When I moved back to the U.S. after studying abroad in Australia, I had a roommate who had just returned from studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and loved it. Since then Copenhagen has been on my list to visit. Although I did not have a chef card in Danish with me (since sometimes my travels are unplanned), I knew I could still have success traveling to Copenhagen with food allergies.
I was already in Europe for a work conference. When a colleague and I realized we both had a few days off the following week with no specific plans in between, we decided to meet in Copenhagen. We booked an AirBnB and although we both had plans to arrive with a day or so difference, we still should have had a weekend there together to explore. However, due to weather I was stuck at the airport in Amsterdam for two days. What should have been a short two-hour flight turned into a long two-day trip because of weather delays and cancellations. I found MADEGood at the Airport which helped as my snacks started dwindling with the unexpected airport stay.
Side Note: If you are ever in need of a hotel (with wooden floors) near the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, I would recommend the Dutch Design Hotel Artemis Amsterdam. It was clean, easy on my allergies, and not too far from the airport.
I flew from Amsterdam to Copenhagen on SAS. The flight itself was fine. The re-booking process to get on a flight was not ideal. They rebooked me on a flight with a stopover. I wasted days of vacation time traveling somewhere that should have taken two hours to get to originally.
I was there with a colleague. We decided to rent an AirBnb which was expensive, but worked out well because of kitchen access and location. The apartment is on Nansensgade and very close and walkable to everything. I loved the location, felt safe there and found it easy to navigate. The apartment had a full kitchen, outdoor porch in back, two bedrooms, bathroom, washer and living space. It is a third-floor walkup (so FYI with luggage). The apartment host left very detailed information about the area, emergency info, supermarkets, restaurants, and top tourist spots with maps. I love and appreciate when hosts take the time to do that.
Food & Dining
I chose to stay in an apartment because I could safely cook if necessary since I didn’t have a Danish chef card. I had heard that English was commonly spoken and understood, like in Amsterdam, so I figured I would try my English chef card if I ate out.
I went to a few different grocery stores including these below for snacks and fresh food.
When I travel I usually choose one main meal to eat out. On this trip, it happened to be mostly dinner.
- Venezia Italian Pizzeria– Located along Nyhavn in the most “known” area of Copenhagen. There are plenty of restaurants in this vicinity, however I was looking for Italian in particular since it is the simplest for my allergies.
- Rosso Pomodoro– I had a margherita pizza which was pretty good. The view and atmosphere were excellent!
- Kalaset– Cute little coffee shop on the corner of my street walking towards the main center.
- Bibendum vinbar– This was right below my Airbnb. The ambiance is nice but I didn’t find it especially friendly. I think it is definitely a locals spot.
- Boulebar– Fun atmosphere for drinks and indoor lawn games.
There are many but below are some of the highlights from my trip.
- Torvehallerne– I enjoyed roaming around and looking at all of the options. There are sixty different stalls of food in the market with tables to eat at outside.
- The Round Tower– It was completed in 1642 and had many functions. It had an observatory for astronomers and also once housed the University of Copenhagen’s book collection. The space is now used for art and design exhibitions and events. There was also a library and a planetarium. Once you climb to the top (which is mostly a spiral ramp, not stairs), you will see views over the entire city of Copenhagen.
- Tivoli Gardens– It’s an incredibly well built and established amusement park in the city with fireworks at night and an eclectic mix of food. It’s definitely a fun spot to visit, especially at night!
Day Trips from Copenhagen:
- Dragor– The Old Town and Harbour is such an idyllic spot. It is a preserved 18th century maritime town with cobblestone streets and red tile rooves.
- Café Dragor Sejlkl– This is a great little spot to sit with a coffee and look out at the water.
- Kronborg Castle– I LOVED this castle. The views are stunning as it sits write on the edge of Oresund Sound. It still has active motes running along it (which is unusual from most castles I’ve visited). Hamlet by William Shakespeare takes place at this castle and they put on productions of the famous play every year at the castle. I explored underground passageways which were creepy, but interesting. Frederick II had this castle built to establish his power in Scandinavia. He is also known for having one of the happiest royal marriages in Europe to Queen Sophie.
- Malmo, Sweden- The Øresund Bridge connects Denmark and Sweden. I took a very easy train ride across to Malmö for the afternoon. I strolled around to get a feel for the city and had a prosecco in the square at Steakhouse, Lilla Torg 7.