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May 27, 2022

A Different Take on Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a popular tourist destination, and for so many good reasons. It’s a city full of Danish history, incredible food, Instagram-worthy scenery, landmarks, and so much more.

As soon as you arrive, you’ll be greeted by smiling locals and vibrant life pouring out of every nook and cranny of the city. Not to mention, the seemingly endless possibilities of exploration and activities to get started on.

While you don’t want to miss out on the city’s highlights, you also don’t want to miss out on its hidden gems. If you’re the type who likes to wander a bit off the beaten path, this list of different things to do in Copenhagen is for you.

Here are a few unique things to add to your itinerary while visiting:

Explore the Underground Cisterns

Far below the very green plains of Søndermarken exist the Cisterns — an underground world complete with colonnades, dripstones, and enchanting darkness. The Cisterns were once Frederiksberg’s water reservoir, which supplied the capital’s citizens with drinking water for years.

Today, the Cisterns isn’t just a place to observe the underground but also an exhibition site for contemporary art. It truly is a special atmosphere that puts art in a whole new light.

Take a Winter Bath at Refshaleøen

If you’re visiting Denmark in the winter, you’ll want to take some time to relax from all the exploring, and what better way than with a hot sauna followed by a winter dip? Or vice versa, which is usually the more popular route for those not accustomed to cold water.

At Refshaleøen you can enjoy the wood-fired sauna before or after a cold dip in the Amager harbor, followed by fresh farm-to-table food and wine at La BanchinaLink opens in a new tab.

You can also visit in the summer and enjoy much warmer water or simply the sunset on the docks. The sauna itself can accommodate up to 8 people at a time.

Travel Back in Time Through A.C. Perch’s Tea Shop

If an unusual yet wholesome experience is what you’re searching for, then you’ll want to drop by A.C. Perch’s TeashopLink opens in a new tab (Thehandel).

Opening the door to this unassuming shop located on an off-street near Købmagergade right in the middle of Copenhagen is like opening the door to the mid-1800s, which was when it was built. The shop is small and quaint, with the back wall lined with rows of golden tea caddies holding tea from around the world.

The staff even weighs the tea using old-fashioned brass scales with weights, and they also serve scones and finger sandwiches to enjoy with your tea. 

Visit the Famous Elephants at Elephant Gate

If you’re touring the Carlsberg Brewery, you’re not finished until you pay a visit to the famous Elephant Gate which is home to four life-sized granite elephant statues — with giant swastikas on their sides.

We should probably mention that at the time the gate was built (in the late 1800s) the swastika was still an ancient symbol for luck and prosperity, which is why Carl Jacobsen, the brewery’s founder, chose it for the brewery’s official trademark. (The trademark was, of course, discontinued by 1940 for obvious reasons).

Carl also sponsored the elephants at the Copenhagen Zoo, and the brewery was even built with stables to house them from time to time. Additionally, the four elephants were built to represent Carl’s four remaining children and each elephant is adorned with one of the children’s initials.

Immerse Yourself in the Ultra Colorful Superkilen Park

Copenhagen’s Superkilen Park has given the city the gift of multicultural celebration by mixing design elements from cultures around the world. It’s located just north of the city center, and you can’t really miss it considering that it’s full of futuristic art and has one section completely covered in bright pink.

Built to celebrate diversity, the park is broken up into three zones: The Red Square, The Black Market, and The Green Park. Each zone is named for its coloring and motif, with large-scale design themes and features taken from over 50 different countries. For example, you’ll find imported benches from Brazil, streetlamps from Iraq, trash cans from England, and even a neon sign advertising a Chinese salon.

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Hang With the Christinites of Freetown

Freetown Christiania is mostly considered a large commune, regulated by a special 1989 law. Originally a military zone, Christiania became known right away as a central trade center for cannabis.

While there’s a lot of local history here, Christiania has essentially become a hippie town lined with all different outdoor vendors —including cannabis vendors— where Christinites (as they’re called) are very much into meditation, yoga, and other peaceful recreational activities. As you venture through the main strip known as Pusher Street, you’ll also come across small art galleries and shopping boutiques.

The best time to visit Freetown is during the offseason when the locals are more relaxed and interested in engaging with tourists. 

Hunt For Giants

Hiding within the lush forests, calm waters, and green meadows of Copenhagen’s suburban areas are six large wooden (and quirky) giants — waiting for you to find them. These giants were created using recycled wood by Thomas Dambo with the intention of getting the people of Copenhagen out into nature to discover new places.

The greater Copenhagen region encompasses six municipalities (hence the six giants) so you’ll need a car to get around. You can also combine your hunting trip with a visit to the Arken Museum of Modern Art, which is also within proximity to the coastal Ishøj sculpture and much more.

Whether you choose to experience Copenhagen in a more conventional way or take the road less traveled, you really can’t go wrong. It’s the city of fairytales, after all, with adventure lurking around each and every unique corner.

Think you can find all six of Dambo’s wooden giants or feel like traveling back to the 1800s for a little while? Then start planning your trip to Copenhagen with us today!

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