If you happen to make your way up to Scandinavia, Denmark in particular, Copenhagen would be the perfect city to begin your travels. During the summer, the city is full of sunshine, cyclist, art, festivals, and more. Here are some fun ways to experience the city like a Dane.
Rent a bike
This I say would have to the most important suggestion. Copenhagen is a city of cyclists. It’s a unique part of their culture. No matter the element outside, you will see residents carrying about their day on bicycles. The city accommodates itself for cyclist. The bike lanes and lights are extremely efficient and well kept. One can easily see why its the worlds first bike city. I was extremely overwhelmed when I saw the amount of riders, but eventually I eased into it, follow the rules, and you’ll be fine.
Most hotels and hostels offer it’s guests bikes, if not you can rent one through a shop or with the city’s new electric bikes. They are cheap to rent so financially you will not have to stress.
Take a break at King’s Garden
As you’re riding your way around the city, make a pit stop at the oldest royal garden, King’s Garden. The grounds are covered with a number of flowerbeds, plants, and statues.Park your bike at one of the racks and stroll the garden or pick your seat at one of the many benches. Feel free to pack a lunch or a good book in your bag, because once you get comfy, you may end up staying all day.
Round about the RundetaarnIn the center of the city you will find the Rundetaarn or Round Tower, that was built in the 17th century. Once serving as an astronomical observatory, today this tower serves primarily as an observation tower and also hosts an academic library.The tower is cylindrical and leads up with a spiral ramp. In order to get to the top, one must round their way up the ramp. Back in the day, horse and carriages were used on the ramp to help transport the book collection in the library. While rounding the ramp you can see glimpses of the city out the small windows.
Once you reach the top, you can get a glimpse of Copenhagen and beyond through the iron lattice.
Roam inside Grundtvig’s ChurchAway from the center in the Bispebjerg district lies one of the coolest expressionist designs in the city, Grundtvig’s Church. It’s a rather newer church that was completed in 1940 after the Danish philosopher N.F.S Grundtvig.It was designed by Jensen- Klint and he modeled it after typical Danish village churches but added his own twist by doubling the apex. These photos don’t do it justice so please pay it a visit to stare at it in amazement.
Say hello to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little MermaidAlong the Langelinie promenade you will run into the original Little Mermaid. Since 1913, tourist have crowded this rock to take a photo with her. Hans Christian Andersen wrote the story in 1837 as party of his fairytale collection.While strolling on the promenade you will pass people sipping on coffee, sunbathing, a playground, cruise ships, and several monuments.
Marvel at the Waterfront of NyhavnNo trip to Copenhagen is complete unless you marvel at the 17th century waterfront of Nyhavn. Lined by colorful townhouses, cafes, and, shops, you are sure to snap your postcard photo here.
Grab a Danish BiteBe sure to grab a meal or three while exploring the city. While I’m a fan of quick street food, I did indulge on a few meals, one of them being breakfast at Spisebar 20.Spisebar has a comfy air about it. It was pretty close to our hostel so we decided to give it a go, plus it had decent ratings on yelp. Although not your traditional restaurant, this is a mix of contemporary hipster and rustic all in one. The meals cater to all diets and are a bit on the pricier end. We went for avocado toast and waffles. When they brought out the meals on wooden platters, I was a bit taken back as to how small the portions were. I wouldn’t recommend coming here if you are extremely hungry but it you want to experience some good Danish hipster food, this is your place.As a tourist you’ll have a number of traditional places and meals to choose from. Dishes range from meats, seafood, cheese, and baked goods. There has been a new trend in the Danish cuisine. Chefs are taking produce and the farm to table movement to another level by taking old recipes and fusing them with modern techniques. Chefs and residents are turning to their locally sourced goods to promote local and ethical cooking. Do some extra research if you plan on eating at one of these trendy new places.
Adore the Pastel Colored Homes in NørrebroOne of the prettiest streets in Nørrebro is Sankt Hans Gade. This small street houses beautifully colored homes, every IG’ers dream.The neighborhood itself is deemed one of the cooler ones in the city. It is home to various immigrant groups and has cool bars to socialize at. Back in the 90’s it was also a site where various politically charged riots took place.
Venture Through the Free City of ChristianiaThe community of Christiania was founded in the 70’s and today as many as 1,000 people reside in the community. Squatters made use of the abandoned military barracks and soon utilized the space to build a community. Some may add that this community is like a haven to the homeless and recovering drug addicts. People can openly purchase weed on Pusher Street but the selling of hard drugs is forbidden.The residents abide by a separate set of rules that they created. They forbid stealing, violence, guns, knives, hard drugs, and bikers’ colors. Also, photos aren’t necessarily welcomed but certain businesses allow it. Private cars are not allowed and you will see everyone walking from place to place. As of late, residents still plan on keeping Christiania unique and are against normalizing the community.
Order an Iced Coffee at Original CoffeeInside Illum, one of the largest department stores in Copenhagen, you will find Original Coffee on one of the top floors. By chance, my partner and I wandered into this department store and decided to have an iced coffee. To our surprise, the café had an amazing view of the center. This is the perfect place to chill out after an afternoon of riding your bike.I hope you take up a few of these recommendations. Of course there is much more to do, but this is a great place to start off your exploration in Copenhagen. Have fun!