City Highlight: Copenhagen

Published on: Friday, May 31, 2019
City Highlight: Copenhagen - Copenhagen, Denmark

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One of our writers said Copenhagen is like sunshine on roses - beautiful and sophisticated, it makes your heart melt like butter on a hot pavement

It really is hard not to fall in love with Copenhagen. From the colourful waterfront houses of Nyhavn, hipster-cool Nørrebro, quirky Freetown Christiana, to streets teeming with two-wheeled commuters going about their lives effortlessly, Copenhagen can capture your heart without you even realising it.

For beer lovers

Here’s an interesting fact – in 1883 Carlsberg introduced the species of yeast that make lager and the founder J.C. Jacobsen freely shared them with other breweries. What it means is that many of the beers you like wouldn’t be around for you to enjoy today if it wasn’t for the generous act of Jacobsen.

Copenhagen is home to Carlsberg, maker of ‘probably (not) the best lager in the world’ according to its highly refreshing 2019 tagline. The Carlsberg visitor centre is presently closed for renovation till 2020 but you can still drink plenty of lager and enjoy the vibrant craft beer scene while in Copenhagen.

Mikkeller (Viktoriagade 8 B-C, 1655 Copenhagen) is an ideal first stop. A gipsy-brewer, Mikkeller brews its beers at different breweries in Europe and the United States. There’s also Brewpub (Vestergade 29, 1456 Copenhagen), whose Cole (porter) has rich tones of roasted coffee and chocolate, best paired with a juicy and unapologetically messy burger. Then that’s Nørrebro Bryghus (Ryesgade 3, 2200 Copenhagen), a haven for handcrafted organic beer; its full-body Weissbier is the star.

For Food lovers

Copenhagen is the best place to enjoy Danish pastries, known locally as wienerbrod. Sankt Peders Bageri (Sankt Peders Stræde 29, 1453 Copenhagen) is the oldest bakery in the city, serving light and flaky pastries and cinnamon rolls so delicious that after enjoying every bite, you just want to curl up on a sofa and purr with contentment.

Another excellent place for pastries is Lagkagehuset which has many branches throughout the city. The must-try here is Christianshavner tærte, aka Danish hazelnut cake with strawberry cream. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, Conditori La Glace (Skoubogade 3, 1158 Copenhagen), the oldest confectionary in Denmark, will tempt you to have a bite of one of its artistically styled cakes and pastries. This place is very popular and the line can be long, but it’s really worth it.

You can’t leave Copenhagen without trying Smørrebrød (a Danish open sandwich). Two excellent places to try are Brdr. Price at Tivoli (Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Copenhagen) and Aamanns Deli (Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 Copenhagen). For more dining options, including visits to gastronomic heavyweights, check out the Restaurants in Copenhagen guide.

Things to see in Copenhagen

Our Things to See in Copenhagen guide is packed with useful tips for first-timers as well as seasoned travellers. The first place most visitors flock to is Nyhavn, a strip of vibrantly coloured 17th and 18th-century townhouses which now host bars, cafes and restaurants. Here you’ll find the former home of Hans Christian Anderson, the Danish author famous for penning fairy tales like The Little Mermaid.

For something off-beat, we recommend Rundetårn, or “The Round Tower,” which is the oldest observatory in Europe. Climb to the top of the tower for good views over the city.

Shopping

Packed with quirky home-grown labels and all the international names, Copenhagen is a shopaholic’s dream. Most of the big brands and department stores are clustered along Strøget – the longest (and one of the prettiest) shopping streets in Europe. Elsewhere, Nørrebro is a good place to look for up-and-coming names, while Værnedamsvej, tucked away between Vesterbro and Frederiksberg, is crammed with interesting lifestyle boutiques. For more shopping tips, turn to our Shopping in Copenhagen guide.

The city at night

Nightlife in Copenhagen starts late, usually after 10pm, and the areas of Nyhavn, Botlens Gaard and Vesterbro all offer good options. See our Copenhagen Nightlife guide for recommendations.

Hotels in Copenhagen

As you’d expect from a city famous for its passion for design, Copenhagen’s hotels are a stylish bunch. Many, however, come with a steep price tag. For budget travellers, Danhostel, listed in our Copenhagen Hotels guide, is a safe bet. Alternatively, follow this HotelsCombined link to search and compare prices.

Before you go, check out the complete Copenhangen travel guide.

This feature is updated on 31 May 2019.