Every Norwegian knows the slogan “Det er dejlig å være norsk i Danmark” – It’s wonderful to be Norwegian in Denmark. It is, indeed. Especially in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Roskilde, Odense, Holstebro and… OK, let’s stick to the capital – one of those places I used to visit as a teenager while I was going to concerts at Vega and one of those places where I found my favourite cafes, restaurants and other spots that I love to visit from time to time.
Copenhagen offers everything you need: plenty of attractions, both historical as well as cultural and a great variation of Nordic and international cuisine. From budget to Michelin-starred restaurants and food tracks, where you can get a piece of Danish national food, a hot dog with a Viennese type sausage called red pølse. Often served with mustard and ketchup. It reminds me of the Norwegian version of hot dog served with our white bread, lompe. We usually roll it around the sausage. Lompe is a thiner and smaller version of lefse. Not to forget, Copenhagen is the birthplace to the now world famous New Nordic Cuisine. If you ever heard about that phenomenon, you probably heard about the legendary restaurant Noma (short for “Nordisk Mad,”), a place where the New Nordic Kitchen were born and spread around the world since the early 2000.
Another ultimative “give yourself a try” piece of local cuisine is a dish called smørrebrød. Well, it’s more an open sandwich than a dish, but still smørrebrød found it’s way on the tables in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and to be honest, we can’t live without it. The topping consists mostly of seafood, meat, vegetables and condiments – but there are a thousand ways to create your own delicious butterbread. My absolute very favourite consist of lettuce leaves, red onions, smoked salmon and a bit of cream cheese on top, covered with chives.
OK, before you find the best place to visit and eat in Copenhagen, you have to get from the airport to the city center. Arriving by plane is the best option to get to Copenhagen, unless you’re Norwegian and planning to take the ferry from Norway to Denmark – just an inside joke ;–) Copenhagen International Airport is located on the island of Amager, about 8 kilometres south of the capital’s city center. The fastest and easiest way to get to the center is the underground called Metro. The Metro has two lines: M1 runs from Vanløse to Vestamager and M2 runs from Vanløse to Lufthavnen, Copenhagen Airport. It takes you within 10 minutes to the city. A very important information would be the fact, that the metro is located above the Terminal 3. There are also other alternatives like the local train, busses and taxi. The trains run every 10 minutes during the day and will get you to Copenhagen Central Station, København H (= Hovedbanegården, central station). If you decide to take the train to the central station, you can visit the first great spot in the city: The Tivoli Gardens – it’s about 10-15 minutes walk from the central station.
Walking from the Tivoli Gardens along the Christians Brygge, Christian’s Quay , enjoying the sound of flowing water, you’ll get to the picturesque neighbourhood of the capitals port, Nyhavn. A place where food, culture and events connect together. The oldest house at the port, #9, dates back to 1681. Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish author, lived in #67, #20 and #18 and – I do enjoy the number 17 the most, especially with a glass of good wine.
I know, I’m going to sound a little bit touristy, but you can’t leave Copenhagen without seeing the statue of the Little Mermaid, known by the locals as «Den lille havfrue». You just have to walk north along the water from Nyhavn. If you get a little hungry, you can head back to the city center to still your hunger. The best option would be Torvehallerne. You’ll find two buildings there, full of restaurants, cafes, pastries & shops – I recommend some wienerbrød, a danish pastry at Sweet Valentine.
If you ever get to visit Copenhagen, just roam the streets to get to know the city.