well, i still don't, but i've managed to find a handful of places i enjoyed going to, and wanted to share them in case someone was looking for a bit different CPH than the one in the overpriced printed tour guidebooks.
this is not a carefully organised "things to do in CPH in 48 hours" guide, it's rather a compilation of all the places i think are worth checking out/have a special relationship to.
these are the places where you want to spend your weekend afternoons, or where you perhaps wanna go when you want to have some time for yourself only. in that case, go to the beach. any beach. always.
it's the place where all the VSCO-cam enthusiasts head to to take neat, minimalist photos to show off that they're cool and hip and know where to go in Copenhagen; and, yes, the photo-friendliness of the red-pink painted floor at Den røde plads and the minimalist, geometrical white-and-grey lines at Den sorte plads are one of the reasons why i love it so much. but Superkilen is also a great meeting spot, where a lot of different cultures get to mix and mingle. in fact, it was designed to celebrate diversity by the Danish art/design group Superflex, and all the artefacts in the vast area, stretching almost to the Bispebjerg Station, are supposed to represent a certain foreign culture.
if someone says they're going to "the beach", they pretty much always mean Amager Strand, which is a very nice, quite large beach on the Amager island. it gets crowded on the sunny weekends, but let's face it, any place in CPH gets crowded once the sun is out and you're left wondering where have all those people been hiding the whole winter, so it's pretty okay. you can actually see Malmö from the shore when the weather is nice and the sky clear. just a little heads up – the metro station is in the 3rd zone, so don't forget to buy a supplement ticket if you only have the 2-zone ticket!
a small beach and a cool, long pier in Østebro, perfect for quick calming-down-at-the-seaside after-work trips. it's kinda stinky and really tiny, but much easier to access than Amager Strand (= not in the 3rd zone = no need to pay for extra tickets, lol). i love the Nordhavn skyline view from there.
ask anyone in Copenhagen about the "hipster bridge" and everyone will know what you mean. Dronning Louises Bro is a bridge over "the lakes" in Nørrebro and somehow always gets full of people when the weather is nice. sit on the pavement side, open a beer, and count all the people you know passing by. if you wanna be seen in CPH, that's the right place to go.
the cemetery in Bispebjerg is known to be perfect for both running and chilling, and gets super-crowded in spring when the cherry tree blossom season is in full swing.
an outdoor "sea bath" on the further-away part of Amager Strand in Kastrup – so fucking cool. i only visited in the spring when you couldn't really swim but i'd assume it would be unbelievably packed in summer, eh.
this list is kind of slim because a) i'm a cheapo and going to cafés in CPH gets quite expensive, b) i spent 70% of my time at school and survived on the organic tea and coffee i had brought so there was no need to go anywhere else. me and my friends got the closest to "drinking in a bar" by smuggling our own cheap King beer to Bakken and pretending it's the unbelievably overpriced Tuborg they sell there (excuse me but selling regular beer in cans for 30 dkk when you can buy it any supermarket for 6 dkk is just not right), so yeah, you get the point.
newly open tiny café on the corner of the geometric part of Superkilen. super-cosy. the coffee is served in the most beautiful cups by the ceramist Sisse Lee.
the whole Blågårdsgade street is full of hip bars, bistros and independent shops, but Harbo is a classic spot that stands out. extremely crowded on Fridays. they also offer a vegan breakfast menu, but i've never tried it.
Sort Kaffe og Vinyl
my dear friend E works there, so i'd often be hanging out there when she had her shift. in fact, coming to Sort and having a soy cappuccino (when it's cold outside) or iced coffee (when it's warm) used to be my typical Sunday evening program. they have great coffee and a lot of cool new and 2nd hand vinyls, and the spot is super-lovely too. a lot of musicians famous in the CPH alt music scene work there, if you're into that, haha.
i've never really sat in the bar, but i love Mikkeller beer with my whole heart. yes, it's a bit pricey, but also really tasty and fancy. one does not simply throw away their design bottles.
Nutid is definitely not the nicest, fanciest or the most exclusive café in Copenhagen, but it is a great place when you need a place to chill/work and don't have that much cash to spare. filter coffee for 10 dkk, a lot of cosy sofas and armchairs, right in the city centre. and it's run by volunteers!
sadly, there aren't that many veg places around CPH, and if so, they're not very budget-friendly. still, there are a few nice eateries offering affordable and good food. my trick to save even more was a webpage called Tipster.dk, where you can often get coupons for menus for two for a reduced price. another way to eat nice food and save costs is to use an app called TooGoodToGo, i talked more about that here.
