“Copenhagen is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world working its bars and restaurants, adding a friendly and welcoming vibe while leaving the temptation of being pretentious firmly at the door.”
Copenhagen is vibrant city that proudly showcases the old world as well as fully embracing the modern. The architecture is breathtakingly beautiful and the food scene here is one that really deserves its reputation.
A favourite spot was the old meat packing district, where most Danish pork was once processed, packed and shipped. Nowadays it’s been nicely repurposed as a hive of cool bars and dining experiences: from on-point Texas-style BBQ and beer at Warpigs and the legendary Tommi’s Burger Joint, to the incredible Kødbyens Fiskebar, which is a seafood lovers paradise. And, of course, we’re duty-bound to mention two hugely popular foodie spots with great quality meat at their heart, Gorilla and KUL. This place comes alive at night, with plenty of fantastic drinking options too! Of course, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by to have a drink in a bar called Jolene, an unpretentious watering den serving loads of lovely bottled craft beers.
Talking of beer, anyone who loves craft beer will be familiar with Danish brew-gods Mikkeller. They have a few locations, all unique, all over the city. We know, because we visited them all! (Including one genius bar that pairs delicious ramen noodles with their beer). Another of their bars that we popped into not far from the meat packing district had a contemporary little basement tap room and at the incredible Mikkeller and Friends branch, Sam had her first sip of rare bourbon ‘Pappy Van Winkle’. This legendary bourbon carries an eyewatering price tag (at 80 euros a shot!) so we were careful to document the moment and even more careful not to spill a drop. The verdict, of course, is that it was delicious. Full of character and flavours in a bourbon we hadn’t experienced before and definitely harked back to a traditional Scottish style of distilling, with a sharper, more defined taste. And no, we wouldn’t pay that for a shot of booze again, but dang it was good!
Asides from the nightlife and food scene, there are tonnes of incredible cultural things to do in Copenhagen (by the way, hire a city bike, it’s a big city with lots to show you). From the quite bonkers Tivoli Gardens (one of the oldest amusement parks in the world), to the wistful and iconic Little Mermaid statue and a heap of beautiful museums and galleries. We’d recommend squeezing in a quick trip to the ultimate alternative neighbourhood Christiana, a commune right in the middle of the city. It’s both care free and car free, and a fun place to walk around and embrace your inner tie-dye hippy. Wherever you find yourself as you potter around, it’s also well worth checking out the stalwart neighbourhood ‘open sandwich’ cafes, serving mini pilsner beers (or coffee) with incredible smoked eel sandwiches or rare roast beef with dill creme fraiche and homemade pickles. Sublime!
It may not surprise you to know that we were mainly here to eat and drink our way around for a few days. After failing miserably to score a table at Noma, we opted to check out Copenhagen’s street food warehouse Papirøen. This behemoth of a street food scene has now moved to Refshaleøen aka Reffen, just a little further up on the quayside. With this new lease comes a lot more space. We can’t wait to go back to check it out in the Summer! Papirøen when we visited was absolutely rammed, with every type of street food from vegan sushi to whole roast pigs, some incredibly fresh and authentic Thai food (note to future selves, never tell a Thai cook you like your Tom Sum spicy!) and a great little cocktail bar that overlooked the market, so you could plan your next bite with a bird’s eye view.
We absolutely fell in love with Copenhagen. Like most major cities it’s a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world working its bars and restaurants, adding a friendly and welcoming vibe, while leaving the temptation of being pretentious firmly at the door. If you’re in the market for a quick city break, we couldn’t recommend it enough. All hail the Great Danes – Skål!