COPENHAGEN: Place for Going Out and Design Lovers

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Came to Copenhagen about a year ago, I was a bit skeptical with this tiny city. What Copenhagen have beside the landmark colorful port? I had asked a local guy in Tinder and he just replied firmly, "depends on what do you want. Check out those plenty of bars!" Okay, bars are everywhere I guess.

Like any other capital cities in Europe, Copenhagen also has lots of museum and some sightseeing places (where I think a bit boring). I actually don't really like museums and any ancient building like castle or old church. What I enjoy is visiting places where the locals are, mingling with them while relaxing, and not always have to check must-visit box all the time.

Almost a year, back and forth Herlev-Copenhagen, I realized Copenhagen is totally monotonous. Since my place only have buses going to Nørreport Station, so this is the most comfortable route I prefer to catch the town. But, this is also tremendously tedious by stopping in Norreport station or Strøget, strolling along the pedestrian until Kongens Nytorv and say hello again to Nyhavn, where is always crowded by tourists.

Back to the answer of Tinder guy, actually Copenhagen provides enough enjoyable things we want. However, the pleasures itself sometimes still boring when all you can do every weekends just shopping, watching box office, or bar crawls (yes, this is the right place indeed!).

So, what else I can enjoy in Copenhagen apart from those boring routines in the weekendsin the same place? For me, the designs and places for hanging out where I can spot the Danes! I'm so rewarded by many beautiful sights and experiences I get by ventured off the center and head over to the districts that surround it, especially during the rush hours of the main tourist sights. Think you can see how the locals live by strolling around Strøget or Queen Louise Bridge? Think again.

Scandinavian design in Denmark

Indubitably, Copenhagen is one of the design cities in Europe. Danish design which is simple, elegant, and so bold can be enjoyed in some corners of Copenhagen. Danes are actually so interested to design indeed. If you have chance to take a look their houses, most of their furniture, interior furnishings, or appliances are coming from the most expensive Danish designer's brands. For example Normann, Kay Bojesen. Georg Jensen, and another well-known names.

One of the best places to enjoy Danish design is Design Museum Denmark, about 3 km from the city center. Although this is kind of "old" museum, but the exhibitions are far from dull. The exhibitions which are mostly furniture are colorful and so refreshing for eyes. My friend who had no interest of any design, terribly enjoyed all the things in this place when she visited. Good reason for young people (under 26-year-old) to be here, even they're not student, is free entrance.

Other places to enjoy Danish design are some local design stores in Copenhagen. If I just want window shopping without (or less) spending money, I will come to interior furnishings stores like Normann Copenhagen, Illums Bolighus, or the 4th floor of Magasin du Nord. One of my favourite places is Sostrene Grene where the stores spread out around Denmark. In Copenhagen, there are four stores and one of them is located in ​​Strøget. Besides good for pocket, the goods are so cute and typical Danish design. Can't take my hands off to grab all the things!

Skip the ancient museums

As well as design, Copenhagen also has a lot of places and buildings with a very creative and unique architecture. For those who dislike checking around the museum like me, I am more likely to recommend The Black Diamond, cool library in the waters of Copenhagen. Besides collecting a lot of books, The Black Diamond also hold art exhibitions, concert venue, and relaxing café with water and Cirkelbroen (round bridge) views.

The other place is 8TALLET, a unique architecture and modern apartment located in Ørestad, not far from Copenhagen airport. Because this is apartment, there are some rules to be respected for residents before visitors can see around or eat in the café. Ørestad to Bella Center itself is actually a residential area where does have many modern architectural, unique, and colorful buildings like Tietgen Dormitory, VM Houses, VM Mountain, or more hip and luxurious Bella Sky Bar & Restaurant.

Back closer to the center, Superkilen Park in the neighborhood of Nørrebro, is one of the must visit places in Copenhagen. So different from another shady and green parks, Superkilen presents a public area with super fun and colorful floors. From the undulating black and white to rosy boxes in the area closer to the main street. Trust me, this is lovely yet non-mainstream spot for your next Instagram posts!

Stay away from actual touristic spots

Talking about hanging out and quality time, the Danes are very fond to hygge concept, which can't be translated into English directly. However, hygge can be associated with happiness, comfortable, and intimate feeling with relatives or lovers, usually during bad weather.

In Copenhagen, hangout spots are mostly created to be super hyggelig and also scattered everywhere. From the hip ones with lots of Danes, to the well-known also for travelers. As I said above, I personally prefer hangout where the locals are than mingling with tourists. Although in the center, actually there are some specific places beyond the tourists' radars. Most customers speak Danish, even the waiters and the cashier are very fluent in English. Rather than straight along the pedestrian of Strøget, many hidden gems actually just in the alleys around it.

Another famous area where has lots of choices to eat and drink is Vesterbro, a neighborhood not far from the main station of Copenhagen. An area hipster named Kødbyen or Meatpacking district is well-known by locals enjoying simple Danish meal or just drinking with friends in the weekends.

Other famous neighborhoods are Nørrebro, Osterbro, and Frederiksberg. I personally know Vesterbro, Nørrebro, and some parts of Nørreport station. Cool spots where I can find so many young Danes are indeed in those areas. While Frederiksberg, well-known as an upper class area with more elegant and classy choices for eating or hanging out.

Craving for another? One eating place option for locals and tourists is Papirøen or Paper Island in the harbor area of ​​Copenhagen. The island itself is actually better known with street foods and so crowded during the summer. Even in winter, many people have to queue waiting for the empty chair in the room. If in perplexity where to eat around Copenhagen, I suggest just come to this place. Check around to see the booths that sell a lot of food options, from vegan to a typical Italian dessert. But sometimes, I'm double confused what should I eat if there are so many choices like that.

Copenhagen is undoubtedly expensive. Putting my bum in different local cafés every weekend is also not a solution to be happy (even I am). Spending money wisely is all I have to remember whenever taking my card and inserting it easily in the cashier. So, if the weather is (totally) good, take my friends for short picnic is kind of alternative. Many Copenhageners will also picnic in the park, port, or beach, when the sun shines at its best. Meet the Danes in Amager Strandpark, Ofelia Plads, Operaen, Arsenaløen, or Islands Brygge. Most of them are usually just tanning in the sun, biting their strawberries, or drinking beers which have just purchased from the nearest supermarket.

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