A boat tour is a great idea to get the feel of the city from a different perspective. We took one with GoBoat!
There’s just so much to see and do in Copenhagen! I never really expected to end up ticking off so many things on my to-do list, but Copenhagen’s attractions ended up being a lot more compact than I thought, making it really easy to get to many places by foot. Staying in the Old Latin Quarter at Hotel SP34 also helped, as it was in the centre of everything with easy access to Stroget & Tivoli Gardens. If anything, we also had a bus stop right outside the hotel which, using our Copenhagen Cards (very handy if you plan on visiting lots of ticketed for attractions & also gets you free public transport use) got us to some of the more far away locations quite quickly. Buses there come every 2-8 minutes and coming from a city where buses can come anywhere from every 10 minutes – 1 hour, this made public transport a breeze. I guess there’s lots of content to come but first I’ve managed to round up my favourite places to see in Copenhagen into 2 parts. I’ll be doing features on some of these places in more detail in following posts too, but for this post, bookmark it as my curated quick guide of what to check out in the city!
Nyhavn is the typical postcard picture of Copenhagen. Colourful buildings lined across the canal is the first thing most people hear about Copenhagen so I’m sure you have probably come across this one! Being the place to visit in Copenhagen, definitely make sure this is one you tick off on your list. Come here to walk around the harbour, enjoy the view, snap some pics, grab an ice-cream and just people watch. There are loads of restaurants by the water which you can also eat at but they might be pricier than usual as this is a very touristy area.
For those who find Danish challenging like me, who thought it was ‘Nah-ven’ or ‘Nigh-ven’, Nyhavn is actually pronounced ‘New-Haven’.
I thought Strøget was easy enough to say but it actually more of a ‘Stroyl’ sound. Anyway, never mind that Strøget is the street to shop at in Copenhagen. It’s completely pedestrian access only and is one of the longest of its kind in Europe. To me, it would be like the Bourke St Mall area of Copenhagen. Aside from your usual international shops like Topshop, Zara, COS, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Monki and all, there’s also a heap of really cool local places here. My recommendations would be to check out the below few in particular:
Note I am clearly obsessed with homewares right now so all my recommendations are kind of just homewares related.
- HAY HOUSE: This place is the green plant-filled one pictured above and is really popular internationally. It stocks furniture and homewares and if you climb to the top floor of HAY HOUSE, you can see a really nice view of Strøget from above (just like in the first image).
- TIGER: Tiger is a cool gift shop filled with homewares, toys, stationery and more. It kind of reminds me of the Urban Outfitters apartment section gone crazy with an added hit of rainbow goodness. It’s over so many floors (maybe 4-5 floors?) so you could easily get lost in there.
- NOTRE DAME: This store was nuts! I came here about 3-4 times during my trip because it was so close to my hotel & filled with so many nice Scandinavian looking homeware goodies at reasonable prices. I picked a fair few pieces up for myself and friends and was itching to pick up some pots for my plants but in the end decided it would be way too optimistic of me to think I could lug it all back home safely.
- ILLUM: ILLUM is one of the department stores here and though I didn’t get time to check it out, I hear there’s a really good homewares section!
#3 TARNET @ CHRISTIANSBORG
Wearing: Gorman crystal cluster dress
There are so many palaces and castles in the city area of Copenhagen that it’s kind of crazy! At Christiansborg Palace, you can take the lift up Tarnet (The Tower) to reach the highest viewing platform in Copenhagen city. Here, you can see an impressive view of the streets & details that make up this beautiful city. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Sweden. There’s also a restaurant up here that’s highly rated as well but I didn’t get the chance to try it out.
#4 ROYAL LIBRARY GARDEN
If you’re on the way to Tarnet, you might as well drop by the Royal Library Garden along the way. The Royal Library Garden is one of the more unknown gardens in Copenhagen. It’s small and hidden as it’s surrounded by other landmarks but is known to be one of the most peaceful spots in the city. The garden itself is nicely maintained and quite a nice sight, making it the perfect path to walk through on your way to Christiansborg.
#5 CHRISTIANSHAVN CANAL
Whilst not as well known as its sibling, Nyhavn, Christianshavn canal is still one worth visiting. You can see more pictures of it in this separate post here. It’s a much smaller canal lined with residential apartments and on one side of it, there’s a row of really colourful houses. It’s quiet as not many tourists come by but is definitely one of those places worth passing through, especially as it’s close to Christiania and the Church of Our Saviour, which I’ll share some pictures of in Part #2 of this guide!
#6 TIVOLI GARDENS
This place deserves a post of it’s own.. coming next!
Photography: Rowena Cao & I / Canon EOS 7D Mark II