10 things I'm glad I did in Copenhagen
Throw two best friends looking for adventure on a plane to Copenhagen for a three day city break and it'll create a series of stories that may or may not be appropriate a very public blog. I know this because I lived it, from Tuesday to Thursday of last week.
My best friend, Louise, who I've written about on this blog many a time for her music as singer-songwriter Lu'Ami, bought me a ticket to Copenhagen for my birthday. (Yep, I have amazing friends.)
With very little knowledge on the city, Lu and I set out on our adventure with no expectations - except the determination to explore and have as much fun as possible. Two things that really aren't very difficult to achieve.
Copenhagen very quickly became one of my favourite cities, out of the dozens that I've been fortunate enough to see in my lifetime. Its stunning architecture, minimal yet quirky interior style, clean and safe streets, and incredibly friendly people are just a few of the wonderful factors that makes it the happiest city in the world.
If you're planning a trip to Copenhagen and are a little more organised than we are, I thought I'd share the 10 things I'm glad we did to give you a few ideas for your trip.
Air BnB'd it
Most of you probably know how much of a genius idea Air BnB is by now, allowing you to really experience what it's like to live in the city, as well as being affordable and less limiting than hotels and hostels.
We stayed in a beautiful apartment just on the edge of Vesterbro and a 10 minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station, owned by a lovely woman called Solveig. I got a lot of decoration inspiration for my own home, too.
Stayed in Vesterbro
Vesterbro, also known as the 'Meat Packing District', is the Shoreditch of Copenhagen. It's very close to the centre but is a community within itself.
In the day, it's a haven of organic food stores, juice bars, sleek coffee houses and the most instagrammable shop windows I have, quite possibly, ever seen. In the evening, it's bar after bar of well-dressed Danish hipsters who effortlessly pull off the chic look.
It's so easy, when you don't know a city, to just stay in the classically tourist area - which is mostly Indre By in Copenhagen. I feel really grateful to have been able to explore another area and see a little more of Copenhagen, from the view of people who live there.
Ate at Mad & Kaffe (twice)
Mad & Kaffe was introduced to me by fellow instagrammer, @emily_j91. Having lived in Copenhagen before moving to Brighton, she recommended that I check them out, especially as they're based in Vesterbro.
I try not to judge by an instagram profile, but Mad & Kaffe's feed looks like the cafe of dreams - and it's won some awards too. So, we figured, it would be rude not to give it a try.
The food was so good, that we went back twice. For lunch, where I tried a well-known Danish cuisine of a Smørrebrød with Wild Veal as a topping and for breakfast, where they give you a choice of small dishes to have together on a wooden board, I had bacon, egg and grapefruit.
Needless to say, it's well worth visiting.
Hung out in Urban House Hostel bar
Within one hour of our trip, I bumped into an old friend from school busking in the street. He told us he was playing at the Urban House Hostel that night. We primarily went along that night to support him, but we made a few more friends on the way and spent our evening partying in Copenhagen with our new friends - stumbling across a dingy Gay Bar, Never Mind, and dancing the night away.
Hanging out in a hostel bar may not sound totally glamorous or like we were embracing the Copenhagen life, but it was a really great way of making new friends.
Checked out Copenhagen Street Food
Copenhagen Street Food is on Papirøen (also known as 'Paper Island') and is essentially a big warehouse filled with tonnes of shipping containers that have been turned into food stalls and bars inside, with tables and deck chairs outside looking over the river.
We found the place with the help of Debbie, one of our new friends from the hostel night. Louise and I went for the Mexican Food, and Debbie went for the Pulled Duck Burger - we all went for the Passionfruit Mojitos.
Out of all of the places in Copenhagen, everyone who'd been to Copenhagen before that I spoke to about our upcoming trip told us to go to Christiana. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Christiana is a freetown in the centre of Copenhagen, famous for its liberal and progressive lifestyle and referred to as a hippie commune.
Within this small town, which covers 84 acres of an abandoned military base, it acts to be "beyond the laws" of Denmark (although this is legally not the case) and have its own currency, Løn. There's an area, known as the "Green Light District" selling different types of Cannabis, and they've occupied part of a lake with a cosy array of quaint self-built houses.
It's a world like no other. They don't like people taking photographs within the town, but I took a photo of the mural right outside the entrance to give you a small insight.
Went on a boat trip
This is very tourist of us, I know, but we took a boat trip on the last day and saw the sights of Copenhagen along the river that we didn't have the time to see on foot.
It was the perfect thing to do when overcoming what essentially was a two day hangover.
Took a trip on a Tuk Tuk
Another incredibly tourist thing to do was spend 30 minutes on a Tuk Tuk driving from Nyhavn to our flat in Vesterbro. Excuse the incredibly poor phone quality image, but I think our facial expressions describe pretty accurately how much we loved that trip.
Ate along the canal in Nyhavn
Nyhavn is one of the oldest districts in Copenhagen and famous for its stunning scenes of colourful houses and the harbour front. I must confess here that I recognised the tops of the coloured houses in the distance, from my Copenhagen Happiness board* I created on pinterest.
*I can feel my friends rolling their eyes and responding with "of course you did" at the fact that such a board exists.
Wandering aimlessly - whenever we could
City breaks can be really intense - especially when you're only there for three days. Breaks I've been on before have resulted in huge check lists of places that we're determined to go. Louise and I did very little research into Copenhagen before we went there and very much addressed the whole holiday with "let's just go on an adventure".
Exploring without a purpose gave us the freedom to do just that.