Astrid och Aporna
a tiny vegan fast food bistro in Nørrebro. their coleslaw is heaven. you can also get their veg products in supermarkets and health stores, as well as in a special Astrid och Aporna store in Malmö. go for the cream cheese for sure!
probably the most famous veg place in Copenhagen, located in the middle of Blågårdsgade. very small but cosy. my fav items on the menu: fries from beets, chocolate mousse, portobello sandwich.
studying at uni located right around the corner from a vegan ice cream place is no good, trust me. Nicecream has the best popsicles and bowls, seriously. the mint one is the best!
i've only been to RizRaz to collect my TooGoodToGo order but man, their food is delicious! i pretty much lived off that during my final exam period. i love their falafel and hummus and all the interesting salads. just be careful, not everything is vegan.
another small bistro, located in Christianshavn. i'm not a big fan of their burgers, but i love their vegan versions of the traditional Danish smørrebrød aka open-faced sandwiches.
newly open, slightly upscale good-food-good-mood place in Nordhavn. very fresh and nice.
NICE TOURIST PLACES
surprise, surprise, not all the tourist places in Copenhagen are as cheesy and overcrowded as Tivoli and Illums Bolighus!
the so-called Marble Church, which has the largest dome in Scandinavia. built from beautiful grey marble in rococo style. probably my top 1 place to go to.
beautiful calm oasis in the centre of the city. the palm-house is amazing (and extremely hot). free entrance. the best time to go there is a weekday morning when it's not full of tourists.
an architectural masterpiece and a great library in one. i love to sit in the café downstairs and read/work while looking at Olafur Eliasson bridge on the opposite side.
a huge museum of ancient art with an impressive indoor garden. definitely worth visiting if you need to kill a whole morning/afternoon. free entrance every Tuesday.
Carlsberg Byen/Elephant gate
even if you don't want to do the whole "Exbeerience" stupid thing, you should head to Carlsberg Byen. you'll find yourself in a strange half-old, half-newly-built city with a weirdest little passage with two huge elephant statues.
there's usually a lot of exhibition openings happening every Thursday and Friday, just check Facebook events. sometimes there are free drinks too, yay!
probably the most interesting big institution for contemporary art in the area, located way up North in the small town of Humlebæk. it takes approximately 30 mins to get there by train from the central station, and you can either get a special train + entrance ticket for 200 dkk or a Louisiana membership card and then get the entrance free for the rest of the year (and a 10% discount in the shop). the mirror room from the Yayoi Kusama exhibition is still there! connect it with a picnic on the beautiful seaside right next to the museum and you have a perfect daytrip!
their exhibition openings are always huge and epic. right now (= June 16) there's an exhibition called Take Me (I'm Yours) where you can literally take anything you see. yay!
another contemporary art museum on the seaside, this time in Ishøj. the building itself is an art piece, to be honest.
for small exhibits/openings: V1 Gallery (and other galleries in Kødbyen), VESS, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Limited Works, Nils Stærk, Galleri Tom Christoffersen, Kvit Galleri, YEARS, Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Overgaden Institut for Samtidskunst,...
SHOPS (2ND HAND/ECO)
i'm not really into shopping so here's just a brief list of my favourite places for every sustainable-minded consumer.
where all the CPH hipsters buy their cool clothes. might seem a bit overpriced when compared to the prices of 2nd hand clothes in other countries, but you can literally find anything you desire there. average prices: t-shirt 150 dkk, jacket 300 dkk, pants 250 dkk.
another cool 2nd hand, selling a lot of funky, glitter-covered stuff. it's also the only place in Denmark where i found the great Barry M nail polishes.
the best sustainable store ever, seriously. they offer everything from cosmetics, snacks, cleaning products, stationary to clothes and home textiles. great prices and friendly staff. (can't believe i just wrote such Yelp-style sentence, haha)
if you come from a city where it's regular to party throughout the week regardless of having to study/work the next day, well, forget about that. Copenhagen people go out on Fridays and Saturdays, sometimes on Thursdays too. since all the bars are expensive, you pre-drink at home. sometimes you don't even get to leave the house and you call that "a party" too. however, entrance to small club nights/concerts is often pretty cheap (20-70 dkk). i would usually get home around 2:30 AM and call it a successful, enjoyable night – but perhaps that's just me getting really old.
if you're into alt music and know a bit about the Posh Isolation scene, this is where you want to go to. join the Facebook group to stay updated, and don't forget to bring cash when you go there, there's literally no ATM around. the entrance is usually 50 dkk.
tiny basement club on Nørrebrogade, having free concerts almost every day. Totentanz, a goth/post-punk night is sometimes happening there.
the Meatpacking district is a big area of what used to be the meat industry headquarters, turned into posh restaurants, low-key clubs and contemporary art galleries. i'd usually go to Bakken, but, to be honest, the events used to be better when i just moved in. there's no entrance to the clubs, but the beer is extremely overpriced. there are kiosks just around the corner where you can always run for cheap booze and then drink outside of the club like all the Danes.
a showcase of upcoming Danish bands happening every month in Christianias Børneteater. there's usually 3 bands playing. the entrance is always 50 dkk. come early, sometimes it gets full real quick.
