We’ve returned from Copenhagen, derrières sore and minds happy. It’s easy to see a large part of the city in no time on a bike which was our main mode of transport during our trip. The accessibility of renting a bike is ideal! Using an app, you can easily find a nearby bike to unlock and go. What was even more ideal is that they have bike “highways” on all of the streets which allowed us to cruise without the worry of running into pedestrians or vehicles. Not to mention the streets are WAY flatter than in Lausanne which made it a breeze. Akin to Amsterdam, it’s still important to keep your head on a swivel and look both ways before walking across. We had some fun with the various names of our bikes. Piglet and Whiskers treated us well! George on the other hand…
When travelling, we prefer to find things to do and see that are lesser known but that encompass the city we visit just as well, if not more than the typical touristed spots. Copenhagen was no different! There are several “must do” things in this charming place that we simply didn’t do, by choice. However, we feel like we saw Copenhagen from a different (perhaps better) angle than we did if we’d gone around to all of the top spots! We’d booked an Airbnb experience before arriving, if you haven’t looked into it you should… there are many different offers posted by locals in the city you choose from culinary tours to photography classes. This time we booked an urban planning and street art tour! A small group of us hopped on our bikes and made our way around a part of Copenhagen.
We began in Bolsjefabrikken, a creative area that features live music by night and artistic expression by day. Taking a moment to enjoy some amazing street art we were given insight into different works and who was behind them. With nicer weather we returned to this spot the next day to watch artists as they created their pieces on the constantly changing wall canvas. It was neat to see the different styles everyone had, not only in the art they were working on but their music choices to work to! We also rode over to Elværksvej per recommendation to check out a mile-long stretch of street art. It was in the middle of a construction site which made it an interesting sight to see. It brought some beauty to an unexpected place.
Our tour guide was super informative and gave great tidbits. Fun fact: there’s more bicycles than people residing in Copenhagen! He also took us around to many sites we would’ve never encountered on our own. At one point we were on the top of a parking deck with a great view overlooking the city. He filled us in on the various improvements being built including a part recycling center part downhill skiing complex. That was one thing we learned of Copenhagen; being an attractive city, there’s been an influx of people moving there so the skyline is constantly changing to keep up. Having multipurpose spots like that one help keep it feeling cozier and greener and less like a concrete jungle.
Speaking of cozy… “hygge” is a Danish word that describes that feeling of coziness, charm, or something special. To feel it requires a slowness and the ability to not only be present but enjoy the moment. While riding our bikes through an area to ourselves it was easy to feel it. The architecture there is unique and every corner seems photo worthy. Charming old school brick filled the streets. And in the residential areas it’s not uncommon for the buildings to be vibrant colors and slightly crooked. We stopped in Nyhavn to get some shots of the stylish townhomes, bars, and restaurants along the canal. It’s also very green even in the heart of the city. Cool vibes are written all over it.
Copenhagen clearly can’t hide its trendiness. It was hard not to notice the style most everyone rocked. No matter the age, fashion statements were made. We’d describe it as urban chic… an eclectic flair where you could probably pull off wearing two different shoes if you wanted. Ok maybe that’s a stretch but not a far one. A good sense of fashion is pertinent if you want to blend in Copenhagen. Other than the various hip cafés, good people watching can be done in Freetown Christiania… but no photos please. It’s an abandoned military base turned anarchist commune thanks to hippie squatters. It lies within the city but we felt elsewhere after passing through the open gates. They have their own rules and regulations within the walls to self-police; however, we get the sense the authorities turn a blind eye. This was apparent when we saw the marijuana vendors set up like a produce market. They have many shops, art galleries, and eateries to stroll through and wasn’t a bad stop for a beer!
It’s fun to think about everywhere we’ve been so far because each place brings to mind a different feeling. Copenhagen will leave us with an unforgettable one. There’s always something memorable about each trip we take and it’s never a boring one! Oktoberfest is right around the corner and so is fall. We intend to get out in the mountains in time to see the leaves change despite the season feeling like it lasts 2 days around here. Let the football streaming and chili eating commence!