It’s Tuesday which means my first travel Tuesday post is happening. I love traveling, and I’ve traveled mo which is why I feel this is a perfect way to share my inspiration, experience, and advice on traveling. Traveling Tuesdays will be about countries, cities and hidden gems, so no “how to pack for ____” or anything like that (That might come in other posts, though). You can look forward to a personal guide on where to go and what to do in a new county/city every Tuesday!
Today we’re starting off easy, with my hometown Copenhagen, Denmark.
Picture from my Instagram
Being a born and raised “Copenhagener” as we call ourselves, I know this city better than anything. As I’m currently New York-bound, living here for three months, I’ve also come to discover even more what distinguishes Copenhagen from other cities. For starters, Copenhagen is (as the picture also reveals) not a capital city like many. You won’t find skyscrapers or a skyline like Manhattan’s. Most houses are no taller than three stories and have the cute fairy tale red roofs. The city is definitely also an underground city, meaning the best parts of Copenhagen is hidden away from the eyes of a tourist. Of course, there are some differences when going to the best local places, being a tourist, but I still believe these will bring out the best of Copenhagen – local or not.
To start with it’s clear to say that if you’re looking for skyscrapers and streets wider than the houses themselves, Copenhagen isn’t your place. Are you on the other hand, looking for a European historical city, filled with small exclusive shops and streets older than the US as a country, Copenhagen is your place to go. With the you-can-never-be-seen-wearing-sweat-pants attitude, and the classic northern “it’s the beauty of simplicity” slogan, fashionistas and jet-setters fill up the streets of Copenhagen.
The city can offer you anything from the most relaxed hipster cafés and art exhibitions to expensive hotel suites, Dom in the glass and Hermés over the shoulder. However, I must admit I tend to enjoy the first mentioned more in my city. Copenhagen is a city perfect for art-lovers and people wanting more than just the usual show-off tourist experience. The city offers everything street-style and we love it. On a sunny day, you will see each and every Copenhagener out on the streets, sitting by the canals, on a rooftop, in the parks, on the many benches located all over the city or even just on the stairs of the front doors.
Now, of course, all the tourist attractions like walking through Strøget, going to the National Museum of History, The Little Mermaid, taking a stroll down Nyhavn and all that jazz. However, I have my own opinion on where to go and what to see, which brings me to my Copenhagen Bucket List. My list is a mix of my favorite Cafés, restaurants, art exhibitions, local stores, bars or anything else I love the most about my city:
- Bo Bjerggaard Gallery
Located in the Meatpacking district, Bo Bjerggaard Gallery couldn’t have a better location. The gallery houses a big variety of modern art and is absolutely amazing to visit for any art lovers. The place is fairly huge and you can easily spend and hour or two lost in the works hanging on Bjerggaard’s big white walls.
- Café Kaffe
A small cozy Café, that puts the H in hipster. Kaffe (“Coffee” in Danish) is located on Istedgade, Vesterbro. A trendy down to earth area filled with people from every background and of every age. The place makes amazing coffee and for a decent price (I’d even say cheap for the quality and location).
- Mexi barMexi bar is a small bar located at Nørrebro.
The trendy, edgy and youthful area, where a Shawarma is more common than Smørrebrød (a danish traditional dish). Mexi bar has that perfect mix of cheap delicious cocktails and kitsch theme, with a bit of irony to it. Perfect place for a fun night with a lot of delicious cocktails, and if you want to go somewhere else after, the area is filled with other options to continue your night out.
- Louisiana Museum of Modern ArtLouisiana is one of Denmark’s best museums. Being the Danish equivalent to the Maeght foundation. The museum hosts big exhibitions from the most trendy international as well as local artists. The place itself is worth a visit with its amazing architecture and surroundings that are absolutely breathtaking on a clear day.
- Blume cocktail bar and nightclub
I get tired of the standard nightclubs and their crowd from time to time, which is why Blume is an all time favorite for me. It’s the perfect sophisticated cocktail bar and nightclubs, aimed at an audience that’s a little older than +18, making it a lot more relaxed and less of a place to show off how many girls you can get to your table by buying bottles. With deemed light, bartenders in suit jackets, specialty (and extremely delicious) cocktails and a dress code that’s not just about showing as much skin and flash as many high-end brands as possible as possible.
(The actual age limit it +25, but I’m 19 and get in without any problems, so just dress to match the crowd and you should be fine)
- Mother Restaurant
Now, my Italian friend would probably not speak to me for a day, if I was to say that Mother’s pizzas were some of the best pizza’s I’ve ever tasted, but those big round dishes sure are delicious. With an Italian cuisine taken into a danish setting, Mother’s offers unorthodox but absolutely delicious pizzas, with an Italian foundation and a little bit of a nordic twist. Enjoy a delicious pizza in the meatpacking district at Vesterbro. This area in itself is worth a visit, so while there, you might as well take a stroll around.
