Copenhagen might not be a top holiday destination in the minds of many people, but it ought to be. The Danish capital is full of great bars & cafés, beautiful architecture, wonderful food and friendly faces to boot.
Flying directly from Dublin, it takes about two hours to get to Copenhagen Airport in Kastrup, connected by train to the city’s Central Station, Hovedbanegården. Once in the city, it’s simple to get to where you want to go by taxi, bus or Metro (subway) to anywhere around the city. That being said, Copenhagen is the perfect city if you just want to walk about!
Speaking of travelling by foot, we were able to walk easily from Hovedbanegården to the super stylish Marriott Copenhagen Hotel (Kalvebod Brygge 5) which sits right beside the canal and overlooks the south side of the city. From there, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the real heart of the city, Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) and the shopping street of Strøget, where you will find a plethora of shops, restaurants and boutiques. For our Irish readers; Strøget is the Danish equivalent of Dublin’s Grafton Street, which means that while it’s certainly a beautiful street to walk through, be warned that it’s quite expensive if you decide to shop there. The fact that Denmark has kept its own currency (Danske kroner, or DKK) means that you can be caught paying high prices without realising it. That said, one reasonably priced restaurant on Strøget is Le Diamant (Østergade 59) which has a stylish but unpretentious atmosphere and great range of food.
After dinner, we decided to walk off the extra calories by continuing up Strøget, passing the beautiful Kongens Nytorv and arriving at one of Copenhagen’s most iconic districts, Nyhavn (pictured above). With typical Danish architecture, the most popular street is Ved Kajen (literally meaning ‘By The Quay’) which is home to some amazing bars, restaurants and the odd ice-cream parlour. A popular place to stop off among both natives and tourists is McJoy’s (Nyhavn 47) which sees regular live gigs from Denmark, England and Ireland.
If you have a day (or even a few hours) to spare, why not take the train or bus to the Swedish city of Malmö, situated less than an hour away from Copenhagen, thanks to the world-famous Øresund Bridge. Malmö is smaller than Copenhagen, and although some areas like Stortorget and Lilla Torg are worth seeing, there is not as much for tourists to do in Malmö. Malmö Castle (Malmöhus) is a little walk from the central business district of the city, but worthwhile for those who are interested in art, history and architecture. Don’t forget to try out some of the local cafés for traditional Swedish smörgåsbörd before catching the train back to Denmark. The train to Malmö leaves regularly from Hovedbanegården, which makes it the easier travel option for tourists.
Nightlife in Copenhagen is incredible, and the Vesterbro district is definitely the place to be. For those who’d like to try out the gay scene, one must-try is Café Intime (Allégade 25) in the stylish Frederiksberg district. Although not in the city centre, this is a beautiful, quirky and quintessentially Danish gay bar. Another great choice, which is more central, is Centralhjørnet (Kattesundet 18) which is one of the city’s most popular bars on the scene.
Overall, Copenhagen is an incredible city that should be near the top of that list of ‘to-see’ cities. It may be slightly more expensive than your typical European city, but it’s very worthwhile.