I think I’m still on a travel high…one week later and I’m still drooling over the most beautiful city in one of Europe’s coziest countries! If you are planning to go to Copenhagen or are curious about what there is to do there, this post is for you!
Copenhagen is a city that is very bicycle friendly. Most roads have a wide bicycle lane to the right of the vehicle lane. There are cars and taxis, along with public transport options, but to get around quickly and efficiently, I recommend biking the city.
Note that if you aren’t too familiar with riding a bike or have never ridden a bike, you might want to practice before you take this on because the cyclists in this city are no joke!
During the peak of rush hour, there are thousands of bikes in the streets and people are not there to play. They are commuting to and from work. We took bikes out around 10 AM after the rush and explored until around 1. It was perfect!
Each location I mention below will have a link to the Google Maps code, and if you click the link from your phone, you can “Save” the destination under “Favorites” or “Want to Go” or “Starred Places”. Enjoy!
There are several options for bike rentals. We rented our bikes from our hotel, the Scandic Front. There’s also a company called Bycyklen (The City Bike) that rents bikes. I used Google maps to get around and switched it to “Bicycle” directions (instead of by car).
The cool thing about Google maps is it also has a feature that points out landmarks and good photo opp locations. This is how I planned our “bike tour” on the go.
Nyhavn & Locks of love
Probably the most famous attraction or thing to see in Copenhagen is Nyhavn, the section of colorful buildings along the canal. There is a bridge here with hundreds of locks put in place with couples names. We didn’t have a lock to place on the bridge, so I guess we’re pushing our luck!! 😉
There are several restaurants and bars along this street, along with live musicians. We grabbed a bite to eat one evening and watched the sunset. It was crowded but such a beautiful site to see!
We drove by Tivoli on our bikes but didn’t have time to go in and explore. Founded in 1843, Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and has several rides, restaurants, and shops to explore. We will definitely spend a day here next time we visit Copenhagen!
Another GREAT way to explore Copenhagen is via GoBoat. This is a slow moving electric boat that you can take through the canals of the city. It seats around 4-6 people and you can bring your own goodies (i.e. wine, champagne, cheese, crackers, snacks, etc..).
We rented a GoBoat and it was so easy! We just signed up for a one-hour rental, they provided an easy to read map, and off we went! This was one of my favorite things we did since I LOVE boats and seeing the city from the water. It was so relaxing and a great way to explore all the city has to offer!
Marriot + Kalvebod Bølge
The first stop on our bicycle tour was at the Marriot hotel. It’s a beautiful, large hotel and on the back side of it, there’s a huge boardwalk/activity area with gorgeous views of the water.
Kalvebod Bølge, which means Kalvebod Wave, is an urban space that brings the city closer to the water through waving and bending surfaces. Across the water is Islands Brygge with its harbor bath and countless activities.
There are several castles and royal palaces throughout Denmark. Rosenburg Castle is located right in the middle of Copenhagen making it easy to bike or walk to. This castle has a large garden and green space great for picnics and live concerts.
Among the main attractions is the Knights’ Hall with the coronation thrones and three life-size silver lions standing guard. The crowns of the Danish kings and queens are kept in special vaults and are embellished with table-cut stones, enamel, and gold ornamentation.
Tycho Brahe Planetarium
This is another location we drove by on our bikes. It had a beautiful lake in the back with ducks and birds chirping. A visit to the Tycho Brahe Planetarium is educational entertainment for the entire family. Immerse yourself in the starry sky, watch IMAX and 3D movies or explore the exhibition.
The Royal Danish Opera House
This is a cool spot to walk around and just tour the facilities. It totals 41,000 square meters. Five of the fourteen stories are subterranean. The main stage of the opera seats an audience of 1400.
Our hotel room faced the Royal Opera House, and while we were visiting, a Red Bull Diving competition practice was taking place at the top of the massive building. Divers jumped off the top into the water below.
One of our final destinations on bike was the shops onStrøget. Strøget is in the heart of Copenhagen and is one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets with a variety of stores, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world’s most expensive designers.
Big international brands like Prada, Max Mara, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry are represented at the end of the street facing up to Kongens Nytorv.
If your budget is a little tighter, you will find shops like H&M, Vero Moda and Zara closer to City Hall Square. Strøget is more than shopping. Look up and down the side streets during your shopping spree, and you will see several of Copenhagen’s beautiful sights and attractions as well as street entertainers.
Ofelia Plads – Pier by Scandic Front
Just outside our hotel stood the Ofelia Plads (”plads” meaning ”square”) on the harbor front. We enjoyed a mid-afternoon glass of wine and delicious brownie while watching locals stroll by.