- Lêlê Street Kitchen
Lêlê Street Kitchen is a part of the delicious Vietnamese restaurant Lêlê. The street kitchen offers a little bit more of a relaxed city vibe, whereas the traditional restaurant is the perfect anniversary or business dinner restaurant. Both can brag with some of the best food served in Copenhagen. In the summer time, it’s absolutely a must to swing by the street kitchen at Vesterbrogade and head to Vesterbro Torv (a square on the other side of the road from the restaurant) and eat it there in the sun.
- Mad & Kaffe
Now, this one might not me much of a secret place, as Mad & Kaffe (“Food & Coffe” in Danish) has been named best Café in Copenhagen several times. The owner has just opened a new Café at Amagerbro, but the only one I can vouch for is the Vesterbro (and original) one. This café offers the most delicious build-it-yourself brunch and a homemade lemonade I’ve never tasted better. I think the picture speaks for itself here.
(It’s not possible to make reservations here, so be there at opening time to be sure to get a table right away, otherwise be prepared to wait)
How does a trendy city vibe, without the posh attitude and only the chic and cool atmosphere and interior sound? Fiskebaren is a perfect place for the city girl/boy who loves to sip cocktails at a trendy and modern bar, with both the right mussels and gin to serve. The bartenders in here are also incredible. Excellent staff, with a nose for the trendy, without the need to feel better than everyone else. The food is amazing too, and you truly feel welcome, when stepping into this amazing bar/restaurant. Bring a friend or your date along for a night with exquisite food and drinks.
- Bakken nightclub
Bakken is a small and edgy nightclub, where you will find more different types of people gathered at one place than any other place in the city’s nightlife. With electronic and alternative music playing, beer as the preferred beverage and a smoking area bigger than the dance floor, I think you already get the idea of where you’re stepping into. Don’t expect table service or Balenciaga bags anywhere near this place. Here you’ll meet the comedians, musicians and the underground artists of Copenhagen. A perfect place to meet new people, as everyone here is very open and talkative.
- Danish Museum of Art & Design
This is my favorite museum of all time. The building in itself is amazing and walking through the exhibitions, showing design (furniture, interior and fashion) throughout danish and partly European history. The museum café is also worth a visit – even if you’re not into art and design. With delicious food and an amazing backyard to sit in and sip a coffee, the place is a perfect escape from the noise of cars on the streets.
(Admission is free for anyone under the age of 25)
When I say Copenhagen, Turkish shawarma is probably not the first thing that pops into your head. However, Kebabistan (located on both Vesterbro and Nørrebro) is a perfect place to grab your lunch or dinner (or your night snack, on your way home from a night out). The place earned the title “Best Shawarma in the City” at Copenhagen’s annual competition (yes, we have that) two years, which I believe is reason enough to go in itself.
- Perch’s Tea Room
Now, the brits aren’t the only ones who are good a tea. Located in the inner city, Perch’s tea room offers the best tea (and chai!!) I have ever tasted. It’s definitely on the pricey side, but also worth every penny! The store is a cute little room with Paris style interior and a delicious aroma – and the tea room follows the same almost royal feeling. Reservations are usually suggested both at noon and on Saturdays. Otherwise, the store alone is also worth a visit, as you will for sure come out with the best tea you have ever tasted.
- Meyer’s DeliI worked as a service assistance in Meyer’s Bakery for 1.5 years and it was 1.5 years of heaven when it came to my bread basket and croissants for lunch. Meyer’s is also what’s saving me from my cravings when I’m walking the streets of New York (Meyer has opened various departments in the Vanderbilt hall at Grand Central Terminal). The nordic cuisine is already delicious in my opinion, but with Claus Meyer behind it, I could survive happily on only that for the rest of my life. Meyer’s Delhi is the Café/Restaurant serving the most delicious nordic food, where the focus is on quality, freshness and organic products. Absolutely my all time favorite place for a relaxed but nice lunch or dinner.
- Canal tours with the Netto Boats
What would be a better way to explore a city filled with canals, than from the water? Copenhagen has a wide range of sights worth seeing from the water. Most tourists will be guided to the standard canal tours, but the Netto Boats offer the same experience for half the price. I always took the canal tours with my dad, when I was smaller, which would be the high point of the week to this day. If you can, I’d recommend to go for the tour at sunset.
I’ve also done another post about unknown attractions to visit in Copenhagen. Read it here!
(Apologies for the not-so-great layout. For some reason it won’t appear how I’ve made it)
Hope you enjoyed my first real post.