Copenhagen, Denmark

I had so much fun in Copenhagen. As I was downloading photos to use for this blog post from my Google Photos account, I realized that I did a really bad job in photo documenting what I did that weekend. There are large gaps in my timeline and also times when I took no photos. I’ll have to make due with using some images from my Instagram story to try and fill the gaps.

But with that said, Copenhagen is a beautiful city brimming with energy. Looking back at the photos and thinking about my trip gets me excited to write this post. Let’s jump on in. This is new country of the month for June!

On Friday, June 14, 2019 at 9:00PM, we arrived at our new home for the weekend, the Generator Hostel. I’ve stayed with this hostel chain before in the past and know them to have quite large facilities with lots of events. My experience was positive, so I booked a private room for Erick and I at Generator.

Here’s a shot down one of the stairways that had different colored neon lights on each floor. The hostel had a huge bar with a ton of bar games. It was a popular spot for locals, travelers, and afterwork happy hour goers. There’s also an ice bar in the building (but we didn’t go).

Once we finished getting settled into our room, we headed out to our reservation at the nearby restaurant, Pluto.

Arriving at the restaurant, I saw that the clientele was 100% white folks. It made me a bit nervous to be honest, but when I walked in, no one paid much attention to us. It was awesome. There were people who looked at us, but their eyes didn’t linger and their eyebrows didn’t twitch. You’d be surprised, we get a lot of questionable glances when we wander into nice restaurants around Europe. None here though. That’s how we knew right away that Copenhagen was going to be a good time. They aren’t racist.

We got the set menu and the food was fantastic. I would highly recommend going there if you’re ever in town.

After the restaurant stops serving dinner, it turns into a cocktail bar.

By the time we finished eating, it was quite late (our dinner reservation started at 10:15PM, I can’t believe the restaurant accepts such late dinner reservations). We walked around the neighborhood, which consisted mostly of bars. This was the night that I saw way too many guys peeing. Literally within eyesight, I could see more men peeing than I can count on with my two hands. That’s a lot.

It was too crazy outside. I saw drunk people trying to bike, bar fights, and even a guy getting slapped! More than enough for me, without even having to step into a bar. Good first night, Copenhagen.

The next day, I was woken up at 4AM by bright sunlight glaring into our bedroom window. I guess that means it’s time to wake up?

We started our day fairly early, around 8AM. To my surprise, we found a small coffee shop, Kafferiet, open nearby the King’s Garden.

The girl working there was busy scrambling to clean up a ton of broken glass from the night before. Apparently a group of people had used the shop’s patio furniture at night and left a mess. That sucks, but she was really friendly and a good sport about it. After talking with her for a while, we found out that she had recently moved to Copenhagen from Portugal and that she loves it there. We love it, too. It made us want to move there talking to her.

We strolled along the garden pathways while Erick sipped on his iced coffee with oat milk. Within the rose garden, we saw a group of young boys who looked to have stayed out the entire night. One of them must have passed out while the other two accompanied him overnight on a park bench. Now that’s friendship.

We passed through the Rosenborg Castle that’s next to the park. There was a drawbridge that overlooked a half-moat that contained a variety of koi fish. Outside of the castle premises, there were guards with super huge guns patrolling. Inside of the gift shop, we saw some tourists trying to purchase goods. They were all lost in translation with the shopkeeper, as there was an issue with their payment but they couldn’t understand what was going on. I felt bad and wished I could have helped.

Continuing out the back street entrance to the castle, we walked a few blocks over to Torvehallerne, a local marketplace with lots of yummy food stalls. This is another must visit location (if you’re in the area and looking for a good cheap bite). We grabbed one of Denmark’s famous open face sandwiches from here. There were so many people taking photos of the sandwiches, it’s a pleasure to watch them create one.

I took my first Lime Scooter ever in Copenhagen. I’ll say, I was quite nervous to ride a scooter on the street in a foreign country, but it was hella fun. Less so when riding on cobblestones, but that’ll still give me the giggles.

We scooted our way over to the Round Tower, yet another visiting recommendation. It’s very affordable to go up the tower, unlike most other countries’ attractions. From the top of the tower, you can get a spectacular view of Copenhagen. It’s not the best view though, because it’s very flat and not the most exciting cityscape. My favorite part of the tower was actually just walking up and down it. The architecture is fun (and makes for great photos).

Besides that, there were other things to see within the tower as well! I don’t know how this even makes sense, but there was a huge art exhibit going on when we went. I guess the tower is actually connected to a building? It has to be, haha, it ain’t a TARDIS, aimirite?

