Copenhagen with kids

May 9, 2016

Copenhagen with kids

We recently visited Copenhagen and found that it is a really kid-friendly city.  It’s also one of the cleanest cities I’ve been to.    As it is just a 1.5 hour flight away from London, I’m not really sure why I haven’t been before.  It’s a small enough city to explore on foot or on a cycle, if you want to do it the Danish way.  We chose to walk as you always get a great feel of a city when you do this.  We didn’t stick to doing just kids things but mixed it up and decided to do kiddy things as well as things we would enjoy but with kids in tow, if that makes sense. Here’s what we loved and would recommend if you visit Copenhagen with kids:

STAY:
We rented an Airbnb apartment in Frederiksberg.  With kids, extra space is always a good thing. Fredericksberg is considered a sort of suburb of Copenhagen but, in such a tiny city, walking from here to the centre took around 25 minutes and on the metro it was about 10 minutes.  Walking allowed us to discover and see more of Copenhagen and get some exercise so we could pack in more of their delicious food offerings.  But Airbnb has hundreds of apartments to rent all over Copenhagen so you can choose where you would like to stay.

EAT:
Copenhagen is a foodies paradise.  From the world’s best restaurant, Noma, to the hot dog street vendors, there’s something for ever age and every budget.  Here are my top places to enjoy some of the delights with kids:

Fiskebar Copenhagen review(trout tartare at Fiskebar)

where to eat in Copenhagen(hake with roasted cauliflower at Fiskebar)

Fiskebar (meatpacking district)
The meatpacking area of Copenhagen has some of the best restaurants in the city.  The area hasn’t been glammed up but instead still looks very much like a meat packing place that’s still used for exactly that. Many of the restaurants look like old meat warehouses with industrial style tables and chairs added in. Fiskebar does some awesome fish dishes, most of which would be a step too far for kids, but they also do a simple and delicious lightly smoked breaded cod fish and chips for kids which was perfect for Anya.  Their dishes change quite frequently but, if you see the hake with roasted cauliflower and the trout tartare on the menu, don’t miss either.

Cheap & quick eats
Copenhagen can get expensive.  So if you want a cheap meal that will please the entire family, go for their famous hot dogs from a stall.  These hot dog stalls are dotted all over the city.  We had a hot dog in the centre of the city and it was good.

As we stayed in Frederiksberg we discovered a great pizza takeaway place here – Forno a Legna – delicious pizza and very reasonable.  The kids will love it but beware the crazy long queues at weekends.

Royal Smushi cafe Copenhagen(no, she couldn’t finish it so I had to help, at the Royal Smushi Cafe)

Royal Smushi Cafe
Tucked away in a little courtyard, right in the centre of town, is this quirky and cool cafe.  The decor is very eclectic with modern pieces mixed with vintage to create a very unusual space.  We had delicious coffee there twice and the best chocolate cake that I have ever tried.  If you do go, make sure you’re hungry, because that slice of cake is not only divine but also huge.

hoest Copenhagen new nordic cuisine(Hoest, Copenhagen for a taste of the new Nordic cuisine)

Hoest
Our budget didn’t stretch to Noma but we did want to experience the whole ‘New Nordic’ cuisine that is all the rage at the moment.  So after a bit of research, we chose to go to Hoest.  While the food isn’t suited to kids (we fed Anya beforehand) the restaurant could not be more welcoming of children.  And what a beautiful, minimal and understated restaurant it is.  So if you do want to try the New Nordic cuisine with kids in tow, this is the place to go.  At Hoest, you get many free dishes in between your ordered food and each time they brought one of these, they brought one for Anya to try too (even though she wasn’t eating a meal there).  They also noticed that she could do with some entertainment so went and found some paper and pens for her to draw on.  The waiters chatted to her, encouraged her to try some of the food and she was very much a part of our meal.  I commented to them that I was so surprised to see a high-end restaurant being more than welcoming to kids and they just smiled and replied – we love kids!

