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First Time Visit to Copenhagen - Need Help!


Nov 5th, 2016, 07:27 AM
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First Time Visit to Copenhagen - Need Help!

We are planning our first time visit to Copenhagen, end of May 2017. We can spend 5 to 8 days on this trip... We've bee to a lot of European destinations before but this will be our first visit to a Scandinavian country. We'll be traveling without kids, 3 couples in our late 30s-early 40s. We chose Copenhagen for 2 main reasons: it's a beautiful city, and it's a foodie destination...
A few questions, as we are starting to plan this trip:
1. How many days should we plan to explore Copenhagen w/o rushing?
2. Outside of the main attractions, what are the places we should visit?
3. Does it make sense to combine this trip with visiting another destination, such as Bergen/Fjords in Norway or Stockholm? The maximum number of days that we can spend on this trip would be 8 full days...
4. We will do our research on the restaurants, of course, but if anyone has any recommendations on the "must try" places, we would really appreciate it.
Thank you very much,
anuta77 is offline  
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Nov 5th, 2016, 08:13 AM
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Consider a day trip to Roskilde. And get yourselves a good guidebook or two!
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Nov 5th, 2016, 08:17 AM
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I know Copenhagen from my childhood and have been there around a dozen times.

Copenhagen is in fact a most beautiful city, very charming. But without wanting to frustrate you, it is not exactly a foodie destination. Danish food used to be awful, overpriced, with bad wines, also grossly overpriced (due to taxation) and horrible service. In the last years, the situation has improved a lot, but still I would recommend Copenhagen as a fine historic city but certainly not for gourmet experiences.

Yes, I know, there is a bigg fuzz about Noma, but this big fuzz is only because the food used to be so bad that the first Danish restaurant which met international standards stands out so much. Similar as in London. No one speaks about the restaurants in Paris because there are so many excellent restaurants and they are there for hundreds of years.

Well, with careful research, you will find some restaurants with decent food, but still be prepared for catastrophic dining experiences, especially in places which are frequented by tourists, like Nyhavn or Tivoli. If you are from America, be especially prepared for a waitstaff behaviour that would be considered as extremely rude in America. Keep in mind that most Danish people are socialists and despise a servant attitude.

So, this was my rant about Danish food (or Scandinavian food in general). If your experiences will prove me wrong be happy and laugh about me. At least, do not travel with wrong expectations.

Now, coming to the tourist sights. Copenhagen is rather compact and mostly walkable. And you will enjoy walking through the streets, lined by historic buildings. For Copenhagen's main attractions, three days will suffice. However, there are a few sidetrips which might be interesting:

- Louisiana is a museum of modern art north of Copenhagen in a very beautiful setting. It is worth to go there on a beautiful day. https://en.louisiana.dk/

- You might combine it with the Karen Blixen Museum ("Out of Africa"), which is also north of Copenhagen: http://blixen.dk/?lang=en

- Roskilde has a beautiful cathedral and a very impressive museum of Viking ships. http://www.visitroskilde.com/ln-int/...-lejre/tourist

So, five days would be a good time to visit Copenhagen and do a few daytrips from there.

If you have more time, Stockholm might be a good idea. You can either fly or take the train (5:23). You can easily spend 2 or 3 days in Stockholm. Alternatively, you may fly to Bergen nonstop with SAS (recommended) or with a stopover in Oslo. Bergen is very small and one day will be enough, unless you explore a fjord (daytrip) and/or Jostedalsbreen Glacier. Then, you need about 3 days.
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Nov 5th, 2016, 08:26 AM
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We did a bit of research and ate fantastic food in Copenhagen! Try Radio and Geranium.

A day trip to Roskilde is a great idea!
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Nov 5th, 2016, 08:49 AM
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traveller1959's opinions about food is Copenhagen might have been correct circa 1959, but things have moved on. I also recommend Restaurant Radio and Geranium, as well as Søllerød Kro, Den Røde Cottage in the upmarket area of Klampenborg, as well as several places selling open sandwiches (Aamanns is one of the best places to eat smørrebrød), Sankt Peders Bageri for cinnamon rolls, Conditori La Glace for amazing cakes, Cafe Sorgenfri for something more modest and traditional, Brasserie Degas for more affordable food.

I would not eat around Nyhavn but do eat in Tivoli Gardens, in Grøften, which is a very old traditional Danish restaurant, a bit of a rarity. If you go on a trip to Kronberg Castle,a bit further on is Hornbæk where there is a very good fish house, better than what you get in Gilleleje where many places selling fish have closed down.

As for service in Danish restaurants, you won't get a more hospitable welcome or better service than in Restaurant Krebsegaarden.
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Nov 6th, 2016, 08:10 PM
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Huge thanks to everyone who responded!
anuta77 is offline  
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Nov 6th, 2016, 09:52 PM
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First, it is not necessary to visit other Scandinavian countries just because you are in one of them. You could just as well combine with any other country especially if you can make it part of a multi-city flight.

There are enough things to do in Copenhagen plus major attractions to the north and to Roskilde as noted. I have been to Gilleleje for lunch. There were no other tourists if you go that far. That brings to tourists. My last visit was end of May, but Copenhagen plus all major destinations nearby were chock full of tourists many seems to be with the endless parade of cruise boats docked in Copenhagen just north of the Little Marmaid. As I have been to the Jutland and Copenhagen before, I spent some time in Odense and Aeroskobing this time. Late May is pre-season at Aero Island, so I had practically who town to my self with about 1/3 of the businesses open at this time. No tour groups hitting the island yet.
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Nov 7th, 2016, 06:44 PM
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Well we found a lot of excellent food in Denmark - esp seafood - but it is NOT cheap. And I just admit I am not a fan of herring, esp at breakfast. But we had no problem finding very good to excellent meals everywhere.

With your time I would stick with Copenhagen and really become familiar with it. There are several castles in the city, a wonderful town hall, at least 5 great museums and Tivoli at night (just charming). We esp liked the WWII Resistance Museum.

You can easily do day rips:

Roskild for the cathedral and the viking ship museum
Visit the several castles (includine "MacBeth's" north of Copenhagen for a day trip
Whip over to Malmo in Sweden for a day in a charming small town
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Nov 8th, 2016, 12:55 AM
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nytraveler: I know Denmark and Copenhagen in particular are on your destination wishlist, you will be sorely disappointed if you go there and look for "MacBeth's" north of Copenhagen. Despite what you have read, not all food in Denmark is expensive.
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Nov 16th, 2016, 08:38 PM
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Returned a few weeks ago and loved it. We found the food to be delicious almost everywhere but definitely overpriced. If you are all in reasonable shape and don't mind walking, you can easily see the major areas of Copenhagen in three days. Forget Tivoli unless you are fans of amusement parks - we found it to be packed and uninteresting (and we had kids with us). DH and I had two evenings to simply walk around neighborhoods and explore. R vinbar for one was fantastic.
We loved southern Sweden also and would have taken time in Stockholm if we'd had just one more day. Agree with getting outside of Copenhageneven for a day.
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