We’ve been told that Copenhagen is one of the happiest city in the world… So we decided to go check over there and explore the Danish capital !
Its colorful facades, its design shops and the danish crowns that give you the feeling of ruining yourself every time you order a coffee… Because like the United Kingdom or Sweden, Denmark has never switched to the Euro and the Danish crown remains since 1875 the official currency of the country. At about 7.5 DKK for 1€, the price of a simple meal will show a 3-digit amount, which is disturbing when you arrives in CPH. But then, happier than us, the Danish people ? In any case, we have been!
Arriving in CPH
1h30 is the flight time between Brussels and Copenhagen. It’s fair to say that CPH is the city next door for an affordable flight ticket. It all depends on the company you want to travel with. Once you landed at Københavns Lufthvan, the connection to the city center does not exceed 15 minutes by train. The ticket for Copenhagen Central Station – Hovedbanegården – can be bought at the ticket machines located inside Terminal 3. There are obviously other transport solutions and you will find all the details here.
For us, the walk from the station to the hotel immerses ourselves immediately in the atmosphere of the Danish capital. We pass in front of the famous amusement park named Tivoli then, by some luxurious commercial streets before leaving our luggages at the Wake Up Copenhagen. We won’t talk about that disappointing place rated at 180 €/night where service and comfort are not part of the vocabulary of the tenants … But as we told you some lines ago, Copenhagen is a rather expensive city and hotel rates are comparable to those in London or Paris.
Our favorite spots
Undeniably, life on a bike particularly pleases us in this city where the road infrastructure is thought and conceived for the cohabitation of all kind of users with a particular effort on the cyclists safety. So, naturally, we rented a pair of bicycles to explore the different neighborhoods of Copenhagen. We rent our bikes at Copenhagen Bicycles for 120 DKK/24 hours ( 15€ ). Plus, with an hotel reservation on booking.com, we had received a reduction of a few crowns at this address. A good deal on the banks of Nyhavn, the living postcard of Copenhagen, a small colorful harbor a bit too touristy but so photogenic, especially early in the morning! A few pedal strokes away, we also appreciate Ofelia Plads where it is good to enjoy the sun with a view on the Opera in one of the many sunbeds available for free.
Another favorite, Torvehallerne, a food market of Danish specialties, local vegetables, fresh fish, Italian specialties and an excellent sushi bar in this hall just next to the Botanical Garden where the exotic greenhouse worth the visit too ! Northwest, across the Queen Louise Bridge, Nørrebro is particularly nice. The Jægersborggade and its charming shops as well as the cemetery Assistens are pleasant to discover on a bike. thanks to a good weather, we also enjoyed excellent nitrogen ice cream at, Istid.
Radical change of scenery in an industrial enclave on the Flæsketorvet, what appears to be an old fish market is full of popular addresses. Coffee bars, restaurants, breweries, among others there is the store Mikkeller General Store, a local brewery and chocolat maker. The small and charming Prolog Coffee Bar or Noho, a trendy bar with stylish rock n’ roll toilets. Initially, we were walking in the neighborhood for a very different reason. Indeed, one of the most beautiful mural of Belgian artist Roa stands proudly on one of the facades of the Gasværksvej which has turned into an unmissable spot for street art lovers.
Favorite or not, the self-proclaimed city of Christiana is a must do for any person a bit revolutionary but especially for the consumers of illicit substances. In the 70s, a group of hippies took possession of a disused barracks and drafted a charter proclaiming the freedom of what would become a city in the city. Today, what’s happening in Christiana stays in Christiana and it is better not to take pictures because the Canabis trade is mainly managed by gangs. Yes, in Christiana, you can quietly buy weed – and certainly more – without being worried by the Danish authorities as long as all of this remains inside Christiana. The small extra, the skatepark that welcomes all riders for free !
Finally, much more consensual, the center of Copenhagen is full of typical scandinavian clothes and design shops. Of course Hay is comfortably installed and the first floor of the Hay House offers a superb view on the Amagertorv and its wonderfull fontain. On the ground floor, the very stylish Café Norden and its terrace full of sun. But if you want to enjoy a nice view of the city by drinking a good coffee, go up to Original Coffee Illum where the terrace offers a superb panorama. Copenhagen is a treasure for design lovers and beyond the mainstream addresses, it is especially the more confidential shops that will attract a keen eye. Impossible in a few lines to list them all but we have already grouped our favorite spots in our address book.
Good to know
The majority of shops close early on Saturdays. Unlike many cities where they extend their hours until 7 or sometimes 8pm, it is common to see the doors close at 5pm here. And for shops open on Sundays, it will generally be between noon to 4pm.
Happy or not ?
We don’t know if Copenhagen is truly the happiest city in the world… But one thing is certain, the quality of life of its inhabitants is high enough ! Also, No matter the neighborhood we’ve been around, we crossed the road of fresh, relaxed and stylish people, very discreet and not always friendly but rarely unpleasant. The respect of car drivers for cyclists is striking… Nothing compared with Brussels or Paris ! 3 days are not enough to identify and understand a city, a country… But we had the opportunity to taste some of its flavors. And it’s in the middle of Kongens Have park, surrounded by teens drinking whiskey in the afternoon or on the banks of the Ofelia Plads, having rescued this drunk guy drowning that we discovered another facet of Danish people. Alcohol seems indeed to be a serious problem, especially among the very young… But still, Copenhagen is a enjoyable city and we’ll surely come back for, this time, pass the door of some museums that the summer weather forced us to postpone!
See you soon !