Copenhagen Guide

Having visited Copenhagen last October, here’s my list of recommendations:

Coffee & Pastries

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  • The Living Room (Larsbjørnsstræde 17) really cosy little coffee shop with armchairs and settees, also makes a great cup of coffee.
  • Royal Danish Playhouse (Sankt Annæ Plads 36) modern glass-fronted building right on the waterfront with a view of the spectacular Opera House, you can also eat lunch/dinner.
  • Torvehallerne (Frederiksborggade 21) – big covered market with loads of amazing stalls selling everything from sandwiches to sweets, fresh meat, cheeses etc. In one corner there’s a coffee shop/stall called Coffee Collective with to die for pastries right across the way at Laura’s Bakery.
  • Café G (Kejsergade 2) a nice modern coffee place, a friend who just spent a few months in Copenhagen as a student recommended this to us.

Drinking, Dining & Nightlife

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  • As a general area, Kødbyen has become a trendy spot in the middle of a former meatpacking district, a little bit like Smithfield. Pretty much any of the places there will be good, but we liked:
    • Patépaté (Slagterboderne 1), all wooden tables, candles, books and a lengthy wine list. Good place to go share a bottle.
    • Mother (Høkerboderne 9) Italian place run by Italians with food to match. While you can go for drinks or dinner just like anywhere else, they have this fantastic buffet brunch on weekends that I can’t recommend highly enough.
    • Fiskebar (Flæsketorvet 100) only popped our heads in, but by all accounts they do great fish and seafood. Relatively informal setting, perhaps comparable to Wright Brothers in Soho.
  • Ørsted Ølbar (Nørre Farimagsgade 13) a little studenty and there are TVs dotted around, but a relaxed, local-feeling bar with a good selection of beers.
  • BrewPub (Vestergade 29) a bar with a microbrewery next door. You could order a flight of 5 different types of local beer to sample which we really enjoyed. They have a good selection and you can do a little tasting tour if you like.
  • Restaurant Oubæk (Store Kongensgade 52) is a cosy little bistrot, on the expensive side but if you want one evening where you really get to experience the culinary scene in Copenhagen this is a great choice. This and its sister restaurant “Retour” were particularly recommended to us by a friend who has lived in Copenhagen for years.
  • MASH (Bredgade 20) – reckoned to be the best steak in Copenhagen. They just opened their first branch outside of Copenhagen in London which I’ve been to – it’s priced similarly to Hawksmoor but I’d say it’s even better.
  • We also heard that the following places were good restaurants but didn’t get to go:
    • Kong Hans Kælder (Vingårdstræde 6), Bistro Huks Fluks (Gråbrødretorv 8), Formel B (Vesterbrogade 182), Nimb Brasserie (Bernstorffsgade 5).
  • There seemed to be quite a few cheap buffets along the Vesterbrogade. Probably perfectly good for a cheap lunch / dinner.

Things to See and Do

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  • For great views over Copenhagen, the Rundetårn or “Roundtower” (Købmagergade 52A) is central while you can also go up The Church of Our Saviour (Sankt Annæ Gade 29).
  • While you’re visiting the church, there’s also Christiania right next to it. It’s a sort of autonomous community within Copenhagen. Most famous now for the drug culture, with cannabis openly sold etc.
  • Kastellet and Little Mermaid – famous fortress, down by the water there’s the obligatory visit to the Little Mermaid statue. Worth it just to avoid the recriminatory “You went to Copenhagen and didn’t see the little mermaid statue??” comments. Afterwards we headed south along the waterfront while the sun was setting which turned out to be a nice walk.
  • Tivoli – 160 year old amusement park, and again one of those famous sights that everyone will tell you to go to. Alton Towers it isn’t, but is quite quaint in its own way. It may not be open by the time you go so check first. Better at night.
  • Rosenborg Palace and Gardens – it’s a palace and gardens.
  • Nyhavn – picturesque canal with lots of old boats and colourful buildings. It’s lined with bars, some of which might be good but many of which looked to us like tourist traps.
  • The Louisiana – modern art museum right on the coast with it’s own outdoor sculpture park, about 45 mins by train from Copenhagen Central Station. They had a couple of really good exhibitions too when we went.
  • You could also continue up the coast on the same train to get to Helsingborg and Hamlet’s castle (Shakespeare called it by its English name, “Elsinore”) if that’s of interest, and there’s a ferry that can take you over the short straight to get to Helsingborg in Sweden. We thought the castle was just ok, riding more on the Shakespeare connection than actually being worth a visit in its own right.