In November my sister and I booked a 2 night winter break to Copenhagen. It’s always been the iconic Nyhavn Harbour and colourful buildings that have attracted me to the city and with the cheap flights and amazing deal on our hotel it was a no brainer.
We took the metro to our hotel when we arrived which only took about 20 minutes and cost about £8 each. This is the first impression we had of how expensive this city might be. Although everything had been super cheap up to this point we were kind of ignoring our friends who said to be prepared for just how expensive it is there, thinking just how bad can it be?! Well, they were right.
We stayed at Manon Les Suites which was absolutely incredible. I’ve stayed in some amazing hotels this year and this was up there, and we got a really great price!
The main draw of this hotel is obviously the insane hotel lobby with indoor pool. As we wandered in it was like arriving in Bali or a Riad in Marrakech! What’s also great is that all rooms are situated around the lobby. We really couldn’t get enough of this place and honestly it was probably the highlight of our trip. The rooms are suites without the suite price tag! With two beds, two TVs, a kitchen and two sofas in the living room it is more than we could have wanted! Also included is a Marshall speaker and Vogue magazines which are great little touches.
Being an eco hotel all toiletries were eco friendly and smelled amazing. There are some great little extras that you usually don’t find in hotels like body and hair oils which are great after a couple of hours at the pool and the rooftop sauna and steam room!
You’re also provided with loads of different flavoured green teas and fair-trade coffees as well as reusable water bottles to fill up from the kitchen sink that they encourage you to keep after your stay. The water in Denmark is some of the cleanest in the world, they say it is even better than bottled mineral water!
After we’d settled in and forced ourselves away from our amazing room we walked over to Tivoli. It cost about £15 each to go in for the day. The first thing you notice as you walk in is the snow… but it’s not snowing… It really did make everything feel so much more Christmassy though! This place is so much bigger than we expected it to be! We just kept walking and walking and it never seemed to end! At one end there are gardens, cute little cafe’s and market stalls and at the other end a theme park! As we walked further it reminded me slightly of walking around a much much smaller Epcot (just absolutely freezing). One minute you’re in Germany, the next, China. It’s quite difficult to explain but we loved it.
There’s also a food hall linked to the gardens that we decided to go in to for lunch. This was really cool as just consists of loads of street food stands from Chinese to pizzas to sushi. We eventually settled on quesadillas and nachos!
Our favourite spot was this cafe/restaurant that had campfires and blankets outside. We sat down and ordered hot chocolates which came with a mountain of cream. Luckily it was a Wednesday in November so not overly busy so we kind of had our pick of everything we wanted to do.
Naturally, being in Denmark it got dark at about 3pm. We decided to just walk and see where it took us. We walked along the river taking in some of the beautiful modern architecture on the river bank and ended up at Nyhavn Harbour before heading to a nearby Christmas market to warm up!
Giving up on the cold we headed back to the hotel and made our way down to the pool. We were the only people in there which was fantastic. The hotel on a whole is pretty small and there seemed to be very few people staying there whilst we were there which was great for us!
After our swim we decided to check out the steam room and sauna on the roof. This was incredible! Again, we were the only ones in there and so nice after a day of walking in the cold. There is also complimentary fruit and drinks up there and a bucket shower!
The next morning we headed out to Hyggestund for breakfast, it had great reviews and looked delicious when we looked it up on instagram places and I mean, it was okay. It’s great because it’s a really cosy café which is so nice to head in to when it’s so cold outside. The atmosphere was nice and the staff were really friendly. There are candles at every table and the filter coffee is great and a good price. I had their signature full breakfast of eggs, bacon and waffles with butter and a rhubarb compote. It was okay, but not as good as we expected.
After breakfast we were ready for a full day of exploring and getting our steps count up! We walked over to Rundetaarn, a 17th-century tower built to be an astronomical observatory that offers the best 360 degree views of Copenhagen. I really recommend this, and it’s cheap – tickets were DKK25 each (£3).
