As much as I love a sunny beach and a tropical palm tree, sometimes there’s nothing better than a little European city break and especially at Christmas time. I recently hopped over the Copenhagen for a three day break in the capital and pretty much fell in love with the place. Here’s a run through of what we got up to and what I think, is a pretty good guide to 72 hours in the city.
Get into the Hygge spirit and stroll the most popular landmark
Start your day with some delicious breakfast and I would recommend heading to Urban Kitchen. A beautifully designed restaurant with a very calming atmosphere, this place is based just around the corner from Nyhavn so it makes for a perfect spot to start at. I opted for the brunch plate which came with a selection of mini breakfast goodies and Alex had the croque madame.
Stroll around the corner and take in the postcard picture of Copenhagen. Nyhavn is a seventeenth century canal which is lined with coloured houses which now offer an abundance of cafe’s, gift stalls and bars. Hans Christian Anderson lived at a few spots along this stretch and you will find a plaque in his honour. Have a wander along one way, across the bridge and up the other side, taking it all in.
From here, we strolled up through the streets towards the Round Tower or also known as, Rundetaarn. This is a large cylindrical building which was originally built as an astronomical observatory. It’s set in the heart of the city and you can enter and walk up the building along the sloped floor and enjoy the view from the top. You have to pay to enter but it’s worth it to enjoy the bouncing light through the windows.
Whilst in the streets, enjoy the fantastic shopping that Copenhagen can offer. Amongst your normal high street stores and the odd designer boutique, there’s some amazing scandi-inspired shops offering lifestyle bits and homewares. Some of my favourites include Hay House, Norr and Illums Bolighus.
Whilst around this area, there are some lovely Christmas markets to enjoy. Pull up under their heated lamps and enjoy a waffle or a hot wine to warm up before heading back for a freshen up.
For dinner, head out to the cool meat packing district and indulge in some delicious Italian pizza at Mother. Generally always pretty busy, time it well and get yourself a tasty pizza from the extensive menu of fab toppings.
A walking tour of Copenhagens main attractions
To start the day, I would recommend brunch at The Sixteen Twelve. A delicious and healthy brunch spot which has the friendliest staff. We sat in the window and did some people watching as they all headed to their daily destinations. The food was delicious and well portioned, I had the avo toast and Alex had the eggs benedict. Across the road from The Sixteen Twelve is one of the most loved bakeries in Copenhagen, Meyers Bageri, and we headed straight over to nap some treats before they sold out for the day, we carried them around in a little paper bag until we felt like we needed an energy boost during our walking tour.
From here we walked along through the cemetery-come-park area and was heading towards the Copenhagen Botanical Garden. This is part of the university of Copenhagen and houses fantastic tropical plants and cacti. It’s based in a lovely park area so in the summer, I would make the most of this too and chill out for a minute taking in the heat. The Botanical Garden is free to enter unless you wish to go into the Palm House, which is obviously the best bit. Inside it’s tropical so you’ll need to remove your coats and scarves but it’s peaceful and a nice escape from the city.
Across the way from the Garden is the Rosenborg Castle, a 1600’s castle which houses the crown jewels. It’s free to enter the site and wander around the outside but you can also pay to enter. We opted to just wander around the outside and take in the building from the surrounding area, there’s ample garden space and benches so perhaps a good time to grab a bite of those baked goods!
Next up on our tour was the Little Mermaid. I’d heard many times that this landmark is pretty lacklustre which, it is really but it was also exactly what I was expecting. Set on the edge of the water upon some well stacked rocks, is this gift that Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg gave to the City in respect of the Hans Christian Anderson film of the same name. There were a few people around when we got there but it’s easy to grab a snap and head on your way.
Conviently our next stop was just over the brow from the Little Mermaid. We were now heading on to Kastellet fortress which is a pentagon shaped, very well presented and maintainced barracks. Strolling through, it’s quite empty of life but wander up the hill and you’ll find this beautiful traditional windmill.
Our last stop of the day was again, only a matter of a few minutes walk away and that was Copenhagen Design Museum. Scandinavian style is well known for its simplicity and efficiency and I was excited to explore this further in the museum. On this occasion, there was an exhibition on for chair design which was very impressive!
After a sit down back at your hotel and once your feet are well rested after all the walking, head out for dinner at Mao Bao. A brilliant asian restaurant with the fluffiest buns, this was my favourite meal of the visit so it’s a must do!
Colourful streets and festive fun
Well known as being the best brunch in Copenhagen, obviously you must book a visit to Moeller! We booked a table but when arriving around 9:30am, it was pretty quiet. The dining style is to order little plates to share and it was quite the feast! I’d certainly recommend a plate of bread as it comes out warm, the chicken nuggets were fab and the waffle to finish was perfect!
One of my favourite parts of Copenhagen and one of the biggest draws was the colourful streets. We headed out to stroll some of their better known rows of beautiful homes. We strolled from the centre over to Krusemyntegade and the colours are amazing! It’s a residential street with a few boutiques dotted around so it’s quiet and easy to grab a nice photo. It’s so pretty here but in the summer with the roses blooming – it’s really quite something!
Magstraede is one of the oldest streets in Copenhagen and it has the most endearing charm. It’s easy to find and delightful to wander down and just take in the atmosphere. The colours are more muted than those in Krusemyntegade and the original cobbled street add to the old aesthetic.
The other oldest street of Copenhagen is Snaregade which is continued on from Magstraede and is just as wonderful. If you have the time, grab a drink in one of the sweet little cafe spots to people watch along the street.
On your last day, take in the magical wonderland that is Tivoli. Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world and is said to have been enjoyed by Walt Disney and others. It is pretty impressive and most particularly at Christmas time. You pay to enter and can also buy a ticket for access to all the rides which we didn’t do. Don’t be put off if you don’t enjoy rides, it’s an absolute spectacular none the less. You could wander around here all day but definitely head over when the sun has set to enjoy the lights and the theme. There’s plenty of food stalls in here if you wish to grab something or a mulled wine known as Grog.
We had heard of Gasoline Grill before we headed out so it was on our list to visit and luckily one of their spots is right by Tivoli. They are a burger place which is well respected for being the most delicious burgers in town. They have a few spots around and run an open until sold out policy which we loved and on this occasion, were lucky that they weren’t sold out! This one was based on the train platform and we had the cheese burger meal which was brilliant and the perfect way to end our trip!
And that concludes my 72 hours in Copenhagen! It is a brilliant city and very much up there as one of my favourites that I have now visited. I hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions or further recommendations, please leave them in the comments! I will also be following this post with a guide to where to stay, where to eat and some further snaps as it’s such a picturesque City!