Copenhagen City Guide: 

8 April 2017

Copenhagen was a places I sought after for a long while. I am incredibly enchanted with Danish style (Hygge, anyone?), am constantly seeing beautiful places in this beautiful city, and also really wanted to climb that spiral staircase at the Botanic Gardens. After snooping around on the interwebs this past autumn (I'm consistently looking for plane tickets to Europe), I found plane tickets to Copenhagen that were such a good deal, it would be blasphemy if I passed them up. I asked my friend/platonic soulmate, Victoria, to come with me, and to my delight, she agreed.

After spending many (cold, long Chicago winter) months anticipating this trip, planning it out with Victoria, and mapping out all the places we should visit, I was finally in beautiful Copenhagen.

It didn't seem so beautiful at first. It was raining when I first arrived and I was struggling to find wifi to figure out where I was going. I was intimidated, anxious, and worried that I had romanticized the city a bit too much. When I finally got to our Airbnb, I had to finish coding a website (a project which I had been procrastinating for weeks), and then didn't want to leave to get actual food, so I used whatever was in the apartment (that ended up being a bowl of plain rice).

I accidentally slept until two in the afternoon the following day, and didn't get out and exploring until about three. I walked to Jægersborggade--a street in Copenhagen with so many darling places like Grod, Kaktus, and Coffee Collective--and embarrassingly stumbled over my (English) words whilst trying to order a latte at Coffee Collective. Once I sat down, I realized there was no wifi (first world problems), so sat awkwardly for an hour or two before finally going out to dinner at Grod with Victoria. The next day, we accidentally overslept and went to the Botanic Gardens but were turned away because they were closing. Needless to say, I was worried that the rest of the trip would be a disaster.

Thankfully, the following days were more robust, filled with laughter, visiting so many places on my list, and eating some pretty great food, even though we still weren't mastering the art of waking up at a decent hour (that was mostly due to the fact that we were staying up until three in the morning filming ridiculous videos on our instagram stories...hope you caught those!).

Most of our time was spent cafe and shop hopping, switching off between funny and deep conversations, and doing quite a bit of people watching. I loved seeing everyone riding back and forth on their bikes, and all the Danish girls seemed to be dressed so fashionably and so effortlessly. I felt so intimidated by their constant presence. There were many, many times I almost pulled out my phone to snap a sneaky pic to put in my LEWKS folder. I now regret not doing so.

We rented bikes and rode around the city. I thought I was going to crash so many times due to the fact that the bikes in Copenhagen require you to back pedal to stop the bike rather than using hand brakes (a disaster waiting to happen, if you ask me). We got caught in the rain, had a hard time navigating, but had a beautiful and sacred moment at Valby Park with some sheep, llamas, and a rainbow that was worth every single damn near-death experience.

One thing that is very important to me, no matter what city I am in, is to avoid any tourist attractions and try to spend time like a "local." I would much rather  immerse myself into the culture of the location I'm visiting rather than go to places that offer walking tours and gift shops. This allows me (and anyone, for that matter) to really expand my worldview and wallop my ethnocentricity, and I find international travel pointless if it doesn't do this in some way (if you're interested in why thoughtful travel is important, watch this TedX talk with the man, the myth, the legend Rick Steves). That being said, it was very easy to "live locally" in Copenhagen. The city is fairly small for a capitol city in Europe, and there are only a handful of overtly tourist things to do.

It's hard to write about my "favorite" thing about this trip, because almost everything was my favorite. I was blown away by the palm house at the Botanic Gardens, and the orange blossoms that made one of the greenhouses smell like heaven. I've never seen anything similar to the architecture of the Round Tower. The Kinfolk headquarters was everything I imagined it to be, and it was so overwhelming (in a good way!) that I didn't know what to do with myself or my body and ended up standing awkwardly for the duration of the visit. VAKST was probably the best restaurant I had ever seen with it's pseudo greenhouse in the center of the room and impossibly good pear-based dessert Victoria and I split. I could write about each and every place in detail, but I'll spare you the time.

The map bellow is gives a good idea of just how many beautiful places were in this lil city. I didn't even include every spot on my list on this map, but I've highlighted the best. I hope that you enjoyed. Thanks for reading. It means a lot. Lemme know what you think.  

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