Creativity to make you happy

a January weekend in Copenhagen

Last weekend KP whisked me off to Copenhagen for my birthday. Everyone I know who has visited the Danish capital has come back raving about it and now I can understand why. What a beautiful city! The other thing that people say is that it's very expensive but since we got flights for £20 return (!!!) and a lovely but cheap AirB&B we thought we'd take our chances. The only thing I found to be more expensive than London was alcohol in bars and restaurants but not by much and it really depends where you are. We found some brilliant affordable places and many of the city's museums and attractions are free too so that makes up for it!

When planning the trip I was disappointed to find that Tivoli and a few other attractions I was interested in were closed in January but we ended up doing so much that I didn't mind. I'll just have to go back in the Summer! It got dark quite early so some of my photos weren't quite up to scratch - I'm sharing a few of my own below alongside some I found flicking through instagram. We managed to explore a fair bit of the city in the short time we had so I'm sharing a few of my favourite bits with you to prove that it's still definitely worth a visit in January...

FOOD / DRINKS / BARS

Torvehallen

hallernes by @swilkins99

(Photo by @swilkins99)

We started and ended our break with a trip to the food market - Torvehallen, where we ate Copenhagen's famous Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) from Hallernes. The roast beef one was deviiiine! We also had the best coffee of the trip here from The Coffee Collective (there are a number of branches across the city) and of course a pastry from Laura's Bakery. We also picked up a whole host of delicious things for dinner that evening to enjoy in our apartment. It ended up being a rather random selection but it was so hard to resist buying something from every trader.

Paludan

Paludan Brunch by @mistyness

(Photo by @mistyness)

On the morning of my Birthday we went for brunch at Paludan Bogcafé which is a book shop and café - perfect for me! It was unbelievably good value - for 99kr we had practically every item you could ever want for breakfast along with a mango smoothie. We were well and truly stuffed! They are open until 10pm and apparently the alcohol is pretty well priced too.

døp

One of the things I was upset to find was closed in January was the street food market on Paper Island but there were a few stands dotted around including the interestingly named Black Cock (!) who sell gourmet sliders and also døp where we had the most delicious organic hotdogs.

Bastard Cafe

Some places are so good you have to go twice! In the 3 days we were in Copenhagen we went to Bastard Cafe twice. This is a board game café with a great (albeit slightly geeky) atmosphere. They have a huge library of games, some of which you can play for free and some you can play for a fee of 25kr per visit which I think it pretty reasonable. Usually they serve food from the restaurant upstairs but (you guessed it) they were closed in January. This was fine by us because Bastard served the most delicious chips (chips are up there with my top 10 things in life) and also the rather well-named Big Bastard Toast of Doom.

Salonen

I'd researched all of those places before we left so it was a joy to stumble upon somewhere just as great - Café Salonen on Sankt Peders Stræde was a really cute bar where we enjoyed yet another board game and a beer. We didn't eat there but the people next to us were eating a salad which looked pretty delicious.

SHOPPING

I don't normally go out of my way to visit shops on holiday but before we left I'd scouted out a few vintage shops I wanted to visit. In the end I didn't go out searching for them because we stumbled upon so many lovely little shops on our own accord and I think that's much more fun!

One of my favourite shops is Tiger and I hadn't quite prepared myself for how incredible the branches of Tiger would be in it's home country - I'm talking THREE STOREYS! I had to control myself since we only had hand luggage but I was in heaven surrounded by all sorts of things I really wanted but definitely didn't need. Tiger in Denmark sell everything - even herbs and spices. All the heart eyes emojis.

Hay House is also somewhere that will make you wish you brought another suitcase or just move in. It's two floors of beautifully designed objects and it will make your heart leap!

Retromania was on the same road as Café Salonen (Sankt Peders Stræde) and it totally made up for the flea market we tried to visit being closed. We picked up some super cute vintage enamel espresso mugs and a psychedelic coffee pot from 1971! It was full of absolute gems at reasonable prices and the lady who owned it was really friendly and helpful. I'm not sure if there's another branch or if they've moved recently because there's a different address on their facebook page.

