Copenhagen is awesome. I really love it. It is the kind of city you wanna write a song about. I have not written a song, but I have made a guide to the city. Use this guide to find inspiration, when you are eloping to Copenhagen.
Copenhagen is a diverse city, rich on culture, history, architecture, food and a lot of coffee shops. Moving around the different neighbourhoods of the town is pretty easy by bus, S-train and sometimes by taxi. But one the best ways to get around and feel the different vibes of the different areas, is by bike. And you can rent bikes anywhere. Of course, if you are in a big gown, a bike might not be the best option. Then we’ll take the taxi. The point being, we can always get around town and we don’t have to spend hours doing it.
But now, let’s have a look a the city.
Do you wanna know more about the process and the paperwork first, read here!
The most diverse neighbourhood in Copenhagen. It’s a multi cultural hotspot of creativity which shows in the stores, restaurant, bars, streets and the people. Really! But don’t just take my word for it. Time Out – one of the biggest city magazines – makes a list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world every year and 2021 Nørrebro was all the way up top. Check it out for yourselves.
The history of Vesterbro is that of change. Vesterbro used to be The Red Light District of Copenhagen. But not anymore, the neighbourhood has changed and is now probably the hippest area in Copenhagen. It’s cool, it’s fashionable, it’s gritty, it’s authentic and has every kind of food you can think of. Explore more here.
This is greenest part of the city and the most elegant, but still relaxed and down to earth. It’s family friendly and comes with a beach too. Boulevards, designer shops and delicacies you find in abundance. See more here.
The heart of Copenhagen is packed with history, world class dining, museums, shopping and the spirit of Copenhagen. There’s always a lot of people, always buzzing. And of course Copenhagen Town Hall is located here too. City centre link.
Beautiful Frederiksberg. Is it’s very own municipality and therefore also has it’s own Townhall. Frederiksberg Townhall. Broad boulevards, garden and a big park. Perfect for an evening walk. Have a look.
Located by the water it has a very maritime feel and a very down-to-earth vibe. The idyllic canals and beautiful colored houses make for a picturesque part of Copenhagen and even if it is actually a part of the inner city, it is very much it’s own. See here.
Amager is where sea and nature becomes part of the city. It is a island connected with Copenhagen, but it has it’s own identity. From ‘Bryggen’ which borders up the the canals in the inner city to ‘Amager Fælled’, a huge nature park on the other side of the island. Amager has and is everything: gastronomy, water sports, beach park, protected nature, suburb, big city living, modern architecture, to name but a few things. You can even go skiing on a rooftop. Wanna know how?
Refshale Island is an old industrial area, once home for one of the worlds biggest ship yards, B&W. Today it has become one of Copenhagen’s hippest areas, gritty and raw, bubbling with creativity, innovation, alternative urban living, art, festivals, foods of all kinds. It’s easily accessible by bus or car or just 15 minutes on bike. It’s part of the old Copenhagen, but it’s also an integral part of a modern Copenhagen. Explore.
In every part of the city there is so much to explore. So much to experience. In the following I will look at some of my favorite sites, places and things to do in Copenhagen. You can also check out Visit Copenhagen and explore online, so you get a feel of what the city is and begin making plans.
When you go about planning your day or just begin thinking about planning your day, there are two ways to go about it. And often it will be a mix between the two. But I think the best approach is by thinking of it like this: “What do we want to do on our special day?” And from there we can make plans, so you will have a fantastic day, having fun and not just shooting pictures.
Find inspiration here, on how to create a wonderful day.
My preferred approach
The classic approach
is a park close by Frederiksberg Townhall. It is a rather large park, very cultered and nice. It is easy to find a few spots that are a bit of the grid, but it is not wild nature. Nevertheless it is a nice place to spend an afternoon and of course also shoot a few portraits. (I know a few good spots)
Reffen is an amazing streetfood area, with more then 40 stands with all kinds of foods. Asian, creole, mediterranean, danish. And beside the colourful stands are big areas with benches, chair and a lot of sand to give a beach vibe, all right next the big harbour area. Definitely worth a visit, even if you just got a tiny, little foodie in you.
The oldest amusement park in the world. It began as a marketplace in 1583 and then later had more lasting establishments build. It has a very special atmosphere, you can almost describe it as electric. There are carnival stands, big and small rides – with the wooden rollercoaster from 1932 as a popular attraction – and a lot of restaurants, from where you can also pick up the picnic, if you want to go with the horse-drawn carriage into the nature park. Open from April to September.
A beach just 5 km from the center of Copenhagen, to the south. Is was founded in 1934 and has been maintained ever since. In 2005 a new island was made just of the beach and improving the whole experience. It is very popular and is visited by over a million people every year. So in the summer months it is probably gonna be hard to get the beach for ourselves, but still. It is a very cool spot with great photo opportunities.
