We started our second day in Copenhagen with breakfast at the Laundromat Café, which was conveniently located on the same road we were staying on (if we were staying longer we definitely would have gone several times!). We had spotted the café in the Lonely Planet guide as serving excellent breakfasts, so we earmarked it as a must-visit. I thought that the Laundromat element was just a catchy title, but it turns out that the café does indeed offer laundry services – so you can wait for your clothes to wash whilst eating pancakes, drinking a milkshake and reading the newspaper. The breakfast menu was amazing – serving healthy and veggie options such as the ‘Clean Breakfast’ (Greek yogurt with homemade muesli, fruit, cheese, scrambled eggs and marmalade) to Croque Madames, omelettes and pancakes. Of course I went for pancakes – five homemade blueberry pancakes stacked high and served with maple syrup and butter (priced at about £6.60). The pancakes were totally delicious and definitely set us up well for a day of exploring.
We then caught the Metro to Christianshavn Station and walked to our first ‘tourist spot’ of the day – Christiania (it’s about a six minute walk from the Metro station, but as with the last post, not if you walk in the wrong direction first – oops!) Christiania is a residential area but also a ‘self-governing free-town’ within Copenhagen – it’s basically a large commune with its own set of laws; a haven for people seeking escape and sanctuary from mainstream society. There are cafes, a theatre, music venues, grassy areas for sitting in (though these were obviously covered by snow when we visited!) and even a beautiful lake which you can walk around. Christiania also has an infamous ‘Pusher Street’ or ‘Green Light District’ where there is open cannabis trade. For this reason, you cannot take photographs here.
Walking around Christiania is an interesting experience – I found it had a very calm atmosphere and it’s enjoyable to just amble around and take it all in. There are lots of unique, quirky looking houses (many of which are self-built), and walking to the end of a quiet snowy road, seeing chocolate box style houses with puffs of smoke emanating from the chimneys made me feel like it would definitely be a fun place to live (though, it’s not without a chequered history of unrest).
After our visit to Christiania our next stop was Nyhavn Harbour – another must-see when visiting Copenhagen. We caught the Metro to the Korgens Nytorv station, and from there it’s about a 10 minute walk (this time we walked in the right direction – hooray!) When we turned the corner into the Harbour the view almost took my breath away – the colourful buildings and bobbing boats in the canal are such a stunning sight and I can imagine it would be even more beautiful in the summer. I think it would be the perfect spot to enjoy a glasses of wine and a spot of lunch in the sunshine on one of the tables outside the many restaurants and cafes. You can also take canal tours from here – we decided against it as it was frankly far too cold to entertain the idea of being outside for much longer, but I’d imagine it’s one to add to the list if it’s a little warmer. In search of some warmth we popped into the Hyttefadet Nyhavn pub for a hot chocolate, and spent about half an hour hugging the radiator and defrosting our frozen toes (I am not used to -5 degree temperatures!)
Nyhavn Harbour was only a 10 minute walk to our next stop, Christiansborg Palace (where the Danish Parliament sit). Nicole had noted from the Lonely Planet guide that both the Medieval Ruins and The Tower were worth a visit, and the Tower is free admission, which is always a bonus! We came across the entrance to The Tower straight away and (after going through security!) caught the lift up to the 106 metre high Tower viewing platform. Here you can get panoramic views of Copenhagen – you can even see all the way to Sweden on a clear day.
The snowy rooftops of various buildings and palaces were quite a sight to behold, and another way to appreciate just how beautiful a city Copenhagen is from a different angle. There’s also a restaurant in The Tower should you wish to linger over the views whilst enjoying lunch or dinner. After visiting The Tower we walked around the grounds of the Palace looking for a way into the Medieval Ruins and the Palace itself. Finding the entrance to the Ruins (these are medieval ruins dating back to 1167 that were discovered when they laid the foundations for the palace), we discovered that they were closed. They’re not seasonal and it wasn’t a Monday (the Palace is closed on Mondays) so I think it must have just been a one-off. Lots of the other entrances were closed too, so we gave up and proceeded onto the next stop on our list.
But first – lunch! We’d highlighted Next Door Café as a lunch spot – a quirky little eatery and coffee spot near the main shopping street. They’re famous for their coffees and breakfasts, as well as their homemade cakes (and the characterful interior and lively music). They had a small sandwich menu and we ordered sandwiches and chai lattes (we needed warming up again!) I had mozzarella, tomato and pesto in a huge chunky rye bread roll, and Nicole had bacon, lettuce and tomato. Mine came with the biggest hunk of mozzarella I’ve ever seen in my life – it was delicious and very filling. I think that the sandwich was about £5 and the chai latte about £2 – the prices were certainly very reasonable, and the staff were really nice and very welcoming and chatty.
After lunch we went for a walk along the main shopping street, the Strøget (Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street). Here you can find H&M, Cos, & Other Stories, Monki, Vero Moda and lots more (including a three-storey Tiger that we spent quite some time in!). I didn’t find that anything was significantly cheaper than back at home, and with only hand luggage capacity, we weren’t able to go mad with our shopping. I’d been told that the side streets off the Strøget had lots of quirky boutiques and independent shops, but we couldn’t really find these; I think we might have been in the wrong section of the street. After being very tempted by a jacket in Zara and pretty much everything in & Other Stories, we spent a bit more time ambling around before deciding it was time for dinner (yes, we did basically concentrate our efforts on eating our way around Copenhagen).
We’d highlighted Cocks and Cows for dinner – also a recommendation from the Lonely Planet. Cocks and Cows have been awarded ‘Copenhagen’s best burger’ three years in a row, and any restaurant with that accolade is definitely a must-visit on my list. The restaurant was only a few minutes away from the shopping street and we were seated straight away – though again, I get the impression that it isn’t always this easy. We ended up sat in an outdoor marquee area with lots of heaters – still slightly chilly but we were just glad to not have to wait for a table.
I took lots of photos on my phone of the restaurant and my burger, but accidentally deleted all my photos instead of transferring them onto the computer, so you’ll just have to imagine what my burger looked like! Here’s a snap from another blog instead, just so you can get a feel for how cool the interior is…
img credit: theslowpace.com
I went for the New Yorker – steak, pickled shallots and pesto (£13) with salt and vinegar chips on the side (£3). Nicole went for the Cheese and Smoke – bacon and cheddar (£10). My large glass of wine was about £7. This was one of the more expensive places we ate but the food was really good; my steak was cooked to perfection (it was a little pinker than I would normally have it but I discovered that it’s actually must tastier!)
After a long day of exploring (and with it starting to snow again, and temperatures getting even colder outside) we decided to again wander back to the apartment for a glass of wine and a loll on the sofa (my FitBit says we walked 17km that day, so I think we had a good excuse!) As with the night before, we lit some candles, put the telly on and ate snacks under the cosy blankets in the lounge. Bliss.
Have a nose at my first day in Copenhagen…