Local's Guide to Copenhagen


Copenhagen, Denmark is an absolutely stunning city on the water where biking, gender equality and rugbrød (Danish rye bread) reign supreme. 

This was my first trip to Copenhagen and it quickly stole my heart with it's charming rows of historic buildings, yummy kebabs (there were times I had two in one day), easy to navigate public transportation, English speaking peoples, and the feeling that people here genuinely love where they live. It's infectious. 

I highly recommend experience the beauty of Copenhagen for yourself, and below are some recommendations for when you do.

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Walk down Nyhavn, because you it's a really lovely stroll and you just can't miss this iconic spot.

Go to Kongens for a picnic or to spend some time outdoors soaking in the rare and much appreciated sunshine.

Explore the freetown of Christiania and hang out at Nemoland or on the hill. Also go for a walk around there. Christiania is a green and car-free neighborhood in Copenhagen, best known for its autonomous inhabitants’ different way of life. Established in 1971, the freetown is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries, and beautiful nature. You can buy weed here in Christiania on Pusher Street, even thought it is illegal in Denmark.

TIP: In the summer there are free concerts on Sundays in Nemoland. The concerts start at 18:00 and again at 20:00.

Go to the main walking street called Strøget for food and shopping and just to check out the center. Go on a canal boat ride over by Strøget too.

Visit the Queen's Castle, Amalienborg Palace, in which the royal family still resides.

TIP: Changing of the guard takes place at 12:00 noon.

Dronning Louises bridge for a nice view and for the swan boats. 

Dronning Louises bridge, Copenhagen

Dronning Louises bridge, Copenhagen


See the world famous Little Mermaid bronze statue created by Edvard Eriksen. The statue was inspired by ballerina Ellen Price, who in 1909 danced the lead role in the ballet "The Little Mermaid" at the Royal Theatre.

Note: This is possibly the most overhyped tourist attraction, yet it only takes 10 seconds to see, so why not?

Go the Gothersgade (street) - that's where most of the stuff is happening.

As for neighborhoods my favorite is Nørrebro. This is the most multicultural area in Denmark. Lot's of good eats and good vibes. While in Nørrebro make sure to check out Superkilen Park.

Also go to Kødbyen (neighborhood) for a night out.



Noma restaurant in copenhagen, denmark. Image via  cyclonebill

Noma restaurant in copenhagen, denmark. Image via cyclonebill

Noma is often regarded as the best restaurant in the world, but prepare yourself for some unusual food that redefines the "farm to fork" movement. The new Noma is opening in January, 2018 but the meantime, you can try their pop-up Noma Under The Bridge - now running until November 12th with a new menu!
1250,- kr. for five courses including wine pairing. Approximately $200 USD.

Go to MASH for great steaks. With several locations around Copenhagen and Denmark, it's no secret this is a local fave.

Geranium is a three star Michelin restaurant serving thoughtful, light and dynamic food. Their mission is to "create meals that involve all our senses - restores, challenges and enriches."

Head to 108 to indulge in ambitious modern Nordic gastronomy, moderately priced and in cool surroundings.

Eat literally any street hot dog. Make sure to get it with onions, remoulade, pickles, ketchup and mustard. 

Acai bowl at 42Raw

Acai bowl at 42Raw

For healthy breakfast bowls, matcha, and plant based faves burgers, lasagna and sandwiches try 42Raw.

Hija de Sanchez for some seriously good Mexican food. Being from California, I had to include Mexican food since it's very rare to find good Mexican food in Europe. Trust me, I've spent 9 months all over Europe. It's rare.

Note: Hija de Sanchez is open seasonally April - October.

Kosk Kebab

Kosk Kebab

Eat at Kosk Kebab in Nørrebro. Personal favorite is the number 13; simple but tasty and very satisfying. 

They have local smørrebrød shops all over the place so try any, but otherwise just go to the walking street Strøget and check it out from there. 

Papirøen Copenhagen Street Food Market with artisanal food and drink stalls and a coffee truck to boot. 

Torvehallerne super market with more than 60 stands selling everything from fresh fish to spices, and offering several places to grab a bite to eat.

Ancestrale wine bar with a rotating menu specializing in a few good tasting items, especially vegetables and no shortage of hygge. Prices are always the same, 95 DKK per dish ($15). All five 375 DKK ($60 USD).



But first, coffee. A category all it's own :)

With four locations in Copenhagen, Original Coffee can jumpstart your morning.

Coffee Collective is considered the leader to the coffee revolution in Copenhagen. They also have four locations around Copenhagen, but many other places serve up their high quality coffee too.

Democratic Coffee serving up excellent and possibly the best almond croissant in Copenhagen.



Check out Sigurdsgade, a music venue and club. It's a bit underground-ish and they play all types of music including less prevalent 90's and 00's R&B and soft hip hop which is always such a good throwback. 

For bars go for a walk on Strøget during the night and especially in the weekend. Also go to Kødbyen (neighborhood) for a night out.

Ideal Bar Vega is a bar, music venue and night club. It's a great place to grab drinks or go out dancing.

Lidkoeb is a posh, three-floor whiskey bar with plenty of fireplaces, leather chairs, and vintage posters.

Check out Mikkeller Bar for all of your craft beer needs. You might have heard of this place before as they have locations in San Francisco, a brewery in San Diego, Berlin, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Romania, Thailand and a several other locations.

For a modern take on the iconic pub, head to The Barking Dog. It's relaxed and hygge and a perfect place to spend some time.

Jolene is a mix between bar and cafe, club and chill out that many attempt, but often fail.

For some seriously fine cocktails crafted with care, stop by Salon 39. They've got delicious food to boot.

A good cocktail bar over by the stork fountain called Bar No. 64 is a young and fun place to hang out.

For beer lovers, try Taphouse; they have 61 different beers on tap many of which are Danish.


Getting Around

The best way to get around Copenhagen is with a bike, but public transportation is easy too. Just use the app called Rejseplanen. You just type in where you are and where you want to go and then it'll create a route with all the transportation info.

If you rent a bike, make sure to abide by some tips:

  • Avoid biking in rush hour 07:00 - 09:00 and 16:00 - 18:00. Those are the worst hours, it's packed, so much so that you might be waiting a few green lights before you can go!

  • Signal with your hands and keep as close to the sidewalk as possible

  • Wear a helmet

Did you know: There are more bicycles than cars in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen, although in Scandinavia, is not as expensive as other Scandinavian countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden, etc. and many restaurants, bars, activities, etc. won't break the bank.

One of the many perks of working with Sapphire & Elm Travel to plan and book your next trip is our personal experience and connections around the world.

When you decide to visit Copenhagen, contact us to plan your trip so that it's as unique as you.

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