This beautiful, crisp in every detail, delicious city was my second stop after my mad dash through London. And I couldn’t have been more thankful for the calm this place wrapped me in. My equally delicious friends Jo and Janice welcomed me with open arms, the best eats, wheels and beautiful (very Scandinavian) apartments. Copenhagen is hygge in every way possible and it is not just confined to its long winters. Everyone is beautiful. Danes are as tall as skyscrapers, or this is how I felt from 5’4″ and in flats. I’ve been dreaming about the place ever since I left and absolutely have plans to go back as soon as possible.
I basically arrived in Copenhagen at the very best time possible. The sun was out and it never really did set while I was there. Jo gave me the instructions to rent a bicycle as soon as possible (which are the best instructions ever). But first, I had to walk. And by walk, I mean, head to 12hrs for their amazing guide to Copenhagen and follow nearly every step with my trusty GoogleMaps app. I can’t even begin to describe how blissful this wander was. And I managed to hit up not only the uber-hip Nørrebro neighbourhood (and the crazy beautiful Acne Archive), where I felt instantly at home, but also my fair share of parks. In keeping with my high weird-loving qualities, I took a break in the Assistens Kirkegården (better known as the cemetery where beloved Hans Christian Andersen is buried). I don’t just love hanging out in old cemeteries (I really do), but I also love heading underground and made my way to the Cisternerne in Søndermarken Park across the city in Frederiksberg. Super spooky and candlelit, these old water tunnels are now so well curated with the occassional art exhibition. If you’re weird like me (or not), definitely head over here for a nice stroll.
Like I mentioned above, do rent a bicycle the moment you get into this super bike friendly city. I’ve never had a more comfortable and happy journey on two wheels anywhere else. Cycle shops, which are pretty much everywhere, will rent you wheels at prices ranging from 70 to 100 DKK per day (1 USD = 6.63 DKK). A lane for cyclists and cyclists only: free.
If Danish design is known for clean lines and simplicity, then the same can be said for its food. Every bite I took in this city was perfect, sparse in the number of ingredients, and so incredibly satisfying. My mission in the city was its signature smørrebrød. I’ve been waiting for these guys since forever. And inside the culinary mecca of the Torvehallerne, I got to meet two of these open faced delicious layered beauties at Hallernes Smørrebrød. Each was a work of art. And I was probably considered a glutton by consuming two of them. Mission accomplished.
Now that we’ve gotten the smørrebrød out of the way, onto the goodies. Sure, I tried getting a table at Noma three months in advance, but there’s so much more this city has to offer. And I’m so grateful for friends who are just as food obsessed as me. My first night in the city, Janice immediately whisked me off to Aamanns Etablissement (Øster Farimagsgade 12) for the most delightful little four course tasting menu, which was more than enough for Janice and I to share. Everything was topped with elderflowers. Food has never been prettier. Or daintier with all the tiny dishes that left us so very satiated. My last meal in the city was at the equally delicious Rebel (Store Kongensgade 52). Once again, each dish was small and fresh, but packed a massive punch. There is no better way.
PS – Aamanns also sell its signature smørrebrød at the airport too. If you’re like me, you’ll need just one more before leaving.
When I first announced my travel dates to Jo, I was immediately informed we’d be heading directly into Distortion. It’s described as the “annual party-tsunami,” and a “week-long cavalcade of of 111+ dancefloors on beautiful squares and in ugly warehouses.” And yes it was. With the sun only setting near midnight, Copenhagen makes for the perfect city with a publicly sanctioned outdoor rave.
And where better to start party activities than the Meat Packing (Kødbyen, which literally means ‘meat city’) district? Where all the cooler-than-cool kids are dressed head to toe in black of course.
So after two nights of non-stop dancing, I had to call it quits and accept that I’m now on the other side of thirty. So I slowly rode my bike through almost painfully sunny streets to meet Jo for brunch at his prescribed Dyrehaven (Sønder Blvd. 72). The morgenmadstallerken (or morning plate) of eggs benedict, muesli and avocado toast was exactly what I needed to soak up all that Tuborg.
Next, Jo tooks us to catch our rays at the Papirøen. Not just a destination for street food that’s been housed in an old paper factory, the pier on which the reclaimed building stands makes for the perfect place to get all that vitamin D before the long winter begins again. As a Canadian, I know this feeling well.
So that was Copenhagen. It was beautiful. I am wistful that I’m not currently there. Three days was clearly not enough and I’ve got my eye for an Airbnb flat in Nørrebro that’s filled with light and crisp white sheets and clean lines everywhere. I didn’t even get any shopping in this trip, so yet another excuse to make it back. Till next time, Copenhagen. And thanks to Jo, Janice, and 12hrs Guides for the best recommendations! Next week, I’ve got details on my roadtrip through the south of Spain!
All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.