On any visit to Copenhagen, AKA Bike City, there’s two things you really should do..
We arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark knowing very little of our new host city. But as we spent our days and nights exploring the many interesting streets and neighborhoods, the personality of Bike City was slowly revealed: Bicycles, getting high, and eating everything.
Be careful, or you might get run over by a bike. Seriously, there are bike lanes between the sidewalk and every street, and if you’re not paying attention, well, bad things could happen. Copenhagen was officially elected as the first Bike City, and there are more bikes in this city (560,000), than residents (520,000). 50% of the city commutes to work on their bicycles every day, sun or snow, and that figure includes 63% of all Danish Parliament members. An estimated 1.2 million kilometers a year are ridden on bicycle through Copenhagen. Be like a local and rent a bike, or simply step out of the way and leave it to the pros.
If you think that getting high may enhance your experience, there are some notable spots worth seeking out while visiting Copenhagen:
The Star Flyer, Tivoli Gardens
Vesterbrogade 3 | 1630 København
For a rush, head over to the beautiful Tivoli Gardens.. At 172 years old, Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Check out The Star Flyer, the adrenaline inducing swing-carousel, and fly over Copenhagen at 262 feet in the air.
The Tower, Christiansborg Palace
Prins Jørgens Gård 1 | 1218 København
Once home to Danish Kings and currently occupied by Danish Parliament, Christiansborg Palace claims fame as the highest tower in Copenhagen. Take two elevators all the way to the top for no charge, and see the city from heights of 347 feet!
Church of our Savior
Sankt Annæ Gade 29 | 1416 København
You can literally climb your way to the top of Church of Our Savior. The church was completed in 1752 with a spiral staircase that spirals four hundred steps to the top. The final 150 steps are on the outside of the steeple to a height of 295 feet above Copenhagen. The views are pretty incredible, and if it’s a windy day, hold on tight!
Prinsessegade | 1440 Copenhagen
If looking for a different kind of high, you may consider a stroll through Christiania. The commune of 850 residents formed within unused military grounds on the edge of Copenhagen in the 1970’s, and was granted a certain amount of autonomy from the Danish government in 1989. Within Christiania law, cannabis is openly sold on Pusher Street. It should be noted that cannabis is considered a controlled substance in the rest of Copenhagen and is not recommended taking outside of commune walls.
Copenhagen has burst onto the international food scene in the past few years, most notably with highly acclaimed Noma, a three-time winner of Best Restaurant in the World. Much credit is attributed to exceptional Scandinavian produce, and without Noma reservations made months in advance, we ate everything else Bike City could offer. Street food, markets, and fine dining, here we go!
Hotdog, Pigernes Polsebar
Axeltorv 5 | 1609 København V | Denmark
For the ultimate hot dog, order the Alm at Pigernes Polsebar, a crispy red wiener with fried onions, spicy mustard and pickles that is much larger than the bun. I know, you’ve had hotdogs before, but try this and tell me if you’ve tasted better..
Burger, Von Fressen
Vesterbrogade 124 | 1620 København V | Denmark
The classic cheeseburger is widely known as an American specialty, but they seem just as popular in Europe as back home.. We stopped into Von Fressen by chance, and were served quite possible the best burger that we have ever tried, anywhere. Check out the käseBurger: a juicy double cheeseburger with crispy bacon, jalapeños & a dollop of grain mustard on a homemade roll.
Pork Sandwich, Isted Grill
Istedgade 92 | 1650 København | Denmark
Step into this tiny Chinese/Danish fast food joint and order the famous Flæskesteg Sandwich.. Thick-cut roast pork is thrown on the grill until crispy, then stuffed into a soft roll and with braised red cabbage, pickled cucumbers and a touch of mayonnaise. A flavor/texture explosion in your mouth.. Absolutely amazing.
Høkerboderne 9 | 1712 København V | Denmark
Three things make a great pizza: Ingredients, sauce and crust.. Mother calls you home: Only the best Scandinavian produce available compliments craft ingredients from Italy. Cheese, tomato sauce, and fluffy sourdough crust is all made in-house, then baked to perfection in the wood-fired oven. Yum!
Food Markets: Kødbyens Mad & Marked, Torvehallerne, and Copenhagen Street Food
Kødbyens Mad & Marked | Flæsketorvet | 1711 København V
Torvehallerne | Frederiksborggade 21 | 1360 København K
Copenhagen Street Food | Papirøen | Trangravsvej 14 | hal 7 & 8 | 1436 København K
One way to spend a great Saturday in Bike City is by touring the city’s popular food markets.. We chose beers and ramen from the many food stands of Kødbyens Mad & Marked, a fun and boozy outdoor food market in the Meatpacking district.
Next stop, Torvehallerne, a grand indoor food market showcasing gourmet foods and wares.. We stopped by the Coffee Collective counter, for a cup of Copenhagen’s highest rated coffee (amazing!), then were off for our third and final stop: Copenhagen Street Food.
Housed in a giant warehouse on a pier overlooking the city’s waterfront, this could be our favorite spot in Copenhagen. DJ’s played while we grabbed a beer, perused the funky shipping container food stands, and ordered a mixed meat plate from a Brazilian charcoal grill.. With food, drink, and entertainment, we settled into a couple of lawn chairs on the water’s edge and watched the sun set over Copenhagen.
Upscale, Manfred’s and Vin
Jægersborggade 40 | 2200 København
Since we couldn’t get into Noma, we did a little research and found this gem of a restaurant and wine bar. Owned by former El Bulli and Noma chef Christian Puglisi, the place has a relaxed and rustic vibe.. We ordered the seven course chef’s choice menu and a nice bottle of wine, and couldn’t have been more pleased.. Simply put, the freshest ingredients are chosen each day and presented masterfully.. The perfect meal to cap off our time in Copenhagen.