A winter walking guide to Copenhagen
When I went to Scandinavia I spent most of my time in Stockholm, allowing for only about 48 hours in Copenhagen. That being said I did love being able to get a taste of this cute city that amazingly feels town-like (based on its appearance), but includes all the hustle and bustle of a European city! I can't wait to go back and spend more time there.
Even though I live in New York City, I'm someone who prefers walking over taking the subway. So when I was in Copenhagen I decided to forgo the Copenhagen Pass and walk everywhere - trust me this is very doable. The city is so walkable, and by going on foot you'll be able to explore many areas you would probably miss by riding public transport.
So come along with me on this short but sweet winter walking guide to a charming place you must visit!
I chose to go the Airbnb route (since I had zero hostel experience) when I visited Copenhagen, staying in the cutest neighborhood called Christianshavn. This neighborhood is on an island and is separated (and connected) to the rest of the city by the Inner Harbor and bridges.
This was the perfect place to start exploring and was also the place I found an amazing bakery, Lagkagehuset. It is a chain as there are many locations throughout the city, but it doesn't feel like one. Plus the one I went to had a great view as it sat right along the canal.
After having a great (albeit) maybe not the healthiest breakfast haha, I set out across the bridge on Torvegade street and into the main city neighborhood, called the 'City Centre'.
Once across the bridge head to the right along the canal and make your way to Nyhavn (New Harbor). This is where those images of the colorful buildings are, and where the canal tours launch from, and since we were there in the winter there was also a holiday market along the canal!
After Nyhavn walk around the public square, Kongens Nytorv, to Hotel D'Angleterre to see some amazing Christmas decorations on the front of the building. Even during the day it's still an impressive display.
The small street to the left of the hotel is Strøget and this is where you will probably spend a majority of the rest of your day. This street is Europe's longest, pedestrian only, shopping street and is a little over 1km in length, so there will be no shortage of shops and side streets to explore!
Once you get to the end of the street (which conveniently ends at Hans Christian Anderson Blvd.) there is a gorgeous Christmas tree right in the square in front of the Scandic Palace Hotel and the Copenhagen City Hall (Kobenhavns Radhus).
Also along Strøget is a little Christmas market with cute stands, Copenhagen's infamous hot dogs and glögg (pronounced like <glook>).
Fun fact: you are allowed to drink the alcoholic version of glögg on the street in Copenhagen.
After exploring the entire length of Strøget head back into the City Center for dinner.
My recommendation would be to stop at Pilekælderen for a famous Danish open-faced sandwich, called a Smørrebrød (which literally means 'spread bread'). It's slightly below street level, isn't hugely well-known and has the nicest staff and atmosphere! You will feel like you're eating in someone's home.
As we headed back to the Airbnb after dinner we walked along the border of Christianshavn on the Langebro Bridge. We had heard that the cafe along the canal, under the bridge had a great nightlife atmosphere so we made a stop into Cafe Langebro. The cafe turns into a bar (known for it's beer) in the evening, and was a pretty happening place, and bonus, free wifi!
When you only have two days in Copenhagen you don't want to waste any time, so we got up early to explore.
In order to get a more general overview of the city, it's history and awesome water views we took a canal tour (which departed from Nyhavn). This is how we also saw the Little Mermaid statue - so we could avoid the touristy crowds.
Now I know this isn't technically walking, but this is a must when you visit Copenhaven. We didn't bother booking tickets in advance as there are numerous stands along the harbor to pick up tickets at.
THING TO NOTE: You can buy a combo ticket which includes a canal tour and your entry into Tivoli. This is not only more convenient but will also save you time and money.
After the canal tour we headed across the Dronning Louises Bro (which means 'bridge') to check out the Nørrebro neighborhood. This is the more hipster, young neighborhood of the city, so it was cool to get a perspective of a neighborhood catered towards people more my age.
Within this neighborhood is also the Assistens Kirkegard cemetery, which has graves of notable Danes, including Hans Christian Anderson.
FUN FACTS: Hans Christian Anderson is the author of 'The Little Mermaid', hence the statue everyone flocks to, and the characters in the recent move 'Frozen' were also named after him i.e. Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven. :)
After paying our respects to the fairy tale king and checking out the adjoining park, we walked back to the City Center, along the appropriately named Hans Christian Anderson Blvd, to our next stop: Tivoli Gardens.
If there is one sight you must see when you go to Copenhagen it is Tivoli Gardens! It is an amusement park right in the city center, which goes all out decoration wise during the holidays and has glögg and theme park rides galore. The best part about Tivoli is because it is the oldest in the world there is a certain charm you get while walking around that you won't find anywhere else!
FUN FACT: Tivoli opened in 1843 and is the oldest operating amusement park in the world!
After a fun-filled experience in Tivoli we decided to keep it simple for dinner and stopped by a hot dog cart - which are everywhere in the city! I'm not sure why, but the Danes love their hot dogs! Because we saw the Lis's Pølser cart multiple times we figured it would be a safe bet - and I will tell you now it did not disappoint.
After the dogs we walked back to our Airbnb along the canal in Nyhavn and stopped into McJoy´s Choice Pub (yes I realize that it wasn't Danish) for a last glass of glögg. You can never get enough of this during the holidays in Scandinavia!
Just remember, the Danes are supposed to be some of the happiest people in the world so don't forget to smile and have a great time as you walk through this charming city!