If I were to describe the city of Copenhagen as a feeling, it would be that the city puts me “at ease”. This city features the quintessential architecture of a historic European city, a food scene befitting of its label as the “new culinary capital of Europe”, an unbelievable humbleness in its people who also happen to be gorgeous and well dressed, and the impression of a government that just seems to be the perfect balance of non-intrusive, socially progressive, and relatable to the people.
If I were to move to Europe, Copenhagen would be top of my list. A Danish citizenship would be a dream.
This post is organized into 4 sections: Sights, Food, Social, and Transport
Definitely do the walking tour in this city. The Danish guides are quite humorous and will give you all the little riff-raffs they have with the Swedes and the counter-insults. For example, Denmark is extremely flat and Swedes often welcome Danes to come check out what actual mountains look like while Danes caricature the Swedes as mountain trolls.
Radhuspladsen literally means city hall square. You’ll soon realize the Danes’ naming system is pragmatic and entirely lacking in creativity.
[The company is called Copenhagen Free Walking Tours and guides hold up yellow umbrellas. Starting location is here: Rådhuspladsen, 1550 København, Denmark. Below are pics of the buildings around square where you start]
This is the historically royal palace which currently is home to the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s office, as well as the Danish Supreme Court. The courtyard side has a huge track where the white royal steeds are exercised as depicted below. My friends also took some aerial shots (they missed the tour because they overslept but stumbled upon the view)
The Stork Fountain (on the right) and a 360 degree view
Where we saw the Danish Prime Minister — Lars Løkke Rasmussen. He’s pudgy man in the navy shirt just sitting in the square with the guy in the black t-shirt. No security around. The Danes are super relaxed.
The iconic colorful houses by the docks are what people think of when they picture Copenhagen. It’s filled with touristy businesses now but used to be where sailors got rowdy. Apparently the government painted the houses in bright colors to drive the prostitution away but all it did was attract tourists, which then drove up the rent prices and ended up achieving the same goal in the end.
Danish Royal Palace
Apparently on weekdays, you can observe the prince and princess bike their twins in the front basket down the street to drop them off at a public elementary school where they attend alongside regular kids. Also the princess is an Aussie that the prince met in a bar during the Olympics way back.
Kastellet & Little Mermaid
One of the best-preserved star-shaped fortresses, Kastellet is like a walk around a giant park with military bunkers and moat bridges sprinkled across. Nearby, you’ll also find the Little Mermaid, a super underwhelming statue plagued by tourists climbing all over her for photos. We took a quick pic and never looked back. It’s also tiny btw.
We’re not big foodies so we try to go for 1 fancy meal per city. Cough cough, we might have spent 2 meals in this wok place on the side of the street; one time cuz everything else was closed, and the second cuz we ate space cakes and were high out of our mind and sat there laughing for 2 hours.
I found a really highly rated place — Restaurant Koefed — 8.7/10 (Foursquare), 4.5/5 (Yelp) and it was one of my favorite meals ever. Copenhagen is now widely labeled the new culinary capital of Europe so we had to go check it out for ourselves. Koefed is apparently the name of an island near Copenhagen where they source all their ingredients.
Pictured below are our 4-course meal featuring: smoked salmon and eggs, egg on steak, herring and some delicious pickled thing (the purplish layers), and the best pudding ever. I know I know, my descriptions suck since I didn’t write down the actual names or remember the specific ingredients. I thought it was cute they had these pockets in which bread slices are served.
Unfortunately we didn’t come on a weekend so didn’t get a chance to check out the club scene. Bummer :/ Next time.
The first night there, we did the Copenhagen Pub Crawl. It was pretty packed for a non-weekend day. We went on a Tuesday night. Overall I’d say it was a pretty positive experience. We got there really late and email messaged their page and they were super responsive. Definitely got to hit up some interesting bars and try some really strong local shots — be warned! You can get a taste of our night in the Snapchat video. Here’s their Facebook page and the website is linked here
Basically a freetown area that’s somewhat self-governed. Historically it’s a military compound that was abandoned and squatters began to move in but what it means for everyone else is that it’s a zone where you can buy marijuana, hashish?, and space cakes legally. Lots of vendors inside offering competitive prices. I forget the price but it was reasonable. Just go all the way in, buy a drink at the bar, and ask them what a reasonable price is. I don’t really have photos from here since apparently it’s super taboo to take photos inside and you’ll definitely get in trouble. Locals told me to turn off my gopro before going in.
Here’s photos I sourced from a travel blog called cphblonde.com to give you a sense of what it looks like. Basically hipster as shit. [images link to her post]
Copenhagen is very walkable so you won’t need transportation much. When we did get tired, we used the bus pretty easily. Pay by cash and google map to find the route you need.