From taking in a definitive opera to munching on Smorrebrod, the options are plentiful, writes Rupali Dean
Once in Copenhagen a visit to the Opera, The Little Mermaid, Marble church, Noma 2.0, The Royal Theatre and Nyhavn with its multi-coloured houses is a must. However, there is much more to Copenhagen than just that…
MEET THE DANES
The Danes are renowned as the happiest people across the globe, endorsing this standing to the Danish idea of hygge. Annette Waeber created and founded this concept back in 2001 where you can register and be a part of a Danish family over a meal experience at their home. They also try and match you up with a family of your type in age and interests. Do this on your first day itself so you can also get some local tips of making the most of Copenhagen. I am lucky to be dining with Annette and her family and learn so much about local culture and cuisine over spritzers and a delicious meal of roasted chicken and potatoes that ends with strawberries and fresh cream.
Exploring Copenhagen on a bicycle is a way of life, so book a tour and ride past all the milestone destinations. There are about a four hundred and fifty kilometres of bike paths in the city! Those who cannot or don’t want to bike, can have someone ride you on the Christiania bikes synonymous to the city, like me.
ENCHANTING TIVOLI GARDENS
For those who do not know, the Tivoli gardens provided a Muse for Mr Walt Disney’s prized input and vision for the creation of his first Disney Park in California. And yes even for the famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, when he wrote ‘The Nightingale’. Today Tivoli is the hub for exhilarating rides and rock concerts. I love exhilarations so I try both the Demon loop and the wooden roller-coaster.
OPEN COPEN AT TOLD & SNAPS
Brilliant choice for a ‘smorrebrod’ (open faced sandwiches served on buttered rye bread) lunch! They make everything from scratch and get some of the best fresh produce that Denmark has to offer in terms of ingredients. The ‘smoked eel with scrambled egg’ is one of the most popular and another classic is ‘beef served with shaved horseradish and pickled vegetables’…decadent.
SAILING AT THE COPENHAGEN HARBOUR
An old harbour and maritime city, and one of the most stunning and entertaining ways to see it is from a boat sailing down its delightful canals. The boats are fabulous! The boat takes me along the fine canals, permitting me to enjoy a wider range of cityscape vistas. If you are looking for something more exclusive, book a boat on ‘Hey Captain’ for two hours, which comes replete with a guide and some, refreshing beverages.
THE ROYAL DANISH OPERA HOUSE
Bequeathed to the Danish state by A P Møller in 2000 amongst some political controversy, this opera house is one of the most modern and most lavish opera houses ever constructed. Exceptionally up-to-date in immaculate Scandinavian fashion, taking in a definitive opera here is a spot-on ethnic treat.
MEAT PACKING DISTRICT
This perhaps is a whole lot lively and more electrifying version of the New York one. Situated in the Vesterbro district, the shops at Flaesketorvet are home to the best of the city’s creative talent. I spend an entire day here owing to the number of things to see, do, eat and drink.
PLAY HAMLET AT KRONBORG CASTLE
Hamlet is built on Saxo’s account of the feats of the Danes, Gesta Danorum, printed in 1514. It is dubious that Shakespeare read Gesta Danorum, but the ruthless story of the Danish prince who avenged his father was read and elaborated throughout Europe in the 1500s. Whether Shakespeare visited Kronborg or not, by about 1600 Elsinore was well-known all across world. As for me, I take a guided tour with Rosencrantz Hamlet’s best friend and walk back in history.
One of the things that make the city so exciting for shopping is that I can do the whole thing on foot. On the pedestrian shopping street Stroget (also known as the world’s longest) which houses several designer and small boutiques, I wander for hours without getting tired.
Night owls can start the evening at the many bars around Copenhagen and avail of ‘happy hours’ before dancing the night away at Culture Box, Simons or Club Vega, one of the many night spots.
(Rupali Dean is a senior food & travel writer, based out of Delhi. Follow Rupali on Instagram @rupalidean)