Day 3. My last day in Copenhagen before heading on to Stockholm. My itinerary for the day included visiting a deli and farmers market near Nørreport Station, taking the metro to the unique and controversial Christiania neighborhood with a final stop at Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island.
This recap is part of a multi-day post of my visit to Copenhagen and on to Stockholm.
If you need to catch up with the journey so far, then you can read about it here:
Day 1: My journey from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denmark
Day 2: The sights and foods of Copenhagen
Lunch at Smagsløget
Thanks to jet lag, I got a later start to the day then I was hoping. By the time I left my hotel, I was ready for lunch.
After doing some research online, I decided to check out Smagsløget, a deli and sandwich shop just steps away from Nørreport Station. The shop, located up a few stairs, was quite small but open with limited counter seating. If there is no room available on your visit, they also do take away.
The extensive menu in English and Danish was packed with an assortment of delicious sandwiches with a variety of ingredients. Options included ham and cheese, grilled salmon, roast beef, turkey, Serrano ham, Italian fennel sausage, chill chorizo, pork filet, barbecue chicken, tuna, and more. All of the colorful and fresh meats, cheeses, toppings, and vegetables were on display inside a glass counter at the front of the restaurant.
I had trouble choosing from one of the 20 sandwiches on the menu. Unsure of what to order, I asked the friendly worker at the front what the most popular item was. Turns out the most popular item was Sandwich #2-B (69 krone or about $10.20) with roast beef, cheddar cheese, creme sauce, red pesto, salsa, red pesto and BBQ sauce. This is what I ordered, or so I thought.
After ordering, I waited patiently for my sandwich to be prepared. After about 10 minutes, my order number was called. I then picked up my sandwich from the front and paid.
The sandwich, served in white paper bounded by a rubber band, was literally the size of a brick.
Did I mention this thing was huge? It could easily be shared between two people.
Even though I ordered a roast beef sandwich, when I peeled back the white paper, I was surprised to see Sandwich #2, the Smagsløget Club Sandwich (69 krone or about $10.20). This sandwich was prepared with sliced turkey, bacon, and homemade curry dressing. It looked great and I was hungry, so I decided not to say anything and just eat it.
The bread was thick, crunchy, filling, and lightly pressed and toasted. The turkey was simple and sliced thin. The generous portion of bacon was crunchy, salty, and smoky. The red onions and lettuce were fresh and crunchy. The curry seasoning was sweet and unique for a turkey sandwich. All of the flavors just seemed to work together well.
I was stuffed.
Local and artisan foods at Torvehallerne Market
Even though I was full and had no interest in eating anymore food, I knew I had to stop by Torvehallerne Market just down the street from Smagsløget.
If you are a big foodie like me, then a visit to Torvehallerne is a must. Torvehallerne is a trendy, upscale, yet casual farmers market located on Israels Plads, a large public square not far from Nørreport Station. Your stomach will thank you.
If you have been to Pike Place Market in Seattle, Chelsea Market in New York City, or Borough Market in London, then Torvehallerne is your spot.
You can find it all here. The variety of delicious foods sold here will seriously blow your mind.
The market was spread out between two beautiful glass buildings packed with stalls selling an amazing variety of fresh, local, and seasonal items.
I can’t list everything I saw at the market but I will try my best: fresh red meat, sausages, oysters, fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, pasta, wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, artisan bread, craft beer, coffee, cheese, honey, spices, and nuts.
Outdoors, between the market buildings, you will find even more vendors under large umbrellas selling mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. The colorful produce made for great photos.
If you are hungry, then you are in luck. The market featured a large variety of food counters serving delicious, creative, and unique foods such as fish and chips, sushi, smørrebrød (open face sandwich), and more.
Think of it as an upscale food court where you can walk around and pick and choose exactly what you want to eat. Just grab a seat and enjoy a meal and a drink or grab something to go. It doesn’t get much better than this for food lovers.
Some of the most popular food stalls found at the market were Palæo, with creative paleo diet dishes, and Grød, a porridge bar with interesting toppings.
1360 København K
Taking the metro from Nørreport Station to Christianshavn Station
My first experience riding on Copenhagen’s metro system would be a quick ride on line M2 from Nørreport Station to Christianshavn Station.
