Charming Copenhagen

Inspired by the last Blogsherpa Carnival, I’ve decided to begin yet another sporadic series – the magic of cities. Don’t know why I haven’t thought of that before – it’s a fun subject and I do like cities.

In focus today is København – or Copenhagen, also known as the King’s City (despite the fact that the ruling monarch is a queen – the very popular Queen Margrethe)

As I’ve mentioned, I spent a weekend in charming Copenhagen with heaps of fellow travel bloggers at TBEX two weeks ago. Although November isn’t the ideal time to visit this fairy-tale city, most of the bloggers enjoyed Copenhagen, despite missing two of the city’s most famous attractions: The Tivoli Gardens and the Little Mermaid.

The little Mermaid is currently in Shanghai for the World Expo – and Tivoli re-opened last week, in time for its magic Christmas market.

Charming Copenhagen


A visit to Tivoli Gardens is a must when in Copenhagen, and most especially if you’re travelling with children. After visiting Tivoli, Walt Disney was inspired to create Disneyland. More on Tivoli here.

If you happen to be in Copenhagen in the romjul period – the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve – I recommend stopping by the Tivoli Fireworks Festival!


Looking back, I see I’ve been to Copenhagen not 20, but closer to 40 times. Yet, I’ve never visited Nørrebro. Guided by Henrik from Wonderful Copenhagen, a group of us TBEXers did a walking tour of this latest of Copenhagen’s hot (in more ways than one) spots. Beginning at Assistens kirkegården (the Assistent Cemetery) final resting place of H.C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Niels Bohr, and other famous Danes, we stopped at heaps of quaint and curious little shops and cafes, including the delightful Relæ restaurant, recently opened by Christian Puglisi, former chef at the world’s best restaurant Noma, the beautiful and delicate Kiin Kiin, one of just a few Thai restaurants awarded with a coveted Michelin star, the fun and lively microbreweri Nørrebro Bryghus, and the charming Cafe Cubanito.

Sadly, I lack photos from our walking tour. As I said, this neighbourhood is hot in more ways than one: After having snapped a photo of a restaurant, I was, shall we say, approached by a very angry man and his friends, demanding I delete the photo immediately. I hadn’t noticed them at all; apparently they had been hanging outside the restaurant.

The ring-leader was afraid he might be in my photo. Fair enough: had he asked nicely, I would have deleted the photo. However, he was anything but nice. Furious, threatening, twice my size, he was extremely in-my-face. The only sane thing to do, would have been to delete and walk away. Trouble is, arguing is second nature to me. I told him (not that politely, I’ll admit) I’d check the photo and if he was in it, I’d delete it. But he was having none of that, threatening to smash my camera. Not hearing a word I said, he grabbed the camera, walked restlessly and furiously up and down the lane, screaming that he would smash it. As it turned out, he didn’t. The chef managed to calm him down enough to get my camera back but, sadly, not before every last photo had been deleted.

So there you are: one of those experiences that are a bit harrowing when you’re in the middle of it, but an interesting anecdote later. The moral must be: do visit Nørrebro; it’s an interesting neighbourhood. Just be aware of your surroundings. I’m frequently in Copenhagen, so I’ll be going back to check out a few more interesting venues we didn’t have time for, including Rust, the nightclub named for Matthias Rust who landed a small plane on Moscow’s Red Square towards the end of the Cold War and the cafes Sebastopol and Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus.


15 Responses to “Charming Copenhagen”

  1. Robert 26 November 2010 1615 #

    I want to check out Norrebro now. You made it strangely appealing.

  2. Anne-Sophie 26 November 2010 1619 #

    Wow, this popped up in your reader already?

    Thanks… I think.

    I know what you mean, though. Not an everyday experience, a hint of danger (but not that much – I was with a group, after all). And it all worked out well in the end (except for the photos).

    And I still think Copenhagen is wonderful.

  3. Jason 26 November 2010 1643 #

    Nice post Sophie,
    I’ve never been to Copenhagen, but it sounds lovely (despite some of it’s aggressive and camera-shy citizens). What was his problem amd what is it about Nørrebro that makes it important to be aware of the surroundings? Is it a ghetto? High crime area?

    • Anne-Sophie 29 November 2010 1424 #

      Thanks Jason.

      Nørrebro was once a working class district and is now multiethnic and lively. On the one hand, it has heaps of quirky shops and cafes, and is very fashionable. On the other, there have been violent riots, (esp. between squatters and police), as well as gang- and drug-related crime in the area. All in all, an interesting part of the city.

      His problem, I suspect, was that he might have been doing something slightly dodgy and didn’t want it documented. Sadly, I never found out, since I never saw the picture 🙂

  4. Nancie 27 November 2010 1421 #

    Wonderful post. I haven’t been to any of the Scandinavian countries, but would definitely like to visit.

  5. Ayngelina 27 November 2010 1610 #

    Sounds like a great series, I{m looking forward to the new posts!

  6. Lola 1 December 2010 1218 #

    Lovely summary! I remember that crazy guy story. Glad all was sorted with no injury!

  7. aladyinlondon 3 December 2010 1543 #

    Thanks for sharing! I love Copenhagen!

  8. Anne-Sophie 7 December 2010 1911 #

    Thanks for all the nice comments, guys!

  9. Savvyruss 8 December 2010 1533 #

    Great post! I’ve visited Copenhagen a few times, always enjoyed it but haven’t been to Norrebro – thank goodness for gallant chefs!

  10. Louise 13 December 2010 1022 #

    Copenhagen is such a wonderful, friendly city

  11. Eileen Ludwig 11 December 2011 1936 #

    Loved Tivoli Gardens when I was in Copenhagen – fun to be in a theme park in a foreign language

  12. Jason 29 December 2011 0920 #

    Ummm … There have been a number of shootings in Nørrebro in recent times and these have sometimes spilled over to full scale riots. Residents are routinely portrayed as gang members/illegal immigrants in the press and several photographers have been beaten up. Newspapers now avoid sending photographers there – they can’t afford the insurance.

    Some cunning journalists have no doubt pretended to be tourists and have taken pictures of people on the street there.

    My advice is to take care there and never take pictures around Blågardsgade.

  13. Andy 24 March 2012 1051 #

    Here’s a few ideas for more unusual things to do in the Danish capital:
    It’s a great city, I try to get there twice a year.


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