*On the back of this experience, we decided to eat at another high-endish restaurant but they were quite indifferent to Anya so I will just add that clearly it isn’t every restaurant that treats kids with such welcome and warmth.

best places to eat meatpacking district Copenhagen(unmissable wild shrimp at Kul)

best restaurants with kids in Copenhagen(stylish dark decor and some cuddles in Kul)

Kul (meatpacking district)
Most Copenhagen restaurants don’t seem to have separate kids’ menu’s – perhaps because their kids eat everything!  So while there was no kids menu at Kul, there was enough for Anya to eat (even though she is a fussy eater). The new potatoes with pancetta and gruyere were delicious and enjoyed by all of us, as was the squid tempura.  In addition, the wild shrimp is unmissable.  Lastly, the bread that comes with your meal – oh my god, it was so good;  all three of us couldn’t stop eating it and even had to ask for more a few times.  Kul was recommended to me by our Airbnb host who is a local and he really did rave about it. We were not disappointed. 

kid friendly restaurants in Copenhagen(a typical Danish open sandwich called smørrebrød at Salt)

kid friendly restaurants in Copenhagen(formal yet very kid friendly Salt restaurant)

Salt (Admiral hotel)
We stumbled across Salt on one of those days when we had been walking for ages and got so hungry that we went in to the first place we saw.  Walking in I felt we had made the wrong choice as the restaurant is formal and seemed almost dated.  But we were very hungry and decided to stay. While the restaurant did lack atmosphere, the food didn’t lack anything.  We opted for smørrebrød (the Danish version of the open Scandinavian sandwiches) which were absolutely delicious.  And they had a dedicated kids’ menu with all the things fussy kids like mine devour – hot dogs, chicken nuggets and more. They even had colour pencils and a colouring sheet for kids.  Being in a hotel, the restaurant clearly caters for tourists and so, while the food is very good, it did feel a bit touristy – but that’s no bad thing sometimes.

PLAY & DO:

places to see in Copenhagen with kids (pretty evening lights in Tivoli Gardens) 

tivoli gardens copenhagen(fun magic mirrors at Tivoli Gardens that totally distort your shape)

bumper cars at Tivoli Gardens(mini bumper cars at Tivoli Gardens, ideal for ages 3 – 8 years)

Tivoli Gardens
Some describe it as a tourist trap, but with kids, it’s a must-go.  Part garden but mostly old-fashioned amusement park, Anya had a ball.  You get all the rides you’d expect like roller-coasters, free fall etc but the best part was that most of the rides had kiddy versions of the same.  So there are mini bumper cars, a mini roller-coaster and more.  We went in the evening when the park is lit up in pretty lights and had a nice atmosphere.  In addition to the rides is a big room called the ‘Fun Room’.  This room was a hoot, not just for Anya but for us too – massive slides, climbing stuff, bridges to cross; it was fun and especially fun if you’re 5-12 years old.  Tivoli has a lot of restaurants but also has food stalls – Anya opted for the fish and chips and loved it.  Just beware, Tivoli is closed from October to April so just check opening dates before you go.

Nyhavn Copenhagen(canal front at Nyhavn)

Nyhavn
This is a very touristy spot crammed with restaurants and cafes by the canal.  As touristy as it is, it’s still very worth a visit.  Buy an ice-cream and sit and watch the old boats, people and life go by.  If the sun is shining, even better.

Copenhagen with kids(a view of Nyhavn from the water)

Canal Tour
Anya was very keen to go on a boat, so we did.  But If I’m honest, unless your kids are keen to go on a boat ride, this can be skipped.  It was a pleasant thing to do but I didn’t think Copenhagen was best seen by their canals – far better to walk the city.  But still, Anya had fun, so maybe if your kids are interested it’s a break from all the walking, and you do get to see the famous little mermaid statue along the way.

things to do in Nyhavn Copenhagen(she couldn’t get enough of these giant pens and pencils in Nyhavn)

Pencil Park (Nyhavn)
This is a made-up name but we found this beautiful courtyard with gigantic pens and pencils just off Nyhavn.  This was fun.  The space was practically empty; there was the odd tourist taking pictures but apart from that there was plenty of space to run around the pens, pencils and felt tip pens.

