My little Scandinavian solo getaway ended with a few days in Copenhagen and it was just as magical as I had expected. Copenhagen was actually the main city that sparked my idea to run off to Europe after celebrating the holidays with my family – I had seen countless photos of its colorful architecture and dreamy Danish design interiors and it did not disappoint.
Although the weather was a bit gloomier than my time in Stockholm, Copenhagen was another city perfect for exploring in only a few days with so much to do, see and eat, plus a really safe place to travel alone. The city felt much bigger than Stockholm with more of a traditional urban grit to it but with just the same welcoming culture. Some favorites from my time in Copenhagen:
As soon as I spotted Hotel SP34 when researching where to stay in Copenhagen, I knew I had found my spot. Every detail of the hotel was so beautifully designed and the location was super central for getting around Copenhagen on foot, with lots of restaurants and attractions within close walking distance. My room was cozy but with the most beautiful bed and huge floor to ceiling windows and the hotel had a really great happy hour each evening and complimentary breakfast spread in the morning. I didn’t want to leave!
To Eat & Drink:
Having my trip right after the holidays gave me the perfect excuse to basically eat everything in sight and Copenhagen had some seriously GOOD food. Some highlights:
- The Coffee Collective: San Francisco has spoiled me in the coffee department and The Coffee Collective felt like home away from home. They have a few locations in the city – be prepared for a bit of a line and a pricey cup of coffee but damn, it’s good stuff!
- Höst: One of the best meals of my life, seriously. Höst was my one big fancy dinner of the entire trip – I went for the tasting menu with wine pairings and was blown away by the innovative flavors, ingredient combinations and platings (one of my dishes was served in a sea shell with a sprig of juniper set on fire table side!). It was also pretty affordable as far as fine dining goes with very generous pourings for the wine ;) If you remember any of my Snapchats from that evening, I’m sorry.
- Mikkeller: I’ve found myself at a few Mikkeller bars across the globe (San Francisco, Reykjavik and Tokyo!) and of course had to check out one in Copenhagen, where they got their start. As usual Mikkeller had a great vibe with an eclectic mix of locals and travelers, with a killer line up of beer on tap with a mix of their own brews and taps from other friend breweries as well.
- Østerberg: Ice cream wouldn’t be the first choice for most people when freezing your butt off in Europe during the winter but I had to pop into Copenhagen’s top rated ice cream place to give it a try. While there were some unusual flavors (I almost ordered licorice by accident – yuck!), their ice cream was really smooth and creamy and their hazelnut flavor was a delicious treat.
- Torvehallerne: I stumbled upon Tovehallerne on accident on my first morning in Copenhagen and ended up stopping by several other times for a quick bite to eat or a cup of coffee. The food hall is home to many different vendors, from butchers to bakeries, making it the perfect place to really get a feel for Danish cuisine and to grab breakfast or lunch. For anyone who has visited San Francisco, Tovehallerne really reminded me of the Ferry Building!
Although I do feel like Copenhagen is doable in only a few days, I actually wish I had one more day to explore – being in town for the New Year made it a bit tricky to do and see everything because many places were closed on my final day in town. I still made the most of the time I did have in Copenhagen with two full days of walking around and checking things off my to do list based on research and recommendations from friends. Some favorite things I did during my trip:
- Copenhagen Card: Similarly to Stockholm, Copenhagen has a really great pass available for tourists which grants free admission to a ton of sights throughout the city. You’re also able to use the card for free transportation via train or bus throughout the city (something I wish I had taken better advantage of!). From museums to The Royal Stables, the Copenhagen Card is a really great resource to help you make the most of your trip and a really affordable way to hit all of the major attractions.
- HAY House: If you’re interested in interior design, you MUST go to HAY House. Their furniture is absolutely gorgeous and such a great example of Danish design and how beautiful really simple, minimal pieces can be (inspiration galore for my next apartment!)
- Illums Bolighus: I wish I had an extra suitcase with me just for Illums Boligus. I spent several hours wandering around the department store, drooling over the beautifully designed pieces and wishing I could take everything back to San Francisco with me. Illums was a great place to grab a few gifts for family & friends back in the states and a really inspiring place to just marvel in the beauty of Danish design, from furniture to stationery.
- Rundetårn: Also known as “The Round Tower”, Rundetårn is literally that… a round tower but with a ramp leading to the top instead of a staircase. The top of the tower had some amazing views of the city and also holds an art exhibit titled “The Museum of Broken Relationships”, which was both heartbreaking and funny (although probably not the best place for me at the time!)
- Kastellet: I’m not typically one to geek out over military history but Kastellet was really cool to see because of its unique design – it’s a star shaped fortress with water surrounding it to keep out enemies and protect the military base at its center. It’s actually still an active military area with beautifully landscaped grounds, perfect for walking around on a nice day.
- Christiansborg Palace: Copenhagen is home to a few palaces and important government buildings for the Danish monarchy and Christiansborg Palace was absolutely gorgeous and is the official residence to the Queen of Denmark (and home to the Royal Stables for any fellow horse lovers ;))
- Nyhavn: Those colorful buildings you’ve seen photos of along the water? That’s Nyhavn and it’s just as vibrant and Instagram worthy as you’d imagine! Swing by early in the day to beat the crowds and snap the best photos to soak in the view along the canal.
Have you ever been to Copenhagen? What were some of your favorites?