When you think of Copenhagen, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the iconic Little Mermaid statue. The sculpture created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913 honors Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish writer who authored the classic Little Mermaid fairy tale.
As everyone who has visited it has found, the sculpture is much smaller and less remarkable in person than it seems on our Instagram feeds. But it was still well worth a visit – at the very least to capture that classic Copenhagen photo op!
To get to the statue on Langelinje Pier, we first walked through Kastellet – or “the citadel” in English – which defended Copenhagen harbor against Swedish, English and German attacks following its construction in 1626. Today, the well-preserved star-shaped fortress still serves as an active military area, but much of it has been converted into a beautiful green space and public park that locals take advantage of for running, biking and general recreation.
The grounds also feature a picturesque church, windmill and military buildings that are still in use today.
We were so impressed with how well-maintained and lush the grounds were. If only we had our running shoes with us – it’s truly the most picturesque spot for a jog.
You wouldn’t expect to find great Mexican food in Copenhagen, but when we were researching for our trip, every tour guide and “best restaurants in Copenhagen” list called out Hija de Sanchez.
Founded by former Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez, Hija de Sanchez looks like your average taco stand outside of the Torvehallerne food hall, but it serves up a simple yet delicious menu of tacos, quesadillas and chips. What makes Hija de Sanchez truly stand out are their tortillas, which are freshly made using corn imported from Mexico.
While Sanchez is running an taco operation in Copenhagen, she’s no stranger to Mexican food. She’s Mexican-American and grew up in a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago.
Stop by for a quick bite of the most delicious Mexican food you’ll find in the city. And while you’re there, wander the delicious halls of Torvehallerne for more eats and treats from Is a Bella, Mikkeller & Friends, and The Coffee Collective.
Like Stockholm, Copenhagen is another great city for coffee. A few of our must-try spots around town include The Coffee Collective, Democratic Coffee Bar (a favorite of Noma’s Rene Redzepi), and Ipsen & Co.
On one of our last mornings in the city – before a disastrous kayaking expedition along the canals – we began our day with a stop at Copenhagen Coffee Lab.
Our second day in Copenhagen was a whirlwind. We walked EVERYWHERE and literally circled the entire Downtown Copenhagen (Indre By) area – from our Airbnb in Frederiksberg to Norreport to Nyhavn to Amalienborg Palace to Kastellet and The Little Mermaid – ending our tour of the city with a stop at Rosenborg Castle and the King’s Gardens.
What was intended to be a drive-by speed walk through the garden on our way to dinner (which was another 30-minute walk away, across from Christiansborg Palace) transformed into a leisurely stroll through the beautifully manicured rose gardens and lawns. It was the perfect way to end our day, reflecting on our action-packed adventures in peace and nature.
No trip to Copenhagen can be complete without a visit to Meyers Bageri. Like the Swedish with their cinnamon bun, the Danish have perfected the art of pastry, and offer their own unique takes on the sweet treat. It’s no wonder we call them Danishes in the U.S.!
The founder of Meyers Bageri, Claus Meyer, also co-founded Noma and the philosophy of the New Nordic Cuisine. But unlike Noma, Meyers Bageri offers delicious breads and baked goods made with organic, locally sourced ingredients in an approachable and affordable setting.
After four action-packed days in Stockholm, we hit the next destination on our tour of Scandinavia: Copenhagen. It was a quick flight over to Denmark’s capital, and once we dropped off our luggage at our Airbnb in Frederiksberg, we were ready to explore the city’s beautiful canals, cobblestone streets and historic architecture.
While the city is home to Noma (where we weren’t able to snag a reservation), it doesn’t exclusively cater to elaborate tasting menus and foraged ingredients. You can find incredibly delicious, multicultural and experimental food at every price range.
Case in point: Copenhagen Street Food, the city’s first and only genuine street food market. Within the maze-like halls of the market, you can find everything from sushi to tacos to Brazilian grilled meats to falafel to organic Danish hot dogs – all sustainably and locally sourced.