Spring in Copenhagen

After a trip to Thailand, we wanted to organize a 3-day weekend in a new European capital in April, not far from Paris and where we had never been. We’ve been thinking about visiting a Scandinavian city for a while now, so we chose to take our first northern steps by checking out the city of Copenhagen.

Daisy and I prefer the heat and we don’t like the cold so heading to a northern country was not natural for us.

After looking at the annual weather forecasts, we learned that April was the best time to visit a city like Copenhagen. The temperature is warmer, and winter is over.

Since I do photography, I'm more curious about visiting new places, and Copenhagen seemed to have a lot of assets like its architecture and its famous harbor.

It’s that kind of city where you can do everything on foot or by bike. Where it’s quite easy to let loose and aimlessly explore the pretty old streets.

In two days, you can get a pretty good overview of the main things to do in Denmark's capital. We stayed for three days and that was the perfect amount of time to feel the vibes of this pretty Nordic city.

Most of the time when we plan short weekend trips, we do it because we are inspired by photos on Instagram, then we quickly check to see if there are some interesting things to visit. If it matches with our expectations, like the architecture, modern art museums, etc., we book our flights then we wait until the travel day to get more information about the place and how we are going to spend our days there.

How to get to Copenhagen?

When you live in Paris or in Europe, you have a chance to pick from a large number of low-cost airlines that allow you to go to a lot of countries for a small sum. We chose Easyjet. Regarding our expectations, we mainly wanted a flight there that wasn’t too early and a late flight back. We booked 2 round trip tickets for 320€ two months prior to the departure for April 20th to 22nd.

The flight from Paris only lasts two hours, which is pretty nice and not a tiring trip.

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Exploring the Nobis Hotel

Choosing a hotel is the most important thing for us. We do have some specific requirements such as the location, the comfort and the style of the hotel. The hotel needs to meet these three conditions in order for us to make final our decision. Staying close to the city center gives you the opportunity to go everywhere within walking distance.

We finally chose to stay at the Nobis Hotel, a five-star hotel, because of its design style and location. It is near the Tivoli Gardens, the Central Station, the City Hall and in walking distance of the Nyhavn.

The building is a massive structure built in 1903. It housed the Royal Danish Academy of Music for years before becoming the Nobis Hotel.

The entrance is very impressive with its magnificent marble staircase. The lobby and the rooms are elegant and warm. The decor is contemporary Scandinavian design in a timeless environment. All of these points give you the feeling of an authentic soul.

We only have two critiques: the small size of the Deluxe room and the poor vegan options at breakfast while the non vegan buffet looked fresh and delicious. (Are you referring to the buffet because you didn’t have access to it because it wasn’t vegan? If yes, you could make that clearer by pointing that out.)

We thought that rooms were only small in Paris, so we didn't expect that in Copenhagen rooms could be so small as well.

Things to do in Copenhagen

Usually, we dedicate our first day to exploring a new city to get a first glance of the new place.

This time, we got to the hotel at around 2 pm then we took a moment to inspect our room, but we were so excited to see Copenhagen that we quickly left the hotel to start wandering. The weather was on our side, it was warm and sunny!

The goal was to reach the iconic and photogenic harbor Nyhavn, where Hans Christian Andersen lived and wrote some of his first fairy tales. On our way, we strolled the old streets and we went to the rooftop of the Illums Bolighus department store to see the view of the long Strøget street. Outside, people were chilling on long chairs and having a good time! That was surprising to see such good vibes in Copenhagen.

We finally arrived at the oh so pretty Nyhavn before sunset. The harbor is surrounded by restaurants and bars and was not so crowded. After taking some pictures, we headed to the seaside, where we passed the Royal Danish Playhouse, before making it to the Amalienborg Palace: the winter residence of the Queen. There’s also a stunning view of the monumental Frederick's Church or Marmorkirken. It was late, and we didn't plan to visit the church but as it was closing 10 minutes after we got there we went in to have a quick look. The dome is impressive due to its size, as you can see in the picture below! Even if you don’t go inside, the building is worth seeing!

When we’re traveling I always wake up early once or twice to explore the city when the inhabitants are still asleep.

