Unbearable” statue which depicts a polar bear impaled by a CO2 emission graph. It sends such a powerful message about the impact climate change and I thought it very representative of how important sustainable living is for Denmark. I’m curious if it’s still there, have you seen it recently?
Take in the views
From there it’s only a short walk to Church of Our Saviour where you can get amazing views of Copenhagen.
From the top of the tower if you look east you can even see Malmö and the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden.
Or check out the amazing views from other spots, a few suggestions here.
Shop on Strøget
We reserved time for a wander around the shops as I love the effortlessly cool Scandinavian fashion (not so much the price tags though). The streets were completely packed and everyone was in such a good mood it seemed like it was a big holiday. Just bring enough water and patience to get from one end to the other of the pedestrian street as at over 1 km long it is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets on the continent.
Once we’ve had enough of the hustle and bustle we went exploring quieter streets.
Discovered some funky street art along the way.
Follow the fairytale: the Little Mermaid
I have to admit that I was completely underwhelmed – I second that – when I saw the Little Mermaid . I had expected it to be much bigger and impressive and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s said that. It’s a very popular spot so you have to queue for a picture but the walk up the harbour side makes it worthwhile.
I can only feel bad for the poor statue; in just over a century of existence the statue has been vandalised over a dozen times. Yet it’s still there, so this statue seems to be more resilient than my grandma’s kitchen cockroaches.
Once it was our turn to snap a quick picture, we headed towards the Gefion Fountain..
..and then for a quick stroll around Kastellet just in time to rest and watch the stunning sunset.
One of the many amazing sunsets we saw while in Copenhagen.
Since we spent four days in Copenhagen so had time to visit a few extra places.
As the weather was amazing, we cycled to the beach. It’s such an unspoilt place that I imagine it would be lovely to visit on a less sunny day as well if you dress up warmly enough and brave the winds. Cycling in Copenhagen is an experience you have to try! It was my first time on a bike since I was a child but the drivers and other cyclists were so patient that I felt completely calm and safe. I know everyone says cycling in Amsterdam is a must but I found it way too stressful and would much rather recommend Copenhagen for anyone who isn’t very confident on a bike.
We also visited Paper Island which was until recently a very cool and hip place across the water from Nyhavn, in Copenhagen Harbour; you can meet your friends there, have a drink or a bite and chill on the water front warmed by blankets and small fires.
Copenhagen has loads of amazing museums and galleries great for taking cover if the weather is too capricious and if you’re not on a budget make sure you book a table at one of the many Michelin starred restaurants in the capital.
Have you visited Copenhagen? If so, what was your favourite place or thing to do?