CULTURE

Louisiana

yayoi-kusama-louisiana

(Photo by KP)

It's definitely worth taking the trip to Louisiana - you have to get the train about half an hour North of the city but !!!TOP TIP ALERT!!! if you go into the ticket hall in Central Station you can ask for a combined train ticket and entry ticket which costs the same as the train ticket alone. When we visited the Yayoi Kusama was on which I was super pleased about because it's something I missed in London. It was a Saturday and really busy but I hear it's open until 10 on weekdays and much quieter then. I was in heaven surrounded by all the colour and patterns! The next exhibition is Eye Attack - Op Art and Kinetic Art 1950-1970 which also looks brilliant. There's also a permanent exhibition and a fantastic sculpture park and pretty gardens outside which is right on the coast. I hear the café is good too but it was so busy when we visited that people were sitting on the floor (and we were still feeling stupidly full from our Paludan brunch!). We had lots to pack into our day back in the city centre but if you have more time you can hop back on the train from here to Helsingør and Kronborg castle, which is where Hamlet is set.

Nyhavn

Nyhavn (Photo by me)

When you look at photos of Copenhagen, often the images that come up are of Nyhavn and it's clear why. We walked through a couple of times and took some photos of the pretty coloured houses and the harbour but didn't stop for a drink. I did spot an ice cream parlour though and there were lots of places with outside seating which looked like it would be perfect when it's a little warmer!

Freetown Christiania

Christiania signs

(Chistiania Skateboard signs photo by me)

Christiania is the city's Freetown and definitely worth a visit. It's a commune of about 850 people and is famous for it's 'Green Light District' Pusher Street but it's so much more than that. You can read about the history of Christiania in this guide from residents. There's a great area called Nemo Land with a stage for live music and some bars which is supposed to get really busy in the Summer. There were at least 3 dogs wandering around who seemed to belong to everyone and were very loved. I regret not taking a photo of one very stern looking bulldog. We didn't stay long because we had other places to explore and plans for dinner but I think you could definitely hang out all day there if it was warm and sunny. The best place to enter Christiania is at the gate on Prinsessegade - look out for this mural:

christiania by @blyss_travels

(Photo by @blyss_travels)

The Potato Rows

potato rows by @tsiah

(Photo by @tsiah)

In contrast to Christiania, another great neighbourhood to wander through is the Potato Rows or "Kartoffelrækkerne" in Østerbro. These houses were originally occupied by working class families but have become a very expensive place to live. I think most have been passed down through generations of families, but apparently if one is to go on the market today it would be listed for about 6 million DKK! The houses are beautiful though, with narrow streets and an emphasis on community. There are no conventional pavements and the streets encourage play - every so often there is a table, bench, Wendy house or even a stage on the street and even in the middle of winter you see children playing outside. I didn't get a good photo of the streets as it was getting dark when we visited but I recommend this blog post about the area.

Rundetaarn

rundetaarn view

(Photo by KP)

As a bit of last minute culture on our last day we climbed the 17th Century Round Tower (or Rundetaarn) which had some beautiful views of the city from the top. There's also an Observatory which I would like to check out in future. It was fun to do this on the last day and try and spot all the places we had visited.

Amager Beach Park

amager beach park

(Photo by me)

We also hopped on the (very effecient) metro to Amager Beach Park in the hope that KP could spot the famous bridge but as soon as we emerged from the underground it was very clear that we weren't going to see much - fog meant we could barely see 200 yards ahead of us! Despite this we actually really enjoyed our wander along the beach, it was very gloomy and atmospheric (and very cold!). It looks like it's bsustling and beautiful in Summer, though I can't imagine that the sea is ever that warm!

Overall I had a wonderful weekend away and it didn't matter that lots of things were closed because there was still so much to do! It was very cold though so make sure you pack lots of layers! I can't wait to go on my next adventure.... I'm going on a surprise weekend away at the end of the month with my fave girls so that's all very exciting! 2016 is getting off to a good start and I'm feeling very lucky indeed!

I'm hoping to finally get some DIY posts planned and photographed this weekend if I can get some good light. Sorry for my lack of posts!

Here's a photo of KP and I freezing our faces off outside Lousiana:

louisiana

Tagged: Travel