So that's what I did the next day! I took a rental bike and ambled through the city for 2 hours, taking a bunch of photos. It's definitely the best moment for me to enjoy the peace of a city! I of course went to the Nyhavn! I rode until St Alban's Church where there were some pretty blooming cherry trees.

That same day we took the train to Louisiana, a modern art museum located on the Humlebæk coast. It’s about 40 minutes from Copenhagen’s Central Station. Everyone who’s been to Copenhagen highly recommended a visit to this special place. Once we got there, it took maybe ten minutes to reach the museum on foot. It is a modern building nestled in a huge garden, from which you can see the Swedish coasts.

We saw the Picasso ceramics exhibition, that featured quiet unseen and interesting works from Picasso. Actually, we didn't know that Picasso also worked on ceramics! Then we strolled in the museum, examining Danish and international artists’ works from the Louisiana Collection which featured sculptures and paintings from the well-known Giacometti, Kandinsky, Warhol or Lichtenstein. Strolling in the garden is pleasant because there are a lot of sculptures scattered around it. Art and nature are made one!

We enjoyed our lunch in the garden, like everyone as it was sunny.

We spent 3/4 hours there and then took the train back to Copenhagen.

After we got back, we still had a few hours to visit the city, so we took rental bikes and headed to the Freetown of Christiana, an artistic and independent free state in the heart of the Danish capital. It's really unusual to see this kind of city living by its own rules nowadays, especially here. Christiana was founded in 1971 in an abandoned military field by artists and people who wanted to live an alternative lifestyle. They made their own rules and developed their own energy to be free, but since 2012, they pay Danish income tax for waste disposal services. Be aware, Christiana is also well known for its cannabis trade. It's quite surprising to see so much cannabis shops in the streets. If you are looking to go off the beaten path, you can't visit Copenhagen without exploring Christiana!

We left Christiana just before sunset and headed back to the hotel passing by the Christianshavn's canal. On the way, we stumbled on some cherry blossoms in Rosenborg park at sunset. We love this kind of unexpected moment!

For the last day, we had a few things to do. We began by visiting Rosenborg Castle, which was a pretty great place! It is interesting to do the visit if you like castles in general. The last floor is worth it for its impressive ceiling.

Instagram is incredible because it helps you to discover new and hidden spots. On the other hand, sometimes these spots can get crowded because of the bloggers who want to take the same photos as their competitors! Thankfully, that was not the case in the skatepark of Superkilen Park. It's quite far from downtown Copenhagen and we got there on our bikes. Honestly, there's nothing to do apart from taking some photos, so if your time is limited, you can easily skip this part of the city.

We also went to the Danish Jewish Museum. We visited this tiny museum to understand how the jews of Denmark lived and live nowadays, so if you are interested in the same and you have one hour to spend on it, we recommend taking a short visit. The architecture is incredible, we never saw such not straight walls. Plus, you can take advantage of this visit to see the Royal Library. It's such a beautiful building covered with ivy! We didn't go in because it was closed on Sunday.

In this area, you can also take a look at the Borsen Palace and its fantastic architecture.

Some funny things:

  • The bikes are made for Scandinavian people who are taller than Mediterraneans. And the height of bicycles’ handlebars are set up for them, so that makes it a little less comfortable to use because you can’t adjust them.

  • We didn't see the Little Mermaid because it was too far.

How did we manage being Vegan in Copenhagen?

In Copenhagen you can find a lot of vegan, vegetarian or veg-friendly places, you just have to check out HappyCow.

We ate a vegan burger at Friends and Brgrs, which was good but not the best one either we ever ate, and we had some Margarita pizzas without cheese at Gorm's restaurants. The dough of their pizzas is thin and crusty, not like we’re used to eating but they were tasty and they accepted removing the cheese.

We also went to the Tivoli food market, where we found some restaurants with vegetarian and vegan options.

I spotted a vegan ice cream spot on the Internet called Nicecream located at Elmegade Street. Their ice cream is made with coconut milk and they are so tasty!

In collaboration with the Nobis Hotel

Copenhagen Photo Gallery

Herve MouyalComment