Best Hotel-Locale for a Copenhagen Tourist?
March 13, 2007 3:44 PM   Subscribe

What's the best part of Copenhagen to stay in for a long weekend?

I don't know anything about Copenhagen. I'm going there for a long weekend and I realized while looking at kayak today that I had no idea how to decide where to book a hotel. I kept thinking, "close to the train station, that sounds convenient" and then thinking, "wait a second, that could be like staying near Penn Station in New York and that would suck." So basically, in New York terms (like I said, I don't know anything about Copenhagen), I want to stay below 14th but above say Reade. Really Canal. I don't want to be like one of those people who ends up in Times Square or at that Marriot in Brooklyn Heights. What part of Copenhagen should I look for? Specific hotels or other Copenhagen-centric recommendations are also very welcome. I've heard that they have a special way with the Hot Dog over there, as well as a particular faculty for open-faced sandwiches. NEEDLESS TO SAY I AM THRILLED!
posted by jeb to Travel & Transportation around Copenhagen, Denmark (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Nyhaven.
posted by Nelson at 3:54 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: I don't know much about N.Y. so I don't know if I'm answering your question (I have no idea what below 14th but above Reade means except that I assume it's a nice place to stay for a tourist). But I do know much about Copenhagen having lived here almost my entire life, so here goes.

If by "the train station" you mean Copenhagen Central Station (Hovedbanegården) then by all means stay there. It really is central and within walking distance of the central square (Rådhuspladsen), the pedestrian street (Strøget), the lovely Tivoli Gardens, the touristy but nice New Harbor (Nyhavn), and almost anything else I would recommend a first time visitor to Copenhagen to check out.

Here's a link to a map of central Copenhagen. Anywhere on that map (and feel free to scroll a bit north) would be perfect.

Being native to Copenhagen I haven't stayed at any hotels here but if you give me a price range I can probably find a hotel with a nice location that suits your pockets.

About hot dogs: There are lots of hot dog stands all over Copenhagen. Ask for a regular (not french) hot dog with everything.

If you have any more questions feel free to email me.
posted by sveskemus at 4:38 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: Never been to Copenhagen, so I can't suggest any lodgings. I am of Danish descent though, and the sandwiches are great. Even better with beer and akvavit. These are tasty too.

As far as areas of interest... A stroll through Christiania might be interesting, if you're up for that.
posted by CKmtl at 4:46 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: Seconding sveskemus, I can say as an American who has lived off and on in Copenhagen for going on 20 years that as long as you're around the downtown area, you'll be fine.

The tourist board runs a very useful site through which you can book hotels and do many other very useful things: (Just click on the "English version")

I would suggest that you might not want to stay right by the train station, as depending which side you're on it can be a bit dodgey and might not give you the best immediate impression of the city, though the neighborhood (Vesterbro) is quickly gentrifying and a lot nicer than it was 10 years ago.

Another suggestion: hotels in Copenhagen, and Denmark in general, are very pricey by North American standards. Consider booking a room in a private home/B&B through the site listed above. Last time my girlfriend and I were in Copenhagen, we stayed in a lovely home that was much more comfortable than a hotel and we had the freedom to come and go as we pleased, at a fraction of the cost.

Let me know if you need suggestions about how to spend your time while you're there.
posted by ga$money at 5:07 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: Stay on Vesterbro (neighborhood). It's right next to the Central Station (but on the other side of the attractions Sveskemus lists), and used to be--well, still is, but only as a faint shadow of past performance--the red light district. It's been super-gentrified the last decade or so, and has more trendy (coffee) shops and bars than you can shake a stick at.

The hotels there can be hit-or-miss, but are usually a good deal for CPH. It might look a little dodgy, but few areas of Copenhagen are dangerous (or even dodgy, especially if you're from NYC).

I haven't been back in CPH for a couple of years now, so what I can contribute is a little dated, but feel free to hit me up on email if you want further input.

Have fun!

Oh, and if you want to bring a little bit of contemporary Danish history back home with you, go to the recently torn down remains of Jagtvej 69. It used to be a squatter's house occupied by punk kids from pretty much all of Northern Europe, but the municipality sold it to a fundamental Christian sect (yep, we have those too!), and promptly tore it down. Caused riots and burning cars in the streets ala Paris for a weekend or two.
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2007

Response by poster: Ga$money et al: yes I would love suggestions about how to spend my time while there. My interests run towards the prandial and flaneurish and away from visiting important ruins or operas. I think it would probably be best to add your suggestions to the thread for the benefit of the archives, but if you'd rather, my email's in my profile.

Thanks so much everyone.
posted by jeb at 5:31 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: Room 606, Radisson SAS
posted by Dick Paris at 6:50 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: One of my fondest memories of traveling abroad was a late night of wandering the streets of Copenhagen, and stopping to listen to an acoustic busker playing Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters," with at least a hundred passersby singing along and handing roses to each other. It was odd and lovely and perfect.

Copenhagen was much larger than I anticipated, but it's pedestrian friendly, and there are many things to do pretty much everywhere.

As for things to do, the train system is convenient and easy, and you can ride a big loop that'll take you north up the coast of Denmark, then south down the coast of Sweden, and then back across the water to Copenhagen. Just catch the train from Copenhagen to Helsingør (Elsinore) and Kronborg Castle (the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet) -- it takes about an hour, and iirc, costs about $12 USD. You can then catch a short ferry from Helsingør over to Helsingborg, Sweden which is a nice little seaside place, where a train will then take you South down the coast of Sweden through Malmo. I stayed a couple weeks in Lund (between Helsingborg and Malmo) and it remains one of my favourite little towns to visit -- if you don't have anything to do, the train station in Lund is right downtown for you to ramble around quick and easy-like. The train from Sweden to Copenhagen will drop you right back off in the center of Copenhagen -- all in an afternoon, and for about $25 USD total. Here are the Scanrail maps for Denmark and Sweden.