We then walked through the city centre to Nyhavn harbour again, this time to see it in daylight! This was a really great time of year to visit Copenhagen I thought, because all along the harbour there are traditional Christmas Market stalls selling mulled wine to churros to Glogg. There are also loads of restaurants and bars with outside seating with heaters, blankets and great music. Today just happened to be Thanksgiving and after we chose a restaurant and sat down outside we realised that there were so many Americans here for the holiday and having their Thanksgiving dinners by the harbour! We had a feast of Lobster soup and chocolate cake but you could pretty much find whatever you fancied along here!
After exploring the shops and milling around with a coffee for a while we started walking back towards the hotel, making a stop at Rosenborg Castle.
That evening we headed to the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel which was really nice but expensive! We ordered a couple of cocktails and a charcuterie board and fries to share. We sat at a table by the window that overlooked the city and I can imagine this is a really great place to come in the Summer. There are balconies and a courtyard with outdoor seating and a great view. The rest of the evening was spent by the hotel pool once again and some long relaxing chill time in the sauna and steam rooms.
Friday was our last day in Copenhagen so we had a bit of lay-in, checked out and jumped on the bus to Superkilen, a famous park in Norrebro. It is filled with art and architecture, and objects imported from all around the world including a fountain from Morocco, swings from Iraq and palm trees from China.
We had actually considered taking the train to Sweden for the day! There is a train that goes from Copenhagen to Malmö and only takes 35 minutes (they also run every 20 mins)! Annoyingly though we only discovered this today and were a bit worried about missing our flight in the evening so unfortunately decided to give it a miss. Next time though!
We jumped back on the bus and headed to Gasoline Grill which we were told made the best burgers in Copenhagen and were Denmark’s answer to In-n-Out. If you didn’t know then you would probably think it looked dodgy, especially judging by the general standard of food at petrol stations across the UK. It was a tiny little walk-in that had a sign on the door reading ‘open 11am until sold out’. It was a good first impression to know that they were good enough to sell out. Outside were two petrol pumps and cars came and went as we stood at the outside hatch waiting for our order, some people just filling up and some people heading in to pick up a quick burger too. We ordered a cheeseburger, fries, some homemade mayo and a diet coke each, and it wasn’t exactly cheap costing almost £30 together! But it was damn good and took away the feeling of numb in our fingers as we sat at a table between two vans outside. Worth it though!
Being Black Friday we decided to go for a wander around the shops. There is some really great shopping in Copenhagen, from Gucci and Hermes to Urban Outfitters and H&M Home, they have everything! We planned to walk to see the The Little Mermaid sculpture that afternoon but it was so cold and starting to rain so we just didn’t think fancy the hike there and decided to miss this one out.
After picking up a few deals in Sephora and Zara Home we came across The American Pie Company in a back street. It looked really busy (a good sign) but being Thanksgiving weekend we thought we could really do with some pie. We were lucky enough to get a table by the window and ordered some Pumpkin lattés and salted caramel pie and ice cream to share and my goodness this was amazing. We really didn’t need it after a big lunch but when it’s there in front of you, you have to. Since getting home all I have wanted is that PIE but I have no idea where to get anything like that here.
The American Pie Company is actually Danish as well, not American, and they only have shops in Copenhagen. You should visit Copenhagen, even if just for this place.
We wandered back through the shopping streets, having a browse around the Christmas Market and then walked over to Christiansborg Palace. We were just killing time at this point before our flight so thought we’d just have a wander around the grounds. It started to get really dark and extra cold so we walked in to the castle purely just to get warm and ended up in a queue we had no idea where it led to. We went through airport style security and then were guided to a lift which took us to the roof of the palace! All for free! One of those times when getting lost works wonders.
We really enjoyed Copenhagen. Although it’s not an overly busy city, it’s easy to get around and great if you’re looking for something a bit slower paced with lots of eating a drinking. My main takeaways are that the city is really safe and would be an easy trip for a solo traveller. It’s easy to get around with the metro, plenty of buses and bikes to hire. I loved that there are specific road lanes and traffic lights just for cyclists and you can see what an impact this as on the city as so many people choose to cycle instead of drive. It is extremely expensive though, despite being cheap to get there, so you have to be prepared to spend a lot of money even on the most basic of food and drink. The shopping is great, as are the Christmas Markets but my top three recommendations have to be Manon Les Suites, Tivoli and the American Pie Company. These are just the three places that i still can’t stop thinking about! It also goes without saying that Nyhavn should be at the top of your list as well!