The charm of Copenhagen is undeniable, a city of fashionistas, bike lanes, smørebrød and stunning design. No wonder thousands of tourists visit the harbour city each year. Michael and I ended up spending about three months, living the CPH lifestyle, working a little, exploring local spots and having a traditional Danish festive season. From our experience, we have a better insight into the hygge lifestyle, the focus on happiness and emphasis on wellbeing. There is no doubt, that if you’re thinking of living somewhere in Europe and aren’t put off by the weather, CPH should be a strong contender, although from our experience maybe ensure you have secured employment beforehand.
Dissimilar to my other blogs that are more of a recount of a short time, I’ve been able to compile a list of places, eats, activities, bars and so forth, so you can choose what you would like to do when you visit one of my favourite cities in the world. A list of options and a quick summary. It should be said that due to the prices of eating out, we mostly ate at home and treated ourself to a meal out once a week or on special occasions. There is no denying that it is a very expensive city but it’s still affordable if you’re smart with your cash. Nevertheless, I hope it inspires you to drop in to my idea of Scandi heaven.
Also, a shout out to our friends Westy and Lucy for sharing our CPH experience with us. We shared the festive season with them, making our temporary homes into Christmas sanctuaries. Many of the places below we visited together and we thank them for their knowledge and insight into CPH life.
So here’s the list of some of our fave things to do in CPH, enjoy!
- FREDERIKSBERG GARDENS: Beautiful gardens, walk and explore here. It’s incredibly grand and feels like you’re walking in a fairy-tale set. Winter, covered in snow or summer with festivals and picnics on the grass, it’s a stunning place to enjoy the Danish lifestyle.
- NYHAVN: Colourful buildings by the harbour, postcard CPH.
- THE KING’S GARDEN: The country’s oldest royal gardens. Established in the Renaissance style with immaculate flowerbeds and garden paths, it’s a dreamy place to escape.
- ØRSTEDSPARKEN: Very close to the city centre, picturesque throughout each season. In winter you’ll see kids sledding down the hills.
- ORIGINAL COFFEE @ ILLUM: rooftop view of the city, get there and take it in.
- TIVOLI: The quintessential place to visit, become a child and explore this beautiful amusement park. Christmas is magical, also open for Winter in Feb, summer sunsets at 10pm too, pick your time to visit.
- DESIGN MUSUEM: I mean, it would be rude to come to Denmark and not explore the Danish design that is widely renown.
- ELSINORE: Historic town, 45 minute train ride from Copenhagen.
- ROUND TOWER (RUNDETAARN): For awesome views over the city.
- AMALIENBORG: Four identical palaces that are home to the Danish Royals.
- MARBLE CHURCH: Stunning dome, largest in Scandinavia.
- ASSISTENS CEMETERY: Burial ground, green oasis, cultural treasury. Denmark’s best known cemetery, the final resting place of famous Danes, like fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.
- FÆLLEDPARKEN: The city’s largest park, get lost here. It’s in the happening community of Østerbro.
- SUPERKILEN PARK: Eclectic urban space that runs through the neighbourhood of Nørrebro.
- THE DEER PARK: Dyrehaven is only a 20-minute train ride from the centre of Copenhagen. Wild deer and pretty surroundings, if you want to escape the city, head here.
- ALTERNATIVE CHRISTIANIA: A ‘free town’ it’s an interesting place to view an alternative society in a modern day city.
- CHRISTMAS MARKETS: If you’re here in December, there are loads of Christmas markets to choose from with the idyllic festive feel. We enjoyed a gløgg (Danish mulled wine) at these spots; Nyhavn, Kongens Nytorv, Tivoli Gardens and Højbro Plads.
- LAKES DISTRICT: Cool to walk or run around and watch a sunset – Summer or Winter.
- STRØGET: Pedestrian shopping area, right in the centre of the city. Get your shopping fix here.
- ILLUMS & ILLUMS BOLIGHUS: Illums Bolighus is the premier centre in Scandinavia for Danish and international design.
- MAGASIN DU NORD: A big department store with lots of Scandi brands in the heart of the city. The building is quite spectacular to view as well.
- BAHNE: Lots of Scandi brands, homewares, womens clothing and accessories.
- JÆGERSBORGGADE: Cool stores, more boutique with a hipster vibe. Located between the Assistens cemetery and Nørrebro Park.
- FIELDS: If you’re staying in Amagerbro and want to escape the cold weather, this is a new and easy option. Not a must visit by any means, as it is just a shopping centre but it houses a lot of Danish designers in the one space.
- FLYING TIGER CPH: Cheap with cool gadgets.
- SAMSØE & SAMSØE: I found lots of on trend items in here for a millennial age bracket, both for women and men.
- REZET SNEAKER STORE: Sneaker heaven, get on trend with a pair of sneakers from here. It’s acceptable to wear your sneakers with just about anything in CPH. I’d be embracing that comfort factor if I were you.
- SNEAKERS & COFFEE: In Nørrebro, more sneakers accompanied by coffee. Win, win.
