A Copenhagen Travel Guide

Thursday, December 13, 2018
Me and my pal recently planned a wee break away and decided on Copenhagen! I saved up for flights and accommodation from working during the summer and doing some online selling then off we went! It was probably the coldest place to go but minus temperatures aside, we had a great time and ate like queens. Denmark has always been hyped up or 'stereotyped' as the happiest country and I was curious to see if it was...and if so, why?

Here is what we got up to, where we stayed/visited/ate and if I personally found it to be one of the happiest places I've visited so far...

We travelled via Manchester airport then took the underground to the center and a quick bus ride to our accommodation - we chose central Nørrebro aka the coolest/nicest neighborhood in Copenhagen. We stayed at Amanda's Air BnB (see here for full info). It was in a super handy location, just across from a grocers, supermarket, bus stop, park with arty swings, bike hire shops etc. A nice, clean & minimal (as expected from the Scandi's) bedroom, shared kitchen/bathroom and shared roof terrace. 

The first night we were knackered from travelling and got in late so got some dinner then some zzz's before the busy day ahead of brunching and exploring...

The next morning we headed straight for the city center to brunch! We came across Atelier September and knew we'd found a gem. We both opted for the open-sandwich with avocado on rye bread (another Scandi thing) with boiled eggs, cheese and tea/coffee. The food was spot-on and the flavouring/seasoning was so good it was like little taste explosions were going off in my mouth, like really. 

The cafe had a nice 'n' cozy vibe and we were sat at the window, the perfect spot to watch the world go by. There was cool art work displayed around the cafe and a vintage shop in the back too. Despite it being pretty pricey, when it comes to 'hygge' and happiness, we found this place to tick all the boxes - it had a really calm atmosphere, candles, warmth and delicious food so definitely worth the occasional visit!

We wandered through Nyhavn which is the go-to tourist spot. Lined with multi-coloured houses, outdoor café terraces and a Christmas market - this place is very photogenic and has plenty to do as long as what you want to do involves buying, drinking or eating!

Afterwards, we visited the Danish Museum of Design which offers free entry for under 25's, hurray for youth! Me and my friend both loved this museum and it was filled with inspiration and fun things to look at including tech, fashion, furniture and more. Again lots of photo opportunities to be had and ideas to be made! They also had an insanely good gift shop and I wanted to buy everything.

Candid but cold!

These gorgeous heart lights were along all the streets in the city center for the festive season and I think they are some of the nicest yet not-too-over the top Christmas decorations I've seen.

We also checked out the Danish Film Institute which is a must for film-lovers! It had a great gift shop with DVDs, books and more, an exhibition, a cafe (with a super friendly English man working there) and of course a cinema, plus a restaurant.

The 'Hotel D'Angleterre' with an advent calendar window display.

As for shopping, there is plenty and a few shops that we don't have here in the France/UK. They have a WeekdayMonki AND I even saw a retail outlet selling ADER clothing. We also came across a pop up store for Axel Arigato which was more of an art exhibition than a shop. So shopaholics, Copenhagen is the place for you!

In the evening we dined in and made a quick pasta meal plus vino from the supermarket before we headed out. Minimal photos from the night out but we had a great time. First, stopping off ever-so randomly at a game bar, yes you read right! We were a little early for a gig we were going to so popped into Bip Bip Bar which has everything from arcade machines to retro games on tiny tv's where you can basically get drunk and go square-eyed simultaneously. Finally it was time for some live music at the new venue called Alice, to see Gruff Rhys with support Bill Ryder Jones. It felt like being back in my ex-student town of Liverpool as many locals had come to see these British artists. 

After was followed by a trip to a bar which the name of I do not know but they served very nice cocktails... anyhoo, after that I met a Danish man outside called Kim to whom I asked whilst slightly tipsy "are Danish people really happier?!" His answer was quite slurred but I think he said something along the lines of that it's just a stereotype like every place has. That happiness depends on you and not on the place you are, that Copenhagen has problems like every where else. He rambled something else, then it was time to say bye and go for chips - taxi - bed...

Needless to say the next day we felt a little delicate. We got up late, had a supermarket lunch outdoors facing a pretty canal then ventured to the much talked about 'Freetown Christiania' based in Christianshavn. It's basically a little town nestled within the town where anything goes, I mean nearly anything. There's no cars passing through, just bikes, lots of graffiti and street art, stalls, shops, food stands, etc. However I was little surprised to see what was basically an open-air 'coffee' shop, if you know what I mean...the whiff in the air said it all! Taking photos in certain parts of Freetown is not advised so it's an experience worth seeing with your own eyes. Also maybe better to go on a day when you're not hungover like we were.

The day was mostly a wandering day as a lot of museums and such were closed but it's a very quiet, calm city to explore on foot or bike. 

By about 5pm we were already hungry so headed to a place my friend found online, recommended for vegetarians, called Gao - a dumpling bar. Oh my days, the food was insanely good! It had a 'tapas' style menu so you get lots of little dishes of different things but I think we slightly over ordered as we ended up staying for over two hours because we had to keep taking breaks...we got mushroom/spinach dumplings, deep-fried tofu, noodles, veg and noodle soup. As you can see from the photos below, the interiors were very cool and the food was heaven.

Following dinner, we decided to see a movie (not able to face a second night running of drinking) at the Empire cinema and saw Suspiria, the modern remake by Luca Guadagnino. The movie was in English with Danish subtitles but there was a lot of spoken German too which we didn't realise so probably lost the plot (literally). Overall, the movie was pretttyyy intense and freaked the cr*p out of me! I think I liked it but then again I was happy for it to be over, it left me feeling similar to how 'mother!' did, if that resonates with anyone!

Monday was our last day and the day of our flight so we spent time wandering round town, finally ate at The Union Kitchen then explored the Botanical Gardens which was a beautiful bit of haven in the middle of the city.

In conclusion to my essay - just kidding - no, but really, did I find out if Denmark is the happiest country in the world? I think my random drunken encounter on Saturday summed it up and that it really does depend on you. However, I did come back from the break feeling motivated to do as the Danish do and appreciate and enjoy the 'everyday' things more. Food, comfort, lighting and warmth and the simple effects they can have on boosting your happiness and wellbeing.


Unfortunately I brought the wrong adaptor for my camera charger so was unable to make a video of my travels and most of the photos above were taken with my phone. However I hope you still enjoyed this little documentation of my time in Copenhagen and it's useful if you plan on visiting too! Farvel!