I’ve just about completed another week of work since arriving home from Copenhagen and I desperately miss it already; so much so that I put together a Copenhagen City Guide so I can gush about my favorite places. The first steps I took in Copenhagen immediately made me fall in love with the city. We never made it out to Aarhus like I had hoped but I am sure I would have enjoyed it just as much. I hope someday to visit other Scandinavian cities such as Stockholm, Oslo, and Helsinki. My heart has been set on Stockholm for some time but there was something so refreshing about Copenhagen. It may have been the kind, beautiful people or may have been that speeding vehicles were replaced with quiet bikes, which everyone seemed to have. We felt comfortable and like we were able to really be residents of Copenhagen for our 10 days there.
We went nonstop all day everyday but I always felt at ease. There was something so effortless about Copenhagen. It never felt too big and that may be because the entire country of Denmark is similar in size to the state of Maryland. I can’t speak for the whole country of Denmark, but Copenhagen was beautiful. It seemed like every street we looked down had a timeless canal or bold, brightly colored buildings. The public transit was amazing (trains, buses, metro) but I was grateful to still get the opportunity to wander down all the beautiful neighborhoods by foot.
Wow. Christiania is exactly what I thought it would be. We walked here on a beautiful, warm, sunny day and it was quite the experience. It’s also known as Free Town and is pretty much a hippie commune full of people living together in their own way. Pusher street was like nothing I have ever seen and Chris and I got lots of laughs watching all the residents (and visitors) have a great, relaxed time. If you go to Copenhagen, you HAVE to come here. Take it easy on the photos, though. You don’t want to residents giving you the boot.
Let me start by saying we did not go inside at the Rosenborg Slot. We arrived after the castle had closed but that was OK with us because it was absolutely beautiful. It looks over a huge, gorgeous park (The King’s Park) that on the sunny day, was packed with people lounging in the sun. The castle has a moat around it that was full of koi, which were near the surface waiting for food to be dropped into their midst. If we ever go back to Copenhagen, I would like to tour the inside to get the full effect.
I think this might be one of the most popular sites in Copenhagen. We made the mistake of visiting on one of the longer days where we were out walking and by time we made it to the tip of the canal, we were absolutely exhausted. It was also cold and windy, which did help control the crowds a bit. We still didn’t have the energy to get too close but that was just fine by us. It’s a beautiful statue and was worth the trip. We got to see it again from a different angle on our canal tour, which I highly recommend. It appears to get vandalized a lot and, funny enough, was just doused in red paint earlier this week.
Talk about grand. We walked by Copenhagen’s City Hall every day but didn’t tour the interior until one of our last days in the city. Not only was it free (score!) but it was very beautiful. Definitely worth a walk through as it’s right in the middle of the main city center.
We kind of just stumbled upon the Round House. I had it on my list of places to visit but we decided to tour it on a whim. It was cheap to get in (our Copenhagen Card had expired at this point) and the walk up the tour wasn’t too bad. We were just wheezing a little. 😉 It was pretty cool to walk up the circular path where horse-drawn carriages walked 400 years ago. The view at the top was pretty amazing too and really helped us get an idea of how all the different parts of Copenhagen are put together. I recommend this when you first arrive.
Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world. It is located right in the center of Copenhagen, which I thought was pretty cool. The footprint from outside looks small but they really pack so much into the space. There are tons of options for lunch and dinner and the rides were pretty legit (though I have to admit that I did not ride any). Chris and I checked Tivoli out during the day early in our trip and again in the evening and I don’t regret going twice. During the day, we enjoyed the sunshine and strolled past the beautiful restaurants, the exotic peacocks, and all the sweet smelling ice cream shops and candy booths. If you have a Copenhagen Card, admission is free. We visited again on our last night and it was a magical experience. The lights are beautiful and they play live music on the central stage a couple nights a week. I am envious of all the Danish kids that get to go whenever they want because it is completely hygge.
What can I say? This cathedral was breathtaking. I knew this was one of the sights I wanted to see most and it did not disappoint. We did have to travel a bit further outside of the city center to get here but it was all worth it. We went on the one day it was cooler and sprinkling but thankfully we spent most of our time indoors as it wasn’t too far from the train station. Organ music was playing and we had the place to ourselves, which made the experience even more memorable. We spent most of the time we weren’t taking photos just staring up at the ceiling in complete awe.
