Help me Copenhagen and beyond
September 21, 2017 9:56 PM   Subscribe

So, I'm going to Copenhagen next Friday. I've got some plans, but tell me something awesome to do. I have accommodation booked in Norrebro. Special art, design, day trips, and solo dining. I read this previous Ask and will hit many of those spots.

I've got about 4.5 days before work starts. So, Cisterns, Louisiana and most of the big museums are on my list. Will make the day trip out to Louisiana based on the weather and jet lag. Arken, Copenhagen Contemporary, and Den Frie are all on the list. Good day trips other than Helsinger with Louisiana?

I really like good, long urban walks to explore cities on foot and maybe wander off a bit and get lost so something out of the way is just fine. For that reason, I'm thinking of skipping Malmo to concentrate on Copenhagen and I may get a chance to visit Sweden later. But if there is a really great side trip I should take, please.

Any special contemporary art stuff that you can recommend that might not be in a guidebook.
Not especially interested in music and theater for this trip.
I will get a Copenhagen Card.

I'll be on my own. I'll eat just about anything. But, being on your own makes it harder to try so much good stuff, and sometimes you don't get the best treatment as a solo diner. Will that be an issue? I hope not. But, if you can point me to any restaurants that are really good for those of us dining alone, please let me know. Thanks!
posted by Gotanda to Travel & Transportation around Copenhagen, Denmark (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I would recommend Freetown Christiania for walking and cool art and tasty vegetarian food. It was my favorite part of my visit to Copenhagen this summer.
posted by milkweed at 10:26 PM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Make sure to get over to Papirøen, it's a fantastic island-of-street-food. An amazing amount of food packed into a dense area.

Also definitely hit up Warpigs, the food and taplist is fantastic.
posted by CrystalDave at 11:10 PM on September 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

The very upmarket as indoor markets go Torvehallerne is between Norrebro and the city centre. Its on the cycle route if you figure out how to use the city bikes. Its basically a lot of stalls that add up to a big deli. Very good coffee and cake stalls for breakfast or any other time.

Its worth looking into the bikes, Copenhagen has repeatedly been rated as the best city in the world for cycling, tricycles with storage boxes on the front are popular so even if you're not a confident cyclist there are options.

We enjoyed the design museum.
posted by biffa at 12:12 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you are in town on Sept 30 you should indeed go over to Malmö-- that is Gallery Night, when all the art galleries open in the evening.

I went by accident last year and had a great time.

Maybe back with more recs later but I am on a busy work trip-- in Copenhagen.
posted by nat at 12:30 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Places for food (and atmosphere):
Paludan book cafe, Gorilla (right next to WarPigs in the meat packing district), Bæst, Höst or Relae for expensive but innovative and delicious (and weekday reservations aren't impossible). Kate's Joint for Thai-influenced fusion, Scurry Hub for straight up Thai. Cafe 22 for dining by the lakes if it isn't too drizzly.

Bastard Cafe is a board game cafe with a good selection. If you like board games there's also a pile of good stores near Jorcks Passage, as well as a pricey but excellent children's toy store. Right by Stroget, the major shopping street (touristy but worth a look; the lego store has nice display of all their logos over the years).

Botanical Gardens is worth a walk around. The cemetery with Niels Bohr and HC Anderson is nice to walk around in, and it's near a liquid-nitrogen ice cream place Istid. As well as one of the outposts of Mikkeler (large microbrewery). The actual Little Mermaid statue is pointless but the area around it is neat (Kastellet).

Your transit pass should get you on the waterbuses, all numbered in the 900s, which take bikes and also can be a nice way to see the city from the water too. One goes out near Papirøen, but I'd recommend walking over the bridge that goes there instead.
posted by nat at 1:12 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

We enjoyed the botanical garden and the round tower a lot when we visited last year.

If you're into comics/board games/LARP-type stuff, there are a series of Faraos Cigarer stores around the city with a huge selection of stuff - they have one comics store, one LARP gear store, one board games/modelling store and a random store full of pop vinyls and other nerd culture type stuff scattered around the shopping streets of the city.
posted by terretu at 1:14 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The current show at Gl Holtegaard looks promising. I think one can go by bus up there.

The main online news site for art is Kunsten Nu, it's in Danish, but you can go by the images, I suppose.

For an affordable and delicious taste of New Nordic, go to Relæ, you can sit at the counter and they are very nice. I've seen single diners at Cicchetti as well, and they seemed to feel comfortable and welcomed. Generally, you need to make reservations at the popular restaurants.
Also there are places which are a mix of local dive bars, restaurants and cafés, where the food is OK if not spectacular — IMO these places are comforting and nice if you are tired after a long day of walking or for brunch and they are places where you might meet locals if you want to or can be private if you don't: Café Oven Vande and Wilder are both in Christianshavn, Kaffesalonen at the lakes in Nørrebro are examples but there are plenty more.