Once we finished touring the tower, we did the most logical thing, check out a bookstore and then grab a couple of beers. It was nice sitting outside (before it got rainy) and people watching. I listened in on a couple of walking tours, one of which was led by a young Filipino-American female from California!

While enjoying ourselves, we heard a band approaching. Then we started to see a cluster of red, growing larger and larger. It was the parade for the celebration of Denmark’s 800 year old flag! We quickly downed our beers and joined along.

Following the parade led us to the City Hall Square, where there were performances and generally a lot of people. There was one crazy guy however, who was aggressively parading around a giant Swedish flag. Now that’s gotta be one of the most cringey no-no things that I’ve witnessed. The dude was Asian too, common.

Next we went to Tivoli Gardens. It’s the 3rd oldest amusement park in the world, FYI (who keeps track of these things anyways?)! If you’re in Copenhagen during the summer, go here on a Friday night and you’ll get to enjoy a free music concert — and I’m talking about artists that you’ve probably heard of. But if not on a Friday in the summer, still go. We went just for a couple of hours on a pouring Saturday afternoon and still had a blast. I had this on my list but didn’t think much of it, and in fact almost skipped it. Boy am I glad we went to check it out, it’s so charming!

There are different levels you can pay for the entrance fee. We paid for the most basic, which means that we have to pay a la carte for all rides. That worked out well for us, since we mostly wandered around and admired the magical atmosphere of the park (including arcade games and feeding the fish and birds).

For an early dinner, we took another Lime Scooter over to this other area that has a bunch of food places. There’s Kødbyens Fiskebar (old seafood restaurant) and Hija de Sanchez (good Mexican food), but we ended up eating at Warpigs Brewpub. I was hella surprised, but Warpigs serves some authentic American barbeque. The beers on tap were great, too. If only I was more hungry so that I could have tried more of everything!

This is when I realized how awesome the food scene in Copenhagen is. There’s a legit quality and authenticity to all of the diverse food offerings. This is what my current city that I call home lacks, unfortunately.

Alright, now the rest of the trip gets a bit fuzzier… and no, I didn’t do any whip its, but this is the trip where I discovered what whip its are. So I first noticed these little tin canisters all over the streets the first night we arrived. I started to do some research to try and find out why there were so many on the ground.

After some research, I learned that it’s basically nitrous oxide — the kinda stuff that’s used for whipped cream canisters. It gives you a short high. Who woulda guessed?! The youth these days are weird, haha. At least don’t trash your tins all over the streets, sheesh.

Anyways, I’m getting distracted. We make our way over to Amalienborg, the Queen’s winter palace. Here, you see that I’ve been caught in action, walking around filming an IG story (probably). These type of places are the most boring to go visit, IMO. But, we had the time, so why not.

Walking towards the water, we could see the Copenhagen Opera House across it. Just to the right of the opera house were a bunch of people playing canoe polo. This is actually my first time watching this sport. It was very interesting to watch.

We concluded our day out with a stroll (with a sh*t ton of photos) on Nyhavn. This is the iconic Copenhagen that you typically see on IG and blogs. It’s pretty.

We made our way back to the hostel after this. That pretty much sums up our Saturday night.

Sunday was a whole different kinda day, weather-wise. The sun was shining and the temperature was slightly warmer.

We started the day heading back towards the same area that we left off the night before, Nyhavn. As we were walking towards the bridge to cross over to Christiania, we got distracted by a game of volleyball. It was an intense game. Erick made us move a little farther away though, because he didn’t like the pressure of possibly having to return serve the ball back to the players if it fell out of the sand pit. He got an ice coffee from a nearby vendor and we went on our way.

All of the cities that have water canals are simply gorgeous. I love it! But what Copenhagen has that all of the other cities don’t have is super large dedicated bicycle lanes, everywhere. This has got to be a bike commuter’s dream city.

Anyways, so we were on our way (walking) to the REFFEN outdoor food court. If there’s anywhere to visit in Copenhagen for food, I recommend going to REFFEN. The only thing is it’s at the far end and not very walkable. You’ll either need to take a bike or Lime Scooter over.

Along the way, we stopped by a farmer’s market. There was also a driving school nearby where I saw 2 sedans driving backwards the entire time I was at the farmer’s market. That’s a lot of backwards driving!

Now back to REFFEN. During the time that we were visiting, there was also a Photo Festival going on, hosted by the Copenhagen Contemporary art museum. I’m not a big photography connoisseur, so we skipped.