I am a huge fan of Franklin Park Conservatory and the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen is like FPC times ten! The surrounding gardens are beautiful and we definitely chose a great time of year to visit. You could spend hours roaming the gardens and it would make a great place for a picnic on a sunny day. The interior is equally beautiful. The central Palm House really transports you to a tropical location with its greenery and humidity. We tried to take more photos but unfortunately our lenses kept fogging up. The best part – admission is free! I was amazed that you could just stroll right in and out as you please. I was disappointed, however, that the beautiful section filled with cacti was locked and I was forced to take photos through the glass.
The canal definitely is one of the coolest parts of Copenhagen. It played a big part in convincing me to visit the city and it has a very Amsterdam-like feel to it, which I love. The section around Nyhavn is definitely the prettiest but during our canal tour, I really got an idea of how far it stretches and how it connects the different sections of the city. If you visit Copenhagen, a canal tour is a must and I recommend it when you first arrive as it will give you a great idea of the city and how everything is connected.
I’ve mentioned it many times before but Chris and I are huge fans of Danish design. My favorite chairs are all made by Danish designers and I jumped on the opportunity to go to a museum showcasing all the best Danish designs. I got to see a real Thonet Bentwood Chair and real Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair. If you are a fan or well-designed things, make sure to check this museum out if you are ever in Copenhagen.
The Glyptotek was a pretty impressive museum. We got in for free with our Copenhagen Card (with the exception of the special exhibition) and I was in awe of all the art they were able to cram in. It is broken up into different sections (including French painting by the likes of Monet and van Goh, a collection of antiquities, and various pieces of Danish art) with a beautiful garden in the center as well as a cafe and gift shop. Some of the sculpture rooms were hot like green rooms but we did make it through just about the whole place before finally succumbing to the heat and desire for water and a soft place to sit.
I actually found this museum pretty interesting. Firstly, it is beautiful. The entry hall is bright with high ceilings and white walls. We definitely should have spent more time exploring all the different sections but we were already pretty exhausted from a full day of walking around. The museum is all about Danish history and I really enjoyed the first section about the history of the first man/woman in Denmark. There were many fascinating items on display and I would have liked to have taken the time to read all the placards describing the history of Denmark but we didn’t have a lot of time before the museum closed.
I had read great things about Louisiana but I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful the setting is. This did require a special ticket and about an hour or travel each way but I knew I couldn’t leave Copenhagen without visiting here. The museum itself was so interesting and I was really caught off guard with how much I loved the exhibition on South African artist William Kentridge. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of art, this is a must see. The rest of the museum was absolutely beautiful and I love how the breathtaking surrounding was tied into the art. I would love to come here again someday.
Chris and I did quite a bit of shopping, but neither of us purchased much (OK, let’s be honest, Chris purchased plenty). It was easy to visit a lot of stores as the main shopping area, Strøget and Strædet was so close to Copenhagen Central train station. I made a point to stop into stores that aren’t easily accessible in Columbus, Ohio (& Other Stories, Weekday, Monki, Cos, Hay, Dansk) but also made sure I visited Zara, Urban Outfitters, and many, many more. Chris had his eye on a few stores in Copenhagen and Malmö and we made sure to visit those as well.
I had this on my list of places to visit but I was lucky enough to just stumble upon it. Chris and I were told to visit the Meatpacking District by everyone we talked to so we finally made a point to walk around the area. We ventured off a little and found ourselves in front of this super cute boutique. It wasn’t large but it did have lots of beautiful Danish homewares, furniture, and reading materials. If you are a fan of Danish design, you definitely need to stop by even if it’s only for a look around.
I could not wait to get into Hay. As someone who really loves Danish design and Danish furniture, Hay is heaven. We went to the location that was right in the city center and it was everything I hoped it would be. It spanned multiple stories and everything was beautiful (very instagrammable). I restrained myself and only purchased a pair of notebooks and a box of matches, but there was a quilt and pillow that I definitely would have picked up if I didn’t need to travel overseas with an already oversized suitcase. This store is also a great place to take a cool photo overlooking the main pedestrian shopping area with a beautiful fountain.
Our trip to Copenhagen was my first trip to Europe and it was amazing. I could really see myself visiting again and it is even place I could see myself living there. Chris and I had an absolute blast and even took some video here and there that we may someday post on YouTube. In the meantime…. have you ever been to Copenhagen? If not, go! You will not regret it. And if you need more ideas of things to do and places to see beyond my Copenhagen City Guide, head over to Dapper in Columbus’s Copenhagen Shopping Guide.