It’s become somewhat of a tradition to go away on my birthday every year, which I am fully committed to continuing. My birthday is at the end of January, meaning flights are a bargain to many European cities, hotels are cheap and places are generally much quieter than normal. The only downside is it’s usually bloody freezing, but I’m not against wearing two pairs of tights under my jeans and chunky jumpers. The protocol for finding said break is hitting up SkyScanner, searching flights from Manchester to Everywhere in January and see where the cheapest location is. Having been fortunate to have already been to Paris and Hamburg, this year was the turn of Copenhagen.
The Danish city is a place I’ve always wanted to visit, the multi-coloured buildings lining the river, the Little Mermaid Statue and an abundance of Smørrebrød were enough to make us book the flights and plan a weekend break in Copenhagen. We found an amazing deal at the newly opened Hotel Ottilia, part of the Brochner chain of hotels. Situated in the old Carling Brewery buildings, this sophisticated hotel has all the quirks and character you would expect, mixed with modern opulence, large open spaces and sleek Danish design. We chose a Superior Room, with a fabulous round window, featuring a reading nook, huge superking bed and uber powerful shower.
The amazing thing about staying at a Brochner Hotel? They offer a little perk called wine hour every day between 5 and 6pm, wait for it, at all of their hotels in Copenhagen (except Hotel Herman K). So whether you’re in the hotel your’re staying in or one further inner city, you’re welcome to pop in and enjoy a delicious glass (or three) of Brochner Wine.
Hotel Ottilia is based in Frederiksberg a rather fashionable part of Copenhagen with excellent shopping opportunities and green spaces. It is more upmarket compared to the more popular Nørrebro and Vesterbro, but you’ll find the hotels are cheaper as they’re not as central. The main street running through Frederiksberg is Gammel Kongevej aka King’s Road. Shopping is great here with many clothing shops as well as sushi restaurants, cafes and deli’s.
Read on for my three day Copenhagen itinerary and discover tips about this fabulous city.
Fortunately for us, we arrived during wine hour at check in at Hotel Ottilia. What better way to relax into your room than with a delicious glass of red wine? After unpacking and enjoying a second glass of wine, we headed out in search of food. There were an abundance of sushi restaurants in Frederiksberg, which, if you know me, made me very, very happy. We stumbled across Fuji Sushi, which offered UNLIMITED sushi kids! Yep, for a mere £19 each we enjoyed the most delicious sushi, yes we probably had about 19,000 calories but who’s counting.
We headed for drinks at Ewalds Bistro then retired back to the hotel for more drinks in the newly opened rooftop bar at Hotel Ottilia. Drinks were slightly pricey (£12 for a G&T!) so just one drink was enjoyed, but with a fabulous view and live piano, we weren’t too fussed.
Breakfast at Hotel Ottilia is the stuff of dreams, fresh bread, pastries, fruit, meat, cheese, smoothies and, wait for it, unlimited Cava. What better way to start a birthday breakfast than with a couple of glasses of fizz.
After filling our boots with carbs and alcohol all before 10am, we took the train from Calsberg (about a 7 minute walk from the hotel) to the city centre and headed out in search of a boat tour. We settled on the Grand Tour from Canal Tours Copenhagen which departed from Nyhavn. At only £11 per person for an hour, covering the Little Mermaid Statue and many more landmarks we thought it was the best one. The tour wasn’t until 2pm, so we wondered around the delicious and quirky shops of Copenhagen and stopped for a bite to eat at Café Diamanten og ølhalle, situated on Gammel Strand, a gorgeous little street of quirky restaurants and bars.
We strolled through Amagertorv Square which is the centre of the Strøget pedestrian area, where the two main shopping streets diverge. Its centrepiece is the imposing Stork Fountain and it’s a fab place to people watch.
The boat tour was definitely worth it, however, if you visit in January, do not sit outside like we did, it’s bloody freezing, but has the best 360 degree views. We saw The Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace, the Thorvaldsen Museum and of course the Little Mermaid Statue. The canal tour finished where it started in Nyhavn, which is where the iconic colourful houses are, the one’s are so synonymous with Copenhagen.
