Copenhagen is regularly voted the happiest city in the world! Due to its multiple instagramable streets and cafe culture, it has in recent years become something of a trend for weekend breakers and hipsters. My recent trip there in December was SO magical, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect and Christmassy birthday weekend.
I am not going to lie, Copenhagen is expensive and VERY cold in the winter. However, if you pack appropriately and if you are on a budget there are plenty of ways to make your trip more affordable. Here are few key tips:
- Air Bnb fro accommodation come out on top here every time, with hostels in some cases costing over £100 per night it is a no brainer to book an air BnB. I stayed in a super cute Danish flat with a wood burner right in the centre of town, perfect for when you are not going to spend much time in your accommodation anyway.
- If museums and art galleries are your thing. Buy a Copenhagen Card (copenhagencard.com), which can be purchased online or at the airport. It gives you unlimited use of public transport and free entrance to 72 museums and attractions for 24 or 48 hours (DKK379 or DKK529, or from about £43 and up to two children under 10 can go for free).
- I personally didn’t get a Copenhagen card as I wanted to walk everywhere and with Copenhagen, being so flat, with such a compact downtown area, it is a very walkable city with most points of interest within easy reach of each other. It’s also a great city for cyclists, there is the Bycyklen rented bike scheme (DKK30, about £3.50, an hour; bycyklen.dk) which is also the perfect way to get around.
If you are thinking of heading out there for just 48 hrs, you will no doubt come across an abundance of waffle shops, stunning architecture and cute picturesque houses, however, I have created a mini list of my top recommendations of what you should include in your 48 hours in Copenhagen to help you.
- Tivoli Gardens – Being the oldest theme park in the world, this place is truly magical and a must go to for all age ranges. These gardens are the best winter wonderland and Christmas market that I have ever been to. This popular amusement park is open year round and you will not only find rides but an aquarium, a theatre where many productions are held, a pirate ship and a laser light show! Tivoli is also home to one of only 7 rollercoasters in the world that has a brakeman on every train, alongside many other rides.
– Entrance to Tivoli Gardens is FREE with the Copenhagen Card
- Nyhavn – Nyhavn is the area within Copenhagen that you will see on most postcards and Instagram posts. As soon as you get there you will understand why. Plus you would be lying if you said you didn’t want to take a photo; the boats and houses are so pretty and cute. You can also grab a canal tour from here or walk 15 minutes further north to arrive at the renowned sculpture ‘The Little Mermaid’. Like many other tourists, I felt like this was something I had to tick off, however, if you have limited time I would suggest leaving this one out (the little mermaid). You will most likely be greeted by a crowd of happy snapping tourists and not much else.
- Chritsiana – This Freetown is an independent district within Copenhagen where cannabis is freely traded. However, my reason for visiting the area was for all the amazing art galleries, vintage clothes shops and graffiti. Definitely worth a visit!
With 72 museums and attractions that can be visited for free with the Copenhagen Card, there is almost too much to choose from. On my trip, I only had time to go to the Danish Museum of Art & Design. The former hospital turned museum displays decorative art, crafts, and industrial designs from the Western world and Asia from the late Middle Ages and up to the present. As I only visited one museum, I feel that I cannot say that you must go to this one over any other, however, if design is your thing then it will not disappoint.
Apart from the obvious must tries; Smorrebrot and Danish pastries….. Ummm YUM, I thoroughly recommend visiting Paper Island for some amazing street food.
Paper Island is a huge warehouse on the canal which is home to multiple different vendors selling foods from all over the world. I could have easily spent a whole day just deciding what I wanted to eat. It all smelt and looked so good. Paper Island is very close to Christiana, so I suggest combining the two activities together.
Norrebero is renowned for its hipster shopping and cafe culture. I don’t believe you could really go wrong with any of the cafes within this area. With limited time, I only managed to try out one of the cafes; Kalaset. Kalaset is a very popular hangout with the Copenhagers, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu. We ate a salad and a burger both of which was so yummy and filling. The perfect fuel to keep us going for the rest of the day. With Kalaest meaning party in Swedish, It is also known to be a great place to have a few or more sun-downer cocktails in the evening 🙂
I also went to an amazing Mexican restaurant in the city centre, Condesa. Thoroughly recommend the fish tacos!
If you are only planning on going out for one night I would strongly recommend heading to Vesterbro’s meat packing district. This is currently one of Copenhagen’s most popular places to go out. The area is still home to three sperate meat businesses however in recent years, has developed into a creative cluster of trendy bars, clubs and restaurants.
- Check out WarPigs if you are looking for a beer experience out of the ordinary.
- If you are feeling in the mood for a dance, head to Baaken, for some great music and a relaxed atmosphere. Most weekends you will find that there are organised events that include live music.
For a more sophisticated vibe and especially if cocktails are your preferred drink, Ruby is the bar for you. Ruby offers high-quality drinks in an original 1920s atmosphere. The menu here is pricey (so only go if you are not on a budget) but you get what you pay for, as the quality of the cocktails is legendary. Cocktail tenders offer table service and you will really get a sense of being treated to an exquisite night out.
I would love to go back to Copenhagen again soon and would love to hear some of your tips and recommendations.