keeping up with the københavneres

Updated: Nov 15, 2018


After recently spending a lovely weekend in København (AKA Copenhagen), Denmark’s capital, I can say, with full confidence, that the Danish are the tallest collection of people I've ever mingled amongst. Officially, the world's tallest people are the Dutch (average 6’1” or 1.85m), but the average Danish adult is only slightly shorter (6ft or 1.83m). I have never felt short in my life!

In addition to being blessed with height, the Danes are also extremely happy. Denmark is ranked third on The Happiest Countries in the World list. Everyone, from waitstaff to hotel receptionists to fellow bar patrons, were smiling and exceedingly friendly (and all spoke perfect English).

If you're planning to visit Copenhagen, bring your wallet - and make sure it's full of Danish Krone! Denmark recently placed seventh on the list of The World’s Most Expensive Countries to Visit.

Below is a list of my personal recommendations on where to stay/eat/drink and what to do/see, if you find yourself in Copenhagen or are planning a trip there:

Stay

I would strongly recommend staying in the Nyhavn area of town. I was at a hotel called Scandic Front. It was fine for what I needed - great location, friendly staff and a comfy bed, but there wasn’t anything particularly brilliant about the hotel itself. It would have been nice if they had mentioned that the whole area outside the hotel was under construction before we booked (below is a view from my room) and also if they hadn't initially given me a key to a room that was already occupied. I’d recommend also looking into 71 Nyhavn Hotel as an option.

I can’t speak to when the weather isn’t great, but on beautiful days, like I experienced, there were loads of people out and about on the streets in Hyhavn. Open container laws don't exist, so everyone was sat around with their friends, drinking adult beverages, chatting and enjoying the sunshine.

Eat

  • If you're a foodie, you have no doubt heard of Noma, which has been voted third on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. If you want spend a small fortune, be sure to book several months in advance.

  • As an alternative to Noma, try Amass, which is ranked #66 on The World’s 100 Best Restaurants list. The former head chef of Noma, Matt Orlando (who is coincidentally from the same town where I formerly lived in San Diego), has branched out and is now the owner of this eco-friendly, organic, sustainable restaurant where they grow their own herbs out back. It’s far easier to get a reservation here and about a quarter of the price of Noma. The space was very cool, the sunset was phenomenal, the wine was excellent, the Scottish waiter was adorable, the food was creative and the owner (who came over and chatted with us for about 15 mins) was absolutely lovely.

  • Copenhagen Street Food (AKA Papiroen) is an old warehouse, on Paper Island, that has been filled with a wide array of international food stalls. We didn’t have an opportunity to eat there, but it looked amazing!

Drink

  • Ruby Cocktail Bar is a bit like having a drink in your grandmother’s sitting room.

  • 1105 is an intimate cocktail bar, which is worth a visit. I don’t recommend ordering wine there though.

See/Do

Put on some comfy shoes, acquaint yourself with the city and wander around. It’s a flat, very walkable city. Don't miss the following:

  • Church of our Saviour - With it's external winding staircase, it has views all the way to Sweden on a nice day.

  • Freetown Christiania - A self-governed, hippie-commune of about 850 residents, which is technically not part of the EU and where marijuana is legal.

  • Take a canal tour - For views, from the water, of sites like the Little Mermaid Statue (unimpressive, but famous), the Copenhagen Opera House, Dome of Visions, etc.

  • Carlsberg Tour - I didn't have time to do this, but I heard good things.

  • Skip Tivoli Gardens unless you’re in the mood for an amusement park.

  • Rent a bike and get lost - Cycling is the most popular means of transportation in this city.

  • Shop on Strøget.


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