Mike's Copenhagen to do
This page is a response to the many guests on
my bike tours asking for inspiration of what to do, where
to go and stay and dine when visiting Copenhagen.
Below are a few suggestions. Common for all are, that they are places I like myself.
Bicycles, design, Danish sandwiches and magic Tivoli Garden is what comes to mind when saying: Copenhagen. Its all here in one day if you take Bike Mike's advices. See the city from the bicycle perspective, feel part of Denmark's challenging "green movement" to improve living conditions for our children, putting your teeth into Danish sandwiches will make you wanna come back again and again, appreciate and be inspired by our simple design philosophy, let an Evening bike ride put your heart "on fire", fall in love with Copenhagen and finish off the day sweeping tears from your beautiful face in pure awe of H C Andersens creativity and everlasting fairytales in the Tivoli Garden.
The legendary Bike Mike City Tour - authentic Copenhagen, raw, street soul - will take you around to many of the great sights plus to some of the lesser known, but maybe more authentic places. More than anything will the experience provide you with fine feel for the city, its people and their way of life. Great introduction to Copenhagen rockin-n-rollin on bikes guided by Copenhagen born'n'bred Bike Mike - the biking ugly duckling.
Get stuck right into Danish open sandwiches, deservedly well known way beyond the shores of Denmark. New York Times wrote in 2012, that Danish open sandwiches has the potential to be the world's next big "sushi". Try for yourself and see if you agree. Make sure you sink a few Norwegian "Linie" akvavits to aid the heerings go down a little smoother.
Food is lots more important to our way of life than the daily stuffing of our mouths. Agriculture is what build our modern economy. We are nearly 5.7 million people living in Denmark and 40 million pigs. We have so much food that we are Euro champions in food waste. Surveys tells, that 40% of all purchased food for households in Denmark ends up in the waste bins. Crises me here, crises me there, the media cries out daily, to me its all a load of rubbish talking about crisis, when you can afford to be so careless about what keeps you alive.
Us Danes are widely regarded for our skills in the design field, so time for Danish design and no better place for that than visiting:
Danish Museum of Art & Design, 68 Bredgade, open: 11-17
Cool museum in a city loaded with museums, tells the design history and background well, fine samples of the most significant, good cafe and courtyard is beautiful.
DAC - Danish Architecture Centre, Strandgade 27B, open: 10-17
Exciting place if your interest is for architecture and urban- and landscape development. I reckon Copenhagen is very good at mixing old historic and new contemporary architechture together so it support each other and make up for friendly and inviting urban spaces.Visit their website
Visit the Illum Bolighus on Amagertorv - for a fine intro to Dansih furniture and interior living.
Alternatively Rent-a-bike from Bike Mike. Continue to discover the greatest museum in any town, Copenhagen no different: The Street Theater - life as it comes and passes by. Wonderful and inspiring. Live and let live philosophy. Visit one of the Harbour pools and enjoy a swim in the clean port water of Copenhagen. During summer months not that cold despite you will be swimming on the 56th latitude north, same latitude as Alaska's capital Juneau. Fresh out of the water then climb one of the towers i.e. the Round Tower or Our Saviours Church - my favorite - to view the city from above. Your eyes will then see why the City's nick-name is: The City of the Green Towers.
Notice please: Museums are closed on Mondays, open other days in the week from 10 to 17.
See listings below for inspiration.
Back on the bike for the ultimate treat of your mind and heart: The Evening bike tour. This pleasent ride will show you a side of Copenhagen so beautiful: her serene mood during evening hours below the soft, gentle Scandinavian skies. I think you'll be amazed how a city environment being home to nearly two million people, can be so quiet and tranquil. I love this ride, I don't hesitate either in saying, that I'm proud of the route design of the Evening bike tour. In my world its one of my absolute favorite bike journeys anywhere - and I have travelled in more than 100 countries and cycled on all continents. The tour might also be the world's only excursion, where you are asked to refrain from talking. "When we bike, Copenhagen does all the talking, when we stop, we do the talking". Since there are no stops enroute, can you imagine yourself all alone with your own mind for more than two hours without talking?? Wouw! Its a beautiful bike ride and stuff might happen inside you while cycling along, could be a life changing experience! Do you dare to come along?
