Copenhagen has long been on my list of places to visit. With an appealing mix of culture and history, with a great shopping and food scene thrown into the mix, it seemed like the perfect choice for a weekend away with the kids for my 30th birthday. I was after a city that had a vibe that us adults would enjoy, but would also keep our children entertained – and after all, they do say Danish kids are amongst the happiest in the world!
Here is our mini guide to Copenhagen, featuring what we got up to:
We decided to stay in an Airbnb apartment and truly believe it is one of the best ways to travel with kids. You get so much more space and if you pick the right ones then they are often completely geared up for children as well i.e. full of toys etc. We stayed at Sofie’s ground floor apartment in Nordhvan and it was GREAT.
We absolutely loved the décor, the balcony overlooking the water was great, it was super clean, the beds were comfy, there were lots of handy baby bits (mat, bath, crib). There was a nursery full of toys, which even had a swing in the middle of the room (this seems quite popular in Scandi nurseries), and there was a sandpit and outside toys on the balcony as well. Little I had an absolute blast and didn’t want to leave!
Location wise, it was great (about 10-15 mins from the center in by car) but unfortunately the metro wasn’t running which made it slightly more complicated to travel into the centre on public transport. Replacement buses are enough of nightmare in the UK, never mind abroad!
We booked our flights with Norwegian Air but will not be rushing back to fly with them again. Their staff at both airports were not particularly accommodating and on the Copenhagen side, they were actually downright rude at check in and at the actual gate. We had a rather heated altercation with the boarding staff after no one from check in advised that we couldn’t take our Bugaboo to the gate (despite tagging it with a luggage tag and directing us to departures with it) and they almost refused to put it on the flight. Never mind the fact we had made it all the way through security and the airport without any one advising us otherwise…
Uber no longer operates in Denmark. I didn’t realise this and it threw a bit of a spanner in the works on our first day because I hadn’t researched any alternative travel arrangements! My own fault, but just something to note. Taxis are pretty fairly priced and easy to get ahold of. We downloaded the 4×35 taxi app (a particular company) and used them a lot. It was about £35 to get from the airport to where we were staying (30 mins away). And about £15 from the center back out to where we were. Some taxis said you had to have the belt around your baby (didn’t seem safe to me) and others said you shouldn’t, so there was a bit of confusion around that.
We used the buses and metro a few times. Tickets were easy enough to get for the metro (just on the platform, machine can be switched to English, and you can pay by card). Day tickets were roughly £9 – £10 for unlimited travel. But we never seemed to manage to pay on the bus for some unknown reason. Not complaining though! Reisjeplan is a good website to map out your journeys on public transport (thank you to my friend Magda for telling me!).
Papirøen (Paper Island) – this place was my idea of heaven! I am so picky when it comes to food, so the idea of a giant indoor food market with everything from Thai food to Turkish, fish and chips to vegan, burgers to BBQ, cocktails to cheesecakes – there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. We had strawberry margaritas, organic apple cider, hummus and flat bread, phad thai and a portion of fish and chips, which we shared with our lovely friends who also had calamari and a plate of barbequed pork. SO GOOD. The atmosphere was great with lots of music and seats outside by the water. I and L enjoyed sharing with us.
Royal Smushi Café – what an absolute treat of a place. The staff here were the friendliest we came across and the food was unbelievable. It looked and tasted GREAT. The husband had the brunch platter (which had eggs, wholewheat pancakes, yogurt, cheese, ham and bread on it) and I had the most insane eggs benedict on sourdough with a crazy amount of Parma ham. YUM. Little I had a mini portion of pancakes which L helped her with, after his breakfast which we had brought with us. The décor is SO Instagram friendly, with lots of lovely shades of Pink, a white wooden floor, a painted wall and lots of cute decorations.
Mother – we had a wander around the meatpacking district, Vesterbro, and there were so many good looking food joints (don’t know why I said that) to choose from. We left it up to the daughter to choose and she shouted PIZZA, so we ended up in Mother. Their menu predominately features sourdough pizza but they also serve a wonderful sounding selection of antipasti and bruschetta options and I asked for pasta and they had an aubergine pasta dish available. The pizzas looked incredible and both the husband and daughter wolfed theirs down. L and I shared my pasta and I washed it down with a gorgeous pale, dry rose wine. The atmosphere was super laid back and the staff were friendly, but service was pretty slow. It was really busy though. Second on our list in this area was Bio Mio, which looked great. Will link it in the section below.
