A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
If you feel like a short weekend trip away from the Netherlands, and you have a few pennies to spare, a visit to Copenhagen is the perfect weekend away. The Danish capital has become the Scandi centre of cool, and it is no wonder considering the laid-back, stylish vibe that shrouds everything from the people to the smallest of bakeries.
Having never been to the Scandinavian area, Copenhagen feels unlike any other European city I’ve been to. A walk along the Nyhavn (the street of old colourful houses and boats that you will have seen in films), probably one of the most touristy but equally beautiful parts of the city, immediately makes you feel as if you are in a quaint Danish town. Despite the hoard of tourists here, and the long line of expensive restaurants, a walk down the side of the canal with an ice cream, or a drink outside, gives you a good feel for the city.
The usual Copenhagen taunts include a visit to the Tivoli Gardens, explore the hippy commune Christiania, and cross ‘The Bridge’ into Malmo in Sweden. I didn’t have the time to visit these places, which are all a reason to go back, but instead we saw a different side of Copenhagen; window shopping and walking in the streets of Vesterbro, a day trip to the ARKEN Museum, and hanging out in the Meat Packing District.
I was staying in the area of Frederiksburg, slightly west of the centre and next to Vesterbro which is packed full of trendy bars and shops. Head to Mad & Kaffe for lunch or a drink in the sun, and peruse the vintage shops that line the streets in this area! Find a sunny spot outside to eat your breakfast – you must buy a Tebirke from any bakery, it is similar to an almond croissant with poppy seeds on top and so tasty – and watch the world go by as the stylish people glide past on their bicycles. Just roaming and getting lost in the cool cobbled streets of Norrebro is a great way to while away an afternoon, or visit the Rosenborg Castle Gardens. You can’t miss The Little Mermaid in Osterport, but it is difficult to avoid the crowds here.
Along side Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Danish Art, and many more, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art situated by the sea is one of the best museums for contemporary art in the area and is well worth the 30 minute train ride to get there. As well as the vast variety of art you can see here, the beach which lies just a few meters over the hill, is a scenic view of the Danish seaside. We grabbed a quick lunch of fishcakes on rye bread (very Danish) from the Torvehallerne food market in the centre of the city (a sight in itself) on the way and ate it on the sunny (but cold) beach. I can’t recommend ARKEN more highly for a day trip out of the city and to see some Danish countryside!
There is so much more to see and do here and we barely scratched the surface, including a visit to the nearby city of Aarhus, but it’s the perfect place to relax and explore with friends whilst soaking up the culture.