Ready for take-off? This week Frequent Flier is heading to Copenhagen, where we fall in love with all things Danish. The people (friendly, fit and bike-loving), the perfect balance of green space and urban charm, the world-class museums and art galleries, the waterfront charm — who could ask for anything more in a city?
Chill out in Copenhagen
From great shopping and cool bars to unique museums and hip places to stay, we share some great tips for your next trip to this cool capital.
We felt instantly at home at intimate Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden (above) in the hip and lively Vesterbro district. With several areas for guests to lounge, including the secluded courtyard garden, bike rentals and a delicious organic buffet breakfast, it’s no wonder we didn’t want to leave. Rooms are decorated in a chic but minimalist Balinese style and feature all the comforts of home (and then some) — flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, Persian carpets and feather duvets to name a few.
Located in the heart of the city, Clarion Collection Hotel Mayfair is another great choice conveniently just a few minutes’ walk from the central train station, Tivoli Gardens and many other must-see attractions.
Photo credit: Lisbeth Michelsen
Move over Paris and New York, we suggest shopping till you drop — Scandinavia style.
Start off with the main shopping street, Strøget (above). While admittedly packed with tourists and many of the same stores you’d see at home, it’s still a fun and bustling place to wander. If you want something a bit less hectic, but still on trend then go to Vesterbro or Nørrebro where many upcoming designers sell their wares. These areas are also filled with bars, restaurants and cafes.
Make sure to stop at Designer Zoo, which we stumbled upon completely by accident (a happy shopping accident). Fashion and furniture designers, ceramic artists and glass blowers among other artisans, work and sell their limited-edition (and totally cool) creations. This is a great place to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs.
If you’re at all interested in organic skin and body care and eco-conscious lifestyle products, we suggest heading to Pure Shop for your pick of green pampering products, including perfume, makeup, skin care and hair care. We may have spent (ahem) a bundle here.
Photo credit: Tuala Hjarnø
If you have kids (or you’re a kid at heart), add Tivoli Gardens (above) to your itinerary, a fairy-tale-like experience and also one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Expect rides of all shapes and sizes, lots of green space, carnival atmosphere, food, games, live music and lots of spots to relax and watch the action unfold.
One of the quintessential Copenhagen must-sees is the Little Mermaid statue who will celebrate her 100th birthday next year. One of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the iconic attraction is to take a canal tour (one of the highlights of our trip), a guided tour that passes several popular attractions and a relaxing way to spend an hour.
Take a walk up the Round Tower, a 17th century tower and observatory and the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The observatory is encircled by an outdoor platform from which you have a fabulous view of the old part of Copenhagen (bring your camera).
Copenhagen is an ideal city for walking and getting around various neighborhoods on foot is easy. One of the best spots to stroll is Nyhavn, a waterfront area in Copenhagen with lots of restaurants and cafes right on the water. The area has lots of history (some of the houses are more than 300 years old) and charm to spare.
If you can get a much-coveted reservation, then get thee to Noma (right), known for their innovative approach to cooking with a focus on hyperlocal ingredients and voted world’s best restaurant 2012.
For the rest of us, there are many options for a great meal in Copenhagen. From organic and vegetarian to steak houses, kid-friendly spots and hot dog carts, there’s something here for every palate.
La Galette is rustic French restaurant serving up, you guessed it, galettes (buckwheat crepes with sweet or savory fillings). It’s a great option for anyone who wants a filling yet affordable meal.
Sample some typical Danish food at Café Petersborg, one of Copenhagen’s oldest restaurants with roots going back to the 1700s.
Stock up on organic breads, snacks, chocolate, local delicacies, coffee, wine and house-made sandwiches (get one to enjoy at one of Copenhagen’s many parks) at Emmerys.
Photo credit: Tuala Hjarnø
Though Copenhagen is a highly walkable city and of course, ultra bike-friendly, their transit system is clean, fast and efficient and makes getting anywhere a breeze. We found ourselves on foot most of the time, but whenever we took transit we got from A to B with zero stress or hassle.
Up next week
Pack your bags and join us next time when Frequent Flier heads to Southeast Asia for a relaxing stay in the 4000 Islands in Laos.