After returning from my 16 years abroad in 2008, I think that I now can call “Dronningens By” (The Queen’s town), Copenhagen, “my” town, despite being a citizen of the country on the other side of the Øresund strait…
I always said that the best thing about living n Copenhagen is that it’s very close to home in Sweden…. despite the fact that I also sometimes feel Kenyan after my 11 years there. A true personality split…. 🙂
However, I do looove Copenhagen, and am ever so often being asked by friends from all over the world for my best recommendations when it comes to shopping, sights and eateries.
|The old stock exchange to the left and Christiansborg castle to the right – now serving as the Danish Parliament building|
|Beautiful approach into Copenhagen airport on SAS|
Most people fly in and CPH, Copenhagen Airport, is probably the best airport I’ve experienced anywhere in the world.
I always feel somehow proud of the efficiency of this airport, regardless if it’s the check-in lines or the security area (definitely the fastest and best in the world!).
The transit area also have an excellent selection of shops and restaurants – in fact, one of the best shopping areas in town is definitely the one at the airport.
Great food as well, like Lagkagehuset (sandwiches, salads and pastries to die for!), Joe&TheJuice (the avocado shake and the tuna sandwich….delicious!). Le Sommelier and Gorm’s are also excellent choices if you happen to be hungry always, like myself….
There are many great shops as well, not necessarily cheap, but a great selection of anything that you might need before, on or after your trip.
|Enjoy your flight!|
Transport to/from the airport is also fast and a lot cheaper than most other airports.
The airport is located 9 km. from the city centre of Copenhagen.
The same ticket is used for both busses/trains/metro in Copenhagen and the zone-system is a bit tricky. However, from the airport to get to the city centre you need to buy a 3-zone ticket (zones 1,3 and 4) and it costs around 36,- dkk (dansk krone). This is equal to around 4,80 euro / 5,40 usd.
Depending on where you are going, you choose between the train or the metro.
A taxi to the city centre is around 250-300 dkk. All taxis are metered.
Once in town, I’d always advise you to walk around.
If you do wish to go around, I’d recommend you buy a tourist city pass ticket, valid on all busses, trains and metro.
There’s so much to see in and around Copenhagen so it’s difficult just to mention a few things…but here are some;
As in most cities, this is really the best way to orientate yourself in a new city.
You get an idea about the place and information and facts along the way.
I can highly recommend these busses.
Tivoli is the oldest amusement park in the world, located in the citycentre, just opposite the Copenhagen central station and around the corner from the City Hall square.
Apart from being an amusement park, it’s also a very beautiful garden.
It’s green and lush with small lakes making it the perfect place to visit only to take a walk and enjoy the gardens.
There are many restaurants inside as well, you’ll get anything from “proper” restaurants such as Brødrene Frise, Nimb and Grøften to the typical, Danish hotdog place.
I love Tivoli as the gardens changes according to the season and being a Christmas junkie, my favourite time of the year to visit Tivoli is during the Christmas market (from mid Nov. and throughout Dec.). Magical!
The famous old port close to the Kongens Nytorv square – and the Kongens Nytorv metro station.
Very Copenhagen and probably the most visited tourist attraction.
Lots of restaurants and very, very delicious ice-cream at “Vaffelbageren”.
Tour of the canals
This is a MUST!!! Also a personal favourite and I always make sure I do this canal tour every year.
There are two companies operating the canaltours – only difference between the two are the price as one 50% cheaper.
Both departs from Nyhavn and the tour of the canals takes just over an hour. Amazing!
|The Marble Church and Amalienborg Royal Castle as seen from the waterways|
An old fortress and one of my favourite places to go for a walk with nice views of Kastellet and the waterways around it. You can find pictures here from Kastellet’s website.
It has the shape of a pentagram and houses a church, a beautiful old windmill and a church.
Walking distance from Nyhavn or bus 1A or 26 to “Esplanaden” or “Østerport” station.
Home of the Royal family and beautifully located along the canals.