Old Meatpacking district. Now a hotspot in the city with lots of food joints. Big city vibe, lots of people.
“A recreational urban park divided into three main areas: The Red Square, The Black Market and The Green Park. While The Red Square offers modern, urban life with café, music and sports, The Black Market is the classic square with fountain and benches. The Green Park is a park for picnics, sports and walking the dog.” – Visit Copenhagen
A popular park in the middle of town. There are some nice smaller spots that don’t feel too parky for shooting photos.
Link to map.
Urban mountain sport. This is a new way of thinking urban developement. An artificial skiing slope and recreational area build on top of a waste management center. You can ski, ride a sledge, go hiking, test yourself on the worlds highest climbing wall. And you can bring your own equipment or rent, whatever you want to. This you want activity and action during on your wedding day or just during your stay, Copenhill is absolutely worth a visit.
Very close to Copenhagen Townhall is an older part of the city. The area around Magstræde is very romantic with cobblestoned streets and coloured houses. It is a beautiful part of the city, that makes for some classic and timeless portraits. For that reason there can be many people, but that just adds to the ambience. Parked cars and the occasional scaffolding can be more challenging, but we work around that.
Just north of Copenhagen, reachable with the S-train or a short car ride, is The Deer Garden. It is a big nature park with woodland areas, small lakes and open plains. And, as the name states, abut 2000 deer. It is very peaceful and a contrast to the big city. You can either walk or choose to go by horse-drawn carriage. You can go for 1, 2 or 3 hours and even make it a custom tailored route, if you want that. And then you can pack for a picnic and have a nice stop, or several, along the route. The picnic basket can be bought where the ride begins, in one of the restaurant in the worlds oldest amusement park, Bakken.
Also an amusement park, but this one is centered in the middle of Copenhagen. Although not as old as Bakken, it still has a long history. In was build in 1842 and when you walk around, you do get a feeling of this history. Tivoli is a beautiful park and you can spend a lot of time there, even without going on any rides. As Bakken, Tivoli too has many restaurants and people come to Tivoli just for the dining and the atmosphere. Open from April to September.
Big nature park south of Copenhagen. It was previously a military terrain, but is now a protected wildlife area. A lot of people from Copenhagen use it to get their nature buzz. The animal and plant life here is very different from up north in The Deer Garden, but still pretty amazing.
Popular area at the harbour with coloured houses and a lot of restaurants. Always full of people hanging out on the side of the canal and all the restaurants – placed side by side – offer outdoor service. From here – and other places too – it is possible to go on canal tours. With special sightseeing boats you can see Copenhagen from the waterfront, both the harbour and the smaller canals.
Rent a boat. Just like that. Goboats are small boats with a little engine you can rent and then experience Copenhagen from the harbour. It’s a pretty unique experience and you can do it a your own pace. Have a picnic on the water, enjoy a little time on the with sun, champagne and friends. Or just the two of you.
Don’t wanna pilot your own boat? Wanna go on the water and just relax and enjoy Copenhagen from the water front? Well, then a raft with your own captain just might be the thing you’re looking for. A cosy, comfortable ride in the harbour and the canals, where you can just enjoy yourselves. Sun deck, cushions, table, plants, lanterns. Bring the champagne and some food or snacks and you’ve got a perfect recipe for danish ‘hygge’.
Okay. This is impossible. The culinary scene in Copenhagen is unbelievable and to make a top 10, top 20 or even top 50 restaurant, would mean to not mention some, that deserves to be on the list. The diversity is so huge, that creating a top whatever list, makes no sense.
So, I’ve tried to make a list of restaurants that are amazing, but still down to earth and have an unmistakeable Copenhagen vibe to them.
Friheden (Freedom) is a new-classic in Nørrebro. It’s Copenhagen boiled down to a maggi cube. The food is simple and good, but come to experience the atmosphere in the evening under the heat lamps. Just be aware of rogue skateboards.
Intimacy is the key here in one of Vesterbro’s coziest italians. One menu with nine servings. They are gonna be throwing deliciousness after you all night. Great atmosphere too, go go go!
Some of the best fish in the city. Throw in a bar and a big dash of Copenhagen and you’ve got a fantastic mixture. There’s always a lot happening in the raw rooms of the restaurant, outside too and the night can get very long here before the party is over.
Nice and chilled atmosphere, a crazy wine card and just one of those places you like to be at. It’s a bistro with food that is just a long list of favorite meals.
Urban coolness outside the city on Refshale Island. Experimental, sustainable, exiting. You might come across things out here you haven’t heard about before, but just go with the flow. They know what they are doing.
