Arriving at Copenhagen airport you have a number of choices for getting into the city, there is an excellent train service to Central Station every ten minutes which takes just over fifteen minutes, the metro also runs from the airport but there is not currently a stop at Central Station so it depends where your hotel is and lastly there is also a frequent bus service. Information on tickets and prices is easily available when you arrive.
Getting around the city is easy and there is a great network of buses, the metro, suburban rail and the water bus. A 24 or 72 hour day ticket is good value or you can buy single tickets.
Hotels are expensive, therefore use the usual booking web sites www.booking.com and www.venere.com and comparison sites to compare prices. We stayed at the DGI Byen, http://www.dgi-byen.com/hotels/dgi-byens_hotel which is part of a large conference and sports centre five minutes walk from Central Station and close to the trendy Vesterbro area. The rooms are very simple but a good size and the breakfast buffet which is included was excellent.
Copenhagen has gained a great reputation for food in recent years with the best known restaurant being Noma, number one in the world. You do not have to pay Noma prices to eat similar Nordic food as there is lots of choice to suit all wallets. There are a number of small restaurant groups that cater for the middle range and most of these have a formula on offer, for example set 3 course meals or a menu of 5 or 6 small plates. We tried examples of both types of set options and thought the food and format was excellent. Be aware that many restaurants close on a Sunday night so do your homework in advance.
Radio, Julius Thomsen Gade 17, not far from the centre but in a quiet area, this is up in the top choices in the city, you can have a 3 or 5 choice menu and we found the 3 perfectly filling, there are only 5 choices on the menu and while initially the description of just three ingredients per course may seem daunting the cooking is top notch. The staff are serious but helpful explaining the concept and ingredients. The wine list is unusual with a focus on German and Austrian wines but the waiters advice was excellent. It was expensive but not that expensive and worth the money. Booking essentiall, http://restaurantradio.dk.
Cofoco, Abel Catherines Gade 7, Vesterbro, does a set menu of small dishes or you can choose however many individual ones you want, very modern Scandinavian cooking with great combinations and flavours, very popular and booking is advised. This is one of a group of about 9 restaurants, http://cofoco.dk/da/restauranter we also tried Les Trois Cochons below.
Madklubben, Vesterbrogade 62, Vesterbro is part of another small group and has a set menu format, although you can just have a main course, the cooking is good with a reasonable choice and the atmosphere lively and drinks menu fairly priced. To check out their other venues go to, http://www.madklubben.dk/restauranter .
Falernum, Varnedsdamveg 16, Vesterbro, an excellent wine bar and eating place, although we did not eat there, we saw the food and tried the wines and would definitely try it on another occasion. The menu consists of small plates and has a modern Scandinavian twist, however the wines and beers have an Italian and Spanish focus. Again this is part of a small group, http://falernum.dk/info.
Les Trois Cochons, Varnedsdamveg 10, Vesterbro, part of the same group as Cofoco but with a French feel, the format here is that it is a set menu where you get a selection of starters, for the main there is a limited choice and with two people you have to have the same, then you have a selection of desserts. This may put you off but don’t let it, the food was excellent the only small complaint might be that there is a lot of it!
Sticks n Sushi, Istegade 62, Vesterbro, this was a chance find and an excellent one. There is mainly large communal tables but don’t let that out you off, the range of sushi and grilled meat and fish sticks, is vast, the staff helpful and the quality top notch, reasonably priced and very busy, we were lucky to get two seats late in the evening. They have a number of branches around the city, http://www.sushi.dk and a couple of places in London.
Kanal Cafeen, Frederiksholms Kanal 18, opposite the Slotshomen Island this is one of the best known places in the city to try a Smorrebrod , open sandwich lunch, it is incredibly busy so book or go late, they were by far the best we tried for both quality and the way they were served.
There is a fantastic food market in Norrebro, Torvehallerne, Frederiksborgaade, we visited on a Saturday and it was packed, there are loads of small places to eat with a huge variety of foods. We tried Bottega della Pasta and eventually got two of the prized seats and had a great fresh pasta dish and a glass of wine.
Malbeck, Istegade 61, Vesterbro is a wine bar which, no surprise, specialises in Argentinian wines and in particular Malbec. It is a small place with limited seating but very popular and the wines are excellent, they have happy hour between 4pm and 6pm when wines by the glass are half price. The staff are very helpful and it is definitely worth seeking out, they have another branch in Norrebro.
Mikkeller, Viktoriagade 8, Vesterbro, is a very small bar owned by the micro brewery of the same name, they have a couple of bars in Copenhagen as well as one in San Francisco and one in Bangkok. There is a wide range of beers and they are top quality, not cheap even by Copenhagen standards but well worth trying.
Jernbane Cafeen, Reventslowgade 16, opposite the back entrance to Central Station is the railway bar, you have to visit it to see why, but even if you are not a train fan, it is worth a visit, a real local Copenhagen bar.
Café Skammekrogen, Svendsgade 1, Vesterbro, this is one of a number of bars and cafes in this little square, it is definitely the locals choice, probably as it is one where you can still smoke, have a good sing song and drink very cheap beer.
There are a number of bars, cafes and restaurants along Nyhaven and most are expensive and very touristy, one little one that seemed more of a locals haunt was Klods Hans although Nyhaven 17 one of the more touristy ones is a lovely old bar. In the winter try the mulled drinks, just what you need after sightseeing.
Lots of bars have happy hours, the prices vary hugely from one place to another, the further out of town you go the cheaper.
The Danes certainly enjoy a drink and know how to have a good time, alcohol is expensive but not as pricey as its Scandinavian neighbours. There is a decent choice of beers so you can avoid Carlsberg and there are often festive varieties and in addition there are a few micro breweries. The bars seem to be upmarket with cocktails etc. or slightly grungy with mainly beer.
Happy hours are very common and a good way to save money if you want to have a drink before dinner.
Akvavit, a flavoured spirit, is of course a famous Danish drink and is commonly offered at lunchtime if you have a Smorrebrod lunch, personally it is too strong for me and especially at lunch time, a beer is just perfect.
Wine is becoming more popular and Spanish wines in particular are popular although many restaurants offer German and Austrian varieties,
The city is small enough to walk round most parts which is great, make sure that as well as the old parts like picturesque Nyhaven, you also see some the great new architecture such as the Black Diamond Library, the Opera House and the National Theatre.
The Little Mermaid is a must although a good walk from the centre and to be honest a bit of a disappointment.
The second must is the Tivoli Gardens, open in the summer and from mid November to the end of December. It is mainly a giant fairground and I didn’t think that I would enjoy it but at Xmas it is lovely and well worth the visit. There are loads of places to eat inside and also a beer garden but if you need some luxury you can access the bar at the five star Nimb Hotel from inside the gardens.
The Swedish city of Malmo is thirty five minutes away across the Oresund Bridge, the trains run every twenty minutes and it is worth doing although not on a Sunday when Malmo is very quiet. To see the bridge and the Santiago Calatrava designed Turning Torso building is a long walk from the station, check out with the tourist office how to get there by bus.