I have just come back from a 4 days trip to Copenhagen and I feel like telling you a bit about this wonderful city. This post is going to be in-between travel diary and city guide, and I hope it will make you feel like visiting Copenhagen and give you some useful tips and info if you’re planning to visit this city in the near future.
Staying in Copenhagen
The first thing I need to warn you about is how expensive this city is. If you are on a budget, Copenhagen is not the destination to go for. Apart from that, people in Copenhagen are quite welcoming and speak an amazing english so you will not be in any trouble to communicate with them.
We stayed at the Hotel Astoria, which I highly recommend. It wasn’t a very cheap hotel but it’s still one of the cheapest hotels that we found… Hotel Astoria is a lovely hotel where the famous Danish ‘hygge’ is at its highest: the organic breakfast was absolutely amazing and everyday between 5pm and 6pm there was a wine hour, which means that we could go to the hotel’s bar and drink wine for free. It is also very well located, just next to the Central Train Station and Tivoli Gardens. Only drawback: the bathroom was so small that it didn’t have a shower cubicle strictly speaking… If you are tall, this might be a bit of an issue.
What to do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is bursting with cultural attractions, in particular museums and castles. On the castle side, we went to visit Rosenborg Slot, which is a beautiful castle surrounded by big gardens which was turned into a museum in the 19th century and which stores the jewels of the Crown. It was an interesting and informative visit. You could also visit Amalienborg Slot if you wanted to – it is the current residence of the Queen.
In terms of museums, Copenhagen has also a lot to offer. We went to the Louisiana Museum, which is one of the best modern art museum I have been to in a long time. It is not located in Copenhagen but in the surrounding countryside so you need to take the train for about half an hour to go there, but it is absolutely worth it. The museum itself is beautiful: it is located in a huge garden filled with sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore or Mirό and looking down on the sea. It has a very rich permanent collection that you will love exploring if you are into modern art, and also hosts brilliant exhibitions such as Thick Time – William Kentridge, which we had the chance to see. Other great museums from Copenhagen that were on our To-See List but that we unfortunately didn’t have time to see: the Nationalmuseet, focusing on Denmark’s history, and the Designmuseum Danmark.
Another great experience you shouldn’t miss is the Copenhagen Free Walking Tours. We did the ‘Grand Tour Of Copenhagen’, which lasted for 3 hours, with a Danish guide who took us to the most important parts of the city and gave us really interesting information not only about the buildings and the city but also about Danish society.
Denmark is the country of design and Copenhagen has got many many design shops so if you are into interior decoration, you will like doing shopping in this city. Three of my favourite shops I came across in Copenhagen are Hay House, a beautiful shop filled with home accessories which also has a room devoted to stationery (with some of the most beautiful notebooks and pencils I have ever seen), Illums Bolighus, a cosy and charming department store with an awesome offer of home accessories and lifestyle objects and, finally, Magasin, which is the biggest and oldest department store of Copenhagen, and a beautiful building. The most famous shopping area is Strøget, a long pedestrian street in the centre of Copenhagen, which is lined with stores, mostly from high street brands. Another very pleasant pedestrian shopping street is Strædet, which comprises many independent jewellers and accessories shops.
Finally, Copenhagen is a great city to just chill out. The Harbour – or Nyhavn – is lined with restaurants and cafés and it is an incredibly pleasant place to stroll in the sun. I’m sure you’ve all already seen a picture of Nyhavn, it is one of the most emblematic places in Copenhagen and always serves as cover for touristic guides… Well, it is as pretty in real life as in these picture! Freetown Christiana is also one of the most interesting places to walk around: it is a small hippy town inside Copenhagen, where squatters have established since 1971. It’s full of gardens, ‘hand-made houses’, art, communal restaurants, market stands and people smoking/selling weed. A whole different side of the city! Another really nice area to have a walk around is Værnedamsvej, in Vesterbro. These little streets constitue the French district of Copenhagen and are filled with wine and cheese shops, flower shops and amazing cafés with tables outside. And, of course, the famous Tivoli Gardens is a must-see, which we unfortunately couldn’t go to (they are closed from January to mid-April) but they do look stunning even from far.