Copenhagen is probably most famous for the statue of the Little Mermaid or the fairytale theme park Tivoli Gardens. Although the swish Danish capital is attracting an increasing amount of visitors that would rather skip the main tourist attractions and just enjoy the city for itself. Inspired by a recent trip, book your cool Copenhagen hotel and discover our travel snobs guide to 10 things to do in Copenhagen…
Hang out with the cool kids in the Meatpacking district
This district of abandoned butcheries and former meat processing plants is now the hippest place in town. Start the evening at one of the many excellent restaurants, head to part bar, part art gallery Karriere for cocktail happy hour (where you’ll find ex-army helmet lightshades and concrete blocks doubling as stools) and then finish the night at one of the many packed DJ bars. Other hotspots include ‘Jolene‘ the Dolly Parton themed retro bar or the very chic Fiskebaren.
Visit the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street
Strøget is a 1.1 km long traffic-free stretch of shops where you’ll find everything from budget-friendly chains to expensive designer boutiques. Although there’s a good selection of shops on the main street, the side streets are far more interesting with a mix of vintage and independent stores. Of course being Scandinavia, expect plenty of ultra-stylish and high-design goods.
Fall in love with the food
Copenhagen is a foodie’s paradise (although you’d probably expect nothing less from a place which is home to the world’s best restaurant). The city is filled with cosy eateries offering creative meals, exceptionally well-presented buffet breakfasts and plump pastries. Always at the forefront of emerging scenes, Denmark has also been quick to catch onto the organic and healthy eating trend – despite being a city of die-hard meat-eaters. Try Riz Raz for a has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed vegetarian buffet lunch and BioMio (the Meatpacking district) for hearty organic fayre in eco-friendly surroundings.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Copenhagen try the city’s answer to London‘s Hoxton or New York’s East Village. Nørrebro is the place to be if you fancy browsing bric-a-brac and antique stores and then stopping for a coffee at one of their unusually themed cafes. Why not lounge around on the huge sofas at Cafe Retro or head to The Laundromat cafe for the hippest brunch in town?
Become of fan of their architecture
There are many cities where traditional architecture sits side by side by with the very modern but there are few places where the juxtaposition is quite so pronounced. Take a waterfront stroll in Slotsholmen to find the futuristic polished black granite Black Diamond library directly adjacent the 17th century Christian IV’s Brewhouse. Explore this area further and find many other superb examples of both historical and innovative architecture.
Have an afternoon beer in Nyhavn
Yes this area is very touristy but Nyhavn is an iconic area of Copenhagen should not be missed on your trip. The multicoloured 7th century townhouses lined up along the waterfront are highly photogenic and come with a good (but sadly very overpriced) selection of alfresco bars and restaurants. A not too shabby place for an afternoon beer or wine – as long as your pockets are deep enough.
Take a trip to Christianshavn
Once a working-class neighbourhood, the area is now fully gentrified and has become a very trendy part of the city. The area has a feel of Amsterdam where colourful 19th century houses line attractive canals. Here you’ll also find cool cafes, retro stores and kitsch gift shops residing next to old school bodegas and exclusive restaurants boasting month-long waiting lists.
Find yourself in Christiania
Christiania is located in Christianshavn but deserves a special mention of its own. It’s a self-governing free state famous for its alternative culture. Visit Christiania for hippy goods, pretty exceptional graffiti and a chance to meet some of its interesting residents – although if you want to make friends just remember not to take photos on “Pusher Street” (for obvious reasons).
Go posh in Østerbro
This is an upscale neighbourhood characterised by wide boulevards and expensive villages in green surroundings. The district’s cafe’s, gorgeous shops and attractive waterfront hangouts make this area worth a visit. For an atmospheric walk try taking an evening stroll around the vast Sortedams Lake.
Try The Killing or the Bride Nordic Noir Tour
This dark television crime series set in a rainy Copenhagen has been responsible for increasing tourism to the capital. Now you too can follow in the footsteps of Detective Sarah Lund either by tracking down the series locations yourself or through a bus trip via a Copenhagen tour operator. Faroe Isle jumpers will probably be optional.