CIty Guide to Copenhagen

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This past Fall, K and I took a quick trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. The reason for random the trip? An insanely good flight deal, our eager sense of wanderlust and of course….food. Repped with incredible, trend-setting culinary cred, Copenhagen is a destination that’s been on our mind for quite some time now. K’s restaurant bucket list included Michelin-starred spots NOMA and Relae, so we knew when we saw a great flight deal it was a no brainer to jump on it (despite the fact that it was a bit nuts to travel from California to Denmark for less than a week). You only live once, right?


Although we had a short time in the city, Copenhagen stole my heart – the food, culture, people, style and architecture…incredible. This stylish city was inspiring and equally chic as it was warm and welcoming. The perfect way to describe Copenhagen would be to say it had hygge – the danish word for coziness and a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary. 

 I rounded up our trip in a nutshell: STAY, EAT and EXPLORE. We definitely plan on taking another trip to Copenhagen again, as we still have much more of this city to see and eat through.


 STAY 

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We stayed at the Absalon Hotel, located in the trendy, vibrant neighborhood of Vesterbro. This whimsical boutique hotel was full of personality and had fantastic service. The room was stylish, spacious and cozy. The hotel came with a full breakfast included every day, and it was a lovely selection of typical Danish breakfast items (think fresh pastries, cheese, charcuterie, etc.). 

The location was central, about one block away from Central Station. This made it easy to get to/from the airport, as there is a train that goes directly from the airport to Central Station. We were able to walk almost everywhere from the hotel – but don’t worry, if your feet get tired there’s always Uber Pop in Copenhagen that you can rely on.


 EAT 

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It’s no secret Copenhagen is a culinary destination. Everything we ate was truly delicious! These were our favorites…

Noma

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It was a once in a lifetime treat to be able to dine at René Redzepi’s Nordic restaurant, Noma. Stunned that we actually got a reservation (it only took us refreshing the Noma reservation page on 5 different mobile devices at 1am & a large dose of stress!), we were thrilled to dine at this famed Michelin-starred restaurant that essentially put Copenhagen on the culinary map. 

We were served fifteen course (yes, 15) and opted for a wine pairing. The innovative thought behind each and every detail of the dishes were out of this world. Not only was the food beyond outstanding, the staff and service was incredible. The entire service and culinary staff greeted us as we entered the restaurant, and Chef himself welcomed us at our table. The coziness, comforting and welcoming ambiance of the restaurant and staff was delightful and truly appreciated. At the end of our meal, we were lucky enough to receive a tour of the kitchen. This dining experience was one to remember!

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Noma | clockwise from left: steamed king crab + egg yolk // butternut squash, barley and caviar // radish and seaweed tart


Relæ
If you’re looking for a no-frills style ambiance combined with gastronomic bliss, Relæ is what you’re looking for. Chef Chrisian Puglisi is a Noma alum, and he brings his culinary expertise to a menu that shines light on simple, fresh ingredients. Choose between 4- or 7- course menus (opt for the 7-course… trust me).

Kødbyens Fiskebar
Located in an industrial-style area of the hipster meatpacking district (and a stone’s throw away from the Absalon hotel) is Kødbyens Fiskebar, a cool and laid-back eatery that spotlights seafood in an contemporary way. Everything we tried here was AMAZING (and believe me, we ordered a lot). 

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Kodbyens Fiskebar | Clockwise from left: brill & smoked mussel // razor clam // squid // sea buckthorn tart and chocolate


Torvehallerne

This food market, located in the central area of the city, is a foodie’s dream. Torvehallerne has everything delicious Copenhagen has to offer – you can find fresh produce, gourmet spices, coffee, chocolates, baked goods, fresh fish, local butcheries and a handful of restaurants posted up in the same halls together. Just walking around and taking in all the deliciousness was amazing (take a look at their Instagram for a glimpse of the hall’s serious food porn). Take a few trips here during your trip – you’ll want to come back again and again. TIP – Do yourself a favor and stop by the Hallernes Smørrebrød stall. They offer an array of authentic smørrebrød (Danish-style open-faced sandwiches) and they’re absolutely delicious. Need to get a tasty gift for someone back home? Summerbird Chocolate does not disappoint (I especially love their Amber chocolate).

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Democratic Coffee
This coffee shop is located within a library in central Copenhagen and was recommended by a local. Democratic Coffee makes a mean cappuccino (amongst other outstanding coffee drinks) and their pastries are to die for. I mean, look at those layers on that croissant…YUM.

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108
Next door to Noma you’ll find its’ sister restaurant 108. K and I stopped by their coffee bar, The Corner, for a morning coffee and pastry and it was so incredibly good. Here you’ll find unconventional pastry flavors like aronia berry & kelp and rose hip. We didn’t have a chance to make it in the restaurant for dinner, but definitely will make it a point to do so next time we’re in Copenhagen.


EXPLORE

Nyhavn
A tourist hospot? Yes. But also, a beautiful area of the city that’s well-worth shuffling through a crowd? Absolutely. Nyhavn is a waterfront canal that’s known for its’ gorgeous colorful buildings. This is tourist-central, so avoid eating at any canal-adjacent eateries. Instead, soak in the picturesque scenery and walk over the inner harbor bridge to have lunch at Copenhagen Street Food or 108.

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Rosenborg Castle Gardens
Take a stroll in the gorgeous King’s Gardens. This public park is located in the middle of the city, but you wouldn’t guess it when you’re there. 

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Rudetaarn Tower
This historic tower is known as the “The Round Tower” and has expansive city views from the top. Climbing this tower can get a little dizzying (because of it’s spiral and sloped staircase), but the city view of Copenhagen is definitely worth the trek to the top!

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Tivoli Gardens
This theme park, located in the heart of the city, was found in 1843. Its’ whimsical architecture, lush gardens and fun atmosphere makes it amusing for everyone. I personally loved walking around the grounds admiring the extensive pumpkin and gourd decorations and darling, historic amusement park buildings.

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There you have it! There is so much to eat, see and do in Copenhagen – if you’re planning a trip to Denmark’s capital, Visit Copenhagen has some extensive visitor articles and fabulous guides to the city as well. I hope you’ve enjoyed the highlights and recommendations from my trip!

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