Initially not a castle but the home of a wealthy merchant family.
Shifting of the queen’s guards every day at noon. Quite a nice and rare sight when the guards marsch from Rosenborg castle to Amalienborg castle every day.
More info: http://kongehuset.dk/english/palaces/amalienborg/amalienborg
This old castle is now housing the Danish Parliament, Folketinget.
It consists of several beautiful buildings and also houses the supreme court, the royal stables as well as the office of the Prime minister.
Read more about the castle and guided tours here.
–Carlsberg Breweries, I guess if you like beer or just wants to visit something very danish. You get to go through the history of Carlsberg as well as visit the old stables where the horses still live, that used to deliver the beer around town. A very interesting place, and yes, 2 beers (or sodas) are included in the entrance ticket 🙂
Those were my personal favourites.
However, there’s lots of more to see and do so take a look at Visit Copenhagen’s excellent website for more sights in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen is an excellent shopping city, by far not the cheapest in the world, however, the variety is amazing and during the summersales (starts mid June) and winter sales (starts right after Christmas) you can really save loads of money (up to 70%).
Malls and department stores
There are several good malls, was accessed by either metro or train.
–Frederiksberg centret at the Frederiksberg metro station (metro towards “Vanløse”)
–Fields at the Ørestaden metro/train station (metro towards “Vestamager” or the Øresundtrain towards Malmö/Copenhagen Airport)
–Lyngby Storcenter outside town but easily accessed by train to station Lyngby. Also many nice shops in the street, Lyngby Hovedgade.
In the city centre, near Strøget, you’ll find Magasin (located on Kongens Nytorv) and Illum (on Strøget) department stores – both very good!
Other stores, worth a visit on or close to Strøget
–Louis Vuitton – ask for Alexander Levy – he provides the best service ever… 🙂 As in ever!!!
If he’s not around, then Mohammed Al-Baraki is also really, really good.
–Royal Copenhagen – beautiful (Royal) Danish porcelain
–Georg Jensen – timeless Danish design (there’s also an outlet on Søndre Fasanvej 9 – close to metro station Fasanvej, metro line towards “Vanløse”)
–Illum’s bolighus (everything and anything for your home – lots of Danish design)
–Notre Dame (Nørregade 7 – small, beautiful things for your home)
–Companys (nice clothes, a good mix of brands)
–Peak Performance (The Swede in me loves this shop… Sporty, comfy,warm clothes)
–Normann Copenhagenis located in my hood, Trianglen at Østerbro, about 2,5 km from Kongens Nytorv (take bus 1A towards Hellerup from Kongens nytorv and get off at Trianglen bus stop).
Home accessories and lots by own design.
There are also several other shops in the same street/area.
If you know me, you know that I simply looooove, love my food….. 🙂
Copenhagen offers a great selection of eateries and here are some favourites and places well worth a visit.
– Restaurant SILO is definitely a big favourite restaurant. Located on the 17th floor in an old silo in the newly renovated Nordhavn quarters, right by the sea. The view is gorgeous and I love the food…prepared with only top quality raw materials – be it lunch, dinner or brunch – or just for a drink in the bar to enjoy the view after work. Service is so great you almost think that they are only open to make you happy 🙂
– SEA by Kiin Kiin is another favourite offering true Thai fusion deliciousness with a twist. Located in cosy Nyhavn, but with a Thai interior that takes you back to Thailand… Food is so gorgeous and service beyond outstanding!!!
–Sticks’n’Sushi is a chain with many restaurants in and around Copenhagen. Love their different set menus. Favourite spots are rooftop of the Tivoli hotel, Rungsted Havn, Tivoli Gardens (lovely view!) and Hellerup. Also good for take away/delivery).
|Sticks’n’Sushi on top of the Tivoli Hotel|
–Broens Gadekøkken / The Bridge Street Kitchen is a new street food market located right at the bicycle/walking-bridge between Christianshavn and Nyhavn. Here, you’ll find street food of high quality and the setting and ambience by the waterfront is really cosy.