- NUÉ GROUP: Copenhagen based fashion company. Stores are Nué and Another nué.
BREAKFAST / CAFES / BRUNCH //
- GRØD: Meaning porridge in Danish, it’s the best place for a warm breakfast and delicious coffee. Mostly porridge and a few other options, add your toppings and enjoy the hygge atmosphere. With 15+ options to add to your porridge, it’s a winner and a very CPH experience. MK recommends the caramel sauce topping if you’re into rich and sweet. Shout out to my bestie Georgie for shouting us to a Grød breakfast (remotely shouting us).
- MAD & KAFFE: Must visit for brunch and coffee (they have a few locations around the city). You put together your own breakfast board through a simple ticking system. It’s then presented beautifully on a wooden board with your own breakfast design, it’s delish and so aesthetically pleasing.
- MØLLER: Great brunch spot in Nørrebro, typical Danish style with the paper that you fill in to order your food.
- RICCOS: Cool place in Nørrebro to chill and relax after exploring the hip and cool neighbourhood. Great coffee and vibe.
- NATURBAGERIET: Vegan and gluten free bakery, yum!
- CUB COFFEE BAR: Very hygge cafe in the city centre with delicious coffee and a cozy feel. Great for warming those cold toes and fingers in the winter months.
- SIDECAR: Brunch with good vegan options in Nørrebro, on the more expensive side.
- FREDERIKSBERG CHOCOLATE: A chocolate shop in Frederiksberg since 1923, delicious chocolate, ice creams and coffee. The building is gorgeous, with original elements from 1923.
- WULFF & KONSTALI: Brunch, brunch, brunch. The typical danish way where you choose a selection of small dishes.
LUNCH / DINNER / EATS //
- SOULS: Healthy and delicious food, for b/l/d. You’ll find it here.
- JAGGER: Burger franchise with delicious fast food, find them in lots of locations around the city, simple menu with greasy goodness.
- TORVEHALLERNE: Really cool food hall with lots of eating options and a fresh food market. It’s centrally located near Nørreport station and has an awesome vibe. Over 60 stands are ready with all sorts of delicacies – some to take home, others to eat on site.
- TIVOLI FOOD HALL: Another cool spot with lots of different food options, very international. Great spot to eat if you’re at the Tivoli or in the city centre wandering. Lots of options in the one spot.
- HAND MADE: Where they serve some pretty epic Danish sandwiches that are priced around 75DKK (Smørrebrød).
- GORILLA: In the meat packing district, fancier restaurant with five courses for 400DKK. Nice spot for dinner or drinks to celebrate/splash some cash.
- TOMMI’S BURGER JOINT: Delish burgers and fries, fairly reasonably priced, located in the meat packing district.
- RIZ RAZ: Very reasonably priced vegetarian buffet. All you can eat. Lunch 89DKK or dinner 99DKK, very reasonable for CPH standards.
- CHUCK BASS: Fish and chips, authentic British style.
- PAPER ISLAND: Papirøen (Paper Island), Refshaleøen, Denmark’s first street food market.
- CALIFORNIA KITCHEN: Fast, casual healthy lifestyle restaurant. Salad bowl etc and reasonable prices for CPH.
- BANH MI: Good Vietnamese in Nørrebro.
- STEFANO’S: Delish pizza in Nørrebro.
- FALAFEL FACTORY: Always busy when I wander past, a simple menu with, you guessed it, lots of falafels. Top option for the vegos.
BARS / BEVERAGES //
- LA FONTAINE: Let jazz music fill the room while enjoying a good drink. Two for one drinks before 10pm.
- BASTARD CAFE: Board Game Cafe/great for getting a hygge vibe and playing lots of board games accompanied by beers/wine or coffee.
- THE WHITE LAMB: More live jazz.
- FLOSS: Step back into the 80s, for a raw, hip Copenhagen experience.
- MOOSE: Busy dive bar.
- RUBY: Fancy cocktail bar. Named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars in both 2015 and 2016.
- NOHO: Kickass cocktails in the Meat Packing District.
- Mikkeller and Friends
- WarPigs: Hip brewpub in Copenhagen’s buzzing Meatpacking District.
- BRUS: Hip local Nørrebro brewpub.
COOL HOODS //
- NØRREBRO: Cool, hip area with a younger crowd. Stroll down Nørrebrogade and duck down different side streets. Blågårdsgade is also really cool. Sankt Hans Torv and Elmegade cool streets to check out as well.
- VESTERBRO: The meat packing districts of Copenhagen. Awesome places to eat, walk down Istedgate for street art and cool stores.
- ØSTERBRO: Stroll down Østerbrogade, take in the cafes, shops and young family vibe. Just north of the city centre, it’s got an awesome vibe.
- FREDERISKBERG: Known as ‘Fancy Frederiskberg’, it has an upper class feel. It’s streets are picture perfect and it’s home to great shopping, food and green spaces, including the stunning gardens and Frederiksberg Castle, situated on the top of Frederiksberg Hill.
Much love, Laura xx