Copenhagen is so beautiful. Love, love, love that place! Spent 3 full days in the city and truly enjoyed my time there. Just wish my wallet felt the same way. It’s by far the most expensive city I’ve come across this time. Here’s to hoping things get cheaper as I make my way down south for the rest of the journey! I am a foodie, you know, so much of my budget was spend eating in Copenhagen but that was worth it!
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A very modern city, Copenhagen is full of charming buildings downtown. Loved walking around and seeing such an interesting mix of modernly designed buildings next to ones that could have easily been built 5 centuries ago. I explored the main sites:
- the Nyhavn district (colourful houses on the canal)
- Stroget street (long pedestrian shopping street)
- the Little Mermaid statue (honouring H.C. Andersen, who is Danish)
- Amalienborg palace (where the Royal family lives)
- Christiania (unique free-town)
- Tivoli Gardens (amusement park with a pretty garden)
and also went on an incredible canal tour.
Eating in Copenhagen: Street food
From what I read, Copenhagen is very much into the whole street food concept, and since I’m very much into all food – it seemed like a good place to start. They do a Saturday food market in Vesterbro which happened to be 3 blocks away from my hotel, so I tried lunch there the first day.
I had the intention of trying a smørrebrød or Danish hot dog or something appropriately Danish as my first meal here, but the first stand I came across had tacos al pastor. Game over. You can’t expect me to see my favourite food of all time somewhere totally unexpected and not eat 4+ tacos. Plus, the guy was super nice (from Michoacán, I think) and we started bonding. As I was preparing my tacos, I asked him if the salsa was hot. As he explained that it was pretty mild because Danes can’t handle it, he added a few jalapeños to my plate. I didn’t want to lose all my Mexican points by explaining that, like the Danes, I can’t handle the heat, so I just smiled. The tacos were actually delicious. They don’t quite compare to my old-time favourite Tacos Providencia, but it took me only 2 minutes to devour them. Oh, and he only charged me half.
Eating in Copenhagen: Crepe time
I did some touring around after tacos. Up to the top of the Church of our Savior to check out the view – AMAZING, by the way! And after I was back on solid ground, I spotted a crepe truck outside the church. Snack time? Don’t mind if I do! Ordered my crepe (Nutella + banana) and started chit-chatting with the crepe girl while she did her crepey thing and where is she from? Mexico City! Really nice girl.
Eating in Copenhagen: Heading to Papirøen
Given the success of Saturday’s street market, I decided to try another one the next day too. So I went to Papirøen Island, Paper Island, just crossing the bridge from the colourful houses at Nyhavn. Papirøen is an island with a huge warehouse that was initially used to store paper and has now been repurposed as a foodie paradise! It’s such an amazing place! There must have been around 40 food vendors, and everything looked amazing. Of course, it didn’t help that it was around 6pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch.
Even so, I had to do 4 laps around the place, trying to narrow down my options. The hardest decision I’ve had to make in a while was Korean, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Moroccan, Danish, of course, and so many others. There were also tacos al pastor there, but I talked myself out of that one. They seem very popular in Denmark; I saw three different stands throughout the weekend with tacos al pastor. Kind of strange… After thoughtful consideration and since I always longed for a trip to Marrakesh, I decided on Marrakech street food I had never had (and the line was really long, so I figured it had to be good), plus a créeme brûlée doughnut for dessert. Both winners! The place has a ton of sitting space outside and even some lounge chairs for people to relax by the water.
This is definitely a must-see if you ever travel to Copenhagen! And as I said, it’s just a short walk from Nyhavn, aka New Harbor which is on everyone’s list of must-sees anyway! That place is gorgeous, with all the lovely townhomes painted in vibrant colours.
Eating in Copenhagen: Still haven’t tried local cuisine
I had been in Copenhagen for two days and still hadn’t tried Danish food. Shame on me! On my final day, I decided to go full-on Danish. Had a very delicious Danish pastry (they, of course, don’t call danishes, danishes) and coffee in the morning before going on a walking tour around the city. For lunch, I had a smørrebrød at the Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park in the centre of the town. Tivoli wasn’t my cup of tea, but it is recommended for families with kids. They explain a smørrebrød as an open-faced sandwich, which I guess is an ok explanation. I ate mine with a fork and knife, but that could be totally wrong. It was pretty tasty, though!
Pretty sure that covers everything I ate in Copenhagen! And let me tell ya, Copenhageners live the good life. They even have somewhat of a word for it – hygge. Which sounds more like hooky, but it basically translates to cozy.
Even saw a restaurant with outdoor seating that had blankets on the chairs so one could get all hygge and enjoy a good meal with their loved ones. I believe this quality of coziness is what my sister Juli would describe as “chunchi”. However you want to say it or explain it, I could get on board with the Danish way of living!