This week-end we visited friends living in Copenhagen. For us, visiting people living around the world is the best way to combine our two favourite things: travel and spending time with friends. Also it has the perk that you do go out with a local which is often much more interactive and informative than going out with the Lonely Planet guide. So, we try to do this quite often, especially around Europe.
Going back to Copenhagen, it is a short 1h10 flight from Brussels so we hopped on a plane Friday after work to spend a relaxed couple of days in Denmark’s capital. We saw the main sites in a previous trip. So with the mermaid, Nyhavn and Tivoli park out of the way, we could concentrate on less touristy locations.
As Saturday started with with great weather, we aimed directly for the beach. A car/ metro ride is necessary as the nice bathing places are a bit outside the city but public transport is flawless and it takes 15 min to reach Amager Strandpark from the city centre with M2 metro line. The beach is clean with fine white sand and there are plenty of water sport opportunities. We saw people kite surfing and canoeing. There are also excellent walking and biking paths but then we are in Denmark so this is not such a surprise. You can watch the Oresund Bridge (where the story in the Scandinavian thriller “the Bridge” is based) linking Denmark and Sweden in the distance. For me, this place and Friederiks Have are the best places to relax in Copenhagen. For lunch, we had some sandwiches with us and enjoyed them in the special picnic places. For something more consistent, you can barbecue as well. If you want to admire some local wildlife, the modern new aquarium of Copenhagen opened recently in the same area (Den Bla Planet). Our local guides were very excited about it.
In the afternoon the weather changed a bit so we decided to take a leisurely visit of the Designmuseum Denmark. It has a comprehensive collection of furniture and internal decoration objects. A temporary exhibit of children toys and furniture is displayed now. It is well worth an hour of your time and gives a bit if background into the recent developments of interior If you want to spend more time admiring Danish art, head to the Arken Museum of Modern Art instead. The sun was up on Sunday as well so we decided for a stroll in the Kastellet area, a star-shaped 17-century fortress located, at the Waterfront. The Little Mermaid statue is close by if you want to stop for a few photos. We continued to visit the Churchill park and the Anglican church on the South side of Kastellet and take a few photos of the impressive water fountain of Norse goddess Gefion. For a beak, you get nice drinks, lounge chairs on the waterfront and a view of the Opera House from Logismose (http://www.loegismose.dk/).
When deciding on a lunch place, our Danish hosts suggested a fairly recent barbecue joint in the Meatpacking District, south of Vesterbro’s Sønder Boulevard. It turned out to be a great brew pub (scoring major points with the Mister for their Indian Pale Ale) and one of the best barbecue joints this side of the Atlantic – WarPigs (http://warpigs.dk/). For the beer lover, WarPigs serves 22 taps of choice all made fresh at Warpigs’ in-house brewery. In the food department, the brisket is perfectly marinated and melt-in-you-mouth delicious. We tried the Hot links (spicy sausages) and the Ribs but, in my taste, the brisket stole the show. They will organise an Oktoberfest between 23-24 October and we are seriously considering a return. So far, it sets the bar as far as Brew pubs all over the world are concerned.
The rest of the afternoon we spent in the Meatpacking District (check the the venue behind the Huset Teater as they often have festivals and bands playing there) and strolling in Vestebro, the hip and trendy neighbourhood of Copenhagen. You could easily spend a full day here, sampling Nordic fish sandwiches and (window-) shopping for local furniture. Istedgade is Vesterbro’s best shopping street. Ehen in need of a break, Granola (http://www.granola.dk/) is something of a local institution, offering great coffees and a people-watching opportunity on the cobbled side walk. I also noticed an interesting Fish Bar in the Meatpacking district that our Danish hosts were eagerly recommending (http://fiskebaren.dk/). But this will have to wait for our next visit.