Getting there & around
Aeroflot, Qatar and Emirates run regular flights to Copenhagen (København) for about Ã¢?¹50,000 return from Delhi. Swiss Air and Turkish Airlines operate flights from Mumbai for around Ã¢?¹56,000 economy via Zurich or Istanbul. The best time to visit is from early May to September. To really experience Danish hygge (cosiness), travel in winter, when the short dark days are spent indoors, lit by candlelight and fireplaces, and the night culture—music, art, markets—comes alive. From Terminal 3 of Kastrup airport, metro trains can take you to the Central Station (København H). Indians need a Schengen visa to visit Denmark (dk.vfsglobal.co.in).
1 Danish Kroner (DKK) = Ã¢?¹9.33.
Where to stay
The Nimb (Ã¢?¹56,000, hotel.nimb.dk/en) is a beautiful Moorish boutique hotel known for its celebrity clientele. It also has a great restaurant and bar, and is a walk away from Tivoli. The modern Tivoli Hotel (DKK 500, tivolihotel.com) is 5 mins from the Dybbølsbro metro station. Stylish Hotel The Square (DKK 450, thesquarecopenhagen.com) is in the centre of town. Wakeup Copenhagen (DKK 1,050- 1,500, wakeupcopenhagen.com) is a minimalist hotel that provides breakfast.
Where to eat
Noma (Strandgade 93, +45-32963297; noma.dk), it goes without saying, is your first choice. But the small city boasts 15 Michelin star restaurants. Relæ (Jægersborggade 41, +45 3696 6609, restaurant-relae.dk/en), and Kødbyens Fiskebar (Flæsketorvet 100; +45-32155656, fiskebaren.dk/en) specialise in the freshest fish and shellfish. Another great place is the Royal Smushi Café (Amagertorv 6; +45-33121122, royalsmushicafe.dk), which serves ‘smushi’, a fusion of sushi and smørrebrød. Located in the oldest building in Copenhagen, Kong Hans Kælder (Vingårdsstræde 6, +45- 33116868; konghans.dk) is a Michelin-starred restaurant with Franco-Danish food. Aamanns (Øster Farimagsgade 10, +45- 35553344; aamanns.dk) serves the best modern smørrebrød in town. The classic Café Europa (Amagertorv 1, +45-33142889, europa1989.dk), in the middle of the city, has a great fish plate. Kähler (Tivoli, Vesterbrogade 3, +45-53738484, kahler-i-tivoli.com) uses nitrogen and food foam and serves artful food in asymmetrically perfect ceramic containers. Other-worldy light installations by Olafur Eliasson hang at Karriere (57 Flæsketorvet, +45-33229816; karrierebar.com). Mexibar (Elmegade in Nørrebro) is a lively place with stunning cocktails, and the nightclub Rust is around the corner.
What to see & do
First, buy a Copenhagen Card (DKK 499 for 48 hrs, copenhagencard.com), a discounted, hassle-free way to pay for public transport throughout the city, avail discounts at some hotels and entry to 74 museums and sights. The city centre is Indre By, where the famous shopping street, Strøget, has boutiques, cafés and tourist traps. The Danish parliament is also here, and you can walk in. The royal palace Amalienborg, which is guarded by the Danish Royal Lifeguards wearing big bearskin hats; the beautiful Rosenborg Castle and its gardens, great for a picnic, are other highlights. The nearby Christianshavn borough has lovely canals, and the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Saviour), with its tall and winding corkscrew spire. It’s also home to Freetown Christania, an autonomous commune created by hippies in the 1970s, self-governed by its own Christiania Law of 1989. About 900 residents live in self-made houses, or on the streets, and run workshops and bars. It was controversial for allowing cannabis trade till 2004, but now the cops show up for raids from time to time. The area’s run-down quality, while inspiring to some, was unappealing to others among my group. Local guides fear Indian tourists will try to buy cannabis, so will suggest you go there on your own. In the east, is peaceful water-facing family-friendly Østerbro, with broad boulevards, the Copenhagen lakes, the seafront Little Mermaid statue, and the Aamanns restaurant. Once a red-light district, Vesterbro is fashionable, modern and has a great nightlife. The Istedgade street has sex shops on one end and the cosy family Enghave Park on the other. There are second-hand stores, small cafés and bars selling special beers and old-school cocktails. The Carlsberg Museum is also here. Going north from Vesterbro, you technically leave Copenhagen,and reach Frederiksberg, the most expensive neighbourhood in the capital region. The Copenhagen Zoo, Frederiksberg Palace and the oldest gay bar in Copenhagen, Café Intime, are here.
Further north is multicultural Nørrebro with shawarma cafés, Middle Eastern bars, and Nørrebrogade, the best biker road in the city. Its small dive bars, crowded alleys and the Assistens Cemetery are stunning. This is where Michelin star restaurants Kiin Kiin and Relæ are located. For experiences, attend the Danish cooking class at Kroman’s All About Cooking (kromans.dk), where an adorable couple teaches you to make an authentic meal or some New Nordic cooking techniques. Don’t miss the amusement park at Tivoli (tivoli.dk). For the best of hygge, go to Thiemers Magasin book shop in Tullinsgade.