Arrival and Strøget
After our major snafu with Norwegian Air, we took a train down to the city center and found our hotel. It was a great walk from the train station, as it took us through Strøget, which is a tourist attraction in itself. Strøget is one of the longest pedestrian-only walking/shopping streets in all of Europe. It’s lined by coffee shops, restaurants, clothes stores, specialty shops and so on.
Our hotel, First Hotel Twentyseven, was in a particularly great location. It was a few minutes walk from the City Hall, Tivoli, and a variety of restaurants. After dropping off our bags and taking a shower, we headed out to the City Hall Square.
Copenhagen’s City Hall Square (“Rådhuspladsen” in Danish) was mere minutes from our hotel, as mentioned. We had a guided walking tour lined up for the following day and we were a bit jetlagged, so we didn’t try to do too much history, but Rådhuspladsen was too temptingly close to not check out. We had Rick Steves Scandinavia guide book with us (which I highly recommended in general) and the book goes around the square to explain what’s nearby — what you’re looking at and what the significance of it is. From here, there’s the City Hall, the Dragon Fountain, and a large statue which acts as a weather display — there’s a statue of a girl on a bike which comes out in sun and a girl carrying an umbrella in rain. Apparently the mechanism(s) guiding this broke years ago though and now it stays halfway between and nobody in Copenhagen can tell whether it’s raining or sunny.I didn’t take many photos of Rådhuspladsen, but you can find the remainder with descriptions by clicking here.
The Tivoli Gardens (or just “Tivoli”) is an amusement park which served as a primary inspiration to Walt Disney when building up Disneyland… to the point that many people that call out Disney as a rip-off. It’s a neat park and event space for all ages; there are rides, stages for performances, restaurants, a microbrewery on site, and a theater on top of their famed garden space, which is beautifully adorned with over 100,000 lights.
Unfortunately, the day that we were there was a bit on the dead side. The rides were definitely in full swing (pun!) but all of the stages were devoid of activity. It may have been that we showed up too late in the day and missed the excitement. By now, we were starting to get hungry and the food in the park looked fairly unexciting, so we decided to head out. In any case, the architecture and grounds were very cool to look at and walk around in. Unfortunately, tickets were a bit on the pricey side and we were a full day short of time in Copenhagen, so we didn’t try to return later. I guess I’ll have to return another time.Additional photos of Tivoli with descriptions can be found by clicking here.
The Meatpacking District is a region inside Vesterbro — one of the administrative districts in Copenhagen. It’s apparently quite trendy, with much of the nightlife and many popular restaurants residing here. We went to Paté Paté (their website isn’t much to speak of at the time of this writing), which is a restaurant housed in an old paté factory. The interior is decorated in a way that can only be described as “chic meat-themed.” The dishes were basically tapas-sized and were really delicious. We ordered 5 between the two of us which was plenty of food.
I’m sort of a beer snob, so the thought of going to Mikkeller Bar, one the top 30 breweries in the world was basically a no-brainer. I didn’t get much resistance from Kem on this front either. We have our own Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco — one of only 3 outside of Denmark — so it was neat to be able to compare. The first thing I noticed was that, compared to the San Francisco location, the bar was not crowded. In San Francisco, you have to wait sometimes for half an hour for a decent seat. Here, we walked right in and sat down and had plenty of space to stretch out.
The interior was clean, quiet, and had an air of simple sophistication that you would expect from their world-class beers. There is outdoor seating as well for those that want to enjoy the warm Copenhagen summer. The beers were, of course, fantastic. My personal favorite was the SpontanGooseberry, which was probably the best lambic beer I’ve ever tasted. Many of the beers were 7-15% alcohol, so with the jetlag, after a couple of these, it was unfortunately time to head back and get some sleep.
Additional photos of our Copenhagen nightlife with descriptions can be found by clicking here.