Located between Nyhavn and Amalienborg, this pier is Copenhagen’s latest free public cultural venue. Catch a concert, performance, exhibition or maybe a sports event and jump on the harbor bus or take the new Inner Harbour Bridge directly to Papirøen (Paper Island).
Eating in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is an energetic, clean and active city. With all the walking, biking and boat hopping we did there, we worked ourselves up an appetite and Copenhagen did NOT disappoint!!
Upon arriving home from this trip, I refuse to get on a scale because #CandidMoment when I go on vacation I do NOT follow any sort of diet or restrictions.
I kind of feel like I ate my way through Denmark…(lol) but that’s why we work out and TRY to eat healthy during our normal life, right?!?!
I was very impressed by the food and wine selections in Copenhagen. For being a picky eater, I never skipped a meal or felt like I couldn’t find something I’d like at any of the restaurants.
Popular street food included paninis and open-faced sandwiches. Most restaurants offer coffee with dessert. I also noticed the wine selection was heavily based out of Germany. Below are the restaurants we tried:
Our first meal was a quick lunch on the water next to our hotel. Salt is the restaurant attached to the Admiral Hotel. Their patio seating boasts gorgeous views of the water and Opera House. We split a burger (how American of us) and John tried their tartare which was raw ground beef. I was not feeling as adventurous as him 😉
The portions here are pretty large so splitting an entree (especially during the day) is a good option. The burger was good, but the fries were even better! They came with a mayonnaise-based dipping sauce that was seriously addicting!!
That evening we met up with family and enjoyed a nice boat ride through the canals via GoBoat. After our tour, we walked over to Nebbiolo, a wine bar situated on a quieter street just a block from Nyhavn. We got a bottle of the le Rose Nizza. It was a delicious, full-bodied red wine. We paired the wine with a large meat and cheese plate that was to die for. Wine and cheese – what more can you ask for?!
Havfruen at Nyhavn
After filling up on a snack at Nebbiolo, we got our first look at Nyhavn – the beautiful yet busy street with the famous colorful buildings and gorgeous boats. There were people everywhere, live musicians, several outdoor patio restaurants to choose from. To be honest we chose the one that had an empty spot to listen to music.
Havfruen is a seafood restaurant, therefore we split the fish and chips. The beer battered cod was crisp and had a great flavor to it! It came with fries and dipping sauce similar to what we ate at Salt. Yum! Definitely, recommend 🙂
The next morning, we took a bicycle ride around the city to get as many photos and see as many landmarks as we could! Along the route, we stopped inside the Shops Strøget. This is a huge shopping area where the streets are for pedestrians only.
Europa 1989 was the cutest, European-inspired cafe with a gorgeous bar and patio. Although we didn’t eat here, we stopped for a quick water and I noticed their brunch menu was outstanding. This would be the perfect spot for a late brunch after shopping all morning!
After we finished our bike tour around the city, we found ourselves with some time to spare and looking for a quick lunch spot. Bash19 was located right next to our hotel, so it was convenient to grab a table and eat a fast lunch.
I got the Chicken beet salad and John got the chicken sandwich. We also split a glass of the Rose which was one of the best Rose’s I’ve had. The salad was fresh, light and delicious too + much needed after carb loading for most of the trip. 😛
Our final dinner in Copenhagen was at the best restaurant in Denmark (at least that is my vote for now). Restaurant Format was also located close to our hotel, and it actually has a hotel attached to it that is smaller and I would say a boutique hotel.
We started with a glass of champagne on the patio. From there, we moved inside to a cozy table where we ordered more champagne. The service was excellent. But let me just take a moment to mention the bread.
Holy bread Gods of the World, I’m not kidding…this was THE best bread I have ever tasted in my life. It was an aged, homemade sourdough bread made with rye and brown wheat (I’m not sure I have this right) but oh my God was it heavenly. John and I went through two baskets. I wasn’t kidding when I said I might have eaten my way through Denmark. Spin class anyone!?!
Moving on from the bread – this restaurant is set up similarly to tapas style eats. We ordered four small plates – the cod, the chicken, the hummus salad and the beef tartare. We were in hog heaven!!
Needless to say, we were completely stuffed at the end of this meal. However, we still managed to eat a small chocolate dessert afterwords. I’m really starting to get concerned about this new appetite I’ve acquired in the past seven days.
Overall, Denmark has some incredible food options. Most of the restaurants serve organic, ethically-raised meats and produce, therefore the flavor and integrity of the food is exceptional. I already have a list of restuarants I want to try next time we visit!
What’s your favorite restaurant in Copenhagen? What should we try next?!?