I know, I know, this blog post is a little late to the scene. I got writers/creativity block, got in a funk, lost my mojo or however you fancy putting it, and didn’t want this to go out until it was pretty much perfect and I felt ready to. So, a month or so later, here I am. Back with a new travel post *pats oneself on the back for finally getting back to it*. Whether you do or don’t know what trip I’m referring to, ya best get reading (although the title does kinda give it away).
At the end of February, I ticked off a new country from the European city break hot list. Where did I go? The title of this post may (most definitely did) give it away… but the new country was *drum roll please*… Denmark.
Copenhagen is a city I’ve wanted to go to ever since visiting Scandinavia for my first time on my trip to Stockholm. I instantly fell head over heels for scandi-fashion, the Hygge way of living, the interiors (my gawd, THE INTERIORS) and most importantly the kicked back and relaxed atmosphere that surrounds you.
Typically, on a European city break you might head to an Italian city, over to Amsterdam, parts of the UK or my favourite city to this day, Paris. I do love to tick off my bucket list destinations and we fancied something a little different and to visit somewhere we had both never been to. I have to say, Copenhagen is pretty on par with Paris for being my favourite European city, and that is saying a lot. Paris will always have my heart and be my number one gal for the go to city break, but CPH is pretty damn close.
So… what did we do? What did we eat? Where did we stay? Sit back, grab a cuppa and let’s get lost in some good old travel chit chat.
Copenhagen in 72 hours. Here it is.
After landing from a reasonable hour of the morning flight from London Stansted, we jumped on the airport shuttle train straight into Copenhagen Central Station. This took around 15 minutes and the trains run every 10 minutes from terminal 3, which is about a 5-minute walk through the airport. It will cost you around 35 DKK per person (approx. £4), and is the quickest, easiest and cheapest route into the city centre.
From the moment you purchase your ticket you’ll realise the currency in Denmark is DKK (Danish Kroner), not Euros which you may assume. This is of course handy to know pre-trip if you plan on taking cash, but I used my Monzo card for the entire trip as its fee free and card payments are accepted pretty much everywhere.
Off the train, we headed to our hotel. We were kindly hosted for our 2-night stay at Scandic Kødbyen*, aka the perfect representation of the Copenhagen I had imagined. It’s based in the district of Vesterbro in Kodbyen, more commonly known as the Meatpacking District. In recent years this area of Copenhagen has changed from its meatpacking routes to the trendy area of Copenhagen with bustling bars, nightlife and the best restaurants. It has a real Shoreditch feel, which was perfectly reflected throughout the hotels interior. Scandic Kødbyen’s interior is inspired by the Kodbyen area of Copenhagen – very artistic, laid back, cool, minimal and fun.
There are 5 room variations at Scandic Kødbyen, all beautifully designed and reflect the Scandi way of living. The hotel and the rooms make you feel right at home and so cosy you almost don’t want to leave. However, we had lots exploring to do so we had to – but I would’ve happily stayed there the whole time. We stayed in the Master Suite which blew me away the minute we stepped through the door. Not only do you get a huge bed on the first floor, there is another bed upstairs as well as a living area. The room also comes equipped with a beautiful bathroom, TV, wardrobe space, a Nespresso machine (very important) and all the other hotel essentials you might need for your stay.
The breakfast at Scandic Kødbyen is provided in the room rate and you won’t want any other option. There is so much on offer from cereals, freshly baked pastries, cooked breakfast, pancakes, eggs, fruits – everything you could want/need basically. Dietary requirements are well catered for to with a breakfast corner with gluten and lactose free goodness.
When it was time to get out and explore the hotel provides all guests with free of charge bikes to get around the city. We didn’t use public transport once other than to and from the airport and you really don’t need it. You save money and get to see so much more by walking and cycling. Copenhagen’s cycling routes are so easy to navigate and are super safe. Let’s face it, they needed to be with my roaming the roads.
It’s hard to sum up a whole day in a short space. I don’t want to ramble forever and I certainly don’t wanna lose you in that hot cuppa (or gin, wine, whatever you fancy) you’ve got in your hand right now. So, I’ve decided to do a quick roundup if you like, of what we did each day and how we did it below. Soon to come will be my fave spots in the Danish city, so stay tuned.
Walk around your local area – we stayed in Vesterbro as I had previously mentioned and seeing as Copenhagen has lots of small and very diverse areas, it was the perfect opportunity to see what’s around our local area. This is actually how we came across the restaurant Kiin Kiin Bao Bao, where we fine dined and wined for our first night. Top tip – note that name right this second if you are planning on visiting Copenhagen, as it’s home to my favourite asian-fusion food ever. The fried chicken bao buns were AMAZING – say no more. Wandering around also gives you a great sense of location and what your local area is good for. My first sighting was food, obvs.
Grab a drink at a bar and soak in the Danish culture – the perfect excuse to grab an Aperol and chat to the locals. The sun was shining when we arrived in Copenhagen, a very fab and unexpected result.
Visit a free attraction – there are always free attractions in cities and Copenhagen is full of them. Check out some of their beautiful churches or an art gallery, they have tonnes and you won’t be short of finding some you fall in love with.
