October 18, 2013 by Matt
I’ll give you tips…
This will probably be the last time anyone does ask me for tips, because a friend of a friend made that mistake and I felt inspired to rattle off as much as I could think of. And after I’d done it, I figured it was a good enough snapshot of what I would recommend to someone to do when they visit here to share on the blog. So here’s the email, unedited but with many hyperlinks to keep you entertained.
Here’s a bunch of tips that I hope will be of use – hope there isn’t too much but I’ve made it my mission to do as much as possible here, so it’s a little hard to be selective sometimes, plus I figured it was better to give you everything I could think of and let you decide! And if you come across anything, like hotels, and want a second opinion just gimme a shout. These are arranged kind of geographically…
The old industrial area that’s now home to lots of interesting, cool stuff. And me and my wife and dog! Not sure of the dates of your visit but life in CPH is all about home entertaining so if you guys fancy coming round for a tea or a beer, we’re central in Vesterbro and would love to say hi, maybe at the beginning of your trip. We live on Sønder Boulevard, which is the cultural heart of Vesterbro and the road with some real gems on, like Dyrehaven, a fantastic mid-West US style bar with a limited but cheap menu, and Kihoskh – it’s ‘just’ a corner shop, but is a real hub. Buy some beers or coffee from there and pizzas from Itzy Bitzy next door, and sit on Sønder Boulevard and watch the folks and dogs go by and the kids in the basketball courts if you really want to live like a local for an hour.
Also on Sønder B is a great bit of street art – around the Metro work site, the hoardings have been brilliantly decorated by loads of artists. There are some great pieces there. It’s next to Kihoskh.
Just up the road is Enghave Plads – another square with more great art around the Metro site there. And the best baker’s in town (and it has stiff competition) at Brød. There are a couple of nice coffee shops too, and also off there comes Istedgade, which is an interesting road with cool clothes stores and ethnic food shops, as well another nice beer bar, Bang & Jensen.
At the other end of Sønder Boulevard is Kødbyen, the meat packing district – don’t expect NYC sizes though, it’s just a couple of blocks but has some great restaurants and bars, including pizza place Mother and a nice bar/restaurant called Pate Pate, and Fiskebar. It’s a buzzy area, for sure.
Yes, it’s an area as well as a beer! A stroll up through the old Carlsberg district is well worth it – it’s full of interesting architecture (including the Elephant Gate) and also has a pop-up market area at the moment called Boxland Bazaar. You could start at the Galleri Nicolai Wallner, which I confess I’ve never been to but it’s in a warehouse and comes recommended by a friend of mine who lives in London but heard great things about it. If you do go up through Carlsberg, at the top of Ny Carlsberg Vej are two fantastic parks next to each other – Søndermarken and Frederiksberg Gardens, from which you can get a free view of the zoo elephants if they’re getting an airing that day. And at one of the other entrances to that park, the one that’s at the top of Frederiksberg Alle, there’s a small museum to Danish cartoonist and satirist Storm P, which is a lot of fun.
If you come out of Frederiksberg Gardens you can find yourself at the top of Gammel Konge Vej, a big road with a lot of great boutique shops on. Further down it is a small road called Værnedamsvej, probably CPH’s nicest shopping street, and home to Granola, one of its best cafes and a great spot for brunch, though it’ll be packed at weekends. If you can’t get in to Granola though, try Laundromat on Gammel Kongevej – a diner style place, again with great brunches. More on brunch here.
Some random other things
Gigs – it’s often easier to get tickets here than London, so check out Vega (and Lille Vega) in Vesterbro and Pumpehuset in town if you fancy catching a band while you’re here.
Cocktails – Lidkøeb, Ruby’s and The Barking Dog are all worth a visit (I can help you book a table if need be). Ruby’s especially is very well respected as a cocktail bar, and is in town by the canal. I’d also highly recommend Nimb Cocktail Bar. Nimb is the complex of hotels and restaurants attached to Tivoli (which I presume you’ve read about elsewhere!), but don’t let that put you off. It’s a huge grand room, with sofas and armchairs given lots of space. Very nice. Cocktails!
The lakes – they’re obvious when you look at a map, and stretch from the top of Vesterbro up to Østerbro. They’re not only lovely to take a walk or a cycle up, but will also lead you into the edge of Nørrebro, which has some great places to go out in, including The Barking Dog (see above) and two great beer bars – Mikkeller (which also has a branch in Vesterbro) and Søerne’s Ølbar. And if you turn right off the lakes over Dronning Louises Bro and head straight down Frederiksborggade, you get to Torvehallerne – an indoor foodie market. From there, you’re a stone’s throw from The Round Tower, which has got CPH’s best view I think.
My favourite restaurant – Maven, in a church in town.
Graveyards – not the usual tourist fare, but Vestre Kirkegård is wonderful. If you like that sort of thing. It’s not far from Carlsberg at all and is my favourite place in the whole city, with the central duck pond being a highlight, where American jazz players are buried next to famous Danish prime ministers and musicians. There’s another big graveyard called Assistens, in Nørrebro, where Hans Christian Andersen is buried. Worth a visit.
Louisiana is a train ride out of town up the coast for half an hour, but bills itself as the world’s most beautifully set art gallery. Niche that may be, but it does a good job of putting on international shows. The Yoko Ono show was there recently.
Of all the museums, I’d recommend the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (nothing to do with beer). And it’s free on Sundays.
And last but not least, if you want to take home a piece of Danish crockery, or a quirky ornament, or pretty much anything else, then this flea market here is an absolute treasure trove. And huge. But check the opening days first.
There you go – and that’s not to mention the obvious things like Tivoli, or anything central, or Christiania, or any palaces or the Little Mermaid (DO NOT, repeat DO NOT waste your time going there). That’s not to say they’re not worth doing, it’s just there are better things to do and from what you said you were interested in, I hope the above is useful.
Let me know when you’re here and if you fancy popping by, otherwise, have a great trip!