24 hours in Copenhagen: Eat, Drink and Be Cultural

Home to some of the best sustainable design, fusion restaurants, and cultural spots in Europe, there are few places as culturally and contemporarily cool as Copenhagen. Any amount of time in the city is time well spent; even if you’ve only got a few hours to kill, you can fit in a surprising amount. Got twenty-four hours? Even better. A day spent in Copenhagen will be unlike anything you’ve ever done before – all that’s left is for you to get your walking shoes on, pack your camera, and head out into the city.

Copenhagen is packed full of great eating options and finding a hearty breakfast in the city is incredibly easy. While you can track down any of the local hipster cafes or restaurants dotted around the city, making your way to the local food market, Torvehallerne, might be your best best. Brought together under two large glass pavilions, many of the city’s most popular cafes and food shops have small stalls here that are open all year round. Places like the Coffee Collective are a must if you’re a fan of smooth, sweet brews, but if you have breakfast in mind, make a beeline for Grød. Serving up a range of oaty snacks and meals, the stand is famous for its creamy porridge. Get there early; locals like their oats first thing and the shop sells out quickly.

Food taken care of, you can now begin to explore the city. Located just across the street from Torvehallerne are the botanical gardens which, while incredibly beautiful even during the winter months, really come to life when in bloom. Stroll leisurely through the leafy paths and head towards the tropical pavilions which overlook the park. Full of tropical plants, the glasshouses are completely free to enter and a sight worth seeing.

If shopping is your thing, set your sights on Guldbergsgade, a neighborhood that is renowned for its excellent independent stores and fashion labels. Fit to bursting with unique Scandi style, shops like Adelié and Acne are particularly popular amongst tourists and locals alike and are well worth a browse. If the weather’s good, you can rest your feet by taking a short break in Sankt Hans Torv, a busy hangout and sunspot.

For a quick pick me up, pop into Kaffebar, one of the most popular coffee spots in the city. Serving up every kind of coffee imaginable, the small cafe is renowned for its knowledgeable baristas and diverse brews. Take one to go or sit a while and kick back.

After eating a little something and refueling, it’s time to get down to some serious sightseeing. Perhaps plan to explore the city’s spectacular Royal Palace, opera house, and National theater, all of which are within close proximity of each other and away from the busier shopping areas. If you don’t fancy taking a closer look inside the buildings, make your way to the Nyhavn district, one of the oldest parts of the city. The area, a harbour, is renowned for its brightly colored buildings and waterside hangouts, perfect for soaking up a few rays.

Once you’ve made your way down to the water, consider visiting the city’s Black Diamond library, one of the most architecturally recognizable buildings around. Attached to the older library at the back, the Black Diamond is a relatively new addition and looks out across the water. Entrance is free and the design inside is certainly worth further investigation.

When it comes to late night dining, you’re incredibly well catered for in the city no matter what you’re on the hunt for. While places like Noma and Mother are both very popular, restaurant Höst is well worth a try. Presenting a whole range of Danish inspired cuisine, the place serves up a menu that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Kitted out with a traditional Scandi interior, this restaurant is the epitome of Copenhagen cool and will finish off the day perfectly.

If you’re still searching for more, continue the night in any of the city’s bars or pubs. Places like Jolene or Bakken both make great options and are usually packed with locals letting off steam at the end of a long day. After your own day in Copenhagen, you might just not want to leave.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.

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