Travel • Copenhagen

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Nyhavn: Harbour

Travel • Copenhagen

Fancy a quick escape from London, but you’ve already visited Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona or Belgium? How about Copenhagen? The perfect destination for a long weekend. The Den will certainly hit the mark!

With regular flights from all over the UK, it can be the perfect city break with lots to do and see. It’s easy to fall in love. It’s steeped history with amazing architecture, gardens, a canal and gorgeous cobbled streets if you want to get your camera out! Every where you look is simply gorgeous. Copenhagen is Denmarks capital city and is linked to Malmo in southern Sweden. Any fans of the TV series The Bridge would know where I’m talking about and from certain locations you can actually see the ‘bridge linking the two countries. More on that later. It’s a bustling city split into districts offering up something for every taste and budget.

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Here are a few examples of some of the districts and what they have to offer.

The City Centre 

An area full of bars and lovely cafés, stretching between Nørreport Station and Kongens Nytorv. It’s right nest door to Støget, the main shopping area. Elegant restaurants, late night jazz bars and bars.

Nørrebro

It’s in the North part of the city again only a few minutes from the centre. It’s the area renowned for being the artists, bohemian hangout. One of the locals favourite streets is Jægersborggade, known for its organic restaurants and cafés and vintage shops.

Vesterbro

The place for galleries, music venues, underground bars and tattoo parlours. There is a slightly seedy side, with some strip clubs and the like. Which I can imagine to be interesting at night. But to be honest not unlike Soho in London. But it’s mostly gentrified and perfectly safe.

Meat Packing District

Kødbyen this is the area is actually part of Vsterbero but it certainly has a vibe of it’s own. It’s really easy access to/from the airport from here. Also a 10 min walk into the centre. For part of our trip we stayed in a gorgeous little boutique hotel called the Anderson. Former slaughter houses have been renovated into cool restaurants and bars. Theirs lots to choose from. Similar to it’s namesake in New York. This is the Shoreditch of Copenhagen . Their are lots of small art galleries and studios. Whilst I walked into town I stumbled upon a fantastic designer having a sample sale. I bought myself a very stylish, rather unique top. I had to really…I had no choice. LOL…

The Freetown Christiana

This is a truly unique part of town. A former disused military base was taken over by squatters in the early 1970’s during the housing shortage. There, they formed an alternative society, exempt from Danish law.  This vibrant enclave is captivating and charming in equal measures. The history of the place and is residents is fascinating. There isn’t a ‘no tourist policy’ in this district, however the use of cameras and cars are forbidden within it’s ‘Green Light District’. Which, in my opinion should be respected.

Frederiksberg

The Rococo district home to the Royal Family’s Amalienborg Palace. Elegant restaurants, stylish coffee shops and Neo Classical architecture. Frederickberg Gardens is also worth a visit, its beautiful!

Nyhavn

Probably one of the biggest and probably most photographed tourists spot in Copenhagen. Made up of colouful town houses and the beautiful canal. In fact Hans Christian Anderson once lived in roughly 1835 on the main drag at number 20. Walk along towards the little Mermaid (which to be honest is a little underwhelming).  This were getting the water’s or tour really comes in handy at busier times. View it all from the water!

The thing that’s wonderful about Copenhagen despite being fairly expensive to stay. There is so much to do that won’t break the bank. Firstly; WALK, that’s free. It’s such a beautiful city, the perfect mix of historical, traditional, modern and innovative.  A sure fire way to lap up the atmosphere and culture. There’s art everywhere. Walk to the harbourside for some breath taking views.  If walking is not necessarily your thing, you can buy a ticket for a Red “hop on hop off bus”. Tickets are around £20. Or a Canal Cruise and Water tour. The one hour cruise seems to be the best value for money. Prices start at £10 depending on what time of day you go.  There’s the extremely efficient Metro which runs 24 hours a day every day. Or normal buses it it all be a bit confusing regarding zones etc.  A great solution is ‘Copenhagen Card’ which offers you unlimited transportation for the entire Capital Region. This includes transport to and from the Airport. In addition you get free admission to more than 80 attractions and museums. Also discounts on several restaurants, cafés and sight seeing activities. You can pre order the card and pick it up at the airport right away. Purchase HERE 

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There’s always bikes… You would not be alone or stand out if you decided to hire a bike. There are some great deals on different types of bikes. See HERE this company offer up a variety of bikes. Again a wonderful way to take in the city.

A visit to the many museums and Galleries. The National Gallery of Denmark is the largest art museum and it’s a real treat. It houses exhibits dating back to the 14th Century as well as amazing modern modern toboot! Then there’s the Museum of Denmark a short walk from the city centre. It filled with awesome Danish Culture. It covers 14,000 years of Danish History under one roof.  There are also so many green spaces and in Copenhagen. Including Tivoli Gardens, Rosenborg Castle Gardens ( a 17th century castle situated centrally). The Amalie Garden by the waterfront or the Botanical Gardens for the plant lovers, it has 13,000 species of plants, flowers and tress as well as a lake. You could stop, breath, sit and reboot before the next leg. Alternatively, stop for a cuppa. Copenhagen certainly has a big café culture, you’ll be spoilt for choice. A coffee and a good old “people watch” is always fun too…or is that just nosey me!!

If you want to venture out a little that s a good idea to if you have the time, money or inclination. My husband had a conference at The Bella Skye Hotel in København. A very different from where we were and the oldie world feel of central Copenhagen. It’s a really tall rather interesting futuristic looking building with stunning views. The rooms higher up have floor to ceiling windows. Which is why I got the view of the incredible øresund Bridge which of course the series is based on. (Sorry I’m a HUGE fan of the show). There are two restaurants and a brilliant spa. Also the hotel has the newly refurbished Sky Bar wth magnificent views day or night. The Bella Sky offers a regular shuttle service to the airport so maybe a visit before you head back to the UK. Alternatively; a trip to Sweden?

Some might say Copenhagen is an expensive city to visit. However in my opinion, there are ways you can experience it’s beauty, culture and people without spending the earth.

Gone on… or at least add it to the bucket list!

By Karen Bryson