Moller – Kaffe og Kokken – brunch and tapas?! Two of my favourite things. You get a little bit of paper with all the options on and you pick which ones you want, how many, pop your table number on the top and hand it into the bar. Perfection! We had three different types of eggs, sausages, bacon, Danish porridge, nuggets and mustard mayo, sourdough and rye bread with Danish marmalade and it was dreamy. We were sat outside in the sun but would have to have been inside with the wonderful décor. It was SO busy though. I & L particularly enjoyed the bread, sausages and boiled eggs.
Tivoli Gardens – oh my, this place is pretty special! The husband went as far to say it was his favourite thing about the trip. It is basically a 15 acre magical city (built in 1843) with an old fashioned theme park, gardens, a theatre, lots of restaurants, lakes and all sorts! There is something to entertain everyone in there. Little I was miserable and fell asleep in the buggy for two hours while we were there, but luckily woke up to go on a ride and have a play in the play park before we left. Apparently it looks amazing at night when it is all lit up.
(Traditional Danish Smørrebrød – open sandwich)
Hop on and off Boat Tour – we went on the hop on and off boat tour, which was about an hour and a half long in total but with the opportunity to jump off at various spots. We only jumped off at the Little Mermaid because the weather turned and it absolutely poured down. We got soaked! You could also hop off at various other locations such as Nyhvan, Christianshavn and the palace to name a few. It was about £20 for the two of us and the kids were free.
Botanical Gardens – we popped in here about an hour before closing to have a look around and the grounds are beautiful. There are lots of different parts to explore and a big giant glass house full of beautiful plants. Be sure to be out by 6pm though, otherwise you get LOCKED IN!!! Luckily we spotted some women who showed us how to get out. Scary stuff!
Nørrebro Park – we had heard so many good things about the local parks in Copenhagen so wanted to try one out for ourselves. This one was super close to Moller, where we went for brunch on Sunday, and just at the end of Jægersborggade. There was a huge outdoor space for the kids to place in, and a small indoor space as well. There were lots of bikes and trikes for the kids to use and a little painted out road for them to follow, with speed bumps. Little I loved following the road round. There was a set of swings, a sand pit, a climbing frame with slide, a ping pong table, a big fenced in circle to kick a ball about in, and then two bigger climbing areas, which were a big wooden crashed plane and pirate boat. The Danish know how to do a good park, that’s for sure. There was even a toilet. Happy days.
Jægersborggade – this is a really lovely street in the suburb of Nørrebro which has lots of independent shops and eateries. Unfortunately we went on a Sunday and lots of the shops were closed but I did get to peek into a few. Coffee Collective was great as well. Gorgeous coffee and great décor. I really wanted to check out Kaktus, the donut shop and Grød.
Nyhavn – the iconic snapshot of Copenhagen is often in front of the beautiful colourful buildings of Nyhvan. It is a beautiful location to sit by the water, admire the view and soak up the atmosphere.
Shopping: Sephora; Illums Bolighus; Hay House; Østergade were all lots of fun. Østergade is the main shopping street and has a great mix of high street and designer shops.
Other things we would have liked to have done: Valby Park Natures Playground; Amager Beach; Amalienborg Palace; Christianshavn; Christiania; Havnebadet Islands Brygge; The Round Tower; The Children’s Museum.
I thought, to finish with, I would do a separate little section on the topic of Copenhagen being child friendly and our experience. Mainly because I had read so many blog posts and guides that advised that the city was really, really baby and child friendly and to be honest, we were a little disappointed.
None of these points are complaints. We just wanted to pass them on to other families heading to Copenhagen, that is all. It was no less child friendly than the UK, but we had been told time and time again how child friendly Denmark was, so we were just a little surprised. Danish children seem to be very well behaved and there are A LOT of things to do with your children in Copenhagen.
A couple other things to note:
Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you are planning a trip to København!