For his birthday, Monsieur had hoped for us to travel to Budapest. However, we quickly realized that since Hungary shares a border with the Ukraine, it might be best to make some alternate arrangements and chose Copenhagen instead.
What a city! We immediately fell in love with Copenhagen. Flying from Paris was just under two hours. Flying is still a kerfuffle, but Copenhagen isn’t train-able. We spent three, sunny but cold days in Copenhagen at the Hotel Sanders. Perfectly located just off Kongens Nytorv (Kings New Square), we loved the central location and how easy it was to explore this compact and walkable city.
Copenhagen is a city of cycling, we marvelled at the lack of car traffic and loved strolling the network of pedestrian shopping streets. A nice change from Paris, we enjoyed the fresh Baltic sea air and general quiet. We arranged a walking tour via the hotel and were very glad we did. Our guide, Kersten is extremely knowledgeable and gave us plenty of information on the history of Copenhagen and Denmark. We especially enjoyed our stop at the Royal Palaces at Amalienborg in time for the changing of the guard. The very well liked Queen Margarethe II was in residence that day and it was interesting to hear about all the many Frederik’s and Christian’s who served as King over the centuries.
The sense of Hygge (coziness in Danish and Norwegian) was apparent everywhere we went. The hospitable and welcoming people in the glow of warm candlelight, snuggled under cozy throw blankets made us feel at home. The Danes really know how to make you feel warmly welcomed.
We felt this most of all when we enjoyed the best meal of our stay at the incredible Zahida. A very cool Pakistani fusion place near the Kings Garden. We arrived and Bobby the owner greeted us by name, showed us to our table and explained how the menu items were curated with recipes from his Grandmother. YUM doesn’t cover it. Delicious at every turn. This was the second time on this trip that we met a beautiful human from Pakistan and we’re starting to think that the Universe may be trying to tell us something. We had such a great time. Outstanding food, great drinks, killer playlist and super fun and engaging staff hosting all the fun. What a treat! PS they also have a very cool collection of art by young Pakistani artists, including some incredible Star Wars renditions done in Mughal designs available through Polly & Other Stories.
Many people told us that we must visit Christiania while in Copenhagen. Located in a former military baracks along some of the remaining ramparts around Copenhagen, Christiania is a self proclaimed, independent region within the city. For lack of a better word, a commune. Non-commercial and certainly embracing hippie sensibilities, it was a cool place to see but felt a little awkward on a Monday morning with all the marijuana sellers rolling and selling joints from their crate stands. We took a quick spin around and made our way back to the EU through the gate.
Copenhagen is an interesting European capitol with plenty of history and great architecture. But its the warm and wonderful people that we met that will bring us back to this great city hopefully before too long.