Sometimes, as much as we’re fond of her, we want to get away from Helsinki. Like this past weekend, when we chose beautiful Copenhagen, to visit friends who’ve moved there.
We’d booked a super-central flat through AirBnB for six. Bit of a posh location, easily within walking distance from the center of the action. With some early-bird flight tickets, the weekend ended up being more than reasonably priced, too.
We’d chosen to arrive on the day when the snow falls. On other words, J-dag, the first Friday in November, when Tuborg’s Julebryg Christmas brew is launched in all bars at 20:59. That means it’s definitely a party all around, with plenty of commercial silliness, cheap drinks and liters upon liters of dark Christmas beer. Imagine a Nordic St. Patrick’s, in blue instead of green.
In 2016, it’ll be 4 November. If you’re going, remember to stock up on Santa hats, beanies, bunny ears, capes, bow ties, t-shirts, stewardess’ skirts and more. Bunny ears especially seemed to attract attention, right to the point of people offering to buy them off your head . If you fancy making a quick buck 200 DKK seemed to be the going rate.
To regain our strength we went for lunch at one of our all-time Copenhagen favorites — Sporvejen – that offers some of the best burgers in all of CPH, along with some quality craft beers. What makes the place special, apart from the food, is the lovely service and the absolutely lovely décor.
For anyone from Helsinki, trams are a key symbol of our city, and although CPH did away with theirs decades ago, this one has survived. The place feels like you stepped into a tram that’s parked inside a building. Inside, it’s small tables and a near-intact tram interior, complete with old tram seats and old-time advertising. Outside there’s tables for bigger groups, with heat-lamps and blankets, so you can enjoy your meal outdoors too. Sporvejen’s very kid-friendly, as well, so if you’re travelling with kids, make sure to look them up on Gråbrødretorv, right off of Strøget.
The rest of the day we spent shopping and sightseeing around, Nyhavn, the Round Tower (Rundetaarn) etc. before heading for dinner at the Australian-themed Tight.
The place proved to be pretty nice. The envy-inducing Flank steak as well as mussels proved to be the best mains. The burger wasn’t really up to its rep, especially after Sporvejen. In the evening we also did a quick hop over to the hipper Østerbro neighborhood before returning to the city.
On Sunday, we headed west, to Copenhagen’s very own meat-packing district — Kødbyen — as hip as its NY namesake and a brilliant brunch at Kødbyens Fiskebar. Oysters for starters, followed by mussels and more. Tasty, super-fresh. Definitely worth a visit if you’re around.
We followed that with a beer-tasting at the neighboring Warpigs craft beer and bbq bar with some Mikkeller and 3 Floyds beers. It’d be easy to spend the whole day in Kødbyen, especially if you come on a street-food Sunday (we didn’t). If you’re feeling peckish, Warpigs has the most protein-rich Bloody Mary we’ve ever seen. (Hint, it comes in a stein, with bratwurst, pork, pickles and more.)
To finish the day, we had some going-away smørrebrøds and did some last minute shopping back in the City.
Then it was down to the metro, and 20 minutes later we were at the Airport. Convenient, fast and back in Helsinki by midnight. Not bad for a weekend getaway.
So, whether you do as locals do and head for the countryside or choose to go abroad to another Nordic or Baltic Capital, or even St. Pete for that matter, you’re continuing a local tradition. Helsinki is well connected.