For what it's worth, I went to Copenhagen to visit the birthplace, residence, and grave of physicist, Niels Bohr. So, you know, if that's why you're going, here are my pics.
posted by Hankins at 8:32 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: Good advice already. I thought Copenhagen was very fun. Have a great time!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:20 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: My favorite place for a stroll is Assistenskirkegård (Assistens Cemetery), which has the resting place of Søren Kierkegaard and H.C. Andersen, among many other Danish notables. It's also just a beautiful place to stroll, especially in the summer or if the weather is nice. It's about a 15-20 minute walk from the city center. Be sure to spend some time walking along and around Strøget, one of Europe's oldest walking boulevards. Strøget itself is pretty touristy in places, particularly on the end closer to the Rådhus, but it's still worth a look, plus the blocks that run parallel and perpendicular to it have many cool shops and cafes.

You might also consider walking out to the Little Mermaid, which is about 20-30 minutes out from city center. The Mermaid itself has always been a bit of a letdown for me and my guests, but it will give you a chance to see one of my favorite fountains in the world, the Gefion fountain, as well as some pleasant grounds around there. Hopefully the water will be turned on, otherwise it's a less impressive statue.

Other places worth checking out: Christiania, though it's really a shadow of what it once was, there are still some nice places to walk out from the central area. Nyhavn, the former sailors area that still is docking place for boats, is worth taking a look. Rosenborg Castle, with the grounds and royal jewels, and Amalienborg Castle, the official residence (though to my mind less spectacular). If you go to Amalienborg, be sure to cross the street and visit Marmorkirken (the Marble Church).

For food, any of the cafes around downtown are usually good; restaurants in the classic sense are usually incredibly expensive for not all that fantastic food. Surprisingly, Copenhagen has only recently developed a restaurant culture in the sense of NYC or most major American or other European cities. When I first moved to Denmark, restaurants were all in the classic French vein and charged prices that insured such indulgence was only a once a year event. Things have gotten much better since then, and there are numerous good, cheaper restaurants around town, though oddly, few of them serve traditional Danish food; think more in the Asian/Middle Eastern/cafe vein for casual dining. For open-faced sandwiches, there are still a few walk-in shops around (including one or two on the Strøget) and a few cafes that serve them, though again, they can seem expensive compared to a good street-vendor hotdog, of which there are numerous places to indulge.

If you're not devoted to eating Danish traditional food, Flyvefisken (Flying Fish) is good and pretty popular. If you stay in Vesterbro, there's a decent Indian place (blanking on the name, something with a z), as well as a pretty good, non-smoking pub with food called Det gule hus (The Yellow House). For a taste of the stranger side, I've always loved Bankeråt, with good food and wonderfully creepy stuffed animal/mannequin statues from a local artist.

Gosh, I'm getting a little homesick.
posted by ga$money at 9:27 PM on March 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hotels are expensive in CPH. (Well, everything is expensive.) My favorite is: SCT THOMAS. It's about a 10 minute walk from the central train station (Hovebanegård). (Or a couple of stops on the bus.) It has free internet in the lobby and simple, clean rooms, breakfast included. A single, with bathroom was 500 DKK last time I was there. (That's about $90-100 USD). A bargain. (btw, the website is in danish, but just call them up.)

There is also a place called Hotel Løven which is about 5 minutes from the train station. It's more like renting a small apartment. It's not so good if you are arriving at weird times since the office has limited hours.

Both the Sct. (Saint) Thomas and Løven (Lion) are in Vesterbro. Lots of trendy bars and cool little restaurants and cafes. You can walk everywhere and just explore.

Definitely check out Christiania. It's changed a lot in the past few years, but it's still a vibrant alternative community. It's a bus ride from the central station, and you won't find it unless you're looking for it. Everything else you'll probably just stumble across. It's not a big city.

One tip: If you're only there for a long weekend, most stores close at 2pm on Saturday. (Some are open until 5pm.) And most stores are closed on Sunday.
posted by kamelhoecker at 9:31 PM on March 13, 2007

Best answer: ...and be sure to check out new web 2.0'ish Copenhagen city guide (MyCPH). The reviews are in Danish, but the rating system is universally understandable.

Also: cheap, centrally located accomodation: DanHostel Copenhagen City.
posted by bering at 3:51 AM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ASK METAFILTER RULES. I'm giving you all best answer.
posted by jeb at 6:33 AM on March 14, 2007

bering: didn't know about the new hostel right downtown. nice.

With the hostels, just remember they love to add on the little fees. 550 DKK (room) + 60 DKK (sheets) + 35 DKK (hostel fee) + 60 DKK (breakfast)... still a good deal for CPH.

I have stayed in various bed and breakfasts in Copenhagen and while it is a great way to see how the Danes live, most likely you will not be right downtown and will have to do a lot of traveling on the S-train, buses or the subway. For such a short visit, better to stay right downtown where the action is.
posted by kamelhoecker at 6:37 AM on March 14, 2007

since the weather is getting better, you might want to rent a bike while you're there. great way to get around and it is such a bike friendly city. (there are free bikes, but they are often broken and you can't guarantee that you'll still have the bike for the next leg of your trip.)

for two people, the iconic christania bike is fun. (one person sits in front, the other drives.) and lots of space to carry your junk.

bike rental at central station and also one at Østerport.
posted by kamelhoecker at 6:52 AM on March 14, 2007

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