Months ago, when I saw an awesome deal to Europe in August, I didn’t even hesitate (it was just under $600!) and pressed the “buy” button on the screen. The plan for this trip was to go to Copenhagen and Stockholm, two of my favorite cities. I first visited both cities in 2001, but have since then returned to both cities, and this will be my third time in Copenhagen and fourth in Stockholm.
Why Copenhagen and Stockholm?
There is still so much about Scandinavian (and Nordic if you include Finland and Iceland) culture, especially their philosophy on design that continues to fascinate me. With most of the touristy spots out of the way, I now have the opportunity to explore the cities a bit more – perhaps turn a different corner here and there – to find new things to be excited about.
There were three of us, and we had six days available to us between the two cities. The only things I know I wanted to do were:
- Visit Fritz Hansen, a well-known furniture manufacturer just outside Copenhagen.
- Eat well in Copenhagen.
- Go to a flea market and check out the furniture.
- Go to Tivoli.
- Visit Room 606 (again) at the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
- Climb the tower of Stockholm City Hall (again) now that I have DSLR.
- Visit the ICEBAR Stockholm.
I had most of these things planned before departure and off we went.
Day 1: Day Trip to Stockholm and onto Copenhagen.
The day started with landing at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, and a quick bus ride (45 minutes) later, we were at the Central Bus Terminal in Stockholm. The station had undergone extensive renovation and looks nothing like it did before. For those who want to store their luggage, there are plenty of huge lockers available right at the station.
The first thing was to find something to eat. We walked along Drottninggatan, a pedestrian shopping street, to Hötorgshallen where there is a food hall and market. I got some Rådjursfärsbiff, which was reindeer patty (sorry Rudolf!) with mashed potatoes and lingonberries for 120 kronor (US$14). It was de-lish.
We then walked along and caught a canal tour of Stockholm, which was something wonderful to do on a gorgeous day (and a great way to relax a bit after such a long flight from California). It also gave me a quick review of Stockholm city so that I can plan the next thing to do.
After the canal tour, we ended up at Biblioteksgatan, and the 8 streets around it form the fashion district of Bibliotekstan with international luxury boutiques as well as Swedish fashion. With that we ended up at Cafe Koloni for some fika and people watching. And there was no lacking of beautiful people everywhere.
Then it was time to go off to Copenhagen. We were off on a late-afternoon one-hour flight and landed at Kastrup Airport (with an awesome view of the city center at landing), and checked-in at the first boutique hotel in the world, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (formerly known as the SAS Royal Hotel). Dinner was an expensive US$9 juice at Joe and the Juice with a US$10 sandwich.
Day 2: Design and Food in Copenhagen.
The morning began with a tour of Fritz Hansen just outside of Copenhagen (you can read more by clicking on the link on my design blog at DesignsWeLove). After the tour we were supposed to end up at the Fritz Hansen showroom, but the cab driver circled around for probably 20 minutes and I told him it was time to give up. We were dropped off at the nearest train station at Nordhavn, where we took the train for one more stop to Østerport to see the Little Mermaid.
It was very difficult walking in such heat that we quickly left and headed for Nyhavn for a canal tour for a little rest. It indeed was (again) and awesome tour, this being my third. At 80 DKK (US$12), it’s a bargain. From there we were walking to Kongens Nytorv and on the way ran into the Craft Art Fair for Copenhagen Art Week.
Next thing you know it was dinnertime at Relæ, named as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, at number 45 (The French Laundry is #50). It was a small restaurant, and the restaurant was not seated at full capacity. We were seated at a community table even with reservations, and the rest of the long table was never occupied while we were there. Food wasn’t too bad, but I had expected much more.
The walk back was quite a nice one, as Jægersborggade is a nice street to be walking on.
Just before getting back to the hotel we visited Irma, the local supermarket and yeah, we were quite mesemerized by the packaging.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
Hammerichsgade 1, 1611 København
+45 33 426000
Jægersborggade 41, 2200, København N
+45 3696 6609