Cultural Hotspots: 6 of the Best Things to Do in Copenhagen

Published on 21st August 2013 by Suzel in Denmark

Alex and Shing's 6 picks of what to do over a weekend away in Copenhagen by Alex Shaw

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park and pleasure garden situated in the very heart of Copenhagen s city centre. Opened in 1843, it is the second oldest amusement park, and the second most popular seasonal theme park in the world, attracting over 4 million visitors a year!

Shing and I visited Tivoli mid-August, and immediately fell in love with it. The entire park is beautifully maintained, and feels as if you were stepping back in time.

We visited Tivoli once during the day where we rode the Daemon rollercoaster (much to Shing s dismay) my hearing still isn t quite right - and played on many of the vintage arcade games they have there, and then visited again in the evening which felt particularly magical and romantic as we were greeted by a fabulous brass band on the stage, and watched as lovers and friends danced arm in arm together, people sat drinking wine by the lakeside, and the smell of fresh Danish pastries in the air. Then at 11:45pm every Saturday evening, a beautiful firework display takes place, and we watched in awe as they exploded in faultless unison with the sounds of the orchestra in the background, and the reflection of colours in the lake illuminated Tivoli with hues of purples, reds, greens and blues.

The Church of Our Saviour

The Church of Our Saviour is a baroque church in the centre of Copenhagen, minutes walk from the entrance to Christiania. The Church of Our Saviour is most famous for its beautiful spiral staircase that winds anti-clockwise around the outside of the church s steeple (legend has it the architect who built the church, upon realising that the spiral was anti-clockwise instead of clockwise, threw himself from the top of the spire to his grizzly death below this however, has been refuted!)

Visiting the Church of Our Saviour really is an absolute must do whilst visiting Copenhagen. The views from the top are undoubtedly some of the best in Copenhagen, allowing a fantastic 360 degree panorama of the city. Climbing up through the many steep staircases of the church, some of them only the size of ladders, and seeing and listening to the prodigious bells is a fantastic experience. Warning many of the staircases as I said earlier are extremely steep, and it is a hard task to reach the top, so make sure you ve got good footwear and prepare yourself beforehand!

Nyhavn

It is impossible to visit Copenhagen without visiting Nyhavn, a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in the heart of Copenhagen (some say it is the heart!). Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, Nyhavn is lined with beautifully coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses, the oldest dating from 1661, and is full to the brim of restaurants, bars and cafes and many historical ships. You can really feel Copenhagen s history as you walk along Nyhavn. Hans Christian Anderson lived here (a plaque marks his address) and Kierkegaard nearby. Prepare yourself for crowds though, as Nyhavn tends to be extremely busy during the summer months, especially on the bridge and towards the top as this provides the prettiest photographic opportunity I should know, Shing insisted on me taking a picture of her, half an hour later, I finally managed to take one!

Christiania

No visit to Copenhagen is complete without a visit to Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 84 acres in the borough of Christianshavn. As Christiania is a Freetown, many outside laws do not apply, such as smoking in public places, and the infamous cannabis trade that thrives there on Pusher Street. Christiania has its own currency, L n, however Danish kroner are still accepted. Cafes, bars and stalls are scattered throughout the whole of Christiania, and many of the residents focus on recycling and nature, planting trees and flowers, all interspersed amongst the habitual Hemp plants - peace and love

Walking around the lake in Christiania, you can see many idiosyncratic constructions exemplifying modern architecture without architects where residents either live or use as shops, as well as a variety of street art that adorns many of the buildings there.

The Danish Museum of Art & Design

The Danish Museum of Art & Design is a museum in Copenhagen for Danish and international design and crafts. Housed in an old 17th century hospital, the museum features a large permanent collection of applied arts and crafts ranging from European and Asian textiles to Chinese ceramics, colonial furniture and 20th century design.

As a sculpture student in London, furniture design has always been a huge interest of mine, so when I found out that the Design Museum features a permanent collection of some of my favourite Danish designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen, excited would be an understatement! The museum features original drawings and models of many of the furniture, as well as a lovely garden, caf and shop.

The Meat Packing district

In the heart of Copenhagen, between Copenhagen Central Station and S nder Boulevard, you ll find K dbyen(pronounced "cool-boo-en ) which literally translates to the meat-town !

The Meatpacking District, a district of Vesterbro, has been an area which housed businesses relating to the meat industry for several decades. Since the early 2000 s the area has been changed into a new creative cluster with a trendy nightlife, new galleries and lots of high quality restaurants. Today the area is one of Copenhagen s most popular places to go out.

Shing and I were first told about the Meat Packing district when we asked where we could eat and have a few drinks on a budget! The hotelier told us that the Meat Packing district was only a two-minute walk away, and mentioned a place called K dbyen s Deli that served great food - boy, were we pleased when we got there! I ordered Brazilian steak with mashed potatoes and mustard seed, thyme, red onions and carrot puree, whilst Shing ordered Fish n Chips Danish style! These were cooked from fresh in front of you, and were served in a container which was eaten outside on tables or anywhere else you chose. The majority were sitting on the curb side with a beer in hand and a sky full of sun. Relaxation personified!

The meat packing district seemed to be the epicentre of cool in Copenhagen. Full of bars, cafes, art galleries, as well as ridiculously good-looking people (one thing you should know about Denmark is that EVERYONE is good-looking!)

Blog Author: Shing Yoong