My day in Copenhagen
A cruise through Scandinavia filming Ben Fogle experiencing the best of the region – if ever there was a week to spend at work, this would be it. Ironically it was also my last week with Celebrity Cruises. A bitter-sweet send off which in hindsight was made far more sweet considering I also got to experience the best of the region.
With a film and photography crew in tow, our first port to document was Copenhagen. Thanks to much preparation prior, our guide met us at the ship and we were whisked away in a very swanky private bus without a hitch. Our first stop was the city’s Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish royal family, followed by a much needed cup of Copenhagen’s finest caffeine while admiring the view of the city’s iconic harbour, Nyhavn.
Originally a tawdry hangout for sailors visiting the city, Nyhavn has a lot of character, with many of the cafes and shops featuring historic decor. The cafe-lined harbour is also where Hans Christian Anderson once lived – he who wrote The Little Mermaid and as a result a sacred star to my inner child. Mermaids aside (I didn’t see any this visit), one of my favourite things we came across in Nyhavn was the above – one of the world’s oldest tattoo parlour.
Next up was a taste of some local shopping. If you’re looking for a truly genuine local experience, I adored the 3 level store Illums Bolighus which had some incredible furniture, homewares, accessories and even clothing – all by local designers. Our guide was also very excited to show us the Royal Smushi Cafe – a quirky off-shoot of Cafe Royal. While the original Cafe Royal specialises in traditional porcelain fit for a grandmas and queens (literally), the Royal Smushi Cafe next door specialises in Danish open sandwiches, cake and sushi – all served on Royal Porcelain and more fit for hipster grandkids.
With food on our mind we then headed to the city’s famous Torvehallerne marketplace which was the real highlight of the day for me. So much colour! So much incredible fresh produce! Not enough room in my belly!
Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen looks like it has an incredibly healthy lifestyle between all the bike riding, fresh food and sea air. One of our favourite stalls at the market was a ‘make your own porridge’ place – such a fantastic idea which I hope comes to London soon. If you have lunch at just one place in Copenhagen, Torvehallerne has got to be it. And for a true taste of local life, opt for an open sandwich to eat in the sun. They really are as good as they look!
After the market it was back into our luxury bus and onto Tivoli Gardens for some more filming. This is an incredibly green theme park and a place where more tourists head. It was great to see the park’s old wooden rollercoaster, one of the oldest in the world, but for the most part I probably wouldn’t spend too much time here if you only have a day or a weekend.
After the park is was back to Nyhavn for some more filming as the light was better and the crowds were more bustling. Feels short but considering we were only in town for a few hours, we got a lot done. From the small slice that I saw of Copenhagen I absolutely loved it and want to go back for a weekend soon.