The name Uformel (Informal) says it all. It’s the younger brother of Michelin star restaurant Formel B, but Uformel is totally down to earth. The rooms were formerly a strip club and it still has some of that night club vibe.
The name itself holds so much promise. And they deliver. The place is like stepping into an old movie. Askew houses and creaky floors.
Plantbased, relaxed, fine-dining. Actually what is called casual fine-dining. And it is not just for vegans. The food is amazing and everyone should eat there to experience what vegan food can be.
Part of Hotel Nimb and located in Tivoli. You don’t need to stay at Nimb, but you do need to pay entrance to Tivoli Gardens. Gemyse has focus on sustainability and they know how to pack punch and flavour into the vegetable dishes they create.
Danes are the third most coffee drinking people in the world. And nowhere is that more obvious than in Copenhagen. There are so many amazing coffee brewers throughout the city, that it almost takes an effort to find bad coffee. As with restaurants, it is impossible to make a short list of the best, because there are so many. Nevertheless; here is a short list. This list is focused on an extraordinary coffee experience first and foremost. If you want a good cup of coffee and a café, just take a walk through the city. They are everywhere.
They aim to give you an exceptional coffee experience by having focus on the entire process of coffee making. They work with sustainable farmers, they have a coffee school, a micro roastery and coffee shops. You can find them on several locations in the city.
Next level coffee making. Roastery and coffee shop. Some of the best coffee in the city. The roasting style is on the lighter side and tasting notes like berry, nuts and citrus are very present in their brew.
Visit Copenhagen describes it as a hidden gem. Roastery, coffee shop and café. But besides that they also arrangere tours through the roastery, where you can see and learn about the process of coffee making.
Roast was founded to make a channel without middlemen, creating shared value, so the coffee farmers want to create the best product possible and get paid a fair price for their work. The smell freshly roasted beans meets you as soon as you step down the stairs to the café.
In one of the lesser known neighbourhoods of Copenhagen, you’ll find some of the best coffee, carefully selected from Kenya and Ethiopia. Refurbished industrial buildings, which gives a cool atmosphere.
Great single origin, lighty roasted coffee. They do not have the capacity to roast in-house, so the do their roasting in The Factory on Refshaleøen. But what they do have the capacity for, besides awesome coffee, is baking the very delicious almond croissants. Freshly baked twice a day. Great place for your morning coffee.
You can use any of the common accommodation sites like Trivago.com, Booking.com or Hotels.com and find lots of places that suit your needs. My choices listed below are gonna offer you something unique and absolutely extraordinary, befitting for a romantic and unique elopement.
Absolutely amazing hotel in the very center of the city. If you want to experience a fantastic hotel with a fantastic service, then this could definitely be for you. It also houses the Gemyse restaurant I mentioned further up in this guide. Nimb is a renowned boutique hotel and if you want some extra magic bedazzling your stay, you can’t go wrong here.
This is my personal favorit. It’s like entering another world, once you step inside this very special hotel. You feel like you’ve instantly been transported to Bali. In the center of the hotel is an atrium going from ground level and all the way up. There’s an exotic pool and all the way up are hanging plants, palms and lamps, giving you a sense of tropical adventure. Rooftop terrace, bar, restaurant, indoor and outdoor spa and 87 wonderful suites. The five stars are well earned.
This is truly something else. It is a former coal crane on the harbour front turned into a one room hotel. That’s about as unique and private as it gets. And it also comes with a concierge, a daily breakfast, bikes and your own BMW. Underneath the hotel room you’ll find an amazing spa, from where you can relax and enjoy the view and just be covered in wellness.
In the historical buildings of The Central Postal & Telegraph Service dating back to 1912 Villa Copenhagen opened their doors in 2020 to a marvellous hotel experience. Here past, present and future comes together and honour “the ethos of the old, charming Europe”.
Located in Carlsbergs old brewery buildings, this hotel offer some unique architecture with a cool industrial look with raw concrete walls, spectacular lighting and custom-made designs. Rooftop terrace, italian restaurant, spa. This will be a stay you won’t forget.
This is most likely this world’s smallest hotel. In their own words: “This is a hotel with only one room, but what a room! Located on top of a small café in the Vesterbro neighbourhood, the double room of Central Hotel has a unique interior design with beautiful handcrafted details that will make even the pickiest boutique hotel aficionado feel right at home.”
These are just some of the options that Copenhagen has to offer. Of course there is a whole lot more and if you have a location you think I should include, let me know. You can mail me here.
You can use this list as inspiration or as a guide to stuff you wanna experience, ’cause even though I made the list as seen through a photographers eyes (meaning very ambient and photographable), all of the locations above might as well be experienced without a photographer.
And if you need me to help you arrange some of the things, just let me know. I am happy to help.