Copenhagen: a traveller’s guide to exploring the Danish capital

Going on holiday to Copenhagen offers you access to a world of much-coveted Scandi cool, as well as excellent art, night life and, of course, coffee.

The city is compact, airy and leafy, crammed with independent eateries, green spaces and art galleries. Furthermore, it is friendly, accessible and easy to navigate – as long as you avoid tourist traps like Strøget and hire a bike, you should be able to see the city like a native!

While I could not recommend going to Copenhagen enough, it is worth bearing in mind a couple of things that you might need to prepare for: firstly, it is certainly not cheap so it is worth saving a bit beforehand and, secondly, the weather can be as cold and wet as what we are used to in the UK, so you are going to want to pack an anorak.

If you are looking for a Danish culinary experience, head over to Torvehallerne. Just off from the city-centre, near the Nørreport station, lies an immense covered food market, and a must for anyone even remotely interested in good food. Here you can find quality coffee, cuisine from every  corner of the world, traditional Danish smørrebrød (like an open sandwich on brown rye bread) and the healthy Paleo food which is all the rage in Denmark.

If you have a weak spot for smooth, flavoursome coffee and well-executed latte art then you need to get yourself down to the Coffee Collective. Copenhagen is filled with lots of nice (and not so nice) coffee chains, but if you want high-quality, hand-crafted coffee with an ethical conscience  then you should stop off at one of the Coffee Collective’s two Copenhagen cafes.

Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails…and more cocktails! Ruby is the place to be in Copenhagen if you want to get the local experience. It is expensive but the cocktails (and the people who come to drink them) are so fabulous that you won’t mind. Ruby is situated in a rickety townhouse and is pretty easy to miss, probably because it has deliberately been kept low-profile in order to keep us tourists out! Bartenders mix a range of seasonal drinks with the finest ingredients as well as a selection of well chosen classics. If I was ever back in Copenhagen I would order a ‘French Pearl’: gin, lime juice, sugar syrup, fresh mint and a splash of absinthe.

When you are done with the cocktails, why not head down to some of Copenhagen’s clubs. As a warning, remember that clubs tend to only be open Thursday to Saturday, so if going out is a holiday priority of yours, you may want to book your stay accordingly

Bakken KBH, for example, is lo-fi, low-fuss and lots of fun! Located in the Meatpacking District, there is a chill vibe at Bakken KBH, a club which attracts a crowd that are open-minded and know how to have a good time.

But enough with the food and nightlife,  Copenhagen’s culture is worth exploring also. Why not get down to Thiemers Magasin, a beautiful, cosy bookshop with a wide range of reading material and plenty of chairs to sit down in and while away an afternoon reading; this place is a heaven for bibliophiles. A bit off the beaten track, the surrounding neighborhood is pretty and full of other interesting little shops.

If you are interested in gaining insight into the Danish art scene then look no further — Andersen’s Contemporary is the gallery that represents internationally renowned Danish artists such as Albert Metz and the fantastic Oliafur Eliasson. The space feels hip, cutting edge and more than a little intimidating.

If you are still not convinced, head to the Designmuseum Danmark. With Scandi design and interiors sweeping the globe, it is great for anyone with an interest in design or applied arts. This museum is spacious, well laid out and informative.

So save some money and pack your bags, Copenhagen is waiting for you!




[Image: Trevor H]

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