Last week my family and I headed to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, for a few day of exploring a new city.
I’d heard great things already – Megan Ellaby’s vlog and blog post had me seriously excited before we’d even touched down, and I was not disappointed. The following is a little overview of where went, what we did, what we ate, and some outfits I wore, it’s hefty one so buckle up, and if you make it to the end I’ll be forever impressed.
Food & Drink
I’ve heard it said before, but it really is true, it’s harder to have a bad meal than good one in Copenhagen. Seriously. From sea food to pizza, coffee to Aperol Spritz, the quality was staggering. You would hope so, given the high cost of living – similar to that of a central London/ Kensington high street type level – is so high. I’m talking £11 (90kkd) for a cocktail. Yikes. But at least the quality of food and service really did match up to the high prices.
Mother is situated in the meat packing district, in the hip, young, Dalston-come-Peckham equivalent of Copenhagen – Vesterbro, where we were staying. A relatively new hub of business and creativity, in recent years, restaurants, galleries and bars have popped up creating a new centre for Copenhagen’s beautiful young people to gather. The pizzeria has an open air oven, benches – complete with blankets to keep warm in the evening, a minimal, tiled, cool as hell interior, and hella tasty pizza. Also offering antipasti, a shed load of beers, wine, and luckily for me, a delicious april spritz, the place is, in my opinion, a must for a meal out. However if you have a particularly sweet tooth this place not satisfy your sugary cravings, as it provides only one dessert. I quite like this though, they know what they’re good at, and they stick to it.
Mad & Kaffe
If you don’t mind a wait outside, then head to this place for brekkie. We had to wait in the rain, but the gang at Mad & Kaffe have got it all covered with benches and parasols to shelter in, and a mass of huge umbrellas to huddle under whilst you wait. Always bustling – bench the queueing, but worth the wait (f.y.i. not too long considering how busy it was). Whilst you wait you’re given a menu, customers have the option of choosing either three, five or seven items to make your perfect breakfast, and you can pick the same thing twice if one of something isn’t going to cut it. With everything ranging from avocado, bacon, scrambled eggs, croissants, yoghurt and muesli, strawberries and cream and a homemade cinnamon bun, they’ve got all your breakfast needs covered. Drinks are not included in the 3/5/7 items either. I went for the hazelnut iced latte, butter croissant, cinnamon bun and homemade blueberry yoghurt with muesli. Hands down one of the best breakfasts and coffee’s I’ve ever had and the service was quick and friendly, the atmosphere buzzing.
Not an april spritz themed bar. I just have a lot of photos of aperols consumed. Beware, they are expensive, 90kkd on Paper Island (£11.25), and around 70kkd at Mother (£8.75), so if you’re wanting to drink but aren’t fancying the price tag that accompanies cocktails, wine is a little less expensive, and beer is pretty reasonably priced, with craft beer available basically everywhere – Copenhagen being the liberal bastion that it is!
Paper Island – Street food heaven
Paper Island, once a big load of warehouses used for nothing more exciting than storing massive quantities of paper, is now an indoor borough market type, with a staggering amount of food stalls to choose from and multiple bars for a tipple if you so choose. Next door is a gallery space currently showing a Yoko Ono exhibition outside, with a new exhibition opening the day we visited.
Whilst as expensive, if not a bit more so, than the rest of Copenhagen, it’s a great place to stop and refuel. I chose a pretty gin cocktail and a BEAST of a hot dog complete with potatoes, two organic sausages, and sauces of various description.
Must See Places: Nyhavan
The iconic backdrop of Copenhagen is the Nyhavan Harbour. It does not disappoint at all. Gorgeous colours, old boats lining the canal banks, tourists everywhere, even an outdoor Ei Wei Wei refugee exhibition to boot.
Note to all, it is not easy to take photos here – in the summer the streets (and boats) are packed to the brim with tourists – and idiots on cyclists who wolf whistle as they cycle past mid photo-taking.
The weather was wish washy to say the least, around 20 degrees, but with brief bursts of rain and blazing sunshine. Needless to say this patent jacket from Monki was on and off, on and off, all day long. Underneath I wore one of my favourite shirts. Complete with ruffle collar and bib, a purple, green and blue check, this shirt always makes me feel put together with minimal effort.
On the bottom I wore my relatively new And Other Stories light wash straight leg jeans. This wash goes great with the colours of the shirt and my boxy patent jacket, though if I were to go back in time I’d try and get a shorter leg length, which I feel would be more flattering.
If you’re looking for a colourful backdrop for your photos then this is the place to head. Every single building is painted in a gorgeous colour, and it’s not hard to see why this tiny part of the capital is such a draw with locals and tourists alike. Not to mention the endless restaurants, bars and gelato shops that line the canal on either side.
Architecture – buildings, cobbles, cobbles galore.
It isn’t just Nyhavan that can claim the award for most coloured buildings. Everyone side streets, cobbled square and main road has gorgeous architecture all around. These colour buildings line a hidden away square just off of the main shopping strip Strøget.
My Vans Old Skool were my saviour on this trip, whether paired with my new alternative to denim – a pair of wide leg high waisted black trousers with some serious side slit action going on – or with fishnets and light wash jeans, I could spend all day wandering and exploring without any rubbing, and my feet are notorious for being rubbed to shreds in just about every pair of shoes I have ever owned. For a casual look I added a fun pink and red ringer tee from Asos complete with strawbs on my boobs. Could you get more fun in a t-shirt? I doubt it. I paired all my outfits with this funky banana print tote bag also from Asos, lightweight and big enough to fit my camera, phone, makeup and jacket in it was perfect both in terms of utility and style.
Everywhere you look in this city, there is something interesting to see. whether its yet another piece of interesting architectures, the roller coaster landscape of Tivoli or the gothic looking Christiansborg palace and Central Station.
Design is everywhere you look in Copenhagen. The national bank took seven years to complete and the architect died before it was completed because he designed every single piece of furniture inside, as well as the building itself. Every single building I walked into, was amazingly decorated, fitted out and filled with most scandi cool furniture ever.
- Everyone is beautiful – no really. So damn beautiful.
- Watch out for the cyclists – the roads really are run by the cyclists.
- It’s expensive. Divide all prices you see by 8 to get the sterling price and you’ll see.
- There exists a culture of trust alien to the UK – particularly Londoners. Thousands upon thousands of bikes – none have locks. Everyone just props their bikes up against walls of buildings.
- It’s safe. I could count the number of sirens I heard in five days on one hand. People are out having fun, but it doesn’t appear to turn rowdy, stealing is far more rare than in the UK.
- Everyone speaks english. And yes, it will make you ashamed that you speak no other languages.
- The Danes are like the British – reserved. But still more friendly than Londoners on tubes.
- You can walk everywhere – we didn’t use the metro or the buses once, but you will be tired at the end of the day.
If you’re looking to explore a new city I would THOROUGHLY recommend Copenhagen. It’s one of the only cities other than London I’d love to move to, it has everything, and feels more spacious with more room to breathe – with only 500,000 living in the capital. Expensive, yes. Worth it? Hell yes.