The flight to Copenhagen was surprisingly very nice. I paid extra for extended legroom on American Airlines. It was only 6 inches more, but it really made a lot of difference. I was comfortable and pleased. Our plane had individual TVs at each seat, with a wide variety of free entertainment choices. During our short stopover at Heathrow airport, we found a wonderful Japanese restaurant, Wagamama (just behind and next to Harrods), which was reasonably priced. They offered quick waiter service and good food. Once we arrived in Copenhagen, we took the metro to the Nørreport Station (a short 15 minute ride). Our first stop was at the ticket counter, where we bought tickets for transportation while in the city of Copenhagen. They offer a single ticket into the city (3 zones) for 36 Kronor (DKK), but we purchased the 3 day ticket for 200 DKK, which covers all public transportation within certain zones of the city.
Once we arrived at Nørreport, our fabulous hotel, The Kong Arthur, was only a short walk away. The Kong Arthur is a boutique hotel in a great location alongside the inner lakes of Copenhagen. Its vibe is warm, inviting, friendly, and relaxed. They treated everyone like family. We had a lovely suite with a comfortable bed, a separate workstation, a living room, a small bath, and many closets. This hotel is larger than it looks: there are 4 buildings and 155 rooms. There is also a small fitness room with a treadmill, elliptical, bike, and various other workout equipment. The hotel also rents out bicycles for the day, but be sure to reserve a bike early in the morning as they do sell out. Their bicycles were all comfortable--just perfect for riding in this very bike-friendly town. The hotel also houses the Ni’mat Spa, which is actually the largest spa in Copenhagen. If you stay here, you are invited to use their spa facilities (with sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi) for free one time during your stay. So if you do stay at this hotel, remember to pack your bathing suit. Massages are offered for an extra fee. Also, one entire floor of rooms is dedicated to a “spa ambiance,” with soft music in the hallway and quieter rooms with a simple, “Zen-like” decor in the spa theme. The hotel lobby is worth a mention, as it is roomy and comfortable with many couches. They offer a “cozy hour” from 5-6 pm with complimentary wine. We also really enjoyed their terrific breakfast buffet in the morning--what a spread! Cheeses, charcuterie, eggs, croissants, pancakes, and different jams. We especially loved the crepes and amazing chocolate croissants, which were light and fluffy and fresh. Even their hot chocolate was unique: a piece of chocolate stuck on a spoon was dipped into a cup of warm milk; the chocolate melted into the milk and created a most divine drink. Here's a nice short video about this hotel: Video about The Kong Arthur
On our first night in Copenhagen, we walked across the Nørrebrogade bridge and saw a wonderful sunset (at around 9:30 or 10:00 pm). Then we wandered around the streets neighboring Copenhagen's inner lakes until we discovered a great Italian restaurant, Gran Torino. What a find this was! Not only was the food absolutely delicious with friendly service, the ambiance and atmosphere were wonderful. We shared a caprese salad, delicious roasted gnocchi, a margherita pizza, and garden vegetables, complemented with a wonderful wine.
Copenhagen is a very bike-friendly city. In fact, more residents there ride bikes than drive cars. Most roads have very wide bike lanes that take up approximately 1/3 of the road to accommodate the bicyclists. It is a thrilling feeling to be in this city and watch how it operates with so many bicycle riders in one area. They even have a "counter" that registers how many bikes ride across the main bridge, both daily and annually. Next to the counter is a free bike pump, so air is easily accessible to riders. On the night we were there, by 10:00 PM, 17,194 bicyclists had passed through on that day alone. Over two million (2,085,025) bicyclists drove through that particular intersection from the beginning of 2015 until the first week in June!
"When in Denmark, do as the Danish do." So, we borrowed bicycles from our hotel and went on a bike tour through the city. We learned that if you rent a bicycle for the day, the Kong Arthur includes a guided city tour. We had so much fun riding around and learning about this city. We visited many of the popular tourist sites, such as the statute dedicated to the Little Mermaid, the King's Garden, and the Queen's Castle, where we saw the changing of the guards. During our tour, we also learned other facts that we otherwise would have missed. It was a most beautiful day. After the tour, we rode on the main streets near our hotel, where there was a lot of shopping available. Bicycles in Europe have built-in locks (similar to cars), so it is very easy to hop on and off, make stops, and know that your bicycle is protected from theft.
That night, at the suggestion of another hotel guest (who was Danish), we had dinner at an incredible restaurant, Host. We really had no idea what we were in for. This was certainly one of my favorite meals ever. You can order a la carte, but most people order their fixed 3-course menu. However, don’t let the "3 course" title fool you; they brought us a variety of small "tastes" between the 3 courses. The meal was actually more like 10 courses, and everything was so different and unique. My lobster was served on a flaming plate, and the dessert had so many different textures and flavors--it even had pop rocks in it. The service was impeccable and really one of my favorite dining experiences, which is saying a lot. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
We started our next fabulous day by taking Stromma's “Hop on/Hop off” bus tour. Tour tickets include headphones (however, I brought my own) so you can listen to the informative guided tour as the bus maneuvers through the city. The bus stops along the way, so you can get off and explore. You simply return to a Stromma bus stop to complete the tour. All you have to do is be aware of the schedule so you know when the next bus arrives. We hopped off at The Rosenberg Castle. This castle was built in the 17th century by Christian IV. It was incredible to see so many pieces of furniture and art treasures from that time period. Even the ceilings were amazing works of art. We completed the bus tour at Gammel Strand and then took Stromma’s "Hop on/Hop off Boat Tour," which is also a headphone-assisted guided tour. It was wonderful to cruise along the water. Once we finished the boat tour, we shopped at the famous Stroget Shopping Mall with four long streets and three plazas. Stroget is a car-free zone, and the longest shopping area in Europe. We loved the store called Change, where we found fabulous (great fitting) bathing suits and lingerie. We stopped at one of the cafes along the mall for an afternoon coffee and snack, and it was lovely getting to sit and watch the people at the fountain. We then returned to our hotel for their "cozy hour" and rested until dinner, which we ate at a small Thai restaurant that locals love that was right on the lake near our hotel. We enjoyed eating dinner with a beautiful view of the water. We absolutely loved the city of Copenhagen and wished we could have stayed longer.