But REFFEN was awesome. It definitely exceeded my expectations, both in grandeur, food diversity, and food quality. There were in fact 3 or 4 Mexican food stalls. What more can I ask for?

We went to 3 of the 4 Mexican food vendors. One of the 3 that we went to turned out that they only make tortillas and don’t actually sell food. That made me want their tortillas, haha.

Next to REFFEN, we grabbed some beers at the brewery, Mikkeller Baghaven. We carried our beers with us and set up some lounge chairs to sit and watch people at the skatepark. This was a nice way to unwind, with the water at our backs, sea breeze in our faces, sun high in the sky, and father-daughter/sons making rounds along mini-quarter pipes and decks.

Finishing up our drinks, we wandered our way through an antique shop. I can’t wait to have my own home so that I can furnish it with antiques.

Next we arrived at Copenhagen Contemporary art museum (not for the photo festival, just the current exhibitions).

It was quite expensive, roughly $35 per ticket, to see the 3 exhibits.

What made me angry was that one of the exhibits turned out to be in the lobby/gift store area, so I had already technically seen it for free. Fos’ Hands Smooth by Coins was an installation which was specifically designed to exist somewhere between exhibition space and commercial shop window. It definitely created tension alright, and lots of angry remorse over having to pay to see this. In the end, what exactly is art?

The other two were cool, but there wasn’t any permanent collection on view. Here’s a shot of myself playing around in Claudia Comte’s I Have Grown Taller from Standing with Trees.

The last exhibit, Lengua Llorona, by Donna Huanca featured large paintings and sculptures. It was a nice collection.

After some amusement and disappointment from the art exhibits, we moved back towards the hippie town of Christiania, yet another must visit destination. This is probably what sold Copenhagen for me.

In the distance, on the right side of my photo, you can see the Church of Our Saviour.

Christiania is a magical community center safe haven for those living a completely independent life from the government. Basically, Denmark sold this piece of land to a group of people to do with as they want. It’s thriving!

I loved all of the music and art everywhere. This art piece below was being created collaboratively with recycled wood.

There’s also this area where you can buy weed in the form of flower, hash, and pre-rolled joints. Within this area, you are not allowed to take any photos. If you are seen taking a photo, everyone around you will call you out and yell at you. Don’t be that person. You’ll know when you’re in this area because there are Chinese lanterns hanging and umbrellaed tables manned by various drug dealers. Totally safe and unintimidating.

Here I am on my way to a local art gallery featuring various artists from the community. What a treat!

And because it was Sunday, we went to Cafe Nemoland for their free concert. I’d go here every Sunday if I was living in Copenhagen. It’s a sweet spot, but you’ll want to hang around early to grab a seat.

We choose to sit up on the hill behind the bar. It was a good time hanging out and seeing how life could be like in Copenhagen. The feel of the neighborhood felt more authentic to me than say, hanging out in Amsterdam.

I was pretty heat exhausted after sitting outside for so many hours to wait for the concert. In fact I got a gnarly sun tan on my chest, it hurt!

For dinner, we tried to eat out at several different restaurants, but in the end failed either due to missing the opening times and lack of decisiveness. So we just ate at the hostel (which has good food!). I got some loaded chili fries and Erick got a pizza, I call that a win-win situation.

We tried to play some games at the hostel, but everything was booked. No big deal, we got some beers and took a nice outdoor stroll around the area.

Our flight out was Monday night, which meant we had to work remotely from Copenhagen.

In the morning up until lunch time, we worked from Studenterhuset. This was a great place to work from, and the concept of the cafe is really interesting. It’s a fully student run cafe that’s operated by the University. All student workers are volunteers, but all of the proceeds go back towards the students.

They had great food and drinks, plus a wide variety of facilities to work as you please (the way you like it!).

For lunch, we went back to Torvehallerne, mostly because it’s quick and easy. After lunch we finished up our work day at Emmerys Nørreport. This was another great cafe to work out of, as they had a coworking space on the second floor with an outdoor patio area. My last meeting this day finished around 6PM.

Before our flight back to Switzerland, we caught some sun and sat on the grass at King’s Garden. There were a lot of ladybugs at that time. Erick put every single one he could find on me. I probably had at least 7 or 8 crawling on me by the end.

A nice end to our trip, at the airport we ran into our friend, Martin! He’s actually the one who gave me all of the Copenhagen recommendations (he’s from there). What a nice way to wrap up the end of a great weekend.

We’ll definitely be back again! Thanks for the good memories.

x Sarah

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