Parks
Copenhagen has plenty of green spaces so, if the weather allows, a picnic in one of them is a must.  It was too cold for us to picnic but we did take a walk through beautiful Frederiksberg Have, Copenhagen’s largest park, and a great place for kids to stretch their legs and run wild if they wish.  In the park, there is apparently a giant water-squirting butterfly that is a kid’s dream, but we couldn’t find it.

SHOP:
Lego store
As Denmark is the home of Lego, we visited the Lego store in the city centre. I had imagined something massive, perhaps over three floors, spilling with Lego.  But the Lego shop was a lot more modest than that. Still, it had many sets that can be hard to find elsewhere and a huge ‘pick a brick’ wall.

Design Delicatessen
Copenhagen is a design lover’s dream and this shop has a lovely selection from some of the most beautiful Danish designers.  Rita, who I think is the owner, is very helpful and friendly.

Rack Buddy
Next door to Design Delicatessen is this brand new store that sells it’s own designs but also has stuff from some of the biggest known Danish designers like Broste Copenhagen, House Doctor and Bloomingville. What’s more, the owner, Nynne, is just lovely and she couldn’t be more helpful.  She also offers very reasonable shipping prices – if you get tempted.

Sostrene Grene
Sostrene Grene is crammed with homewares, kitchen stuff, art and craft materials, stationery, kids party supplies and so much more.  All the stuff is beautiful and very, very reasonable.  We spent around £15 in there and came out with a huge stash of notebooks, paints, stickers and more.  If you and your kids are in to crafting and creating, this shop is unmissable.  Sostrene Grene is a chain with shops dotted around the city, however the largest store is in the centre of Copenhagen.

vintage wallpaper in Copenhagen(vintage wallpapers at Retro Villa)

Retro Villa
Retro Villa is an interiors store but that’s not the reason to visit.  If you are in to vintage wallpaper, this shop is a dream come true.  They have the largest selection of vintage wallpaper I have ever seen.  Every kind of vintage print, colour and pattern is available here.  In fact, they have so much choice that it’s almost overwhelming.

Copenhagen with kids(somebody didn’t want to be photographed anymore)

Getting Around
From the airport, take an Uber – it’s a lot cheaper than the local taxis.  Around the city, walk or hire bikes. The metro is convenient, clean and easy to navigate.  There is plenty of space for buggies too and there are lifts at every station.  If, after a lot of walking, your tired legs and kids are screaming for a cab, you can try and hail one but they are difficult to find.

Some unusual things I noticed:
Nobody locks their bikes! And nobody wears bike helmets either.
Mothers often left their babies outside restaurants in prams while they lunched inside. It’s a Scandinavian thing I know, but it was sweet to see as you couldn’t imagine doing that in London.
Most restaurants tend to serve small plates of food so you can taste a variety of dishes, which we loved.

All the shop assistants are so friendly and polite. Nothing is too much trouble.

things to do in Copenhagen with kids(she loved Copenhagen so much that she insisted on buying a Danish flag)

In a nutshell, Copenhagen is a small, kid-friendly, clean and safe city and ideal to visit with kids.  It has a lot to offer foodies, design lovers and families alike. It’s no more than a couple of hours’ flight from most of Europe, even though our flight did get horribly delayed. How I wished I could have taken a private jet charter because there’s nothing more annoying than a short journey being made in to a long one. But, until I can, I’ll just have to hope that our flight isn’t delayed next time. And there will be a next time. I can imagine that, in summer, Copenhagen has a completely different vibe and I’d love to go again when the sun is shining to experience more of the outdoor scene.

*(all photos by ebabee except photo of Hoest)
I’ve linked up to Mummy Travels city tripping.

 

ebabee-featured-post

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  • thefolia

    Noma is still opened? Maybe next time you could go and tell me, because I don’t think we will be going there anytime soon. Anya of course looks so stylish…she wears the coat so well…I don’t think I can pull of the look though.

    • ebabee likes

      Yes, Noma is going strong. I’m not sure i’ll ever get to Noma but I hope to get to Copenhagen again. Thank you – Anya loves that coat!