The arrival back to Bike Mike base in Sankt Peders Straede in so beautiful. I love the street late in the evening, so full of romance. The romance might take you to Tivoli Garden and finish the day off in the old, magic park lit up so delicately by the thousands of lanterns. Don't forget to hop on the "Flying Trunk" ride and let H C Andersens fairytale stories turn you into the child again. I love this ride so much and still cry in pure joy of how beautiful life can be when all of Andersen's most significant stories are lived out right around me on this magic journey in the Tivoli Garden.
Back in bed I bet, you'll be humming gently away on: "What a wonderful world" as you slowly get into your beauty sleep.
Goodnight - and thank you for a fanstastic day in wonderful Copenhagen.
Danish open sandwiches are for good reasons well known beyond the borders of little Denmark. I'll say: You haven't been to Denmark if you haven't been on a bike and eaten Danish open sandwiches for lunch. An absolute must - both. Scroll down and you'll find a listing of my favorites catering for different sizes of wallets.
New Nordic cuisine is sweeping the gourmet circles around the world. Noma - the now legendary danish restaurant - is nowadays nearly as famous as H C Andersen's fairytale stories. Noma is however also said to be the most difficult restaurant worldwide to secure a reservation at, so you might have to look other places if wanting to spend up and try out "stoneage" food at high level. Or visit the new Food Market on the Square of Israel for informal tastes of the rustic Nordic cuisine of modern age.
I have listed a few personal eatery favorites which all cater for good food at fair prices - exception is Noma, great yes, but you'll have to dig deep in the pocket.
Noma, Strandgade 93, Christianshavn
Gourmet. An absolute experience, a fascinating Nordic food journey challenging your tastebuds, stomach and mind, expensive, but highly recommendable.
Bento, 16 Helgolandsgade, Vesterbro - close to Main Train Station.
Japanese/moderate pricing. Fresh food at very affordable prices. Sushi and traditional japanese cooking. Healthy lunchtime bento-boxes for less than 90 dkk. Excellent service, operated by a japanese family with three generations present. My favourite Copenhagen restaurant!
Kødbyens Deli, Slagterboderne 8 (Meat Packing City), Vesterbro - close to Main Train Station
Classic take-away stuff/Inexpensive pricing. Fish-n-chips is superb, their Deli burger very good too, high quality, no nonsense street soul servive - I like it very much, a favorite.
BioMio, 19 Halmtorvet, Vesterbro - close to Main Train Station.
Organic/moderate pricing. Healthy cooking at good prices, local, trendy atmosphere right in the lively Meat Packing District - one of few vegetarian eateries in the country with the highest consumption of meat per capita in the world.
Soupanatural, 31 Sankt Peders Stræde - same street as Bike Mike
Organic/inexpensive. "Don't panic - it's organic" they say at this excellent and fair priced soup kitchen. Healthy, tasty soups served with freshly baked bread slices. Cosy atmosphere in one of Copenhagens uniquely beautiful streets. 50 meters down the road from Bike Mike.
L'education nationale, Larsbjørnsstræde 12 - just around the corner from Bike Mike shop
French/moderate pricing. "Where the Gallic Rooster Crows" they say and further: "where Copenhagener's let themselves get seduced". I agree. I love this place. Walking through the door and I feel I'm in Paris. Omelettes are superb, blue mussels the same and their french fries the best in Denmark.
Grønsagen, Bådsmandsstræde 43, Christiania - on Christianshavn
Healthfood/inexpensive pricing to say the least. Daily lunch buffet from 12:00 includes - or similar - various exotic bean salads, hummus, wild rice, rootbeet salad with sliced apples, green lasagne and maybe not so healthy, but very popular Danish meatballs (frikadeller) - best in town, plus lots more. Cafe and vegie shop in same room, very cosy atmosphere. Considering taste and quality of food, ambiance from environment, pricing, this place is a serious contender to be best eatery in Denmark. Absolute top value for your money while its all happening around you. Fantastic place. About 40 mins walking from Bike Mike shop across old medieval town and crossing the harbour on Knippelsbro (bridge). 15 mins on rental bike. Don't miss it if you appreciate "authentic, street soul" and good food at nearly no money, you can lunch for less than 40 dkk - beat that one is not possible. on Danish soil.
