For the last few years Copenhagen has been voted the happiest city in the world. And I must admit, indulging on their incredible pastries every chance I got – I was extremely happy!
Strolling through the city (pastry in hand), we stumbled upon quaint little cafes where the locals huddled around cups of coffee, seemingly unaffected by the cold weather. I on the other hand, am still getting used to European winters and so I was feeling more than a little chilly. This however completely slipped my mind as we turned the corner of a small cobblestone pathway and my eyes immediately landed on snow. SNOOOOOOOW!!! Luca still laughs at me when he sees my reaction to snow. Growing up in Italy it’s normal for him, but growing up in Australia, all I ever saw was sun and sand. For Australians, seeing snow is like a child seeing Santa Clause for the first time. And I couldn’t have been more excited! Camera in hand, I was in awe of the soft white snow that covered the tree branches and blanketed the grass. I’m sure passers-by could tell immediately I wasn’t a local. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Copenhagen is such a beautiful city, and with everything being in walking distance, a weekend is definitely enough to explore the city center. The iconic area of Nyhavn is a must for all visitors. Wondering along the harbour, lined with colourful 17th and 18th century townhouses, it’s a photographers dream. Luca was in heaven! It’s also a popular spot for the romantics. On a few occasions we saw couples attaching locks to the bridges.
Situated in the heart of Copenhagen is the shopping area in Stroget. Insiders tip – visit Hay House (a home ware store) and go to the top floor for a great view of the square.
The city is very rich in history and one place I would highly recommend visiting is Christiansburg Palace Tower. It’s the highest tower in Copenhagen, great for a view of the city and it’s free to enter.
After queuing up for 40 minutes we made our way through security and into a tiny elevator that had an old world charm about it. Fitting a maximum of 8 people in the elevator (that’s why the que took so long) we all squished ourselves in and took the short ride up to the top floor to see this incredible view… only to reach the top and have the elevator doors not open and instead immediately take us all the way down to ground floor. Eight strangers squished together in this tiny elevator all exchanged the same look. That look that said “no way am I queuing up again, I’m not leaving this elevator, we’re going to the top floor!”. Ten minutes later, the technical issue was fixed and we made it to the viewpoint. It was well worth the wait. Too see the city and the architecture of the houses from above was truly stunning.
Located a two minute walk from the main Copenhagen station, Hotel Astoria makes a great base for exploring the city. They also provide guests with a free glass of wine in the evenings and free coffee in the mornings! Unbeknownst to some the location of the hotel is near the red light district. However, having said this, Copenhagen’s red light district is meant to be one of the safest in the world and the area doesn’t feel dangerous or seedy. We didn’t actually know this until we got back from our trip and a friend mentioned it to us. He stayed in the same area and the only indication he had that it was the red light district was the occasional erotic shop he walked past. We didn’t notice at all.
And no trip would be complete without some amazing food. I had the most delicious braised beef on a bed of sautéed vegetables with roast potatoes and béarnaise sauce at a place called Zalt Aps. Breakfast was always amazing, but nothing compares to the apple crumble cake I had at Lagkagehuset. On my second serving I was literally dissecting it bit by bit in hopes of replicating it. Copenhagen is known for having some of the best bakeries around and I’d go back just for that apple crumble alone!