Even in the midst of winter Copenhagen has more than enough to do to keep solo travellers occupied. So, you can imagine, that spring and summer only serve to extend the opportunities. Impressive palaces, a buzzing food hall, hipster neighbourhoods galore – what's not to love? Let me help you dive straight in to everything Copenhagen has to offer with my Top 5 things to squeeze in and do, if only visiting this Danish capital for a short while:
Oh I do love a good food market, and Copenhagen's Torvehallerne certainly sits amongst my all-time favourites. It's still a relative newbie on the scene though, with its glass halls only having been built on this old market site and opened in 2011. The atmosphere is the epitome of the Danish word 'hygge', which roughly translates at 'coziness', and is perfect for solo travellers. Friendly vendors, top-quality produce and dishes, stylish surrounds – Torvehallerne has it all. And did I mention it has a stall entirely dedicated to tea? (now you aren't surprised that it made it onto my favourite markets list, are you?) With the array of Danish delicacies tempting you at every turn, the indecisive foodies amongst you are sure to struggle here when choosing what to go for because, well, it all looks and smells so good. I grabbed a delicious fresh juice from Unplugged Juice, had a heavenly tea experience hiding from the rain at Tante T Tea Bar, and grabbed something sweet from Granny's House. I left feeling rather full and, full of sadness too that I couldn't take Torvehallerne back home with me to enjoy every weekend.
2. GRÅBRØDRETORV (AND MORE)
Copenhagen is filled with many beautiful public squares, which are there just waiting to be discovered if only people would take the time to stray from the touristic routes mapped out for them in their guides. One such square is Gråbrødretorv, located in Copenhagen's Old Town. If you can, take an afternoon and wander from square to square, trying something to eat or drink in each –it's the perfect solo traveller activity and I promise, a great way to get to know the more local side of Copenhagen.
"Where are all the hipsters hiding?", you may ask yourself when wandering around the Copenhagen's main centre. You can certainly see it, just by the trendy locals strolling down the street. Without wandering off the beaten shopping paths a bit, you're unlikely to just fall upon a bundle of artsy boutiques in the way you perhaps would in more overtly hipster Scandinavian locales such as Stockholm. In Copenhagen it tends to be confined a little more to individual districts. Every hipster tourist now knows that Vesterbro is one of the neighbourhoods to go to, but personally, I preferred long-term rival Nørrebro (which is still a little more under-the-radar in comparison). The place to go in Nørrebro is Jaegersborggade – a picturesque residential which has turned trendy in recent years and is now filled with chic and unique boutiques, bistros, cafes, galleries and more. One of my favourite breakfast haunts Grød, as mentioned in Eat: Copenhagen, is situated here too. Take a few hours to saunter down this beautiful little street and soak in the local vibes.
This old amusement park which dates as far back as 1843, could easily be crowned 'king of kitsch'. But, its more than likely to win your heart all the same, as it has done with the rest of the Danish population. Classic rides, restaurants and cafes, all set around a lake – Tivoli may make you feel as though you have stepped back in time to a bygone era. It's at night, however, when Tivoli truly comes to life when its buildings and gardens are illuminated by hundreds of colourful lights. At Christmastime its particularly special, when it sets up its very own Christmas market and adds, if you can believe it possible, even more lights to its already luminescent night-time display. It's the perfect place to wander around and enjoy when visiting Copenhagen alone. The entrance fee is certainly a little steep, but Tivoli is one of those places that just has to be seen, at least once.
It may be famed for what's inside its imposing buildings, but I have to say, that Slotsholmen is also most enjoyable to experience from outside, too. This little island (yes island, it's surrounded by a small stretch of water) is home to the 'big boys' – a palace, the Royal Library, the National Archives, Danish parliament and even, the Supreme Court. How these seemingly ginormous and important buildings all fit onto a relatively small isle may seem somewhat of a mystery, but it certainly makes taking them all in at once, all the more easier. The best way to see Slotsholmen, if you're more of an outdoorsy sightseer like me, is simply to walk around and admire the architecture on your way to Nyhavn.