We stayed at the quirky Anderson Boutique Hotel in the Vesterbro district. Since we were there for a week we booked a larger "Brillant" room in the Princess color scheme (our other choice was Mermaid).
The hotel just opened this May, so even though the building retains some of its historic character everything is shiny and new. We loved being under the eaves on the top floor. The room came with a European style breakfast, so we stuffed ourselves every morning on meat, cheese, pastries, yogurt, boiled eggs and granola. The hotel lobby is a great place to plan your day or evening over coffee or wine and the staff was very helpful.
A bit about the neighborhood. Vesterbro is one of those neighborhoods that is slowly gentrifying. There are lots of small hotels, shops, restaurants and bars in the area, but there are also sex shops, strip clubs and a few prostitutes on the street. It can be a bit noisy in the evening if you have a street facing room with the windows open. Still, it was a great area to be placed for touring Copenhagen. Central Station was just two blocks away with almost everything being within walking distance. We only took public transportation twice during our week there.
One of our favorite things about being in the Vesterbro was that the Mikkeller Bar was just around the corner.
We can get some Mikkeller beers here in the States, but at the bar we could try all sorts of special brews from them and other breweries around the world. The staff was so knowledgable and always willing to give samples until you find just what you are looking for. My favorite was a very special beer from Boon in Belgium, called To Be Wild. This very sour beer has been aged for 3 years and has an amazing flavor that probably isn't for everyone. They don't offer much in the way of food, but a local butcher makes them sausages made with the beers which are not to be missed.
Doesn't that look like a cozy place for a drink? Speaking of cozy, the Danish have a word hygge which sort of translates at cozy, but means much more. It's about a sense of well-being and a good life. It is about sitting around a fire or at least a candle with friends having a drink and a good chat. It is truly a feeling you get all around Copenhagen, especially at cafes and restaurants. As a nation they must spend a fortune in candles, even our breakfast table would have one burning. It is a feeling that makes you want to linger.
It's a good thing we did a lot of walking because there is one thing in Denmark that would have added 10 - 20 pounds to me. It was any place featuring this golden pretzel and a window of treats.
The Danish bakery tradition comes from Austria thanks to a bakers strike 1850 which is why the pretzel a symbol for bakeries there. We couldn't resist having an afternoon break with one every afternoon. (Apparently, the Danes can't either as the bakeries are very busy in the afternoon with people stopping for a snack or bringing things home for the evening.) My favorite was the Kanelsnegle, a flaky cinnamon roll with just a bit of glaze in the middle. Matt love the Spandauer, what we would call a Danish.
Our favorite bakery was Lagkagehuset which has locations all around the city and was recently voted best in the city. We also enjoyed Anderson just outside central station at the gates of Tivoli.
I love that in Europe even if you just order a cappuccino you still get a little (or not so little in this case) sweet on the side.
We spent most of our time in Copenhagen visiting the historic castles and more modern Danish design museums. We really enjoyed learning the history of Denmark at the castles. Though just wandering the streets feels like you are in a living museum with the cobblestones, towering church spires and old buildings.
It oozes with charm while still being a modern, working city. Next I'll share with you a bit about the Copenhagen Food Halls and Tivoli...stay tuned.
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