- Spring 2015
- Eat Smorrebrod!
- Explore cool urbanism
- Shop Danish Design
- $100 – $125
- One Day
Don’t even think of driving in Copenhagen; 45% of all trips in Copenhagen are done on bike! Check out the government’s annual Bike Account for more interesting facts about bicycling in Copenhagen.
If you are not comfortable on two wheels, the subway is a great option to get around, as is walking! For my perfect day in Copenhagen I mostly stuck to using the subway and walking. Many pathways clearly distinguish which area is for pedestrians versus bicyclists.
Thanks to jet lag, I was able to start my day in Copenhagen quite early in the morning. One slight problem with that strategy was that the majority of shops and restaurants in the city do not open until 10 am. I had to do some specific research of early breakfast options to discover Granola, a lovely spot, popular with the locals, that served outstanding oatmeal.
The restaurant is located in Frederiksberg, which is actually it’s own municipality, completely surrounded by Copenhagen.
For my afternoon pick me up I really wanted to try the famous Coffee Collective, know for their tasty, sustainably farmed coffee. The Coffee Collective only has three coffee bar locations in Copenhagen; I chose to visit the one at Torvehallerne market so I could cross that must visit culinary destination off my list at the same time!
It’s comforting to know the Danes appreciate coffee art just as much as I do.
In terms of traditional Danish fare, the “smorrebrod” is one of the most classic lunch foods around. It would be silly for anyone to visit Copenhagen and not eat one of these open faced sandwiches. Lucky for me, there was a smorrebrod stand just down the aisle from Coffee Collective.
The display case alone felt like a piece of art. I opted for the chicken salad with bacon option. I’m glad I tried it, although it was a bit too salty for my taste. Everyone around me was ordering the fish sandwich so perhaps I was just not in the “know” with which type to try.
Copenhagen has taken off lately as a top global culinary destination. Driven in part by the famous restaurant, Noma, Copenhagen is definitely solidly on the culinary world map. Many of the restaurants serve fresh, local ingredients and reflect a variety of world cuisines. Given the long day, comfort food seemed like the best option. What is more comforting than pizza? Mother, is a hip restaurant in Copenhagen’s former meat packing district that serves delicious wood oven pizzas.
Watch the wood fire action from your table!
The perfect, chewy crust and fresh sauce makes for a satisfying end to a long day of exploration.
Complete your night with a pint of local beer from the happening, Mikkeller bar, a short walk from Mother.
When you only have one day, it can be hard to choose which activities to check out. In this case I really wanted to be able to walk the streets and get a feel for the layout of the city. I also wanted to browse shops that showcased Danish design at its best.
Parks always rank at the top for me when it comes to exploring cities. Copenhagen is of course, very well known for its amusement park, Tivoli Gardens. I wasn’t quite up to that level of excitement so opted to check out Frederiksberg Park or “Have” as they say in Danish. The park was a 15 minute walk from breakfast at Granola. When I arrived, around 8am, it was just me and a few joggers; I felt like I had the place to myself. One of the highlights of the park is seeing the Frederiksberg Palace. What a beautiful place to imagine being a princess!
Overall, I probably spent an hour wandering the park. So many places to stop and view wildlife or just contemplate in general. After the park, I made my way back towards Copenhagen proper, more specifically Torvehallerne market. There are a couple of transportation options, the Frederiksberg metro stop is nearby and can take you to the Norreport station, a block from the market. I chose to walk, which took some time but also allowed me to check out some of the cities dedicated trails for bikers and pedestrians.
Opened in 2011, Torvehallerne market is a must-visit food hall. With over 60 stands in two buildings one can easily experience a wide variety of Danish cuisine and specialty items in one place.
I was able to enjoy artisan coffee and a traditional smorrebrod (see Food and Beverage) which properly prepared me for the rest of my action packed day. All fueled up, it was time to go shopping! I recommend checking out the pedestrian shopping street (Ostergade) it is very centrally located, about a 15 minute walk from the market.
When it comes to shopping in Denmark I first think about furniture and home goods. If you are interested in seeing the Dane’s minimalist modern asthetic, Illums Bolighus, located on Ostergade is the place to go.
I wanted to buy everything in this store. Instead, I settled for a couple of kitchen items that were reasonably priced and could fit in my suitcase. I also spent a good deal of money in the children’s section buying adorable toys for my nephews.
Speaking of toys, no visit to Denmark would be complete without a trip to the LEGO store! Also located on Ostergade, the store features a wall of purchase by the piece LEGOs and every type of set you could imagine.
Choosing a gift to bring home for my husband had never been easier; he is still a child at heart and LEGOs are his favorite. I was able to get him an “adult” set that built various species of birds and flowers.
My favorite part of the store was the built replica of Nyhavn complete with sidewalk cafes and many, many tourists.
Now that you’ve seen the LEGO version, go see the real thing! Nyhavn is walkable from Ostergade. The street is great for people watching and drinking an afternoon beer; you can either sit at an over priced cafe and pay for the view or crack open a bottle while sitting on the benches along the water. After I had taken my obligatory Copenhagen post card shots, I was ready for dinner and rest. What a day!
I want to go back! Next time I’ll do whatever it takes to try to get a reservation at Noma, and I’ll drive my husband around in the ever popular cargo bikes! Finally, I’d love to make enough money to actually be able to buy the beautiful furniture at Illums 🙂
What would you do on YOUR perfect day in Copenhagen?