No website at present.
Bread and cake quality is high in Denmark, I reckon. When on Christianshavn, stop at Lagkagehuset - bakery - on Christianshavn Torv (Square) next to the canal and dig into a slice of fancy and tasty cake stuff. Can also buy coffee/hot choclate in their shop, sit inside or walk across the road and enjoy the treat on one of the public benches, just wonderful.
Because you deserve it... Cross the road from Bike Mike shop and step into cake-heaven, meet the "Desertdragon" and let her introduce you to a paradise of sweet temptations. The "Raspberry tart" is a great bite to re-store sugar depots following the bike tour and won't set you majorly back at a modest 20 dkk per slice. Shopname is: Dessertdragen, 26 Sankt Peders Stræde.
Smørrebrød - or in English: Danish open sandwiches
Peder Oxe, Gråbrødretorv 11 - center of the old town
Smørrebrød/moderate upwards pricing. A classic for open danish sandwiches right on the very cosy square - Gråbrødretorv - in the heart of the old historic city. They stock all the classic ones of the legendary Danish sandwiches as well as a delicious salad bar. Good selection of akvavits - snaps, but the one to opt for is the Norwegian "Linie Akvavit". This is my personal favorite, partly due to the ambiance as well.
10 mins walking from Bike Mike tour base.
Aamanns, Øster Farimagsgade 4 - behind Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery)
Smørrebrød/moderate pricing. Simply superb for Danish sandwiches, authentic, home made stuff. Now with a branch in Tribeca, Manhattan, NYC. 30-40 mins walking from Bike Mike shop.
Grøften, Tivoli Garden
Smørrebrød/expensive pricing. A legend for smørrebrød with Danes. Top quality and unique atmosphere. Inside the Tivoli Garden, has to pay entry to the garden to visit the restaurant. 10 mins walking from Bike Mike base.
Hallernes Smørrebrød, Tovehallerne, Hal 1, Rømersgade 21 (Copenhagen Food Market)
Smørrebrød/moderate pricing High quality of sandwiches, exciting yet still classic choices of toppings. Wonderful market atmosphere. Central location. 10 minutes walk from Bike Mike shop.
Ritz Salatbar og Smørrebrød, Vester Voldgade 8 (next door to Bike Mike shop)
Smørrebrød/inexpensive pricing. Alina is my Polish friend and she makes fantastic quality Danish sandwiches at inexpensive prices (1/3 of the price per sandwich as compared to the restaurants). Its a take-away place, but you have many fine outdoor choices to sit and enjoy a slice of Denmark at its best within a few minutes walk from Alina's shop. When you see me you'll know, that I eat to often too many of Alina's Danish sandwiches... All the good butter on the ryebread, oh boy.
Streets/areas like the Latin Quarter, Vesterbrogade, Meat Packing district, Skt. Hans Torv, Store Kongensgade, Nyhavn and Christianshavns Kanal are places with lots of choices for a good meal.
Hotel Carlton Guldsmeden, 66 Vesterbrogade, Vesterbro
Lovely boutique hotel. "Green" approach to how things are done. Stylish and homy. Situated on lively Vesterbro with many good restaurants next door and 10 mins. walk to City Hall Square. Medium price bracket. Right across from the City Museum. 15 mins walk to Bike Mike.
Go to hotel
Ascot Hotel, 61 Studiestræde, City
Medium price range good hotel 1 min. walk from City Hall Square. Less than 5 mins walk to Bike Mike.
Go to hotel
Marriott, 5 Kalvebod Brygge, City
Coorporate comfort - business as usual - right on the waterfront (thats what I like best here), 15 mins. walk to City Hall Square. Excellent service. Expensive. 20 mins walk to Bike Mike tour base.
15 mins walk to Bike Mike.
