6 Reasons to Book Your Copenhagen Getaway!
Posted on September 10th, 2016
The flights are ridiculously cheap, the place is utterly charming, and the people, they’re unfairly beautiful. It wasn’t instantaneous, but I genuinely fell in love with this city and its abundant offerings in just two days. I couldn’t recommend it enough and here’s why…
1) A cycling city
Forget tour buses and fussing over metro tickets, the best way to discover Copenhagen’s sounds, smells and sights is by bicycle. And, as with most things it seems, the Danes really out do the rest of Europe when it comes to their bikes. The cycle lanes are wide and people abide by the code, queuing up neatly behind specially designated cycling traffic lights, and because literally everyone in Copenhagen owns a bike, there are barely any cars to bore, beep, and bother you on your journey, a luxury London certainly doesn’t afford.
It’s not exactly new news that cycling and Copenhagen are somewhat synonymous, yet, I had no idea the Scandi version of Boris Bikes were not only chic, a simple sleek white, but also electric. That’s correct, you barely notice you’re pedalling at all as the bike whizzes around beneath you. Each is also fitted with an iPad size screen that tally’s your costs, informs you of the nearest docking station, and even doubles as a sat nav – pure genius! I seriously wish this was the norm in London, our air would be cleaner, and we’d all have a happier tube free commute! Here’s hoping!
26 Grains deserves a round of applause for bringing the porridge game to London, yet, much to my bacon loving boyfriend’s sheer delight, Grød was still top of my Copenhagen to do list. Grød, which directly translates into ‘porridge’ or ‘mash’, is the cutest porridge bar, located on Jægersborggade, which Rory and I decided was our favourite street in the city.
It’s teaming with coffee shops, second hand clothing stores, windows full of the most beautiful handcrafted mugs and drawings, a shop where they make and sell butter caramels and so much more. We wondered up and down for over an hour, popping into every store that caught our eye. Still, Grød, at least for me was the highlight.
Much smaller than I imagined, and in no way pretentious or brimming with health conscious vegans. Grød was busy with people enjoying wholesome and unbelievably tasty food with friends and family. The portions were pretty big, but we needed fuel for sightseeing so still managed to polish off everything. Between the two of us, and two visits we sampled the everything porridge, the gluten free porridge with apple compote, almonds, peanut butter and cacao nibs, the chicken and peanut congee and finally the tomato dahl. The dahl was without question my favourite, topped with skyr, tomatoes, salted almonds and coriander. A total flavour explosion and Rory has not stopped talking about it since. A total winner.
N.B. There’s also a Grød located in the Torvehallerne covered market, be sure to visit the market itself, but for the full Grød experience Jægersborggade is a must!
3) There’s a theme park in the middle of the city
As a self-confessed roller coasted junkie, I just couldn’t resist a peek inside the gates on Tivoli Gardens. Being the world’s second oldest amusement park, Tivoli carries a certain charm that sadly Thorpe Park does not. It’s quaint and the gardens are sweet and well kept. My advice is to go in and try a ride or two, but don’t panic if you’re short of time.
4) The food is UNREAL
Seriously though, the food is to die for. Even little cafes or restaurants that appear so ordinary, have the coolest interiors, excellent coffee, and real food. I ate like a queen all weekend, and for varying degrees of priciness.
A quick run through my recommendations; Grød for porridge (obviously), Torvehallerne for a gander and cinnamon buns, Mother if you fancy sourdough pizzas and Street food Copenhagen for feasting (more about that later).
5) You can cure your hangover in an outdoor swimming pool
As a child, I earned the name brave swimmer for jumping into my Grandparents’ ice cold swimming pool in the middle of January. I’ve always been a total water baby and I’ve tried on many occasions to have a dip in the Serpentine, much to no avail, so when I heard about Copenhagen’s outdoor pool, it was straight on the list.
Feeling a little groggy on Saturday morning, I dragged Rory up and we were on our way to Island Brygge. To be honest, after so much disappointment at the Serpentine I expected it to be a) closed, b) ridiculously expensive or c) full. But, to my wildest of dreams we arrived, pitched up our snazzy electric bikes, whipped off our clothes and dived it. People were gathering at one end to enjoy breakfast in the sun, and I was stunned at their ability to enjoy a leisurely swim in the icy water. September’s rays were shining down, but my god it was the water cold. It shocks your whole system, but totally clears your head, and revitalises the whole body. A 10/10 hangover cure which also left me feeling weirdly awake and focused for the rest of the day. If I lived in Copenhagen, a jump in would be part of my daily routine hungover or not. Sadly, a cold bath in London doesn’t quite cut the mustard – I’ll stick to the nurofen then.
6) Street Food Copenhagen
Another fabulous recommendation, we’d planned to visit Street food Copenhagen on our last day, but stumbling upon it prematurely, we loved it so much we went twice. About a 10 minute walk from touristy Nyhavn, or what I named the ‘colourful houses area’, street food Copenhagen is a foodie’s dream.
A whole warehouse packed full of little stalls selling everything and anything from Korean BBQ to Paleo protein plates, lettuce and rice paper rolls stuffed with flavourful veggies, crème brûlée doughnuts caramelised with a blow torch before your very eyes, pulled pints and ales, cocktails in jam jars, monstrous surf and turf burgers, homemade burritos with fresh guac and refried beans – the list goes on and on.
Sit inside, or pull up one of the deck chairs en plein air and watch the sun go down by the river. It’s pretty magical! There’s also a live DJ and salsa dancing as the evening draws on, the atmosphere is electric. My goodness we ate far too much but it was worth every bite down to the final mouthful of oreo cheesecake, and sip of summer kiss cocktail. Such good value for money, don’t miss it!