A perfect day in… Copenhagen
Morning: Sightseeing by bike
Danes love life on two wheels. So there’s no better way of taking a whistle stop of the city’s main attractions than by bike. There are a number of reasonably priced tour operators – you don’t even need to book a tour with Copenhagen Bicycles, just turn up at 11am and head off with your guide. In just two hours you will whizz past cool sites such as…
Christiansborg: This impressive parliament building made famous most recently by Scandi TV sensation “Borgen”, is home to the Danish Prime Minister (who is unfortunately not Birgitte Nyborg, as we had to keep reminding ourselves).
Amalienborg Palace: Four grand identical houses, now home to the Danish Royal family since the previous residence at Christansborg Palace burnt down in 1794. Head past at 12pm to catch the changing of the guard.
The Little Mermaid: People flock to see this statue of one of Hans Christian Anderson’s most memorable characters, as she gazes out longingly to the sea. You will spot many tributes to the Danish fairytale writer all over the city. His 19th Century tale “The Snow Queen” was the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen, but there is yet to be a statue erected to honour that. Watch this space…
Rosenborg Castle: Set in the idyllic Kings Gardens, the pretty pink Rosenborg castle was originally known as “the pleasure palace” and is where Christian IV is rumoured to have spent summers with his mistresses. Also home to the Danish Crown Jewels.
Stop for Lunch
With all that cycling you will have no doubt worked up and appetite, and will be ready to sample some of the best local food. The indoor market of Torvehallerne is a feast for the senses, selling everything from fresh fruit, meat, fish, to confectionary and even flowers. You may want to sample a traditional Dutch open sandwich, stuffed with salmon and avocado, or grab a gluten-free panini and fresh smoothie if you are feeling virtuous.
Evening: Dinner (and Drinks) on the New Harbour
The prettiest spot in the city is undoubtedly Nyhavn (translating to “new harbour”). A glorious stretch of colourful shops and bars along the canal is the ideal way to wind down at the end of the day. The wooden ships that line the waterfront hark back to the days when this strip made its name as a stop off for sailors looking for good food, great beer and nice girls. Nowadays it is quite the tourist trap, so if you’d rather check out a quieter spot to enjoy your evening, head to Grey Friars Square instead, or hit the gorgeous courtyard of the Brewpub for some locally brewed beer under a canopy of fairy lights.
Main photo: Gemma Garner