I’ve officially fallen in love with Copenhagen.
Granted, I’ve fallen in love with almost every city I’ve ever visited, but Copenhagen has something truly special. Maybe it’s the architecture, the food or maybe it’s the way the Danish have that wellbeing lifestyle down to a T. Whatever it was, I spent the most chilled out January weekend there, bringing in my 25th year of life with snow, cinnamon buns and a lot of red wine…
I wish I’d had longer to spend exploring city, and we were so busy sleeping in and stuffing our faces with DOP that there are so many things we didn’t get round to seeing, but for now I’ve been dying to share all the incredible places we did get round to visiting.
The first thing we did after arriving in the city (after spending half an hour talking about how cold it was and being confused by all the patches of untouched snow), we dragged our luggage from Norreport station to the monochrome haven that is Hotel SP34.
Located in the Latin quarter, Hotel SP34 feels like a home away from home – I say that as if my house is this pristine which is hilarious. Not only was their minimal Scandi decor right up my street, they have wine hour every day (free wine between 5 and 6pm y’all)!
There was nothing better (unless cinnamon buns count)? than curling up on their lounge sofas with a glass of red after a long day in the snow, plus their staff were super welcoming and friendly, even when I’d ask them annoying questions about bus timetables and cold toes.
Being only an 8 minute walk away from the hotel, the Rudetaarn (or round tower) was our first pit stop. Admittedly we were initially heading to the DOP stand for organic hotdogs and crispy onions (priorities), which just so happened to be outside the front doors of the Rundetaarn.
As Europe’s oldest astronomy observatory, the Round Tower is partly used by amateur astronomers and partly used by people like me who just want to roll down the spiral ramp. Winding round the core of the tower 7.5 times, this ‘ramp’ is basically a minimalist’s dream, and if it wasn’t frowned upon to set up camp in one of those windows, I’d still be tucked up there right now…
We headed back through the city centre via Rosenborg Castle. I’d only ever seen pictures of the castle gardens in the summer (all multicoloured symmetrical flower beds and hedge mazes), but it was equally (if not more) breathtaking in the snow. I’m not the kind of person to use ‘magical’ as a description, but I think that was pretty fitting in this case.
All snow capped turrets and frosty hedgerows, this is one of the places I’m determined to come back and explore more during the warmer months.
Anyone who follows my social media probably already knows how much I love a good greenhouse. Or rainforest. Or foliage in general.
As soon as I knew there was a Botanical garden within walking distance of us, I made a beeline straight for it. Strangely enough I aways seem to visit indoor gardens during the winter (Kew in December – why?!), which probably isn’t the best idea in hindsight. I spent a good half an hour walking round with a steamy camera lens wishing I wasn’t wearing three pairs of socks.
One thing I loved about Copenhagen was the abundance of free museums and attractions, this being one of them. So if you do decide to visit Denmark in the Winter and need a place to defrost free of charge, I’d highly recommend sitting in the palm house for a couple of hours.
I woke up on our first morning in Copenhagen with a craving for a warming bowl of porridge, and in porridge emergencies your best point of call is Grod. Grab a taxi about 15 minutes north (don’t attempt to walk it in a blizzard) until you find the most inconspicuous little cave cafe with the best porridge toppings ever. I went for some sort of fruity, apple-y concoction topped with yoghurt and peanut butter and it was like magic in my mouth. Seriously though, if you ever need oatmeal topping inspiration, just check out their instagram. Breakfast goals.
If that wasn’t good enough, the infamous Meyers Bageri is a five minute walk down the same round, so naturally I also had to have one of their celebrated cinnamon buns as a second breakfast.
After that, head to the end of the street, cross the road and you’ll find yourself in yet another on of Copenhagen’s beautiful green areas, Assitens Kirkegard. I’m not much of a romantic, but there was something wonderful about wandering through the quite pathways on an early Sunday morning, cinnamon bun in hand, snowflakes stuck in my eyelashes.
By the time we’d finished wandering around the blizzard was pretty much non existent, so we walked back to the centre of city via the lakes. One of the many great things about Copenhagen in the Winter is that it gets cold enough for the river to actually freeze. And I mean really frozen, not that flimsy film of ice we get in the UK. We took a shortcut over the water, watched a few families making ice skating rinks, slid around a bit then headed off to grab food and warm up.
(Photos via Host)
If you book any restaurant during your stay here (other than Noma) make sure you get a table at Host. Beetroot meringue, octopus ink, butter than tasted like a meadow, beer ice cream and the most tender beef I’ve ever eaten were just a few of the many incredible dishes served to us. Plus the decor is beautiful, and I’m all about those white washed walls and heavy oak tables.
A short walk down the road from Host (and a little further down from Norreport metro station), you’ll come across a little open square called Israels Plads. Basically an adjoining area of Ørstedsparken with a skatepark/basketball court and a foodmarket. I’m all about those foodmarkets. Head through the gates to the joining park for a walk round the lake (try not to get run over by sledges on the way though).
The furthest we ventured out of the city centre was to visit Grundtvig’s Church (or Grundtvigs Kirke), which was 150% worth the journey. If you’re staying at Hotel SP34, just head to the back of the hotel to the bus stop opposite Ørstedsparken and jump on the number 6A bus.
It’s one of those trips that’s a definite must-see, but if you’re only there for a couple of days seems a bit of a pain in the arse to plan in. I’m telling you now though, chuck those other ideas in the bin now because this place in incredible and you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t go.
Built in 1913, the church stands in the centre of a residential development which is pretty odd. In face, everything about this building seems so out of place, and for such a huge tourist attraction is really concealed and out of the way. Don’t let that put you off though – in fact I felt it’s situation only added to it. The interior is breathtaking (created with some six million yellow bricks), and although is quite typically gothic, still has an air of minimalism. Those Danish architects know what’s what.
Advice: Make your way there in the early morning for quiet time – we were the only two in there save for one guy sweeping the floor. Bliss
Our last top before we trundled back to the airport was Christianborg Palace. Being only a ten minute walk away from the hotel, we wandered down in the approaching fog for a last meander before heading home. Luckily I managed to grab a few snaps before 1) my camera died and 2) it suddenly became night time really bloody fast.
So there we go, a few of my favourite Copenhagen locations!
There are so many more places I didn’t get around to seeing while I was there, and loads of places I didn’t get a chance to eat at which is probably more upsetting 😭 The next time I visit I’ll be booking a summer trip, so if anyone knows any wonderfully summery Copenhagen activities, please send your suggestions my way!