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City Guide: Forty-Eight Hours in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, I love you. I really do. Is it because of your history and culture? Your fabulous restaurants, nightlife and shopping? Your design heritage? The fact that you are the capital of the world’s happiest nation? Or is it because your residents are the coolest, best looking collection of people I have ever seen?

My love of Copenhagen comes from all of the above. So here is my guide to 48 hours in wonderful Copenhagen, based on many weekends spent exploring every inch this fabulous city, all in the name of “research”.

Friday Evening

Dinner & Drinks

So you’ve arrived, checked in to your hotel/AirBnb, spruced yourself up, and you’re ready to  explore. For your first night out in Copenhagen I recommend heading to Falernum on Vaernedamsvej, a short walk from the centre of town. It’s a cosy wine bar that does great food, with a low key but convivial atmosphere. The perfect introduction to Copenhagen’s effortless cool.

SATURDAY

breakfast

Head to the fabulous Atelier September on Gothersgade for a delicious and healthy breakfast as well as a decent cup of coffee. I recommend the avocado toast. The space here is light and airy, with that divine Scandinavian minimalism at play throughout.

day – shopping

One of Copenhagen’s main draw-cards for me is the shopping. Local and regional designers – which you might not find in your home town – abound in the City Centre. I could spend hours wandering around Pilestræde, Kongens Nytorv, Gammel Mont, Silkegade and all their surrounding/connecting streets.

Illum Boligshaus 2
Illums Bolighus. Gorgeous department store – a must-visit.

afternoon pitstop

All that shopping and mooching around takes it out of you, so a pitstop is always a welcome break in the proceedings. The City Centre department store Illum on Østergade has a fabulous rooftop cafe/bar where you can enjoy gorgeous views of Copenhagen’s rooftops and the stork fountain. Refuel here with a bite to eat, coffee or glass of wine.

Copenhagen Town Square Aerial View
View from Illum Rooftop

aperitivo time

Exploring the city all day is thirsty work. So by around 5pm, you really should stop for a little aperitivo – you’ve earned it. I love the atmosphere, wine list and service at Mother Wine on Gammel Mønt in the City Centre. The helpful and friendly staff know their wines, and will help you choose the right one, through tasting and thoughtful advice.

Mother Wine Aperativo
Aperitivo at Mother Wine. Glass half full or half empty? Either way, someone needs a top up.

dinner

My all-time favourite restaurant in Copenhagen is Kodbyens Fiskebar in the hip Kodbyens district. This area used to be home to Copenhagen’s meat industry businesses, and it is now a creative cluster of hip and excellent quality restaurants and bars. But back to Fiskebar – the food (specialty being fish and seafood) is exquisite, made from fresh, local produce. The staff are helpful and the customers are ridiculously beautiful. You’ll leave here gastronomically satisfied, and possibly with minor body image issues. Book in advance, as it is popular!

After dinner, if you want a change of scene and a snifter on you way back to your hotel, there is no shortage of choice for hip bars in and around Kodbyens.

Kodbyens Fiskebar
Kodbyens Fiskebar. The people-watching is off the chart.

Sunday

brunch

Sunday morning. Hangover. But that’s ok. Why? Because the Union Kitchen exists and its not far away. Head here (on Store Strandstræde) for seriously good breakfasts, great coffee and brunch cocktails, including their “hangover cure of the day.” At the Union Kitchen you’ll find more of that Copenhagen cool, laid back vibe but with a bit of an edge. Highly recommended!

The Union Kitchen. Ridiculously cool.
The Union Kitchen. Ridiculously cool.

afternoon

Sundays are the day to explore the more cultural side of Copenhagen, and there really is a lot to see. For a first visit, I recommend you do the following: after reviving yourselves at the Union Kitchen, walk down the street to Nyhavn, possibly the most instagrammed part of Copenhagen. It is popular for a reason though. Its charm is irresistible, with its colourful buildings lining the canal where beautiful boats are moored all the way along this delightful stretch of water. After taking the obligatory photos, head up Bredgade. On the right, you’ll see Amalienborg, home of the Danish royal family – what’s up, Princess Mary! Then continue on up Bredgade to the Danish Design Museum, where you can see the origins of Danish design all the way through to modern day design innovations.

Amalienborg. Check it out.
Amalienborg. Check it out.

These are just a few humble suggestions for your flying visit to wonderful Copenhagen. There is plenty more to see, from its various eclectic and charming neighbourhoods (such as multi-cultural Norrebro or hipster Vesterbro), the gorgeous Tivoli gardens, the Little Mermaid and the autonomous, alternative Freetown Christiania. The list goes on. Leave a comment if you have any other recommendations!!

Danish Design Museum. Beautiful inside and outside.
Danish Design Museum. Beautiful inside and outside.
Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens
Illum Rooftop
Illum Rooftop
Nyhavn. Take a photo. Put it on instagram.
Nyhavn. Take a photo. Put it on instagram.
Pate Pate
Pate Pate in Kodbyens. Awesome restaurant. Another favourite for lunch or dinner.
Doorway Reflection Copenhagen
Cheeky Selfie