The major issue anyone coming to Copenhagen has is deciding what sort of 24 hours you really want to spend in the Capital of Cool. Some of that decision will depend on who you are traveling with – be it the family, the group of friends, the romantic interlude or simply wandering on your own. Copenhagen has so much to offer for everyone, even when it is at its coldest in the middle of winter.
Your first taste of the city will undoubtably be Kastrup airport, which is as efficient, well-stocked and conveniently located as any major airport could ever want to be – heck, they even have a replica of the Little Mermaid there just so you don’t have to get trampled in the tourist stampede to see Den Lille Havfrue as the locals call it in the slightly incovenient location north of the old fort on Langelinie. From the airport you can catch a train to the Central Station or to Malmö should you wish to recreate the steps of Saga Norén from the TV Series Broen/Bron (or The Bridge) or the Metro which will take you to the heart of the city, Kongens Nytorv. From here you are a stone’s throw from the iconic pastel buildings of Nyhavn (New harbour) where pavement bars and restaurants will happily take your cash (plus a bit more for the view). You can grab an information harbour tour from here or if you have the cash, rest your weary head at Nyhavn 71, a converted warehouse right at the far end of the dock.
If you are feeling brave, hire a bike and meander through the back streets of the city, especially the old parts to the north of Europe’s longest pedestrianised street, Strøget (“the walking street”) where you will find all the major brands plus a few decent bars to sooth the retail itch. The street runs westwards to Rådhusplasden, where the city hall can be found as well as the entrance to the legendary Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in the world (Bakken – just north of the city centre at Klampenborg is the oldest), dating back to 1843. It is rumoured that Michael Jackson wanted to buy the park back in the 1990’s after a visit here. Today it still holds magic for everyone – every Dane will remember their first visit. It has some decent, if pricey restaurants as well as its own brewery, the Apollo.
The city is slowly moving outwards, none more so to Ørestad, which is two stops on the train from the airport and on the fringes of the Metro. Here, you will find Scandinavia’s second shopping centre, Fields, a new cinema and very soon the 18,000 capacity indoor Royal Arena. There is also the amazing Bella Sky Hotel, which looks like one of those Rubiks snake toys you may have had as a child and has a sky bridge linking the two towers about a million feet up in the air. The Crowne Plaza is just a few hundred yards away and offers some decent rates at weekends. If you really want to save your cash for more hedonistic pleasure then there is an infamous Cabinn close by too.
Did someone say beer? Copenhagen is the home of Carlsberg but it may disturb you to know they don’t actually brew here at all – your “Best lager is the world” is more likely to be brewed in Northampton these days. However, that shouldn’t stop you heading to Carlsberg for a tour and a tasting session of some of their lesser known beers. Another brewer in the city, Tuborg, closed their doors some time ago but their old brewery in Nordhavn is still an iconic structure. The brewing scene in the city is now synonomous with Mikkeller, which brews some outstanding beers and has a couple of bars in the city including the original Mikkeller Bar in Viktoriagade 8 as well as the superb new bar, Warpigs, in the old meat packing district which is today THE place to eat, drink and be merry. It is around a fifteen minute walk from the central station, although be warned after dark those ladies who may be being a bit too friendly towards you are after your cash.
Many people will head for Christiana, the “independent” Hippy state where everything goes. Or so they want you to believe. Itr’s like going to a Radio 1 Roadshow and expecting it to be like Margate ’86. Your best bet is to steer clear and head up the coast to Louisiana, one of the best art museums in the world, located on the shores of the Øresund Sound. It is a 25 minutes train ride north from the city centre to Humlebæk then a five minute walk. Alternatively, head west to Copenhagen Zoo to get up close and personal to the animals.
Copenhagen has had some of the best restaurants in the world, including Noma and The Paul but unless you have an Amex Black card you may be better off heading for such secret treasures as Tattooed Widow, with its matching beer menu and just a stone’s throw from Konigs Nytorv or Argentinian Steak restaurant Fuego in Holbergsgade.
For those wanting a bit of football, then the cross city rivalry between IF Brøndby and FC Copenhagen can boil over the top at times, but both sets of fans show some real passion. Tickets start from just 200 Danish Kroner to watch either – Parken, the national stadium is today home to FCK as well as every major music star in the world when they are in town.
Few people come back from Copenhagen with bad memories. It is rightly voted as one of the best cities in the world – having lived there myself for two years I can concur that it is the perfect 24 hour city.