Last week I made a flying visit to one of my favourite European cities, Copenhagen. Since my dad is Scandinavian I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the Nordic countries in the past, and after every visit I fall a little bit deeper in love and inspired each time.
This time I decided to try something a bit different and book a weekend on a houseboat, right in the heart of one of the most charismatic canals in Christianshavn. Thanks Airbnb – you delivered another absolute gem! Although I had my reservations at first, I couldn’t be happier. After all which hotels would have views like this?
The motorboat was incredibly spacious, equipped with two bedrooms and a bathroom each. There was a cute kitchen/lounge area with a small oven, fridge and even a dishwasher. Of course the best seats in the house were up on the deck, where we could soak up some sunshine and wave to all the boats sailing by.
Christianshavn is absolutely gorgeous. I could spend a small lifetime wandering through its cobbled stoned laneways flanked with picture perfect pastel buildings. If you don’t feel like walking, join the thousands of other cyclists and hire a bike for the day to really feel like a local.
After working up a morning appetite, it wasn’t long before the sweet smell of cinnamon buns tempted me into Lagkagehuset, one of Copenhagen’s most famous bakeries. From freshly baked cinnamon snails (kanelsnegle) to pastry logs covered in icing (wienerstang(, fellow sweet tooth’s couldn’t be disappointed here.
We perched at the counter with some hot coffee and a bevy of pastries and watched the world go by…
Armed with a fully belly it was time for some more exploring! Walking down Christianshavn canal, we marveled at picture perfect pastel houses and boats sailing down the canal.
And how gorgeous is this orange colour on the buildings?
And a rather friendly Norwegian forest cat…how handsome is he?
Just around the corner from Christianshavn Canal is the world’s best restaurant – Noma, where you can see dozens of staff scurrying around from the early hours of the morning getting things prepared for the day. Unfortunately this was the closest I got on this occasion…
We then stopped off in one of Copenhagen’s oldest cafes – Café Wilder to have some smørrebrød(open sandwiches) in the sunshine. This corner café is so famous it has made several appearances in the TV drama series Borgen.
In the afternoon we explored one of Europe’s most famous hippy communes, Christiana. It was a great area to meander around checking out the DIY inspired homes, art work and interesting architecture amongst its pot scented lanes.
An archway with ‘Beware here be dragons’ marks the entrance. There’s a lot more to Christiana than the area’s infamous Pusher Street, full of stalls selling clothes, hash and pipes. Delve a little deeper beneath the surface and you will find some really atmospheric lanes and cosy gardens. Don’t miss Dyssen, Christiana’s best kept secret.
It is a little unfortunate that Christiana has been overtaken by tourists. Don’t be surprised if you get yelledatt by the locals if you try to take photos of the area so be respectful and do not take photographs at the no photo signs. A tip for snap happy photographers – it may be best to leave the camera at home!
For dinner, we ventured to the famous “Meat Packing District” in Vestebro to visit one of the most talked about restaurants in Copenhagen – Kødbyens Fiskebar. The area once renowned for its prostitutes and butchers has had a massive transformation in recent years. Now it is home to some of the hippest hangouts in Copenhagen including Mikeller – a craft beer bar and modern Danish eateries like Ol & Brod and Nose 2 Tail.
Kodbyens Fiskebar is located in the heart of the action in the still functioning “Meat City”. Soon after 5.30pm the crowds descend, vying for their place at the outdoor tables or the inside bar. Since we didn’t have a booking, we got there early to ensure we got a place. There are plenty of outdoor tables and deck chairs to soak up the summer sun, or if you’re looking for a table inside there is also bar space available for walk-ins. The space has a semi industrial feel and is nicely fitted out with concrete floors, metal meat hooks hanging from the ceiling and a huge aquarium with wrap around bar seating.
We were treated to a delicious seafood feast of fresh scallops, cod and blue mussels steamed in apple cider. The food was superb but be warned it comes with a hefty price tag! Drinking water (tap) is charged at a whopping 45 kroner per person!
Of course no night is complete without a beer or two at Mikeller across the road.
Copenhagen you have been wonderful yet again. I sure came away with a full, happy belly but a rather empty purse!
Thank you to the lovely Andrea from Andrea’s Passions for the wonderful insider tips.