Copenhagen 2016, pt. 2

Our return to Copenhagen consisted of ten perfect days complete with blue skies and sunshine, and a city infused with an early summer bustle. Parks packed with picnickers, canals lined with sunbathers, it seemed as if every Copenhagener was outside enjoying one of the few beautiful weeks of summer a year. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

One part of this trip I had been looking forward to was meeting up with one of my oldest and best of friends who has been studying abroad in the States. Already traveling through Europe with her family, she was able to fly over and join us for Distortion, and we used this as an opportunity to do some sightseeing. No matter how many times I visit Copenhagen, I know I will never tire of experiencing the city’s many sites and attractions. The Rundetaarn is one of my favourites. Located in central Copenhagen down the winding street of Købmagergade, this 17th-century astronomical observatory still operates as such, but also acts as a venue for cultural events and art exhibitions. As you ascend the tower by way of a radial, cobbled passage, the windows allow for beautiful natural light to leak in, and offer glimpses of the quintessential orange Copenhagen rooftops. At the top awaits one of the most photogenic spots in the entire city, where one can truly appreciate Copenhagen as the "the city of spires".

We spent a lot of time exploring Christianshavn and Holmen, an area of the city which soon became one of my favourites. Situated on the island of Amager, Christianshavn boasts a charming, authentic aesthetic that helps it stand apart from the rest of the city. Christianshavn's urban composition of canals, bridges, and houseboats take inspiration from the urban design of Amsterdam, looking almost identical to the Dutch capital in some places. Although this neighbourhood is predominately residential, there are many things to see and do. We wandered through Freetown Christiania, an autonomous and peaceful "hippie" commune, browsed the fantastic design book selection in the Danish Architecture Centre, relaxed outside of noma, and ate at Copenhagen Street Food, a new sustainable street food market established in the old newspaper factory Papirøen. 

Our main reason for visiting Copenhagen this time of year was Distortion, the ultimate Scandinavian party experience. Dubbed a "celebration of Copenhagen nightlife", Distortion is a five-day street festival that transitions from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, with street parties in the Inner City, Nørrebro, Vesterbro, and a final party on Refshaleøen, Copenhagen Ø. With an incredible variety of music, cheap beer, and engaged locals, Distortion is a unique and worthwhile opportunity to not only party, but use as a basis for justifying your own trip through Denmark – it is truly something to be experienced.

We said our goodbyes to Copenhagen with a final dinner at Den Røde Cottage in Klampenborg. A suburb north of Copenhagen, Klampenborg is home to Bakken, the world's oldest amusement park, Jægersborg Dyrehave, a natural area known for its deer population, and Bellevue Beach, where some of Arne Jacobsen's finest work can be found. It was the perfect finale to our ten days in the happiest city on earth.

See you soon, Copenhagen.


Copenhagen 2016, pt. 1

Once upon a time, Copenhagen was my home. Over four years have passed since my six-month exchange in the happiest place on earth, but my love for this magical city is still as strong as ever. This past spring marked my fifth time in Copenhagen, and I had a ten day vacation planned with nothing on my itinerary except to enjoy the city like a local. 

My sister and I rented a flat on Ægirsgade, a quiet, residential street in outer Nørrebro only a few minutes walk from Superkilen park and Nørrebro Station. A quintessentially Danish abode, the apartment was filled with token Danish accessories: Royal Copenhagen contrast mugs, mid-century modern teakwood chairs, and classic Danish art, posters, and novels. It was the perfect Scandinavian dwelling for our ten days in wonderful Copenhagen.

Our first few days in Copenhagen we spent re-exploring the city; enjoying old favourites and searching for new ones. The Friday we arrived, we stuck to what we knew in Nørrebro: drinks at Mikkeller & Friends on Stefansgade, dinner at the Laundromat Cafe (always good), and a concert at Rust, my favourite nightclub in Copenhagen. As the weekend progressed, we expanded our horizons outside of our usual, checking out all the new and exciting spots that have opened over the past few years. These included: Heimdalsgade 22, a cafe-meets-record shop on the Superkilen stretch; Illum Rooftop, an expansive rooftop terrace overlooking Strøget, Copenhagen's pedestrian shopping street; and Brus, a new microbrewery and restaurant on Guldbergsgade, among many others.

We ate well this time around in Copenhagen too, checking out a number of restaurants on my wish list. Sadly, I will probably never eat at noma, but I take comfort in the fact that I witnessed René Redzepi water his microgreens outside his restaurant - I still regret not saying hello. Bæst was first on our list: located across from Brus on Guldbergsgade, Bæst is an Italian, all-organic restaurant serving delicious cured meats and wood-fired pizzas. We ate at Spise\Bar 20 on Rantzausgade with our Danish family, enjoying an extravagant spread of authentic, Mediterranean-inspired fare. Breakfast at Møller's Kaffe og Køkken was a unique experience: rated the best breakfast in town, you are given a menu with individual breakfast items to check off, and every single thing is heavenly. I highly suggest ordering the sourdough and rye bread combo with the homemade Nutella.