THE LOCAL TRAVEL GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN (NEW!)
It is said that people from Denmark are among the happiest in the world. Whether it’s because of the delicious pastries or the trendy neighborhoods, there are plenty of reasons to book a city trip to the Danish capital. We hopped on the train and discovered the must-visits, as well as the best local tips in Copenhagen.
This relatively new hotel booking site invited us on this trip. To explain; Moonback started when one of the founder’s posts on LinkedIn went viral. He spoke out about most booking sites not being fair towards consumers, and yet they are still getting a lot of financial backing from our Dutch government. More than 2 million people agreed, and he decided to start Moonback. Other entrepreneurs hopped on the wagon, and they are about to change the way hotel bookings are made. The company is now well-settled, and well on its way to dominating the travel market by being transparent about what they offer. You can now book a hotel that suits your needs and not because a hotel paid to be on top of the list. They also have the trendiest hotels in their database, so it’s a win-win.
Copenhagen is not crazy far, so we opted for the sustainable way to travel; by train. If you have some extra time, and you find it relaxing to be able to work on the way and arrive in the middle of the city, then this is for you. At Choo-Choo you can book this easily, without much hassle, they arrange your ticket so you are secured of the best route and price. The train trip takes about 10 hours (from Amsterdam), but you sit in spacious seats and is a fine option for someone who wants to fly as little as possible within Europe.
Sleeping in Copenhagen
Choice abounds in terms of hotels in Copenhagen, but the hottest place to be right now is definitely Grand Joanne. This funky hotel – a recently renovated building from the 18th century, is brand new and located in the middle of the trendy Vesterbro district. The hip rooftop, cocktail bar, and beautiful interior are truly an asset to the city. I caught myself checking all the labels from the furniture to the tableware – you want to take everything home!
If you want to spend a special night, check out the Eco-Hotel Manon Les Suites where you have an indoor garden with a swimming pool. In this 5-star hotel, rooms can be booked for 500 euros. If you are looking for something more affordable (I get it), but belonging to the same hotel chain, check out Carlton 66 Guldsmeden. You can stay here for as little as 145 euros a night. Extra nice, they have 2 Air-streams in the garden where you can also stay overnight.
Places Worth Visiting
which has been around since 1843, sits right across from the train station so if you’re traveling by train, you can’t miss it. If you have kids, then definitely go. A ticket costs 20 euros and then you can walk around admiring the park which often has different themes and is currently in full bloom. If you want to scream in the roller coasters and other attractions, then you pay a small additional fee.
Christiania is basically a town on its own, in the center of Copenhagen. As the name suggests, people here live “free” without being part of the Danish state. Founded in the 1970s – what started as a free protest against the Danish government, empty buildings were occupied and people have never left here. They have their own flag here, their own rules, and some 1,600 people now live here. You can just go in, but you are not allowed to take pictures on the main “Pusher” street.
This bit can sometimes feel a little shady, as hash/weed and other substances are sold here. It is advised to visit the town during the day and take someone with you. The rest of Christiania feels safe and especially very colorful, in any case, nice to check it out! TIP; to the right of the entrance is a wooden “Troll” by famous artist Thomas Dambo. You can find his wooden giants throughout Denmark.
Like New York, Copenhagen also has a Meatpacking district. It is hip and full of nice restaurants and bars. For example, I ate at Camino, where they serve a kind of fusion tapas, very tasty and cozy. You can hang out until late, but there are plenty of places here to experience Copenhagen’s nightlife. (Cocktail) bars worth visiting are SOHO (chic), Jolene Bar (a cozy LGBTQI vibe), and WarPigs (for special beers), and within walking distance, you’ll also find the speakeasy cocktail Bar 1656.
This local park is located right in the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen. However, when you step in, it feels relaxed and quiet. The park has a large lake, beautiful trees, and willows hanging in the water, and several bridges. Buy a lunch-to-go and sit among the locals. There is also a cute café in the park called Flindt & Ørsted.
The Royal Library
This beautiful library from 1648 has 2 Uncesco-protected manuscripts, among others; works by Søren Kierkegaard and HC Andersen. The library’s courtyard garden is one of Copenhagen’s hidden gems, where locals come to read or relax by the fountain. The library has an old and new (the Black Diamond) section. The old section is still used as a study area, but unfortunately, you can’t just go in here. Peek through the glass though, it looks like a scene from a Harry Potter movie!
Where to Eat in Copenhagen
By all means, you must know that you can eat very very well in Copenhagen. Every corner has a trendy restaurants, even the normal burger bars look hip and happening. Yes, in Copenhagen they do it well when it comes to gastronomy. Here are some of our favourite places to eat.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Italian food if it’s not in Italy. However, the food here was pretty great! The pizza, the salads, the olives, it all worked. Look up to the ceiling when you eat here, it’s a colorful display.
Les Trois Cochons, Værnedamsvej 10
Located in a very trendy street that is also popular with locals, this hyped restaurant is good, but personally a little overpriced for what they serve. Lunch dishes were a little small, and I had to order some side dishes to fill me up. That being said, it’s worth a visit, even if it’s just for a coffee outside, which is perfect for watching the pretty Danish people pass by.
Camino, Høkerboderne 16B
Go here for your dinner date! Camino is located in the Meatpacking District as previously mentioned. This area is surrounded by bars, clubs, and other restaurants. The pretty and cozy decor compliments the food, although we heard that service can be a bit off. I experienced a lovely night, with tasty food, and good wine.
Ticket, Otto Busses Vej 45a
This restaurant is located in Banegaarden, a city oase which you can find as one of our hidden gems in Copenhagen. Ticket is a restaurant where you can taste a different cuisine every 2 months, which makes people return.
Lille Petra, Kronprinsessegade 4
This gem is not hidden anymore, but a gem for sure. A small courtyard will meet you when you enter, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Inside your eyes will feast on the beautiful Scandinavian design, mainly by the brand &Tradition. Best on a summer’s morning – a secret escape in the heart of Copenhagen.
Gro Spiseri, Aebeløgade 4
A rooftop restaurant where you dine in a greenhouse – an unforgettable experience, but book in advance! Based on organic products from local businesses and ingredients, which you can taste.
Torvehallerne, Frederiksborggade 21
This is not a restaurant, this is a hub of different restaurants and a food market where you can buy fresh food and Danish delicacies. Locals come here for drinks, and there are plenty of places to sit in and outdoors. Combine a visit to Torvehallerne with Ørstedparken, as it’s located just near one of the park’s entrances.
Surely, there are so many amazing places to discover where you can eat amazing food, but this is a little glimpse. If you are curious about where to get the best pastries, head over to our Best Pastries in Copenhagen article.
How to get around in Copenhagen
There are three options we would recommend;
- By Bicycle (you can rent one at BajaBikes where you can also hire a guide. Hotel Grand Joanne offers free bicycles for guests)
- By Metro (connections are quite good and you can buy a day card for all public transport which includes the ferry)
- By foot is a great way to find hidden streets
You need a bicycle to get to Reffen Food Court, but you can easily visit the Meatpacking District on foot. The metro will generally take you longer, but if you have plenty of time, do check it out.
To conclude, Copenhagen is a city you need to discover by talking to the locals, and you’ll get to some of the best places. Use this guide to your advantage, and let us know if you feel there is a must-visit spot that we missed.