–Royal Smushi Café is my favourite café in Copenhagen. Located on Strøget in a nice yard between Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. This is also where Oprah did her show about the Happy Danes.
-DagH is another favourite café/restaurant located in “my hood”, Østerbro. Right at Lilla Trianglen.
Looooove the breakfast and the brunch, as well as the beetroot juice 🙂
–Østerbros Originale Burgerrestaurant in my area of town serves the best burgers in Copenhagen! Huge, juicy and lots to choose between….
–Joe & The Juice is a juice- and sandwich bar/café. There are several in and around Copenhagen, incl. two at Copenhagen airport. I loooooove their avocado shake and tuna-avocado-sandwich!
–Noma If you manage to get a table, this is an amazing culinary experience (2 Michelin stars) in a nice, relaxed setting. Excellent service as well!
–Kiin Kiin was one of the first Thai restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star. Food is Thai/Asian fusion and really, really good! One of the best restaurants I know. The sister restaurant in Bangkok is also amazing!
|The cosy and private table number 9 at Kiin Kiin.|
–Søpromenaden is close to Trianglen at Østerbro, facing the inner lakes. Traditional Danish food. So good for both lunch and dinners and beautiful located.
–Den Franske Café next to Søpromenaden. Café and food (great burgers).
|Den Franske Café|
–Toldboden Nicely located by the waterfront. Brunch is good and in the summer, you can sit outside and enjoy fresh seafood bbq and fish n’ chips. Simply delicious! Great food, huge variety and good service.
|Brunch at Toldboden|
–Hereford next to/inside Tivoli serves great steaks and I love the tables facing Tivoli gardens…
–Brødrene Price / TivoliInside Tivoli. Lovely food and beautiful restaurant.
–Luna’s Diner serves yuummyyyy brunches as well as other meals. Very tasty and great service! My favourite is the one located in Christianshavn.
|Brunch at Luna’s Diner|
–Lele is a lovely Vietnamese restaurant. Also good for take-away.
– District Tonkin is another great Vietnamese restaurant in Dronningens Tværgade
––Damindra is a Japanese restaurant serving delicious gourmet sushi and other beautiful dishes.
–Gorm’s serves great Italian food. Different locations and my favourite is the one in Nyhavn 14. Also has a restaurant at the airport. My favourite? The dessert pizza…… 🙂
–Café Petersborg is one of the oldest restaurants in Copenhagen and the building is from 1700-something. A very traditional Danish lunch restaurant with excellent “smørrebrød”. Great location near Amalienborg Royal Castle.
–MAX Burgerrestaurant is the best fast food restaurant in Copenhagen. And I’m not saying this because both me and Max are Swedish….
Danish bakery shops….
….are by far the best in the world. I love the tradition of passing the baker’s shop in the morning to buy newly baked bread. The Danes are really, really good at this and definitely a MUST DO when in Denmark.
However, the very best one, with any doubt, is Juno the bakery– run by my fellow Swede, Emil Glaser. The deliciousness that is created at this bakery is out of this world and no words or superlatives are enough to describe this art of baking.
And YES, the line is long… but the goodies are well worth waiting for! Just saying…
If you have a car while here, then I highly recommend a visit to either of these two places – as they both offer gourmet food on a very high level, as well as accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Lots of ambience and well worth visit.
Hotel Frederiksminde is a beautiful place, located right by the sea about 90 km south of Copenhagen in the old town of Præstø.
The food and service is excellent and rooms all different and beautiful! you can read a lot more about Frederiksminde here !
|I love the breakfast at Frederiksminde!|
Dragsholm is a historical castle, located about 90 km west of Copenhagen on the countryside. Beautifully renovated and offers wonderful food and great service! This place was awarded a Michelin star a few years back and they really, really deserve their star!
Food is amazing and service outstanding – every time!
|The beautiful Dragsholm castle|