After both being on the verge of getting hypothermia, we decided a coffee stop would be most welcome. We walked a little and came across Hotel Danmark which turned out to be part of the Brochner Hotel group, meaning wine hour was nearly upon us. Hotel Danmark has a stunning rooftop bar where you have great views of the top of Tivoli Gardens and the sunset.
Wine hour ended and we headed out to discover more drinking haunts, finding Bar 7 in the Latin Quarter of Copenhagen. this place is uber cool, fish tanks, duke boxes and quirky cocktails, a must visit if you ask me.
As it was my birthday, we wanted to find a special restaurant, after some research before we arrived in Copenhagen, I discovered The Olive Kitchen & Bar on TripAdvisor. Based in central Copenhagen, this stunning and cosy restaurant serves beautiful, home cooked food, with friendly, knowledgeable staff and great wine. They even brought me a chocolate fudge fondant with a candle in to celebrate the occasion which was a lovely surprise.
With the night still being young we found a local jazz bar (turned out to be the oldest jazz bar in Copenhagen) called La Fontaine. Not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised with 5 live musicians jamming on the stage. Drummers, saxophonists and double bassists all played together to create an electrifying atmosphere. The place was buzzing and we stayed here until 3am it was that good.
It’s so easy to get around too, as the buses run all night meaning it was only a short 15 minute ride back to the hotel.
We woke up to snow! After somewhat of a treacherous walk to the train station we headed to the National Museum of Copenhagen. With exhibits from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History, plus the most amazing selection of huge antique dolls houses, it’s well worth the visit. It’s about £12 for an adult ticket and you could spend a whole day here.
After a morning of history, we headed to the indoor food market Torvehallerne next to the Nørreport Station. This market has everything from fresh fish stands, local butcher stalls, seasonal vegetables, bars, sushi and dreamy ready-to-eat meals. We stopped for some hot glühwein, sampled some tasty cheese and ate some delicious bit sized canapes. We loved Tapa del Toro which sold some delicious Pintxos made from vegetables, meat, fish and freshly baked breads.
We strolled through the adjacent park and then the boyfriend discovered a comic book shop called Faraos Cigarer, which turned out to be a chain of four comic book shops all in the same vicinity, joy! If you enjoy these sorts of things great, if not avoid, you could lose your loved ones for hours in there.
After far too long in these shops, we headed to the main shopping street and discovered the most beautiful &Other Stories shop. There was a sale, I spent money, oops.
We had read Tivoli Gardens was a must see, what we didn’t read was that it was shut until March (!) but the entrance is lovely.
So what do you do when the main attraction is shut, it’s snowing and your freezing, find a cozy bar of course. We stumbled across The Library Bar in the Plaza Hotel, across the road from Tivoli and enjoyed the most delicious wine. The Library Bar is, you guessed it situated in a library and is so cosy and warm.
We returned to Hotel Danmark just in time for wine hour (again), Copenhagen is rather expensive so when free drinks are on offer it would be rude not to accept.
For dinner we hit up Halifax Burgers, we had to wait 20 minutes for a table but boy was it worth it, they were so tasty and have amazing vegan and veggie options. They’re based in the Latin Quarter so close to some fabulous bars.
Afterwards we went to the slightly tacky but cheap Australia Bar. If you live in the UK it’s like Walkabout but with pool tables, a good atmosphere and cracking music.
We got the bus back to the hotel, ready to check out and head to the airport the next morning.
Recommended Copenhagen Bars:
- The Library Bar in the Plaza Hotel
- Hotel Danmark Rooftop Bar
- Bar 7
- La Fontaine
- Hotel Ottilia Rooftop Bar
- Australia Bar
Recommended Copenhagen Restaurants:
- The Olive Kitchen & Bar
- Tapa del Toro
- Halifax Burgers
- Ewalds Bistro
- Café Diamanten og ølhalle
- Fuji Sushi
Copenhagen Must Sees:
- Canal Tours Copenhagen
- Amagertorv Square
- Thorvaldsen Museum
- Little Mermaid Statue
- National Museum of Copenhagen
- Torvehallerne Indoor Food Market
- Tivoli Gardens
Have you been to Copenhagen? What did you love about it?