Yesterday I had some errands to run so I was on a long walk through Nørrebro and there was such a lovely sunny atmosphere, so many people out walking and hanging out and everyone smiling and open, BUT, you need to know that there is a gang thing going on these days in Nørrebro and several people have been hit by stray bullets. There are tons of police everywhere and I feel completely safe, but as a visitor you probably need to be a little more alert than locals who know the gangs and how to avoid them. I noticed several tourists drinking in the street, which is perfectly legal and fine, but maybe not wise if you are doing it right next to a bunch of aggressive hoodlums waiting for the next fight.
posted by mumimor at 1:16 AM on September 22, 2017

Tivoli is nicer than you might expect... not as loud, more poetic and old-timey.
Arbejdermuseet is a hidden jewel of a museum if you like to take a look into the past, and has a very pleasant cafeteria.
Both of these are included in your Copenhagen card!
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:22 AM on September 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

2nding others for Torvehallerne, just stayed in norreport 4 weeks ago and ate there several times. Peruvian empanadas in denmark served by a dane with an amazing south London accent, perfect! Also 2nding Copenhagen street food. Such a cool concept and so much great food and people. Totally in agreement with tivoli assesment. It's like a nostalgic love letter to theme parks. Also, since you mention getting the Copenhagen card(great call it's a tremendous value) be sure to use it and ride the water taxis (i mean the actual municipal water taxis) one of the stops is the Opera house which is stunning inside. Also, the library is tremendous.

Malmo sounds nice but we filled 4.5 days in Copenhagen and feel like maybe we never quite scratched the surface!!
posted by chasles at 5:21 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you go to the Little Mermaid you will be able to see across to the world's first power plant with a ski slope on top, shown in the background in this photo. I did an FPP about it a while back.

If you go to the cemetery nat mentions then you can also see Kierkegaard's grave, its off to the right as you go through the main entrance.
posted by biffa at 5:32 AM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

In Copenhagen, you must go to Tivoli, even if you aren't that into rides -- you can have dinner there and walk the entire park for a nice evening. It's a really old amusement park that is just kind of charming -- it's the second-oldest operational amusement park in the world and the Rutschebanen roller coaster is so old that there is actually a driver on board who brakes manually so it doesn't fly off the track. You should obviously go to Nyhavn and take a boat ride, but beyond that, it's not the most impressive city ever but you should be able to fill four days. Carlsberg is a fine stop if you like beer and there are a lot of castles to check out, like Rosenborg and Fredriksborg. I forget which one I went to but it was a nice historical trip.

However, Christiania, the little shanty town of hippies, was creepy and weird. When we went, it was almost all men, which feels weird if you're a woman, and it was just people buying and smoking weed with signs telling everyone to say no to hard drugs. If you want to experience legal marijuana, go to Amsterdam, or better yet, Seattle or Portland -- it's much less sketchy and more civilized.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:57 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: +1 on botanical garden & round tower.

Apart from marble, glyptoteket has loads of French paintings. Free on tuesdays!

If you insist on seeing the little fish lady statue, be sure to visit nearby kastellet.

You might be just in time for Ai Weiwei's Soleil Levant opposite the Nyhavn tourist trap.

If you're a Lars von Trier-fan, you can see rigshospitalet :)
posted by farlukar at 12:50 PM on September 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm going to disagree with AppleTurnover on Christiana. I've been there a few times, most recently in December, and while there is some sketchiness its usually pretty obvious who to avoid and there are some workshops selling handmade goods, including an all female blacksmith shop, as well as some nice places to eat.
posted by biffa at 2:50 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It turns out I'm in town next week. If you would like, we could go to Gl. Holtegaard in my car one day. MeMail me.
posted by mumimor at 6:03 AM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: So, arrival day left me with enough time for a neighborhood walk, beers at Mikkellor Friends, and dinner at Taxa. I did spot Relae on my wander and it looked good but it was already Friday night.
posted by Gotanda at 11:16 AM on September 30, 2017

Response by poster: [Ooops hit post; will stop threadsitting] Saturday morning jet lag meant an early walk looping through Fredericksburg and then down to the central station for a Copenhagen Card. Tivoli is shut. But then all over the central part of the city including Copenhagen Contemporary, a boat tour, the kastellen, the Design Museum, and the Round Tower near sunset. Phew. Thanks, all!
posted by Gotanda at 11:20 AM on September 30, 2017

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