If you’re looking for a fantastic country to visit with plenty of delicious food, friendly people, and the most beautiful buildings, then I highly recommend you check out Copenhagen, Denmark! It was one of the greatest trips I have taken and the culture was remarkable and so refreshing!
This trip was all around laid back, plan free, and we just went where the days (and the rain) took us. I traveled with a new friend of mine and after 22 hours of plane rides, 3 airports, 5 hours in the car, 5 days in a hotel together, and a partridge in a pear tree, we are still friends. Successful trip for sure!
For starters, we found our plane tickets for a steal through Icelandair from DFW>KEF>CPH and the flight was easy peasy, the staff was friendly, and there were no delays. We booked a hotel in the city center so we would be in the heart of everything and it was honestly the perfect location for our trip.
We received a friendly text reminder that it was the last call for boarding and sprinted towards the gate. Apparently, Icelandair boards more quickly than any other airline I have ever encountered. We were at the airport with plenty of time to spare but this is definitely an airline you want to be at the gate when the boarding process starts. Lesson learned. The flight to Keflavik was just under 8 hours and we had to deplane and take the bus to the terminal once we landed. Thank goodness we had our puffy coats because it was COLD. The airport in Keflavik is so nice and I highly recommend Joe & the Juice for a delicious snack/juice before your next flight. We had a short layover and hopped on our plane to head to Copenhagen. A quick 3-hour flight and we were at our destination. The airport is easy to navigate and well marked for finding a train/bus/taxi to your hotel or next stop. We took a 15-minute train ride to the center of town and a short 5-minute walk later we were at the Scandic Palace Hotel. This hotel was perfect for our stay and in such a beautiful building! We checked in and headed out with no destination in mind. We passed Christmas lights almost instantly and stumbled upon 2 different Christmas markets the first night. I’m Buddy the Elf when it comes to all things Christmas so Copenhagen was the equivalent of me being in The North Pole having hot chocolate with Santa. Gimme all the decorations! There were a ton of great stores in the area we wandered too and we passed by Royal Copenhagen and had to go in! Their flagship store is STUNNING. So many beautiful designs and we happened to stumble upon an exhibit while we oohed and ahhed. A trip to Georg Jensen right after and I’m basically ready to rethink my serving platters and cutlery! We stopped in for dinner at Europa. It’s in the heart of Copenhagen next to so many beautiful stores, incredible shopping, and you step right out into a Christmas market. I had the minestrone with gnocchi and basil….YUM. A bit more strolling and we chose Cafe Norden for dessert and more people watching. We walked a bunch so dessert was an obvious must with every meal.
Well, I don’t think I have ever slept for 16 hours straight before. But now I have! Apparently jet lag knocked me right out. Don’t worry though – the sun sets at 3:30 in the afternoon in Denmark so there was still plenty of daylight for exploring. Faceplant. We started our afternoon headed in a different direction from the first day and happened upon Cafe Oscar for lunch. Their goat cheese salad was delicious and it was such a cozy place to start the afternoon. The weather was a bit dreary – cold and rainy – but it didn’t stop us from exploring the city! We had noticed from out hotel that we looked directly into a library that looked like it was straight out of Harry Potter. We had to go! It turned out that the library was inside City Hall. The entire building is so beautiful inside and they have a chapel that was just breathtaking to see. We finally found the library and it was everything you would expect from a perfectly cozy collection of books. A bay window overlooked the City Hall square and tiny stairs led to a landing filled with more and more books. It was absolutely perfect, especially with the rainy day. We adventured out for more exploring and street wandering and ended up at a warm cafe for matcha lattes and hazelnut coffee. I’m convinced the residents spend all of their days in the cutest cafes just chatting and reading books. What next? You guessed it! More strolls around the city which we randomly ended up in Nyhavn! I had wanted to go to see the iconic houses and canals and we ended up there at night which was so pretty with all the lights reflecting off the water! All the little restaurants along the canals had lights up and we passed even more Christmas decor and shops along the way while we looked for dinner. We decided on Geist which turned out to be SO GOOD! We also lucked out getting seats by the window so we could people watch. The food was excellent and the bread was so fresh! Plus, we had a view of an incredible hotel across the way with an advent calendar on the hotel windows. #winning