  • Jennifer Howze

    You’ve captured so many of the great things about Copenhagen. I couldn’t agree more about the food. We ate at Fiskebar when we visited — I loved the entire meatpacking district, so cool-looking with great places to eat and drink.

    And while it may be touristy, I loved Tivoli Gardens too. I got the most luxurious pair of mittens there. Thanks for sharing your tasty photos!

    #Citytripping

    • ebabee likes

      Yes, the meatpacking area was great. And overall I thought the food was fantastic wherever we ate. Kul is a new restaurant in the meatpacking district – highly recommend it for your next trip. Tivoli was fun – we are tourists after all so we’ve got to see some of the touristy spots at least!

  • Keri

    Thanks for reminding me what a beautiful city Copenhagen is. We are yet to visit with our kids but would definitely include on a European itinerary

    • ebabee likes

      I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been before. Definitely worth a visit with or without kids!

  • Babes about Town

    What a fabulous post and gorgeous photos. I’ve wanted to visit Copenhagen for years, ever since my sister went there one summer and absolutely loved it. And you’re right, it’s so close that I wonder what’s stopping me? Especially when they have hot dogs everywhere for sampling very sure I can persuade the Babe papa to take us 😉 And I love all your restaurant reviews of course, didn’t know they had the world’s best restaurant either but I can only imagine how much the dishes cost! x

    • ebabee likes

      You would love it and so will the babes – big and small. The food is very exciting and lots to do too. Go! xx

  • Cathy (MummyTravels)

    I loved Copenhagen – it really is so family-friendly, so easy to get around and perfect with kids. I loved the fact children are just accepted as part of life rather than separate, so like you say no kids’ menus etc. My daughter was much younger and slept most of the way round Tivoli but I’d love to go back with her. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • ebabee likes

      I know that is so true – children are just humans like the rest of us, so they aren’t treated differently or like some kind of aliens which was so refreshing! We will definitely be back in the Summer. x

  • Jo Addison

    Copenhagen was already high up on my list of places to go with my kids – and that was before I had read your article! Really want to go now! My boys love a good park , and think they would love the Tivoli Gardens with all the twinkly lights!

    • ebabee likes

      Do go – I can’t recommend it enough. So much to do and enjoy for any age. And like my last commenter said – children as just treated the same as everyone else which is so refreshing.

  • Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    Hey Nomita, we recently went to Copenhagen too and loved it! It’s so child-friendly and I loved how walkable everything was. Loads of suggestions here for things to do and places to eat… We really enjoyed the cuisine. Fab photos! Thanks for sharing on #citytripping

    • ebabee likes

      Thanks Elizabeth. I can’t wait to go back there – loved it all. And being a Scandinavian design addict, it was heaven. Will check out your post on Copenhagen for out next visit. x

  • abbie ting

    Love this post and your style – sounds like you looked for exactly the sort of things I would look for on a holiday and I have been desperate to go to Copenhagen. Hoest sounds amazing – it’s so refreshing when you find warm and friendly staff…makes life so much happier for everyone! Thanks for the inspiration, I’ll definitely keep your post in mind when I get to go:)

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you Abbie. I couldn’t recommend it more and it’s so close to us thats why I really wonder what took me so long. But I know I will be returning soon and exploring more. Love to hear about your trip when you go. 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    I LOVE Copenhagen and would absolutely consider visiting with a baby in tow. We visited before a baby though, and I totally agree with your food choices and your recommendation for staying in a suburb. We stayed in the same suburb in a small airbnb apartment and it was great!

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you. Copenhagen couldn’t be more child friendly – they just seem to accept that children are part of our planet and thats just how it is. Baby, toddler of kids – they’re all welcome everywhere. Love to hear more about your trip when you go next 🙂

  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)

    Such a comprehensive guide to Copenhagen with kids. I love your food recommendations. We’ve yet to visit Scandinavia with our two and Copenhagen is definitely top of the list. #citytripping

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you! I definitely recommend Copenhagen although am keen to go to Sweden too. Next time.

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