Isn’t it time you visited Copenhagen?

Isn’t it time you visited Copenhagen?

Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Nyhavn in Copenhagen

One of my favourite places to go when I need a change of scenery is Copenhagen. Just an hour’s flight  away from Stockholm, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend trip–no layovers necessary. Of course, I’ve got a long-standing love affair with Copenhagen. It all started back in the summer of 1996, when I visited the city for the very first time. By then, I’d been living in Stockholm, Sweden–itself a beautiful city–for exactly a year. I loved Stockholm, but sometimes its pristine orderliness drove me insane. Things were almost too perfect. Copenhagen has a little of the same vibe, but it a more laidback way. Stockholm never really lets you see her with her hair down. Copenhagen doesn’t mind if you see her with smudged eyeliner and bedhead.

 

Yummy smørrebrød from Aamans. Photo credit: aamans.dk

Yummy smørrebrød from Aamans. Photo credit: aamans.dk

Craft beer and smørrebrød–yum!

So you’re probably wondering why you should visit Copenhagen, aside from the fact that it’s a beautiful city on the water full of beautiful people? Well, the beer and the food, of course. Copenhagen is home Carlsberg (probably the best beer in the world–or at least, that’s what they–meaning Carlsberg–say) and the world’s best open-faced sandwiches, which the Danes call smørrebrød.

For smørrebrød, there are tons of options, but many locals swear by Aamans. And while I am not a local, I can say I’ve enjoyed every smørrebrød I’ve ever had there. I love their blue cheese smørrebrød with plum gel, hazelnut creme, roasted hazelnuts and cress. I’m also a big fan of their herring sandwich and their braised pork breast sandwich. Just thinking about it is making me hungry.

Now, I know I mentioned Carlsberg, but when I am in Copenhagen, it’s not my beer of choice. No trip to Copenhagen is complete without stopping in either Nørrebro Brygghus on Ryesgade and trying the latest brews on tap or dipping into Mikkeller & Friends on Stefansgade and sampling their brews. I’m especially partial to their dark beers.

Now if you are more a pastry type, there are plenty of bakeries and cafés to duck into. For a classic Copenhagen experience, head over to Conditoriet La Glace, just off Strøget, and try the Karen von Blixen cake,  but get there early–it fills up quickly at the weekend.

The Little Mermaid. Photo credit: visitcopenhagen.com

The Little Mermaid. Photo credit: visitcopenhagen.com

More than just the Little Mermaid

Most tourists go to Copenhagen to see the Little Mermaid (or Lille Havsfrue as the Danes call her), but I’d suggest walking around the city and discovering it like a local. Most Danes seem pretty ambivalent about the Little Mermaid–they don’t really get all the fuss around her–I think the tourists streaming to the harbor to get a look at her is more amusing to them than anything else. I usually like going to Ny Carlsbergs Glyptoteket–an amazing collection of art and a fantastic café there, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk or the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in July. And you can always check out the local music scene at Kind of Blue on Ravnsborgsgade, where you’ll hear everything from spoken word to indie rock to jazz. If you’re traveling with kids, they usually go crazy for Tivoli Gardens amusement park. Ask your hotel if they can arrange discounted tickets as it can be pretty expensive, but you can also order your tickets online

Go mad at Madklubben

A lot of people will swear to you that you need to book a table at NOMA or some other expensive restaurant while you’re in Copenhagen. I think you should save your money for shopping (yes, there is amazing shopping there) and then eat at Madklubben Bistro-de-Luxe. The concept is great–delicious food that won’t kill your budget–and the service level is top-notch. The menu is seasonal and features local produce.  I’ve eaten here a few times and never been disappointed. It’s also quite nice that waitstaff are insanely attractive.

A place to lay your head

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 22.09.48If you’re like me and you like great location, comfortable beds, and good breakfast when you stay at a hotel, then follow my lead. My husband and I love staying at the Hotel Kong Arthur on Nørre Søgade. According to Tord, their lobby bar serves the best gin and tonics in the world. I am partial to their very comfortable spa room and the inner courtyard, which is a great place to have a drink or relax during the summer. In fact, I came up with the idea for my novel, Maybe Baby, while enjoying a summer drink in the courtyard. It’s in a great location–just a short walk from Norreport Station, which means you can get back and forth Kastrup Airport very easily with either the long-distance trains or the subway. It’s also near Torvehallerne, a fantastic food hall that is a great dining option if you want a light lunch and a bit of people-watching. If the Kong Arthur is fully booked, try their sister hotel, Ibsens Hotel. Both hotels share the inner courtyard, and there are three restaurants nearby (Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Pintxos for yummy tapas or La Rocca for Italian cuisine). I’ve tried all three–they are popular with locals and tourists alike and I really enjoyed the meals I had there.

The perfect place to relax on a summer evening.

The perfect place to relax on a summer evening.

 

So now that you’ve got a few pointers, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you booked your trip to Copenhagen and found your own favourite spots?

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