With its laidback atmosphere, creative neighborhoods, canals, and super fresh street food, Copenhagen is one of our favorite cities in Europe. Cozy and intimate, the Danish capital deserves at least a few days of exploring. Here’s where — and how — to check out one of the Scandinavia’s best-looking cities.
1. Exploring the city by bike
Copenhagen is super flat. So flat, in fact, that half its students and workers commute by bike. Do like the locals and make use of the capital’s excellently signposted bike lanes. You can pretty much cycle everywhere, including to Frederiksberg Gardens. Right in the city center, this is a huge park where you can try your hand at rowing … and spotting elephants. Really. Play your cards right, head to the center of the royal gardens, and you might be able to get a glimpse of the big-eared species. Copenhagen Zoo is situated right here.
2. Trying the capital’s street food
We absolutely love strolling around the street stalls of Papirøn, an island squeezed in between the Opera House and the world-known restaurant Noma in the city center. Let the food take you on a trip around the world: Think Belgian fries double-fried in duck fat at Copper and Wheat, a pulled duck meat burger at Duck It, II Mattarello homemade pasta, and classic smørrebrød (open Danish sandwiches) topped with cold cuts, fried onion, or herring and boiled potatoes.
3. Climbing the stairs of Tårnet
Just next to Christiansborg Palace — home to the Danish Parliament and some regal events — lies the Tower, or Tårnet as the Danes call it. We love climbing up the stairs to the platform and restaurant to enjoy the view of Copenhagen from a completely new angle. On a clear day you can see all the way to Sweden. If you’re hungry, book a table at the restaurant and order some freshly-baked rye bread and home-cooked Danish dishes.
4. Having a picnic in the park
Buy a couple of Danish pastries to go, or an ice cream with cream and jam in a cone, and hit King’s Garden. This beautiful park surrounding Rosenborg Castle is full of flowers and perfect lawns. Together with a fair share of Copenhagen’s population, spend the day sitting on the grass, eating good food, and people watching. If the weather doesn’t allow for a picnic, stroll around the garden and pay a visit to Rosenborg Castle, completed in 1633. Check out the Danish crown jewels and get yourself immersed in Denmark’s royal history.
5. Seeing the water from a canal boat
By heading out on its idyllic waterways by canal boat, you’ll see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the futuristic-looking Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace — the winter residence of the Danish royal family, the glittering Black Diamond library, and the one and only Little Mermaid statue.
6. Loving food and the good things in life
Danes are known for enjoying the good life. With a capital that’s home to some of the best restaurants in the world and one of the prettiest, old-fashioned (in a good way!) amusement parks — Tivoli Gardens — Copenhagen makes the perfect base for eating and drinking like a king and spending a day riding roller coasters.
Some of our foodie picks include sharing food and eating whatever the chef decides to bring to our table at Manfreds on Jægersborggade 40; opting for a tasting menu that typically includes Asian dishes like lobster with Thai ginger and oyster sauce at Kiin-Kiin, and munching on organic ice cream made with the help of nitrogen at Istid in the hip, multicultural Nørrebro district.
At Tivoli, spend the day screaming as you hang upside down riding The Demon, then calm things down a bit on the Ferris wheel or by strolling by the lake in the pretty gardens.
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