The Perfect Day in Copenhagen
The perfect day in Copenhagen is easier to arrange than you may think. As a city famed for its work-life balance, an ideal day in Copenhagen mixes contemporary Danish lifestyle and historical city charm. Start by soaking in the sunshine of picture-perfect Nyhavn, visit Tivoli Gardens, hit the stylish boutiques to check out the famed Danish aesthetic, sip some famed Danish beer, then sample some unforgettable Copenhagen cuisine.
Last week we spent 5 days in Copenhagen, Denmark. October is, for me, the best time to visit. It’s colder and there are more chances for rain but the number of tourists is drastically lower. I did not feel suffocated by them at all. Nyhavn harbor was almost empty every day. I love traveling in the shoulder season.
The rainy or cold weather can make walking down the famous Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark in the off-season a little tiring. There’s a little bit of magic just off the main walking street in the form of the Royal Cafe. The high pink walls and large windows let in a lot of light, which reflects off the artfully placed mirrors and display glasses. Rest on funky-patterned seats at small or large community tables and order a coffee or a custom smørrebrød known as a “Smushie” to warm up.
Amagertorv 4, 1160 København, Denmark
This jeweler has a reputation for excellence and its relationship with Danish Royalty. With a Danish heritage, the brand bears the label, “By appointment to Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark” and is known as the go-to jeweler for Denmark’s royalty. Of Georg Jensen’s many designs, one of the most popular among Danes is the daisy earrings and pendants, which are simple and elegant.
Illum is one of two major Danish department store chains. The store is famous for its excellent selection and taste and features fashion, interior and design options as well as a large beauty section. It even features a delightful bakery with excellent breads and sweets. A shopping trip to Copenhagen isn’t complete without a visit to Illum.
When you think of a royal palace, you usually think of one set building. In Copenhagen‘s case there are actually four distinct buildings which surround a large central square. Why four? Apparently, because it was originally inhabited by four noble families. Only, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794 the royal family needed a new place to live. For the king and queen, it wouldn’t do to live in the same palace lesser nobility had previous inhabited. The solution? Acquire all four noble houses and turn them into a super-palace. While the Queen still uses some of the buildings as her winter residence, others are open to the public or converted into a museum. This is also a fantastic spot to see the changing of the guard, and for a slice of history head to the corner facing the fountain (and opera house). Looking back into the square, you’ll see a small patch of damaged stucco. That patch is an un-repaired piece of the palace that illustrates blast damage from WWII.
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
A fairy-tale town deserves a magical funfair. Tivoli Gardens is one of the country’s most popular attractions, drawing more than four million visitors a year (in a country with a population of around 5.5 million). Youngsters will enjoy the rides, while their parents will appreciate the nostalgic charm and the wide range of dining options, from hot dogs and churros to “New Nordic” gastronomy.
Jægersborggade 40, 2200 København, Denmark
This is a project from the folks behind Relæ. A natural wine bar situated in the heart of Nørrebro, the restaurant delivers modernized versions of everyday food with special attention paid to high-quality ingredients selected from the same suppliers who service Relæ. As their website says, this includes “biodynamic vegetables from Kiselgården, roots from Lammefjorden, pig from Grambogaard, lamb from Havregaard and herbs from the forest.” Photo: Heather Sperling (spersper on flickr).
1105 is the embodiment of a Copenhagen cocktail bar. With a sleek internal ambience, skilled bartenders, a vibrant cocktail menu, and relaxed but still classy vibe, it is highly popular with local Copenhageners. About 3 minutes’ walk from Nyhavn, it is also perfectly situated for an absolutely charming night out. Photo courtesy of 1105.