Aaah, Copenhagen – the city of sleek design, flaky pastry, stylish people on bicycles and new Nordic cuisine. There is a lot to explore so don’t be fooled, this city is much more than the colourful houses of Nyhavn or a joyful afternoon at Tivoli amusement park. After all, the locals need to entertain themselves too and that usually happens away from the crammed alleyways of the old town and the mediocre tourist traps. So, if you want to leave the trodden path and hang out where the locals do, this guide of Copenhagen hidden gems is for you.
First rule of exploring the hidden gems in Copenhagen: don’t start on an empty stomach! There are plenty of amazing breakfast places in Copenhagen and Hafnia Bar is definitely one of them. Their colourful dishes are not only a feast for the eye but also delectable and healthy. Most dishes are vegetarian or vegan, however, you can add meat or fish to many of them. If you cannot make it for breakfast, they also have poké bowls, sandwiches, soups and burgers on their menu. Bonus: the stylish tables provide a very instagrammable backdrop for your food photos.
Copenhagen is literally plastered with little cafés and third wave coffee shops and you can hardly go wrong with any of them. However, you should put Sonny in the town’s centre on the top of your list. Simple interior and giant flower arrangements make it a cool place to hang out; during the warmer months there are also some chairs outside. Have a slice of their delicious squash cake with a cup of coffee and try one of their refreshing homemade lemonades. They also have a breakfast and lunch menu.
As soon as the sun comes out in spring, you will see the Copenhageners flock on the grass on Sønder Boulevard in Vesterbro, soaking up the sunshine and refilling their vitamin D storage in one of their favourite Copenhagen hidden gems after the long Danish winter. Grab a drink from Kihoshk’s vast selection of chilled beers and soft drinks, treat yourself to a pizza from Itzi Pitzi Pizza next door and join the crowd – if you are lucky enough to find a free spot.
Do you fancy ice cream? Then you probably read about THE ice cream parlour down on Amager and its infamous queue during summer months. But be assured, there are plenty of other good places you shouldn’t miss out on! Head to the neighbourhood of Østerbro for a satisfying ice cream fix – within close vicinity of each other you find Isoteket, Olufs Is, Østerberg and Gelati Martelli, which are all offering delicious homemade ice cream, therefore, it would be unfair to only recommend one of them. Go and try them all - but don’t blame us for your brain freeze.
If you are looking for a special place to have a sundowner, look no further. Kulturtårnet, one of the old copper towers on Knippelsbro, has 360-degree views of Copenhagen’s harbour. Enjoy a glass of wine on its small outside terrace and watch the boats and floats on the canal below travelling by while the city’s lights come on. The tower also houses changing exhibitions, dinner nights, jazz concerts and even sleep overs so check the calendar before you go as space is limited.
One of the perfect hidden gems in Copenhagen for social evenings and rainy afternoons is located in one of the courtyards of Rådhusstræde – Bastard Café’s walls are hidden behind floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with board and card games, over 2000 of them in fact. Some are free to use, but you can also pay a small fee and choose from the entire selection ranging from classic to geeky games. If you are too overwhelmed, ask the game masters for a recommendation. When you sit on one of their comfy couches and sip away on your drink while having a good time with your friends, you may even have a revelation about what the Danish hygge actually means.
The Danish capital has so much to explore and discover, this list of Copenhagen hidden gems is a great way to get to know the City of Spires.
Flights to Copenhagen