Go to hotel
Carstens Guest House, 28 Christians Brygge - 5th floor, City
This guesthouse catering for the gay/lesbian visitors is awesome situated right on the waterfront only few minutes walk from City Hall Square. Fantastic roof garden with great views, many kinds of accomodation, cool and tasteful decor. 15 mins walking to Bike Mike shop.
Visit guest house
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel, 5 Vandkunsten, City
For hostellers, this is a good one, noisy of course, comes with hostelling. But nicely situated in the very oldest part of town right on the cosy "Vandkunsten" square. Only a few minutes walk to everything, also to Bike Mike tours.
Grethe Hein Private Acc., 102 1.tv. Ovengade over Vandet, Christianshavn.
Budget travellers, this is a great one. Fantastic location right on the canal of Christianshavn (my own part of town). One room only comes at less than Dkk 500,00 for a couple. 100 m. down the canal you can enjoy breakfast at Denmarks best baker: Lagkagehuset on the Square of Christianshavn with metro, buslines or just walk across the bridge to the city. 45 mins walking to Bike Mike tours.
Visit Bread and Breakfast
Harbour Pools, 1/ Islands Brygge or 2/ Fisketorvet.
Take the plunge into the clean waters of the Copenhagen Harbour from one of the above harbour pools. The one on Islands Brygge - across from the Marriott - is centrally situated in an old suburb with a young population, comes very lively at night. The pool at Fisketorvet is namend "Copencabana"!
Nordic Sauna Experience. At Øbro-Hallen - public pool/wellnes complex - you can let yourself drift into pure enjoyment from the sauna/wellnes environment including classic steam, dry sauna but also several other options i.e. infra-red sauna, jacuzzi plus more. Highlight is when visiting, the one hour socalled "saunagus", where the sauna gets heated to extreme temperatures with the pleasent addition of aromatheraphy - your senses will travel through the known and lesser known wonderful, exotic smells of our world. "Saunagus" is only on certain days, usually late afternoon/early evening accomodating for stressful Danes on their way home from work. Booking for "saunagus" is strongly advised. Øbro-Hallen is on: Gunnar Nu Hansens Plads 3 on Østerbro. Bus # 14 stop next door. Phone: 3525 7060. Their website is unfortunately in Danish language only.
Need time out for total relaxation? Ystad in southern Sweden - only an hour away on the train from Copenhagen - is a beautiful, little town with rich history. and home of the Mankells fiction stories with police commisioner Wallander. Situated on the Baltic it also offers excellent beach time. Staying in Ystad at the Saltsjøbad Spa Hotel is worthwhile a journey in itself. Its a fabulous hotel with a great kitchen and soothing spa fascilities. Dining in the Nero Bistro while enjoying the view of the sea and the beautiful Nordic light is Scandinavia at its finest.
Malmö, Sweden - just 30 mins away on train. The fast and futuristic journey alone is fascinating when crossing over the sea through tunnel, across man-made island and spectacular bridge ride to Sweden's third largest city. When there you can do the Malmö Bike Tour (operates only during summer months) if you dare saddle up with a Swede as your guide!
Bike Tour out of Copenhagen. Rent a bike, then head up to Helsingør (Elsinore) with fabulous Kronborg Castle (Hamlet). Its a 55 kms bike ride along the coastline of Øresund. At Rungsted a visit to Karen Blixens home: Rungstedlund is a fine break from pedalpushing. Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art in Humlebæk - 45 kms from CPH - is an absolute must. The garden is beaútiful too, including grand views of the sea and the not to distant Swedish coastline. Its possible to travel back to Copenhagen with your bike on the train from Helsingør. Or carry on after a night in Helsingør and bike the North Zealand coastline up to Tisvildeleje, good place for second night out or hop on the train and travel with your bike back to CPH via Hillerød. If time in Hillerød you ought to visit Frederiksborg Castle, the National Historic Gallery and with a stunning setting.
Please always feel welcome to consult Bike Mike regarding out of town bike tours in Denmark and southern Sweden but only if you have already participated in one of my urban bike tours or have booking for one, thank you.
For more Copenhagen to do inspiration, don't miss this site: