48h in Copenhagen: 10 top things to do in the winter
I hadn’t originally planned to go to Copenhagen, but I am glad I did!
In January, I would say it’s cold… very cold! So if you plan to go by this time of the year, pack some serious layers!
Actually, I think that the gloomy winter vibe adds more charm to the Danish capital. It’s a part of the Scandinavian experience. I will write an article later explaining why I like Europe in the winter.
I was surprised at first, it’s a quite big urban city. The pictures of the cute colourful houses you see all over Pinterest are just the ones around Nihavn. The dominant architecture of Copenhagen is slightly different. Modern buildings are mixed with antique typical constructions with impressive green copper roofs and domes. The colour is natural, copper turns green when exposed to the elements #science.
Danemark is also known for the biking culture. A bike tour would be a great idea to experience the city like a local.
Besides from that, Danes are famous for their Hygge lifestyle, and bringing up the cozy game to the top.t. What made Hygge famous or trendy is the book on the left: The little book of Hygge: Danish secrets to happy living
What I loved the most
In general I found Danish very helpful, welcoming, peaceful and at ease. When I was taking pictures, someone always stops to ask if I needed my picture taken. When I made eye contact with someone or smile, without fail they smiled back. It’s definitely not a coincidence if Danemark is rated happiest country in the world. And surprisingly, for such a big city, I didn’t feel any stressful vibe whatsoever.
Scandiavian design is just a masterpiece of tasteful minimalism. The furniture is simple, functional and made with natural material. You rarely find a kitsch ugly shop sign, or interior (and if you do, they are probably not Danish).
Where I stayed
Saga Hotel, budget friendly and good value. Located near the central station, where we were able to do everything on foot. You know how I always try to avoid commute and public transportation. Tivoli gardens are few minutes away.
10 Activities to do in Copenhagen in one or two days
#1 Walk down Strøget shopping street
Which is one of Europe’s longest shopping streets. It’s located right after Tivoli gardens. A very vibrant area with a lot of shops and cafés. Don’t leave Copenhagen without paying a visit to The Flying Tiger! It’s a concept store chain with something for everyone, with the tasteful scandinavian design touch: Mugs, craft kits, beanies, beautiful notebooks, candles, decor, toys, makeup and so much more… All in beautiful pastel colours, wood and craft paper. Perfect to bring souvenirs!
#2 Enjoy a panoramic view from the round tower
I couldn’t do it because it was closed on Sunday. But it’s definitely a must-do. Located in Strøget street as well.
#3 Have a coffee break the Hygge way
In Scandinavia, coffee break is an art. If you like cozy ambiances, design furniture and coffee you will be spoiled! All warmed by scented candles and throw rugs.
#4 Take a walk in Churchill park
A true dark fairy tale scenery. Naked trees, a grey palette, surrounded by an old church and a swan river. On Sundays locals were jogging in the park, this is what I call commitment in a harsh -5 c°.
See this massive monument down here? That’s the Gefion fountain, with a statue Norse goddess Gefjun with two oxen. So powerful! #girlpower
Around the park you can see all kinds of sea creatures and ancient gods statues. Next to it is Denmark’s only Anglican church, St. Alban church.
#5 Brunch in Toldboden
Located in Nordre Toldbod Harbour, it’s a huge industrial loft with a waterview on the old citadel Kastellet. They have a brunch buffet formula on Sundays. The restaurant is known for its sustainable and eco-friendly policy. It’s on the pricey side but worth it. It must be amazing in the summer, they apparently do barbecues and grills outdoors on the Harbour. It was a cozy and delicious meal.
#6 Take a picture of the “Little mermaid”
The underwhelmed and often criticised statue is still worth seeing. In the winter you can even snap the mermaid on its own without a crowd of tourists around. It’s actually a representation or Andersen’s Little Mermaid (the fairytale) which is Danish.
#7 For the brave souls
An outdoors SPA experience in the cold!
#Lunch in Papiroen (paper island)
UPDATE: Bad news, the place is closed till further notice!
It’s a big closed market of International street food. From curries, to Moroccan crepes, you will sure find what you’re craving. The atmosphere is cozy and vibrant. The seating arrangement almost make it like a huge eclectic party.
Outside we found Yoko Ono’s interactive artwork WISH TREE. A subtle reminder of the paper in paper island. . It was very poetic, the cold wind made the paper pieces dance.
Make a wish!
#9 Walk in Nyhavn Harbour
The canal is surrounded by townhouses, bars and cafés. The iconic colourful Danish façades are located here. Along the canal you can spot picture-perfect wooden ships and yachts sleeping in the winter.
#10 Frederik’s Church
The church lies beautifully in line with Amalienborg castle and The Opera in the middle of the elegant area of Frederiksstaden. The roof is a huge imposant copper dome.
Where I ate
#Paper island (Papiroen)
#A bunch of cute cafés for snacks, breakfast or coffee
#Thai me up . Best South-east Asian food I had in Europe! Pretty affordable for the local prices.
#Scandinavia is expensive! If you are on a budget or backpacking in Europe, plan a serious budget.
#Tivoli garden was in renovation till April!
#Freetown Christiania: The main reason why I want to go back to Copenhagen in the summer! The neighbourhood is green and car-free. The inhabitants developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government. A heaven of hippie lifestyle.
#Vesterbro & Norrebro neighbourhood: Located on the other side of the bridge. I am always looking for hipster areas because that’s where I usually find hip cafés, vintage shops, edgy art galleries, pop up stores and all that jazz. Vestebro was quite disappointing, almost all shops and cafés were closed and the streets deserted. It should probably be more alive in the summer.
xo xo Dalal
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