Here are our recommendations for how to get your hygge on and spend a weekend in the Danish capital enjoying the best of København!
When to Go
Any time! But we have been in January, and it was a little foggy and very quiet, so we recommend going in early or late summer to get some atmosphere and better weather.
Where to Stay
If you’re on a budget, then we recommend the Wake Up Copenhagen chain, we stayed in Wake Up Carsten Niebuhrs Gade for its location right by the train station and close to the culinary delights of the Meatpacking District.
If you’re looking for more of a luxury property, then you can’t beat 71 Nyhavn, right on the famous harbour front.
It’s time to get out and explore! If you haven’t had breakfast in your hotel then grab brunch at Mad and Kaffe – it’s about a mile’s walk from Wake Up hotel. Then wander to the iconic Nyhavn harbour area, with it’s colourful old buildings, which is what you’ll see featured in many images as a representation of Copenhagen. We took a boat tour from here which was a great way to take in the views, and see the famous Little Mermaid statue without having to queue, and an enjoyable trip around the winding canals and waterways. The small mermaid sculpture was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen and is made of bronze and granite. It was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land, and is an iconic symbol in the city. From here you are also not far from any of the harbour baths, where you can enjoy a swim, as Meik Wiking likes to do:
[I recommend] one of the many harbour baths around Copenhagen. The water is so clean that you can swim in the inner harbour – so those are great spots for meeting with friends for a swim and then a beer after work. – Meik Wiking, Happiness Researcher from Copenhagen
Spend the rest the day exploring the city centre and some of the districts of Copenhagen, we particularly like vibrant Vesterbro, Christianshavn, and Osterbro. Discover cool Danish design, boutique shops, and cute cafes for great coffee and of course, pastries.
Choosing where to have dinner will be hard, there are so many great restaurants in Copenhagen! We found the place to start on your first night is in the Meatpacking District. If it’s simple meat and beer you’re after with no frills, and you appreciate a bit of metal music, then you can’t beat War Pigs. We also loved Gorilla, where the dishes are quite small so you can try lots of different things, almost tapas-style. From here, you can walk off your meal with a 20-minute stroll to Ruby bar. A dark and sultry lounge bar with amazing cocktails. It’s small, and if you can’t get in, then there are plenty of other bars not far away.
Get up early and seek out the famous Little Mermaid statue if you didn’t see it from a boat tour, before a wander around Tivoli gardens. Then visit the small but perfectly formed Happiness Museum on Admiralgade. This museum has just opened as of mid-July 2020, and was created by Meik Wiking, founder of the Happiness Research Institute. If you’ve managed all this in the morning, then time for some lunch. We loved the vibes and decor at California Kitchen, laid-back California seaside style with super healthy salad bowls for sale. Or find a cafe, hot dog stand, or pizzeria, all of which shouldn’t be hard to come by.
We would recommend a visit to the Designmuseum Danmark in the afternoon, but it’s closed for renovations until early 2022. There are plenty of other museums you can visit, though. If the weather is good and you want to be outside, then enjoy one of the many parks or street food markets and grab some ice cream.
Finally, for dinner we can recommend Cock’s and Cows, again in the Meatpacking District, but there are so many great places here you just want to go back! If you aren’t a meat lover or eater, then there are plenty of other options – check out Visit Copenhagen’s restaurant guide.
You can extend your trip to Copenhagen and explore more of Denmark, or you can easily get the short train journey over the famous Öresund bridge to Malmo and explore Sweden!
Article by Claire & Alex Minnis
Images: Headliner Image by Simon Baker / WarPigs Image by Rasmus Malmstrøm & Camilla Stephen. All other images ©Minnis2Society