Movies. I love movies. I’m a bit of a cinephile. Luckily for me, I got to live in Austin, TX for 5 years; a city full of cinephiles and the amazing Alamo Drafthouse. The Drafthouse throws a film festival once a year. Well, not just a film festival – THE film festival (at least for me). It’s days upon days of slick, stunning, mind blowingly weird genre films from all over the world. Every year I went I found myself adoring the films coming out of Scandinavia. Let The Right One In, Troll Hunter, Rare Exports, Klovn – I was hooked. Through these and the lovely introduction of Vikings, I was dreaming of the day I could make a trek north. Smart, beautiful, modern design, Nordic fjords, and fairy tales? Yeah, totally in.
Suffice to say, when I learned I’d be going to Copenhagen for 2 days, I was dancing with excitement.
Tokyo has a direct flight via SAS from Narita to Copenhagen that takes roughly 11.5 hours. If you arrive from the North and are sitting on the left side of the plane, you’ll catch a glimpse of Malmo, Sweden, and a really interesting island (Salthom) that has a smattering of unique houses.
A cab in to the city from the airport will cost around 300 dkk or $50 usd. Luckily, if you’re on a budget, there is a train from the airport to the heart of the city.
Most Copenhagen hotels seemed to be pretty reasonable price-wise. There was definitely a gap in the mid-high range, though. The available hotels were either cheap or really expensive. I ended up staying at Hotel Bethel, right in the heart of Nyhavn. It was a no frills hotel, for sure, but the location more than made up for the interior ambience. I think next time I will try an AirBnB boathouse along one of the canals!
Transport around the city is an absolute breeze. It’s pretty easy to walk anywhere you’d like, but if your feet start aching, you can hop on one of their metros or use a City Bike. Copenhagen has been consistently voted as one of the best (if not the best) cities in the world for bicyclists, so definitely take advantage of that. City Bike costs 25 dkk per hour and come equipped with a navigation and information system between the handle bars. I’d avoid cabs if you can, they’re quite pricy. Well, most things in Copenhagen are quite pricy so I guess it makes sense.
The city is absolutely stuffed with amazing restaurants and is quickly becoming known as one of the top destinations for unique Michelin-Starred restaurants. Noma is of course the darling of Denmark, but you’ll need to book it months in advance. My trips are usually pretty spur-of-the-moment, so there was no chance to get in. Geranium was another one that kept being mentioned by friends. Again, unfortunately no luck booking a table.
We did luck out with booking a table at Kong Hans Kaelder, however! Located just a 10 minute walk from Nyhavn, it was delicious and convenient. The building its housed in has an amazing pedigree, as well. Interesting to read up on! The food was absolutely amazing. I went full seafood and started with the scallops and finished with the Danish black lobster. Definitely worth a visit! Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of.
Nyhavn ˚ Portside ˚ Little Mermaid ˚ St. Alban’s Church ˚ Amalienborg
Kastellet ˚ Rosenborg Castle ˚ Smørrebrød ˚ Christiania
The Kastellet is encircled by tall earthen walls that have a pathway on them. It’s a perfect spot if you’d like to go out for a jog!
Well, it was a quick trip and I didn’t venture too far outside of where I was staying. I think it’s definitely plausible to accomplish this all in one day. It’s a leisurely 2 days if you don’t want to push yourself.
One place I definitely wanted to go to but missed is Paper Island, home of Copenhagen Street Food. If you enjoy food trucks, a chill vibe, and eating/drinking on the water, this seems like the perfect place to go.
Enjoy your travels! And pray for California weather.