copenhagen in 19 hours
June 24, 2014 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Place to stay, things (or thing!) to do for a very short visit to Copenhagen.

Because he is awesome, Mr. Bluesky booked our flight to Madrid via Copenhagen with a 19 hour layover. We leave this Monday and arrive in Copenhagen on Tuesday at 1PM and have a next day morning flight (8:30am). I've checked previous questions about Copenhagen but they are fairly old or about longer stays. I have two questions:
1) does anyone have a recommendation for a reasonable hotel or b&b (clean and comfortable but not fancy/expensive) with easy access to and from the airport via public transport?
2) what does one do/must do in Copenhagen on a short stay? Many thanks!
posted by bluesky43 to Travel & Transportation around Copenhagen, Denmark (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
IF you get the brilliant summer weather instead of shitting down rain like it's never going to stop, you could easily spend the afternoon and early evening at Tivoli, just puttering around and enjoying the day.

Note that the sun won't go down until just before 10pm, so there will be a lot of day in your day.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:49 AM on June 24, 2014

Best answer: Guldsmeden is a local hotel chain very well known for very good value for money. Hotel Josty is just so unusual and pretty and authentic you won't believe it.
This is a bit late, so I'm not certain these hotels have rooms available. In spite of it's location right on a train station, this used to be a very, very popular hotel. Now its mostly living on its history, but the rooms are still good and the location is great.

When you arrive, you need to have a nice lunch. You could go to Tivoli, which is charming, and still also a local hangout, but very expensive. The locals go to "Grøften", the least expensive place.
If the weather is good, you might take a short walk from Tivoli to "Islands Brygge". Here you can swim in the harbor.
Other good lunch places not in Tivoli are Kanalcafeen and Sankt Annae.
After lunch and maybe swimming, you just take a stroll around the inner city of Copenhagen. Museums are closed on Mondays - take that as a good thing - you just need to take in the atmosphere. Go down the little streets, have a coffee, meet the Copenhageners. They are friendly during summer. The market, near Norreport Station, is a popular place to hang out.

Then dinner time: already now, try to get a table at one of the world famous restaurants. I think Kiin Kiin or one of the Cofoco restaurants will be the easiest to get a table at (I checked out who is open). When you go there, you will experience some of the more residential areas of Copenhagen, depending on where you go. The best restaurants are outside the city center. Enjoy your meal.
If you like music, please update what you like, and I can write what venues you might want to check.
Now after eating and maybe dancing, you go to the harbor, and see that little mermaid. She is really not special, but walking or biking around the harbor at night at this time of the year is lovely. You can go across the harbor to a large food hall called "Copenhagen Street Food". It is very new and cool, but on a Monday… I don't know.
The metro or regional train gets you to the airport in 20-30 minutes, depending on where you are. So you need to depart from your hotel at 6:30. Adjust your night-time fun accordingly and have breakfast at the airport.
posted by mumimor at 11:19 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

sorry, now I see you are in CPH Tuesday. That opens up a wide range of possibilities. Maybe you can expand a bit on what you like the best?
posted by mumimor at 11:21 AM on June 24, 2014

I did the exact same thing as you 2 years ago! Traveling from Madrid as well! We stayed at the airport, CitizenM. It was cheap but I do have to warn you that it's an open bathroom concept. no walls, it's just in the middle of the room. It was really easy to train into the city from the airport so I figured, it would be easiest just to shorten the commute the next day. I went in the winter time so I didn't explore as much as I liked so unfortunately, I don't have recommendations in the city for you.
posted by zw98105 at 11:24 AM on June 24, 2014

I was at a conference in Copenhagen last summer with just a half-day free to be a tourist. My main recommendation is to rent bikes at one of the many bike shops in town -- that way you can get around the way the natives do, and see much more of the city than you'd have time to hit on foot.

Also: eat smørrebrød. Holy crow. I liked the ones at Madmanden but that was near my hotel, maybe not near yours, and I'm sure the more centrally located places are just as good.
posted by escabeche at 11:58 AM on June 24, 2014

Christiania. Old abandoned military base taken over by squatting hippies in the 60s-70s. Now, during the day, a lovely bike ride past multicolored DIY homes surrounding a lake. Or, in the evening, an open air "Amsterdam" like market with some Beer Gardens and live music. No place to stay there, alas, but the trip inside the fortress walls is well worth your time, day or night...
posted by provocateur at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks so much mumimor! I just booked a room at the Axel Hotel Guldsmeden. I like the idea of hanging out in the city. I'm thinking we'll head in the direction of Tivoli and see what we stumble in to. Google is telling me to go to central bus station which is quite near by (København H) so it seems like a great location. Many thanks to the rest for your food and fun recommendations!
posted by bluesky43 at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2014

Enjoy! Since you are staying at the Axel, you will be close to a lot of very cool restaurants and bars, if not so many of the famous Michelin star places. Your concierge can help you. You have several Cofoco and Madklubben places to chose between, a lot of really good ethnic places, including the LêLê restaurants and take-aways. Kødbyen - the KBH meat-packing district is full of bars and restaurants. You must have a drink at Lidkoeb, though. Because it is so off-beat and something no other one-day tourists will ever find.
I'm a bit embarrassed for only talking about food and drink, because there is so much culture and nature and social uniqueness like Christiania in Copenhagen. But at the end of the day, I think the best thing is to meet people where they are, and get a feeling for what locals engage in, and right now, a lot of people enjoy going out and socializing after work. Summer in Copenhagen is the time to relax and be happy. It is short and bright. Then we do all the existential stuff during winter…
posted by mumimor at 1:05 PM on June 24, 2014

There many years ago, very briefly, on a visit I never forgot. I am sure it had something to do with the fact that I was coming from East Germany (before the Iron Curtain fell), which was grim beyond belief, but I also firmly believe Copenhagen is fabulous. So here's what I'd do if I was zooming through again, and it is all corny (and wonderful) -- 1. Watch the changing of the guard in front of the royal palace. Oh, the pink cheeks and blonde hair of the guards. And when I saw it one of them made a mistake and the crowd around me all literally gave jolly "Ho ho ho"s! 2) Visit the Little Mermaid statute 3) Eat at a smorgasbord place. Oh, what wonderful food and 4) Visit Tivoli gardens after nightfall so the little starry lights can dazzle you with their charm.

You'll probably find this more up to date list helpful too. Note you can sort by type of attraction you like. This is a good list too.
posted by bearwife at 2:09 PM on June 24, 2014

Oh, and I think this looks like a handy website to glance at too if you just want to zoom around seeing things on foot. I disapprove of the absence of corny suggestions, though.
posted by bearwife at 2:12 PM on June 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you all!
posted by bluesky43 at 8:00 PM on June 24, 2014

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