first days in copenhagen, denmark

16th September 2014

Nyhavn Copenhagen Ship

Where: Copenhagen, Denmark

When: September

With: Husband

How long: 5 days total

(this is the first installment of our trip to Scandinavia! Check out Copenhagen part 2 and our trip to Stockholm, here!)

Copenhagen Central Station

Copenhagen has long been on my list of places to visit. My obsession with it started probably 5 years ago–the colorful buildings, focus on biking, and, of course, the abundance of minimalist, inspiring Danish design drew me to it. I’d never spoken to anyone else who was interested in going… and once I realized it was one of the top most expensive cities in the world, the dream seemed a little far-fetched. But when my husband began working for a Scandinavian company based in Stockholm, my long-awaited trip fell back on the radar… maybe we could finagle something 🙂

Vesterbro square in Copenhagen

Finally this year we decided to hop over to that side of the world a week before he was supposed to be in Sweden for work meetings. Coupled with some amazingly affordable AirBnb stays, we were in business.

Airbnb rental apartment in Vesterbro, Copenhagen

We decided to stay in the Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen–it seemed to be the youngest, hippest neighborhood while still being very centrally located to the sights. We considered Nørrebro, too, but I think we made the right decision as it was a bit more out of the way (more on that later).

Little Paris Street, Værnedamsvej, in Copenhagen - flea market

Little Paris Street, Værnedamsvej, in Copenhagen - flea market

Our first day there, we mainly wandered around our neighborhood, eating as we went. We started off at a neighborhood cafe called Bang & Jensen... and my obsession with the city was cemented immediately. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the locals were sitting outside drinking beers and eating the most beautiful food.. for a simple cafe, we were shocked how artfully our meals came prepared. This was a theme throughout Copenhagen–everything seemed effortlessly beautiful and well-designed. I wanted to go back to this place every day, but resisted for sake of adventure.

Copenhagen cafe Bang and Jensen in Vesterbro

We strolled around a beautiful reservoir near the planetarium in the afternoon, before making it back to our apartment to rest and prepare for dinner at a trendy local spot Madklubben. Overall, I’ve decided the coolest people in the world live in Copenhagen. Everyone was tall, skinny, blonde and generally beautiful. If you go, wear shades of black and white to fit in!

Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen

Copenhagen street art

On our second day there, we were lucky enough to be invited on a free boat tour through AirBnb meet-ups. The morning started off a little rainy, but we still found so much beauty strolling from our apartment to the meeting point at the piers next to Amalienborg, the Royal Palace. We passed through Strøget, the main pedestrian shopping street areas, then through Nyhavn, the port you are probably used to seeing in all the photos of Copenhagen, and even saw the changing of the guards at the palace.

Copenhagen strøget square

Nyhavn in Copenhagen

bikes in Nyhavn, Copenhagen  Amalienborg, royal palace in Copenhagen

Amalienborg, changing of the guards

The boat trip was an hour long, through the canals around the city. We met a few other Americans [they seem to be very rare in Copenhagen] and I even met a girl who is best friends with someone I used to work with–such a small world! It was really nice to see the city from the vantage point of the water, especially early on in the trip so we could plan out what spoke to us and return to it later. I’d highly recommend doing something like this if you get the chance. We also noticed there were several groups that seemed to have rented tiny little boats solely to putter around and drink beers while doing it. Now that is really what we should’ve done…

Copenhagen, view from the water

Dome of Visions in Copenhagen

We felt overall there was a TON of construction in the city… but this dome is cool–read more about it here

Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen

Danish Architecture Centre

Noma Restaurant, Copenhagen

The building on the left is home to Noma–the famous restaurant.

Christiania, Copenhagen

A view of Christiania from the water — Copenhagen’s hippie commune that operates independently from the city.. More on that later.

Boat in Copenhagen Canal

That evening, we had dinner at Höst–an incredibly warm, cozy and beautiful restaurant that has been getting lots of great reviews. Since we were never going to make it to Noma, this was our attempt to mimic the experience. It felt very special and the fixed menu is only half of what you’re getting. We were surprised to get an amuse-bouche in between every course! Particularly by Copenhagen’s standards, it was really reasonably priced. It was a lovely way to end our second day and further kick off the trip.


Stay tuned for more on our adventures!


EatHöst – a really memorable, fixed menu meal experience

DrinkMikkeller Bar – we went to the Vesterbro location.. and later, to the Stockholm one

Do: Rent a decent bike, go on a boat trip early on

Stay: at an Airbnb in your type of neighborhood–Vesterbro was perfect for us [had a Brooklyn feel, young, hip and filled with tiny shops, bars, restaurants and cafes]. We stayed here and loved it.


4 thoughts on “first days in copenhagen, denmark

  1. Pingback: scandinavia 2014 – remaining days in copenhagen | between cities

  2. Pingback: scandinavia 2014 – exploring stockholm | between cities

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