A Day in Copenhagen
A few years ago, I visited Copenhagen for the first time. I loved it. Like, so much that I decided I wanted to live there one day and started learning Danish. My lifelong dream is to be fluent in a bunch of different languages, so I guess the Danish part isn’t that shocking. But I’d been low key obsessing over the Nordic way of life for a while, which only fueled my infatuation. Anyway, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Copenhagen again. Even if it was just for a measly 24ish hours before we hopped on a cruise ship.
We arrived in Copenhagen at about 1pm and were starving. We didn’t realize that you have to order vegetarian meals in advance while flying, since we hadn’t been vegetarian the last time we’d traveled internationally. WHOOPS. It worked out alright, though. Copenhagen’s got a great food scene, so after a quick shower we set out in search of our first meal.
We ended up at Torvehallerne, which is a cool open-air food market. They’ve got everything from meat and produce to fancy cheeses and wines, plus a bunch of prepared food stalls. I love places like this, as they give you an opportunity to try a wide range of local fare at a low cost, and pick up snacks for later! My one note on this place is that most of the menus are in Danish, which… makes sense, but can be a little hard for tourists to decipher. This isn’t much of a hurdle, though, as pretty much everyone we talked to spoke English and was more than happy to answer any questions we had.Once we’d gotten some food in our systems, we were ready to roam. Since we’d already been to Copenhagen, we didn’t feel the need to spend time on tourist attractions – with one exception.
Nyhavn, albeit touristy, is super cute. The area features a boat filled canal lined with brightly colored buildings. It’s not time consuming, but it’s close to the city center and definitely worth checking out! This is also a great place to explore on bike. We didn’t, because we were exhausted to the point that we didn’t feel comfortable operating anything on wheels, but it’s a very popular activity.After Nyhavn, we spent some time at Strøget, which is Copenhagen’s main shopping street. A lot of the stores there are international chains, which isn’t anything special, but there are a few that reflect local style and design. Copenhagen has some really lovely little boutiques, but by this point it was already early evening and the work-life balance there is real, so places (especially small shops) close early.
Before dinner, we headed over to the Superkilen park. Superkilen is an urban space that’s meant to celebrate diversity. It’s appropriately located in Nørrebro, one of Copenhagen’s most diverse neighborhoods and is super visually striking. I was beyond excited for it and made Ben walk a mile to find it. Unfortunately, it was undergoing some construction while we were there so only one small area was open, but it was still cool.
For dinner, we went to Manfred’s. Like any sane human beings, our first choice was Noma, a two-Michelin star restaurant that has been dubbed Best in the World four times, but we couldn’t stomach paying somewhere in the ballpark of $700 for dinner for two. So instead, we picked a far more affordable place run by Noma alums.
Manfred’s offered a high-quality, farm fresh vegetarian tasting menu, but we felt that the ingredients and preparations were a bit too simple. Their wine pairings, however, were wonderful. The wines were funky and interesting (lots of skin contact wines), and we were very into them. I don’t have pictures of the wines (they didn’t make great models), but I do have pictures of the lovely food.The next morning consisted mostly of aimless wandering. From what I’ve seen, Copenhagen likes to sleep in. Shops, museums, restaurants and even coffee shops tend to open around 10 or 11am.
There’s still plenty to do, however. The city itself is worthy of admiration. I love its mix of historic and innovative architecture. It’s also rich in beautiful, green public spaces. There’s a ton of parks and gardens to hang out in, and small art pieces are scattered throughout the city. Here’s a few of my favorite spots. I have no idea what most of these buildings are, but I like their style.
Jam bars are another thing worth mentioning. I was on a mission to find a jam bar, which is a Danish raspberry pastry I was obsessed with the first time we visited Copenhagen. We weren’t able to find the bakery we’d eaten at last time, but I found an acceptable substitute.
IF YOU EVER GO TO COPENHAGEN AND SEE AN OPEN FACED RASPBERRY AND SHORTBREAD PASTRY THING, GET IT.
Our last stop before boarding our cruise was Restaurant Sanchez. I’d been eyeing this Mexican spot for a while because René Redzepi (of Noma fame) had posted about it on Instagram. René did not lead us astray. The food was very good. Especially for Europe, which isn’t known for it’s authentic Mexican food. But it was definitely a little silly for us to prioritize Mexican food in a city like Copenhagen when we live in Los Angeles. I have no regrets, though.And that’s it! We literally had about 24 hours in Copenhagen, so we didn’t have time for much. But I was more than happy to take in the Danish design, eat good food, and be inspired by a city that seems to really care about the well being of its citizens and our planet.
Want more on Copenhagen? Let me know in the comments! I can totally scrap together another post on Copenhagen crowd pleasers using three year old photos. Probably.