While we certainly cannot complain about our vacation schedules here in Switzerland, nor our proximity to so many wonderful destinations, we still get stuck in the regular routine of jobs and weekends full of errands and catch-up at home just like we would if living anywhere else.
We have been trying to keep this more in mind this year, especially since traveling isn’t really going to be easier with a baby, so when we stumbled across an extra cheap deal on airfare to Copenhagen we decided to go for it. A couple of months had passed since our last true vacation, and several years since our last city weekend getaway (Vienna in 2013), and so we were both thrilled to be off early on a Saturday morning for three days of exploring.
Mid-March is undoubtedly not the ideal time to first visit Copenhagen, but other than a very cold wind that kept us walking at a brisk pace, it really wasn’t a bad time either. Martin had already been to the city before, but for me everything was new. We didn’t plan much of a formal agenda, except several good meals, shopping, and the obligatory walk to the Little Mermaid. We ended up averaging nearly 8 miles of walking a day, a good part of which may have been spent in endless circles inside some of the Danish and Scandi-design stores that were higher on my to-do list than the museums and, luckily thanks to the aforementioned wind and high percentage of comfy lounge furniture, were also not a problem for Martin either.
After leaving our bags at the hotel, we headed off for a little walking and shopping before a planned late lunch at Relae in the Nørrebro neighborhood. One of several recommendations from a recent WSJ article about eating in Copenhagen, we had reserved a table for the only available time that weekend and looked forward to our first experience of the “new Nordic” cuisine with small plates and inventive combinations.
Once seated I selected the herbivore menu and Martin, the omnivore. You can see the main ingredients on the menu below, but it gives no real hint as to the preparation. For example, the “Baked potato, bread and citrus” was really a richly roasted potato puree topped with bread crumbs and dehydrated citrus. I should have taken a few more pictures, but was a little too busy wondering about the next plate and devouring the still warm sourdough bread to capture anything but the dessert–mascarpone ice cream with almonds and dehydrated black olives. It wasn’t a meal I would want every day, but I did really enjoy it nonetheless.
Afterwards, we wandered down the street Jægersborggade which has been revitalized in the last few years with shops and restaurants. We stocked up on some delicious caramels, ogled bakery items, Martin picked up a few special beers to bring home, and I looked somewhat longingly at The Coffee Collective even though I was far too full to consider coffee. Eventually we walked back to the hotel via a large park and settled in for a little nap. This afternoon siesta turned out to be a daily routine during our trip, perhaps thanks to all the walking in combination with being 14 weeks pregnant at the time. By the evening, we only ventured as far as the surprisingly great burger place next to our hotel, Cocks & Cows, before cuddling up with a movie.
The next morning, after a delicious breakfast buffet, we were off to explore more of the city, including colorful Nyhavn, a walk past the Lego store and through several other shops, and a long, cold walk out to the Little Mermaid. I was particularly thankful for Martin’s height and presence while at the Mermaid, as I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to capture any shot without also including one of the many Asian tourists who were busily posing around her tiny pedestal.
We ended our afternoon touring watching the changing of the guard at the palace before getting snacks and heading back for another siesta and reading at the hotel until we headed out for a delicious dinner. Bæst, another WSJ recommendation, focused on sourdough pizzas topped with freshly made mozzarella and house-cured meats. I loved the pizza, and Martin definitely enjoyed the charcuterie selection. We finished the evening at the Mikkeler Bar, and we all went to bed happy.
The next morning we again enjoyed the breakfast buffet and spent most of the morning completing our shopping errands considering a few potential items for the nursery, as well as exploring the depths of Royal Copenhagen, the weedy, third-world atmosphere of Christiania, and few more snacks around town before packing up and heading home to Zurich. As we headed out of town, we stumbled across the only Starbucks location in Copenhagen and we didn’t even stop.
It was a weekend well spent, with lots to look forward to for our next visit.
- stay // Hotel SP34 – We really enjoyed our stay at this newly renovated, mid-size hotel which was well-located, clean, and comfortable. My favorite feature, other than the comfy lounge with fireplace and good wifi, was the individual wooden headboards with adjustable pillows which made the afternoon siesta/reading hour part of our itinerary particularly relaxing.
- eat & drink // Relae, Cocks & Cows, Baest, Mikkeler Bar, The Coffee Collective, Bottega Della Pasta, Meyer’s Bakery, Peter Beier Chocolate
- shop // Illum’s Bolighus, Hay, Royal Copenhagen, & Other Stories, Lego, Stilleben, etc.
All these, and other favorites, can be found on my Copenhagen Google map.