Today’s blog comes from Natalie Bigbie a Danish born adventure-seeker and she’s telling us why we should all head to her hometown this summer…
Being Danish by blood, it thrills me to see how Copenhagen has burst through as one of Europe’s most nouveau and stylish capitals. Danish architecture is storming the design world and the cuisine known as smorrebrod breaking its way into restaurants globally. Here are a few reasons Copenhagen should be on your summer getaway list this year:
1. Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli is Copenhagen’s amusement park and gardens, situated in the center of Copenhagen, opposite the main train station and Copenhagen’s equivalent of Oxford Street. Over 100 years old, Tivoli is a mix of stages, shows, rides, gardens, restaurants, boutiques and carnival games – anyone can enjoy! It has one of the oldest rollercoasters in the world, as well as some incredible state-of-the-art rides. Somehow Tivoli has kept its quaint charm and magical atmosphere. What’s more, the original Legoland (yes, Lego is Danish), is only a few hours away if you’re still craving some more rides!
2. The Food
Denmark is composed of 3 large islands and several smaller ones, surrounded by the Baltic Sea, meaning it’s all about the seafood! Lots of dishes feature grilled shrimp, herring, salmon, mackerel and many more. If you’re not a fish lover, try a Danish cold cuts lunch known as a smorrebrod featuring pate, salami, frikadeller (meatballs) etc. Copenhagen has hundreds of chic restaurants, including the ‘best restaurant in the world’ …Noma!
Tip: you’ll need to book months in advance.
Definitely pay a visit to a hot dog vendor, choose from easy going ‘Fransk Hotdog’ with Danish ketchup, to the ‘Ristets polse met det hele’, hot dog equipped with bun, pickles, crispy fried onions, mustard, ketchup and remoulade; Denmark’s own concoction of mayonnaise, gherkin, onion and curry powder (it tastes better than it sounds). Delish!
Tip: The more mainstream the hot dog cart, the less likely you’ll get a good dog.
It’s amazing as Prague, Amsterdam and Berlin all rolled into one, seriously it is. Check out the Kodpakke, the Meatpacking District, for quirky bars dotted around. Try Bakken Kbh for a cozy, relaxed atmosphere – enjoy a drink in the old slaughtering halls or on the colorful patio. The Culture Box is awesome for electronic music and one of the capital’s most prominent night clubs.
Christiania is a small commune, to the east of central Copenhagen, in an area called Christianshavn. The commune is self-governed, and therefore does not abide by Danish laws. The laws are written on a chalkboard at each entrance to the commune, along the lines of – no guns, no hard drugs, no photographs etc. but marijuana is legal. Inside the commune are a few groups of people who’ve lived there for decades, alongside cafes, beer gardens and shops which you can enjoy in the sunshine. It’s situated on a huge lake and lush woodland. The inhabitants are fighting hard to keep Christiania alive; as it is not photographed or tourist incentivized, very little people know about it – so you’ll find a true hidden gem!
5. The Architecture, Design and Art
Copenhagen is home to some of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals, castles and churches. Look out for the gorgeous multi-colored houses that sit along the canals in Nyhavn. If you’re a true castle geek, it’s worth venturing a little further outside the city, definitely visit Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle. But it’s not all castles, Copenhagen saw the birth of Scandinavian minimalism design which is obvious in most Danish homes. Not to mention the art galleries (check out Louisiana).
6. Den Lille Havfrue
Danish author, H.C. Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’, as well as his hundred other childrens’ stories inspired a generation, we have our very own mermaid statue situated in the Copenhagen harbor. See if you can spot it!
It’s not all about Copenhagen, so if you get the time, head to the northernmost tip of Denmark and check out Skagen. This stretch of coastline is covered in mile long white beaches and sand dunes dotted with grass patches. A blissful break out of the city.
When I think about Copenhagen, I think ‘light, beautiful, untouched, and preserved’. The people of Denmark are gentle and welcoming, and it’s a wonderful part of Europe that you should definitely explore. Feeling inspired? Check out our bargain deals to Europe this summer and explore Copenhagen for yourself!