48 hours in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a fascinating city and most of the real tourist things can be done in a day. I have lived in Copenhagen for five years and here I would like to share my perfect summer weekend in the city. Saturday is all about enjoying a real feel of the city and taking in some of the tourist sites and Sunday is exploring my neighbourhood, Frederiksberg.

Saturday
  • Start the morning at 10am and visit Torvehallerne, the covered market close to Nørreport Station. There are two covered halls and the stalls are a wonderful assault on the senses – from Danish cuisine to French cheese to amazing cakes. You can enjoy a great cup of coffee at The Coffee Collective and be ready to tackle a day in the city.
  • Next, it is about a ten minute walk to the Round Tower (Rundtårn) on Købmangergade. This tower was built by Christian IV in the 17th Century and has a ramp all to way to the top (bar a short flight of steps) so he could ride his horses to the top. The views over the red roofs of old part of Copenhagen and across to Sweden are amazing. One of my best experiences here in Copenhagen was  watching the total solar eclipse from the top of the tower in 2008. This isn’t available everyday of course but the outstanding views are.
  • The fresh air at the top of the tower should make you ready for lunch. Copenhagen has a multitude of places to stop for lunch but if I want to give one of my guests a special experience I would book a table at the restaurant at the top of the Post and Tele Museum, Cafe Hovedtelegrafen, just a few minutes along from the Round Tower. Again there are great views from this restaurant, which is surrounded by windows overlooking the city and on a warm day the terrace is a wonderful place to feast on Danish specialities such as a trio of herring or open sandwiches accompanied by a glass of Tuborg beer.
  • After lunch I would take a little meander towards Strøget, the longest pedestrian street in Europe. You are spoilt for choice of shops at this end of the street with Illum, department store and other Danish names such as Day Birger et Mikkelsen (favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge) but for me to get a real feel of upmarket Danish design I would stop by the duo of Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. Royal Copenhagen’s porcelain is simply divine and they have a number of affordable modern pieces which are perfect for souvenirs such as the Contrast mugs. At Easter and Christmas they have a beautiful table set at the front of the store for you to admire the porcelain in a real setting.
  • Georg Jensen is an amazing jewellers and if you have spotted Danish ladies of all ages wearing little daisy earrings this is the place to get them – at price.
  • Finish your time on Strøget people watching and window shopping, ending the afternoon in my favourite shopping place, Magasin department store on Kongens Nytorv. Their interiors department is a who’s who is of modern Danish design.
  • My favourite spot for dinner is the Brewpub on Vestergade. They have a seasonal, local menu which changes monthly and all the dishes are made with the Brewpub’s own beers. If you have a group of over ten people you can book a tour of the microbrewery and a mini beer tasting before your meal. They also offer a beer matching menu to accompany your meal. Delicious.

Sunday

My neighbourhood is Frederiksberg and is a peaceful area of the city perfect for a relaxing Sunday.
  • Start your morning by grabbing a bag of pastries and coffees from a bakery and take a walk around the Lakes on the edge of Frederiksberg and the city. There are three lakes but the best to walk around for me is Sankt Jørgens Sø and you end up at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. It is a refreshing walk and you can sit on one of the many benches and watch the crazy Copenhageners run around the lake. The bird life here is amazing and in the Spring and early Summer there are usually swans nested around the edges of the lakes.
  • After a leisurely stroll along Gammel Kongevej at the top of Sankt Jørgens Sø stop at the Laundromat for brunch. Brunch is a big thing in Copenhagen at the weekend and you can expect to find both healthy and slightly more unhealthy (by the health conscious Danish standards) options. The Laundromat Cafe on Gammel Kongevej is a new opening of this small chain and it is quite unique. There are long book shelves of books for you to borrow which eating and at the back there is an actual retro laundromat. If you have kids with you gravitate to the back where there is a little play area.
  • After brunch wander up the parallel, tree-lined street, Frederiksberg Allee towards Frederiksberg Haven (Park). This grand street was originally a private road to Frederiks IVs country home and the buildings along this street reflect is royal roots. Once at the top you are into the huge Frederiksberg Haven. Wander around and discover Heron Island (my name for a little island in the middle of the lake) which is home to hundreds of herons. To see their babies in their nests is almost Jurassic in nature. In the Summer you can take a short boat trip in the lake. The best thing about this park for me is that you can see the elephant enclosure and the Norman Foster elephant house in Copenhagen Zoo from a public viewing area. It is always a gamble as to whether the elephants are out and always a delight when they are.
  • Finish the afternoon by walking back along Frederiksberg Alle and follow the crowds to Frederiksberg Is, an amazing ice cream scoop shop. In the UK we have chocolate flake in our ice creams, here they have flødeboller (soft marshmallows covered in chocolate) mashed on top. Just beware the lakrids flavour unless you are a big fan of liquorice.
The best way to end the day is to head into Tivoli, the famous old pleasure gardens in the city centre, for a beer in the Færgekroen brewpub and restaurant, and marvel at the fact the sky is still blue at 9pm.
So that would be my perfect way to show anyone new to Copenhagen my favourite summer spots.

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