Fast becoming Europe's trendiest city, Emily Tredinnick discovers Copenhagen's sentimental side with these romantic ways of exploring the Danish capital.
Despite being only minutes away from the city centre, Nyhaven could easily be mistaken for a seaside town or bustling fishing village with its brightly coloured terrace that runs along the canal.
Couples can wander along the cobbled streets of this picturesque promenade where a selection of wooden cabins sell traditional Dansk crafts, clothing and food. There is also a mini harbour where guided boat tours of the city regularly depart. As far as food goes, there are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat but rather than be lured into one of the expensive café's or bars overlooking the canal, head a couple of streets behind Nyhaven to Manfred & Wine. This restaurant is perfect if you're after intimate atmosphere some and traditional Danish grub.
In its third year running as the world's best restaurant, it's no wonder people fly to Copenhagen especially to sample Noma's traditional dishes created by head chef, René Redzepi. But rather than wait 6 months for a table, there are plenty of other restaurants embracing the recent Nordic movement dotted around the city, minus the Noma price tag.
Head to recently opened restaurant, Höst, for your Nordic food fix where artichoke foam and ash-covered scallops feature on the menu. The restaurant is also a prime example of minimalist Danish design with its stripped back interior and rustic furniture. It also keeps in with Dansk traditions of the all important 'cosy' atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date.
Founded in 1843 and located in bustling Rådhuspladsen, Tivoli is the world's second oldest theme park and is well worth a visit to experience the yesteryear of Copenhagen.
Ride the old-fashioned carousel, the rickety roller coasters and the sky-high swing that offers wonderful views of the city. Come Christmas, the park is at its most magical with fairy lights draped around the hundreds of Christmas trees and wooden cabins filled with festive decorations and traditional crafts. Try Danish smørrebrød with a cup of warming gløgg and find a quiet spot across from the lake together. If you visit in the summer, the beautiful landscape gardens and live music at the bandstand make it a popular place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Take to the cycle lanes as the the locals do and explore the city by bicycle. Hiring a bike in the city couldn't be easier and it's very cheap to do so. Try Københavns Cykelbørs where you can hire a bicycle for as little as 75kr for the day.
Start at the Opera House in Christianshavn with its incredible "floating roof" before heading towards the Christianborg Palace. Go via the Danish Centre of Architecture opposite world-class restaurant, Noma, for incredible views of the harbour from the café inside. Continue past Tivoli until you reach the meat-packing district, the place for kooky eateries and quirky bars. Stop for lunch here at Mother, a pizzeria with a wood-fire oven that bakes the most amazing sour dough pizzas, before cycling up to picturesque Frederiskberg Alle, through Gammel Kongevej and back down to Indre By.
Head to the Islands Brygge where you'll find the Harbour Bath for a spot of (free) outdoor bathing. You could always do as the locals do during the winter months; strip off and take the plunge into the icy water together!
If you'd rather stay dry, then during the summer you can rent a rowing boat at the Frederiksberg Have canal. Previously part of the palace grounds, this is one of the most beautiful spots in Copenhagen and during the summer months, the Chinese pavilion serves tea every Sunday afternoon. There is also a boat rental by Dronning Louises Bridge in Nørrebro, where you can row along the lake with the city skyline as a backdrop. Take a couple of Danish pastries for a mid-rowing snack and a couple of bottles of Tuborg beer to wash them down.
Take the bus north of Copenhagen to Klapenborg where parks, beaches and museums are all in close proximity to each other.
Stop off at the Ordrupgaard Gallery first for 19th century French art and Danish design. Marvel at the museum's new extension, similar to a large spaceship and where you can have a light lunch or a cup of coffee. Afterwards, wander the sandy shores of Klampernborg beach or if you still haven't fulfilled your thrill-seeking fix at Tiovli, then head to Bakken for rides on a bigger and faster scale. End the day with a meal at new restaurant, Fortunen (near Dyrehaven) for small dishes created with sharing in mind. Put your taste buds to the test with terrine of foie gras and sauteed based pork cheeks, potatoes fried in marjoram followed by grape ice cream and vodka.
Big thanks to Paula Petkova for her insider's advice and knowledge of the city.
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