God Goes Deep
ambient techno. sleeping mats. Vor Frue Kirke. red-lit statue of Jesus. happening every month (except for summer holidays), free entrance.
a concert + DJs night occasionally happening at Bakken, organised by the young photographer Lasse Dearman. free entrance.
short concerts by Danish bands happening at the street food island called Papirøen. while, unlike all my international friends, i'm not a fan of Papirøen at all (eating overpriced, hipster-friendly "exotic" food is not really my idea of being multi-cultural), but i like these events. the view from there is really nice, i have to admit. free entrance.
strange spots with a certain atmosphere, definitely worth visiting for some unusual adventure time.
a harbour which is now a huge, grey construction site. a lot of nice architecture and a weird empty feeling. the free-to-visit Faurschou Foundation gallery is just around the corner.
concrete and dust. half-empty island full of old factory buildings that are equally cool and creepy. there's this huge grey cube-like building which we deemed "the Azkaban" where the Danish Eurovision took place.
the Little Mermaid is boring, but Kastellet is a different story. Wikipedia says it's the best preserved star fortress in Northern Europe (if you check out CPH on the map, it's that little star in the upper right corner), and all i say is that it's a bizarre park full of strange artefacts. there's a castle/church/whatever that looks like Dracula's castle, a grey marble memorial where fire is always lit, a lot of the small traditional houses they showed in The Danish Girl, weird statues – all that at one spot. it's just fun to discover all those strange things scattered around.
there's quite a lot of activist seminars, discussions, talks and screenings (mostly in English, yay) happening in Copenhagen, just keep your eyes peeled on Facebook events. libraries and Studenterhuset often hold talks with international speakers.
a feminist organisation with a great, well-stocked library, located on the side of the Black Diamond library. i wouldn't have done most of my school work without the materials i got there. it's free to register and borrow books!
festivals/event series: Mix Queer Film Festival (apart from film screenings, they also do a lot of talks and discussions), Think Rights - Danish Forum for Human Rights (lectures on human rights/international law/diplomacy/...), FLAB Festival (feminist fest), CPH Queer Festival, Fetish Film Festival Copenhagen, Talk Town,...
parties: Mainstream, Diamantminen
aka the places that don't fit into any category but still are useful to know!
yes, that's the uni i study at. you probably won't get in if you don't know a person with a student card. but if you do, make sure to persuade them to take you on a guided tour around this beautiful minimalist building. KEA, i will always love you, even though the classrooms have no real walls and the kettle on our floor is always broken.
my favourite falafel in the whole city. pitas for only 15 dkk during the lunch break, ja tak! ask for no sauce but hummus and add the chilli sauce sitting on the table. be gentle with that though, i once cried at Nørreport because of going a bit crazy with it. i can't even count how many times i've told someone that "KONYALI IS LIFE". Nørrebrogade 22, opposite of Blågårdsgade.
cheap printing place on Griffenfeldsgade
screw overpriced Vesterkopi, us KEA students print for less! there's this nice guy right next to the SuperBrugsen on Nørrebrogade (literally 10 mins from KEA), and he prints good and cheap. sometimes he's a bit creepy (like when he asked my friend if she wanted to get married in DK or when he told me would love to visit the Czech Rep with a strange smile), and sometimes his printers are broken (= when you have a super-important assignment and decide to print last minute), but otherwise it's really okay.
veg offer at SuperBrugsen on Nørrebrogade
so, if you get to say hi to our printing friend, make sure to stop by at the SuperBrugsen nearby where you can find a lot of great vegan stuff. i'd even say it's the most vegan-food-supplied supermarket in the whole Copenhagen. a lot of great Astrid och Aporna stuff!
Papirlageret – cheap stationary store at Nørreport
before you spend your whole weekly budget at Panduro, check out this store first. i'd always buy all the colourful A2 papers for my photoshoots there.
while i love hanging out at the Black Diamond, i prefer to work at Hovedsbibliotek on Krystalgade because it has a more energetic, hardworking vibe, at least in my opinion. registration is, as well as in all the public libraries, free.