Believe it or not, we’re coming up on 10 months in Copenhagen. It doesn’t feel like it at all…Maybe it’s been all the travel but I find that I’m often still getting my bearings around the city. I have, however, developed a little arsenal of guides and sources that I turn to when we have a bit of time to explore the city. Since this weekend, bloggers from around Europe will get together for the Hive Conference (and for once, an event is somewhere I don’t have to travel to!), I thought I might pass along these lists of mine (and for those with other thoughts on go-to sources and guides, definitely please contribute your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to learn more!).
Whether you’re coming for the converence or coming to visit Copenhagen, welcome to our city!
- Lonely Planet Denmark
: Hands down still the best book for getting around both in the city and outside of it with witty language to boot. I’m heartbroken these guys don’t publish on paper any more so snag them while you can.
- Top 10 Copenhagen
: This is such a great series of “best of” books – we have them for so many cities and they end up being such go-to guides. It’s perfect for when you just need to know quick ten places, ten cafes, ten things to buy, whatever. Small so it fits in anywhere, good maps, just a great “all-arounder”.
- New York Times 36 Hours: Like the above, this series is staple for nearly any city, especially when I only have a few hours somewhere, as is often the case for work. The Copenhagen article could use an update as it’s from 2010 but still full of great ideas.
- The Guardian’s Copenhagen Guide: A great aggregation of information and articles and some cool tidbits like favorite spots in the city from The Killing Actors or Rene Rezdepi.
- Wallpaper Guide: Cool for the funky stuff off the beaten path. Because this guide often features more of the mod squad things to do, always check to see if the places are still open but another great concise way to have a list of great things to do in the city. The map also helps with the “what should I see in this neighborhood” question.
Smorrebrod App: Chances are, you’re not leaving Copenhagen without having some smorrebrod (open faced sandwiches on rye bread that are overflowing with toppings) so you might as well know where the best ones are. Have a little fun with this one!
- Copenhagen in 24 Hours: I realize most people are often only here for the weekend, or might have a day after an event so this is a great way to see the “best of”.
Scanorama Vesterbro Walking Tour: While there are a multitude of things that drive me a little nuts abou SAS, their in flight magazine is not one of them. Scanorama is actually something I look forward to in the seat pocket every month – its’ so well produced, has beautiful layout and photography, and unlike most in flight mags, actually has really really useful articles, usually on destinations I happen to be going to. I clipped this one on the Vesterbro neighborhood walking tour – a mix of parks and shops and cafes, and we had a great time taking the day to discover this corner of the city.
- Kids Height Guide: This is Visit Copenhagen’s section devoted to your smaller counterparts. It’s a mix of recommendations, and from time to time they have special guides on what to do during a particular school break or month. I wish they would keep it updated more but this is a great place to start if you need current activities or ideas for littles.
MiniCPH City Guide: Hands down, the best go-to guide for wee ones in Copenhagen. It has comprehensive lists of parks and playgrounds (even indoor ones, which comes in handy on the really bad weather days), and pools and museums and all kinds of ideas. It used to have a weekly newsletter with ideas for the weekend, but sadly, those aren’t around anymore. Still the standing guide is the first place I check facing the question of “What should we do today?” with the diplo-tot.
6. Best Foodie Guides:
- Michelin Star Guide: You like Michelin stars? We like Michelin stars. If you want stars, Copenhagen has them aplenty – here’s a comprehensive list of where you can spend many, many, many kroner all in one sitting.
- Bo Bech’s Little Black Book: One our our haunts in pretty regular rotation is Geist Restaurant; here are the chef’s picks for his finds and treasures across the city.
7. Best Copenhagen Blogs:
- Traveling Mama: Tina has been such a great source for inspiration and ideas about little finds, pretty spots and places to check out around town. It also helps that she’s just as sweet in person as she seems to be on her blog.
- Dejlige Days: This is a nifty little blog I found through the Hive, Melanie regularly posts on things in Copenhagen that I often would not have found myself .
8. Best Instagrams:
- @IdaLaerke: Okay, so technically these aren’t ‘guides’ but they will get you into the Copenhagen spirit. Ida is part of that whole Kinfolk set, and posts beautiful minimalistic pictures – they used to be mostly of her breakfasts but lately have been more of her newest wee one, Saga, the ocean and general Danish living.
- @Zakkatography: This guy is all things cycling and biking so following along will definitely set your expectations about how big a role bikes really play here. Here takes pictures of people on bikes, of people carrying things on bikes, of his kids on bikes, of himself on bikes… And then he teaches other cities how to incorporate bikes more. In case you can’t tell, bikes are a theme here.
9. Best updates on “the haps”:
- The Copenhagen Post: This local english-version newspaper will give you loads of factoids to drop at cocktail parties such as the fact that the new aquarium is already renovating after less than a year, or when Thomas the Tank Engine will be chug chugging in these parts, or the fact that one in six danish men has paid for sex. Okay, maybe don’t drop the latter one at a party (or do) but this gives you a flavor of recent “headlines”. You can always find a little something offbeat about the word on the street.
- Visit Copenhagen: Copenhagen is a tough city to figure out sometimes since there really is no one place to see “what’s on”, like you might check Time Out in London, or Washingtonian in DC…so you have to cobble together the haps yourself. All of these sources are in good rotation with me, but Visit Copenhagen, when they take the time to do the editor’s picks can be really good for for this and when all else fails, ask around….there’s definitely not a shortage of things to do!
So the only question now is…when are you coming to visit?