After the hills of Lisbon and San Francisco and the pockmarked streets of Sofia, we’d hit the buggy-friendly jackpot with Copenhagen! Admittedly there were some cobbles to be navigated, especially in the old city centre. Yet it was flat and compact and remarkably, blissfully sunny.
On our previous visit a couple of years earlier, at a similar time of year but without the baby globetrotter, the city had been doused with a bitter cold and pummelled by gusts of rain. We’d taken full advantage then of the Danish culture of hygge, hunkering in toasty cafes and restaurants to warm ourselves with hot drinks and cosy candlelight. The canal boat tour had felt like madness, a test of endurance against the icy wind. This time, as we cruised gently past the old warehouses and waterside residences, our main concern was to make sure we’d applied enough suncream. Apart from the issue of how to calm a screaming baby whose cries threatened to drown out the multilingual commentary, that is.
The Danes invented the cargo bike, or family bike, as they sweetly call them, so we felt obliged to rent one and had great fun trying it out. Cruising along the atmospheric waterfront, past the Danish Parliament Building and out to Superkilen in the district of NØrrebro, an internationally-themed urban park designed to celebrate the diversity of the local residents, we marvelled at the abundance of cycle lanes, which made getting around feel fast, safe and easy. We chilled out in the beautiful Royal Gardens of Rosenborg Castle and sipped Aperol Spritzes on the waterside terrace of hip bar and restaurant, The Standard. Another must-visit for us was the food market, Torvehallerne, to drool at the displays of luscious food. In fact we went twice, the first time to sample the tasty and healthy breakfasts from porridge specialist GrØd, the second to load up on the less healthy but equally delicious cinnamon buns (kanal snegel) from Laura’s Bakery.
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, just outside Copenhagen in Humlebæk, has apparently been described as the world’s most beautiful gallery and I’d certainly put it up there. Poised on the water’s edge, the architecture of the building invites the outside in, scattering stunning glimpses of the gardens, sculpture and sea through angled glass windows through your visit, whichever route you take. The art lover won’t be disappointed by the inside views either.
The baby globetrotter and I saw an exhibition of Picasso’s ceramics, which were playful and refreshing, as well as an exhibition of the work of Gabriele Münter, a German expressionist artist I’d not come across before, but whose work took me surprise and blew me away with its muted colours and soothing lines. The permanent collection is rich in haunting Giacometti pieces and the joyous light and mirror installation, ‘Gleaming Lights of the Souls’, from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama make it well worth the easy train journey out there if you’re visiting Copenhagen. Drenched in spring warmth, the baby globetrotter revelled in the lush gardens and we topped off our visit with an al fresco lunch looking out on an imposing Alexander Calder sculpture to the steel grey water of the Sound beyond.
Relaxed, welcoming, easy going with great food and drink and plenty to see and do, it’s not hard to see why Denmark consistently ranks amongst the world’s happiest nations. It certainly makes me happy to visit it!
If you liked this you might also like:
- The world’s most hygge city: Copenhagen
- A lovely article on all things hygge by Helen Russell
- This cool guide to a short stay in Copenhagen from 12 HRS
- My post on another of my previous trips, Copenhagen in the rain
- My other posts on travelling with the baby globetrotter in Lisbon and Sofia
- My overview blog post about my 100 countries project