Cycle to Nyhavn – we grabbed a bike from our hotel (they came free, result) and cycled around 15 minutes to Nyhavn, the most famous part of Copenhagen. It’s the most beautiful canal to walk along and it’s the perfect start to a day of seeing what Copenhagen is really about. It can get touristy so I’d head there early morning or mid-late afternoon.
Must see Tourist spots:
When visiting a new city you just have to hit those touristy spots don’t you. The great thing about Copenhagen is that all the tourist attractions are spread out and almost all are quite quiet. They’re not too overcrowded and the majority are free, win win.
Rundetaarn – a 17th century round tower located in the centre of Copenhagen. At the top (when you eventually get there, head spinning from the circular walk up) are stunning views and the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective.
Botanisk Have – aka the Botanical Gardens. This beautiful spot in Copenhagen’s city centre is home to historical glasshouses with an extensive array of plants and flowers. We spent a good hour or two wandering around the glasshouses finding all types of beautiful greenery and losing ourselves in the warmth.
Kongens Have – or more commonly known as the Rosenborg Castle Garden/The Kings Garden. This is home to the private gardens of the 17th century King and the modern-day Royal Guards, who you will see roaming around which is pretty cool.
Kastellat – this is home to an old fort that had been covered into army barracks. Walk around the star shaped hills and you’ll feel like you’ve got back in time. The views are beautiful.
Christiansborg Palace – the home to Danish parliament and the Prime Minister’s office. We didn’t go inside as we passed this on our bikes but even from the outside it’s stunning and if we go again, I’ll definitely pop in.
The Lego Store – Denmark is the home to Lego and this store on Stroget is not to miss. Filled with all the Lego and more to satisfy your childhood dreams.
Go to a Joe and the Juice – Copenhagen is home to Joe and the Juice and I was so happy to see that they were everywhere around the city. It’s on the hotlist as I had to include a reliable coffee spot. You’ll pretty much always be within walking distance of one and it’s the perfect opportunity to grab a coffee or a juice, indulge in the relaxing atmosphere of the city and have a break from the cycling/walking. My fave juice is the Energizer. The do a damn good oat latte to. We went to grab a juice everyday on our trip. Why the heck not when it’s home to the Joe’s.
CopenHot – an outside hot tub, sauna and massage spot hidden away on the Danish waters with the most stunning views of the city. Yep, you can sit in a hot tub or sauna, sipping on some vino with views of Copenhagen, day or night. This had to be my highlight of the trip as I’d never experienced or even seen anything quite like it. More info to come soon.
Dinner at Magasasa – after a long but adventurous day I was so ready for gin and food (more Asian food might I add). The Asian cuisine is hot in Copenhagen and you can’t miss out on it if you go. This Asian haven was a 30 second walk from our hotel and they served the most incredible dim sum. Although it was an Asian restaurant, the same Danish hygge vibe was in the air and I would’ve 100% gone back for more if we had another night.
Our feet were well and truly throbbing from the heavy 30,000 steps and miles covered on bikes the day before, so a slow day was in order. We grabbed bikes again – my feet were very grateful – and cycled to Osterbro for some well-deserved brunch at Café Baryl*. Osterbro is a place to add to the list for its beautiful parks, brunch scene and also to see how the people of the city live. We cycled through so many neighbourhoods and saw so much of Copenhagen we wouldn’t have seen otherwise if we chose to use the Metro. The cycling system in Copenhagen is a must.
Brunch @ Cafe Baryl* – this brunch spot is a must. I’ve never eaten such a feel-good brunch. This little café is located on a corner of a resident street and doesn’t look much from the outside. Its quirky interior boasts the hygge way of Danish living and the menu is like nothing I’ve seen before. All of the food and coffee is organic and there’s a bit of everything for everyone. From gluten free and vegan plates, to open sandwiches, smoothie bowls and warm porridges to snacks and sweet treats. I had their glutenallergic plate which was ginormous to say the least (but I did eat it all, oh yes). There was a spinach salad topped with avo, a poached egg, smoked salmon, homemade carrot hummus (need that recipe). Then there was a chia porridge topped with fresh fruit, coconut sugar and soy whipped cream – YUM. I had a green tea matcha latte to and fell in love with matcha. It was a good time.
Wander Stroget – this is a pedestrian boulevard home to all of the main shops. We always leave shopping till the last day and let’s face it, you can do this at home. Also, you’ll most probably find yourself passing this area your entire trip as it’s in the middle of everything and is where all of the main bars/restaurants are. But I wanted to head here on the last day to visit Hay House, the furniture shop you may see all over Instagram when you search ‘Copenhagen’. I wanted to buy everything but of course, my hand luggage wouldn’t allow it. Sad times.
It was time to head back to the hotel to grab our bags and head home. I could’ve stayed here for way longer but we went for 3 days because as you all you know, duties call. 2 nights is plentiful duration for a trip to Copenhagen, to see and experience everything you’d want to. However, I would happily stay here for a week. There are so many things to do and a few more days would let you experience living the zen, calm and Hygge way, but it is easy to be selective for a shorter amount of time if you’re looking for a quick break.
If you have been or are going to Copenhagen, drop below your favourite parts. Foodies out there, I’m sure there’s a good coffee shop or restaurant you went to that’s on your favourite places of all time. Copenhagen does spoil you for choice.
Where’s next on your European city break list?
* This post includes a complimentary stay and food collaborations *