More rain. Good thing we brought umbrellas! Really though, the rain didn’t hold us back at all. We started the morning with a trip to Tivoli Gardens. It’s an amusement park right in the city center, about 2 minutes walking distance from our hotel. I sipped on hot chocolate while taking in the sights. Everything was so perfectly decorated, and it was like being in Narnia. Every turn and corner led to another beautiful display or ride or part of the park that truly highlighted the beauty of Copenhagen. Another quick stroll and we found ourselves passing a giant castle, Christianborg Palace. We did a lap around and I planned out my life as the Queen. Seems logical. All the planning to become Queen made me hungry though so we started on another quest for food. By this point, it was raining a fair amount and we kept finding the cutest streets with little-covered patios and heaters. We decided to stop at Wanna B for lunch and y’all, I won’t lie. The pasta with pesto GAVE ME LIFE. We also sat there for several hours just people watching and enjoying the leisurely life. The Danish sure do know how to relax and enjoy one another’s company! We only had 1 reservation made for the whole trip and that was set for Friday night. We headed out to dinner with (you guessed it) more walking around adorable streets as we searched for our destination over the bridge. We did venture over to see Christiana but we just popped in and out after visiting the hippie community. There wasn’t much to see at night but they did have some murals on the entrance that were really bright and beautifully done! A few minutes later and we were on the waterfront of Copenhagen at Barr. Let me just say that the best salad I have had in well, forever, was at Barr. Why? Because the base of the bowl was literally just goat cheese. MADE MY DAY. The atmosphere was casual and had all the design details you would expect in a Scandinavian country, from the minimalist design of the tables and chairs, barware on display in the main dining area, and the blonde wood floors that opened up the space throughout. Fabulous. Oh, and my potatoes were like little pillows that melted in my mouth. Excuse me while I drool. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with a friend of my mom’s after dinner to go out on the town. She took us to the happening places and it was the night of all the Christmas parties so it was a blasty blast! We enjoyed hearing what life is like in Denmark and all about the work-life balance. Which, is basically the life balance. It is so different than the states and it was so interesting to learn about!
Since we had been to Nyhavn at night, I knew I needed to go back during the day to get the pictures of the houses I wanted with some daylight on them to show the array of colors! It was still raining but I was so excited to find that the bridge where I was taking pictures had a ton of locks on them! Such a cute way for people to leave memories with their “love locks.” We had lunch at Dina Bar Kafe and (again) I had a goat cheese salad. Except for this time it had a giant thing of fried goat cheese right on top. Slap me, is this Heaven? Y’all. I can’t even tell you how much I love goat cheese but having it offered everywhere we ate was my dream come true. Saturday was a day of more strolling through the city to see all the buildings, streets, people, and see the city really come alive on a weekend! We battled some late night hunger between the time change/serious mileage we were walking/not eating processed food and found ourselves packed for our departure the following day and starving at almost midnight. A street over from our hotel we found Villa Vino and ordered a delicious cheese plate. Thank goodness we had not found that place sooner. I’d have been there every night just getting a cheese board to go. Judge me. Cheese is a food group. It’s fine.
We finally woke up in time for breakfast at the hotel, which was included with our stay. Since food is so expensive in Copenhagen, finding a hotel with breakfast included was a consideration. While we might have missed it the first few days, we thoroughly enjoyed it on our final morning! It was a buffet style of all sorts of foods and my personal favorite was the overnight chia seed oats. A short walk back to the train station and we were headed off to the airport.
This trip was so much fun and I could not get enough of all the Christmas everywhere we went. Even at the airport in Iceland, there was decor that made me think I was in a Winter Wonderland. A huge shoutout to my travel buddy – can’t wait for our next adventure!
Thanks for stopping by!