We sometimes forget to appreciate what is right in front of us – even the beauty of the very city we live in can easily be overlooked during a busy week. One way of rediscovering the splendor of your city is by approaching it like a tourist. Here are 5 activities that will reconnect you with the beauty of Copenhagen.
By Ann Louise Sæmer
Cruise the canals
Taking a guided tour on the canals of Copenhagen is a sure way of realizing that one’s knowledge of the many historical features along the way is surprisingly limited. But if you want to skip the historical insights of guided tours, there are numerous places for boat rentals during the summer. This will afford you the luxury of cruising the canals as captain of your very own vessel, while feasting on the contents of your picnic basket with friends and family.
Roofed boats are available on guided tours during winter.
The Netto-Boats: https://www.havnerundfart.dk/canaltours/index.php?page=forside.php
Go Boat: http://goboat.dk/en
Visit the Cisterns
One of the more obscure options is the subterranean reservoir called The Cisterns. And though ’subterranean reservoir’ may not sound all that appealing at first, it’s very much worth a visit and here’s why: The Cisterns were once the main source of drinking water for Copenhagen and could hold as much as 16 million liters of clean water; it has since gained a new lease on life as a venue for art exhibitions, and even fashion shows have recently found their way to this slightly odd underground attraction. The Cisterns remain the only dripstone cave in Denmark and should not be missed, if only for its slightly spooky atmosphere, which is bound to stir your senses and make your imagination run wild.
The Cisterns: http://www.cisternerne.dk/en/
Climb to the top
From the underbelly of Copenhagen to looking at it all from above: One of the many extraordinary historical features overlooking Frederiksholm’s Canal, is The Tower of Christiansborg Palace, which offers a perfect viewing platform from where you can feast your eyes on a panoramic view of Copenhagen completely free of charge. But if you feel like spending a bit of money in beautiful and delicious surroundings, all you have to do is visit The Tower restaurant just below the platform. Everything from the furniture, plates, cutlery, and lamps are Danish, just as the produce in the kitchen.
The Tower: https://taarnet.dk/taarnet/udsigten/?lang=en
Stroll through Christianshavn
Christianshavn was named after King Christian IV, who was a somewhat industrious fellow when it came to expanding and strengthening the city of Copenhagen during his reign between 1588 and 1648. This particular part of the city oozes history with its streets of cobblestone and houses of half-timbering. If you feel like challenging your fear of heights, you can do so by climbing the winding steps of the spire of The Church of Our Saviour, which offers a spectacular view of the city. A simple stroll along the canal will make your head spin, as your eyes will constantly ping-pong between crooked, historical buildings and idyllic courtyards. And for the artistically inclined, Christianshavn is also the fomer neighbourhood of the famous Danish painter Hammershoi, who could capture sunlight streaming through a window or bouncing off a living room door like no one else. To see where Hammershoi painted some of his most celebrated paintings, make sure to locate Strandgade 25 and 30, where he lived between 1898 and 1916. Those familiar with his work will recognize the source of some of his famous motifs when looking at the scenery across the street.
Rest your feet in historical surroundings
Exploring any big city usually entails a great deal of walking, which will no doubt leave your throat feeling a bit parched. Rather than turning to your usual waterhole, why not try somewhere new, which exploring is really all about. If you haven’t yet come across Ved Stranden 10 next to Frederiksholm’s Canal, it’s well worth a visit. While originally a teashop with prominent customers such as H.C. Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard during the 1800s, the place now serves as a winebar and wineshop focusing on biodynamic wine. Deckchairs are available outside during the summer, while the interior, with its mix of modern decor and remnants of the former teashop, will keep you warm during the winter.
Ved stranden 10: http://www.vedstranden10.dk/