Copenhagen Travel Guide: Things to do
I'm going to be completely honest with you - I didn't immediately fall in love with Copenhagen like I was expecting to. It didn't have the sassy buzz of NYC or the instant charm of Lisbon. It isn't teeming with natural wonders like Iceland, and the weather certainly wasn't as sunny as we experienced in Oslo.
I might not have been instantly taken with this colourful city, but by the time we left after 4 days exploring, I was vowing to come back. For me, Copenhagen was a slow burner, revealing it's charm bit by bit as opposed to thrusting everything on you as soon as you step off the metro. I think it's down to the fact that it's an incredibly peaceful city - a quality we came to be very glad of.
We were naive to assume that just because it's calmer than some of the other European capitals there isn't as much to see or do. We spent a pretty packed long weekend there and still didn't cover all of the big sights (I'm hoping we can visit again soon to tick off the ones we missed!) and there is so much local culture to enjoy. I thought I'd do a little round up of some of our favourite things to do in Copenhagen to convince you all that you need to visit. Because you all know by now that I love to be an enabler when it comes to holidays...
I am obsessed with pastel painted houses. There is a street of them in Beaumaris in Anglesey that makes me squeal every time we drive past and Notting Hill is basically like my idea of heaven, so Nyhavn was number 1 on my Copenhagen bucket list. It's the prettiest, most Instagram worthy little harbour and even thought it can be a bit overpriced, it's definitely worth grabbing a drink at one of the pubs while you marvel at the view.
Copenhagen Canal Tour
I'm not usually a huge fan of guided tours in cities and prefer trying to figure out the best bits for myself, but with the weather being less than desirable on the weekend we visited, we decided that it would be a good idea to see the sights from the comfort of a sheltered boat! It was actually a really great way to get our bearings, and for about £8 each for around an hour, it was a fun and cheap way to see a lot of things (including the infamous Little Mermaid!) all in one go.
A friend recommended the Rundetaarn, or Round Tower, to us, selling it as the perfect way to get a good view of the city without having to climb hundreds of steps. Instead you walk around the cobbled spiral path up to the roof, from which you'll be able to see for miles in every direction. Rumour has it they also hold stargazing events every couple of weeks, so definitely give it a Google if you're planning a trip.
We'd heard mixed reviews about Christinia, the "anything goes" commune set in Christianhavn. We decided to wander through on our way to Copenhagen Street Food and it was definitely an interesting experience. While some areas such as the Green Light District felt a bit seedy, some of the street art was really gorgeous and I really enjoyed learning about the concept of collective living. Definitely worth having a look, but be warned that you can't take any photos once you're inside the commune.
Flagship LEGO store
If like me you're a child trapped in adult's body, you'll very much enjoy a trip to the flagship LEGO store. Here you can marvel at some of the ace LEGO builds (including this awesome lady on a bike) and play with the gigantic wall of bricks at the back of the store - perfect for reliving your childhood.
Shopping on Strøget
No trip to Copenhagen is complete without a spot of shopping on Strøget, which is one of hte longest pedestrianised shopping streets in Europe. You'll find all of your continental favourites like Zara and H&M here, with some Scandi goodies like Monki and Tiger thrown in for good measure.
We stumbled across the Botanical Garden as we were staying right near it and it was so pretty! Definitely a good place ot hunt out if you're looking for somewhere lovely to take a walk - I can imagine it would be even nicer in the summer.
The Marble Church
We saw this from the window of our canal boat tour and made a mental note to visit and we weren't disappointed. The architecture is SO impressive and it totally made me feel like we were in Rome rather than Denmark! We headed in for a look inside too which was equally breathtaking, although it is still very much treated as a house of prayer, so a no no for photos.