48 Hours in Copenhagen
It’s finally February, so long January! Tax return done, and now I can begin daydreaming about our next holiday to cure our incessant wanderlust. As you may know last summer I embarked on a two week road trip to Norway and back, stopping at lots of must-visit European cities. I’ll fill you in on the logistics of 2,000 mile drive another time, but first I thought I’d start by telling you a bit about each of the cities I visited. One of the places that fell on the route between Dover and Norway was Copenhagen, it was also one of the places I fell head over heels in love with too.
The first thing people responded with when we said we were visiting Copenhagen is ‘Oh it’s so expensive’ – the same response if you’re heading to Dublin too apparently. We say you can do any city on a budget, especially if you’ve ever had to fork out for rent in London.
After we’d driven from Amsterdam via Hamburg, we quickly threw our bags in our Air B&B we hopped on a bus over the river and straight to the Meatpacking district, known by the locals as Kødbyen, which is in the district of Vesterbro. Firstly the buses in Copenhagen are excellent. Before even attempting to use our broken Danish the bus driver helped us in English and we were on our way.
Meatpacking District / WarPigs
After finally walking round TWICE to look at the vast array of uber-cool looking restaurants and people (the people are like no level of cool you’ve seen before) we settled on WarPigs roughly two seconds after we read the words ‘authentic Texas BBQ’. Mikkeller and Friends, which we’ll talk about more below, is a renowned Danish brewery, and is the brains behind this venture. With 22 taps of home brewed beer, you’re sure to find something you like. Or like us, you can try their insanely good cocktails. On the side of our drinks we had a casual 1lb of Brisket, 1lb of Pulled Pork, 2 Hot Links with a side of Bourbon…. Dining like ladies we were not. ‘The Texas Smorgasbord’ is not for the faint hearted, we took most of this home in a box and we’re not ashamed to say, ate it for breakfast. If you’ve arrived in Copenhagen with an empty stomach, we suggest heading to the Meatpacking District and you won’t go far wrong.
Located in the district of Nørrebro, this street has a multitude of cool shops and eateries. Here are just a few of our favourites:
A shop that only sells Cacti and Succulents?! We’re sold. We took a couple back in our car, which is the best part about a road trip. Taking home more souvenirs than normal hand luggage allows – take THAT low budget airlines….mwahahahahahaha.
There are so many bakeries in Copenhagen, we tried a few (in the name of research of course), but there’s a reason this has the amount of accolades it does. Myers opens at 7am, so you could be eating one of their famous Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls ‘Kanelsnurrer’ before most people have even started work. Win.
Best ice cream we’ve ever tasted outside of Italy (which technically is Gelato and a whole different kettle of fish). This ice cream is made in front of your eyes with dry ice, it was so smooth and we can still just about taste the flavour even now. With a whole host of unusual toppings, skip dessert at wherever you’re having dinner and head to Istid for your sugar fix. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Firstly, unless you’re happy to have a blowout we’d say leave the seven course taster menu to others as it’s slightly on the pricier side. We decided to try one main and the most delicious glass of wine we’ve had for a long time. Manfred’s can easily accommodate vegetarians and vegans, while serving meat dishes a plenty (what they can’t do with a vegetable isn’t worth knowing). Their produce is organic and the wines natural, which means guidance from the very helpful staff is definitely needed to help you discover a whole new taste sensation.
Mikkeller and Friends
You’ll remember we mentioned the people behind Mikkeller and Friends when talking about WarPigs above. With two locations within the city this Micro Brewery is another reason to love local Copenhagen produce. Serving many of their own brews, as well as teaming up with other craft producers, there are over 40 beers on tap with a bottle shop containing both the weird and the wonderful next door. With so many varieties it even had this beer novice, taking notes.
Quite unassuming from the outside, however step inside and this boutique has all your souvenirs sorted in one stop. With a vast selection of the famous Danish kitchen and homeware brand Rice, we were able to scoop up quite a few bargains compared to prices in the UK. We didn’t do much shopping, as you can tell from our recommendations we were far too busy eating, but this satisfied our shopping thirst.
Freetown as it’s otherwise known is a place of great intrigue since it was established in 1971 by, what your dad might refer to as ‘a group of hippies’. The town lies within the centre of Copenhagen, but is governed by it’s own law, ‘The Christiania Law’. With it’s own flag, there are about 850 people living and working here. You can’t take photos on Pusher Street (give it a Google and you’ll soon find out why), but the rest of the area is very peaceful, especially near the river on a sunny day.
By this point you could probably have rolled us around Copenhagen due to our over indulgence, but if you’ve got room for one more coffee then head to Leckerbaer. Their famous Danish Butter Cookies are like nothing we’ve tasted before, you’ll agree that the humble Rich Tea might want to think about upping its game after you’ve tasted these.
You’ll find this in all the tourist guide books, but it is well worth the visit. We took a wander around on a quiet sunny morning, and also visited the gardens which at that time of year were in full bloom. This castle was once part of the Danish Monarchy, and is one of the more regal sides to Copenhagen to see.
A great way to see the city, there are so many boats and tours making it easy to jump aboard. Cycling up and down the river is also a great way to see so much of Copenhagen’s architecture so you can grab that Insta-famous shot of Copenhagen’s iconic bright coloured houses.
Where We Stayed
When visiting a new city, we’ve taken to staying a little bit outside the centre. It means whilst travelling in to visit the central hotspots we discover new things en route and get a feel for the location quicker. We stayed in the Island’s Brygge area, it’s by the main river and has so many great places to see. In the summer it’s filled with friend’s meeting up in the evening, and you can even swim there too. We rented a really reasonable Air B&B which you can find here.
Even More Places...
We had the most ‘Insta-perfect’ avocado on toast at this coffee bar, in the København K area. Around here are all your favourite designers, and it has a very different feel to other areas of the city. It’s not where we spent a lot of time, but nice to visit none the less.
Mad & Kaffe
We didn’t find out about this until we got home, SOB. We love breakfast and lots of our friends have visited since and delight in telling us what a wonderful time they had. PICK N MIX BREAKFAST?! What is not to love?
This is another one on our list for our next visit to Copenhagen. Maybe if we spent less time eating and more time exploring we might’ve discovered it. However there’s only so much you can do in 48 hours. Put it on your list and let us know what a great time you had, we won’t be jealous – well we might.
Hire a bike, at around £8 a day. It’s the quickest and best way to see the city.
Currency is Danish Krona, roughly works out as 10 krona to £1 GBP.
Time zone is GMT+1.