Purchasing a ticket to ride the metro was simple.
After entering the station, look out for the automated ticket machines. Tickets can be purchased with coins (no bills), international debit cards, and Danish credit cards. When I attempted using an international credit card, my transaction was cancelled as I was required to enter a pin which did not exist for me. Danish credit cards should have no issues, but I was unable to test if this was true.
Since I was only going two stops, I only needed to purchase a 2-zone ticket which cost me 24 krone or about $3.56. After paying, the machine dispensed a paper ticket that was good for up to 60 minutes.
With a ticket in hand, I was now ready to find my train and board. At Nørreport Metro Station, there were no gates to pass through, just make sure you don’t lose your ticket in case a metro employee or officer asks to see it. If you don’t have a ticket in your possession, you may receive a hefty fine.
At each platform, information was displayed about the next arriving train number and the destination. To get to Christianshavn Station, I boarded Line M2 towards Lufthavn/Airport (I actually could have also boarded Line M1 as it went the same direction first before heading towards Vestamager).
If you are unsure which train to board, be sure to first check out one of the metro maps found posted around each station, including at the automated ticket machine.
Now that you have boarded your train, be alert for which station you are at and when you need to get off the train. For me, I exited the train after two quick stops.
I was now at Christianshavn Station.
Church of Our Saviour
The first thing you probably will notice about the Church of Our Saviour is its amazing helix spire that towers into the sky. This beautiful red brick church was built in Dutch baroque style.
The present church began construction in 1682 and was completed 14 years later in 1695. At this time, there was no spire. Construction on the spire was approved by King Frederik V in 1749. When the spire was completed in 1752, the king was on hand to climb the staircase to the top of spire.
If you aren’t afraid of heights, you can climb the 398 stairs up the external winding staircase that wraps around the tower just as the king did. At the top, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of central Copenhagen and Christiania, or so I’ve read. Unfortunately on my visit, the wind was blowing a little too fast and the staircase was closed.
The highlight of the interior of the church would have to be the magnificent pipe organ complete with 4,000 pipes and supported by two elephants. The organ dates back to 1700.
The unique neighborhood of Christiania
Christiania is not for everyone. At the same time, Christiania should be seen by everyone at least once.
In 1971, about 700 ‘Christianians,’ or squatters, established their own community in an abandoned military barracks only a few minutes walk from the Danish Parliament Building. These people included hippies, idealists, potheads, non-materialist, happy children, and people who just wanted to live in a different lifestyle than normal society.
Almost 50 years later, the self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood is still going strong among some controversy. Around 180 of the original 700 residents still live here.
The main drag of Christiania is “Pusher Street,” also known as the Green Light District. The name comes from the sale of soft drugs that are sold openly here.
When you walk down this street, you will feel like you are worlds away from Copenhagen. Faces hidden by camouflage selling pot inside small stalls, others staying warm with trash can fires, alternative houses, ramshackle houses, tea houses, carpenter shops, hippie villas, playgrounds, peaceful lanes, earthen ramparts, and interesting moats. Since no photos are allowed here, you will have to take photos with your imagination.
The government of Copenhagen has been tolerant to the doings in Christiania, but conflicts have occurred between residents and police over the years
With all that said, surprisingly, Christiania has become the second most visited sight for tourists in Copenhagen after Tivoli Gardens.
Copenhagen Street Food
Since it was my last night in Copenhagen, I saved the best for last.
My last stop in Copenhagen, Copenhagen Street Food, turned out to be my favorite spot in the city.
Copenhagen Street Food, located on Papirøen (Paper Island) not far from Christiania, can be best described as a street food extravaganza. When you walk inside the cozy warehouse on the harbor, you will be surrounded with about 30 food stalls, bars, and even actual food trucks serving delicious and affordable street food style dishes from around the world.
The ambiance of the place was laid back with big wooden tables, a foosball table, fireplace, candlelights, and even a DJ. It was truly relaxing and unique experience.
In such a small space, it was amazing to see the huge variety of food of all different cuisines from around the world: Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, Thailand, India, Morocco, Middle East, China, Japan, Korea, America. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they like: burgers, pizza, seafood, tacos, cheesecakes, salads, duck fat Belgian fries, fish and chips, BBQ, smørrebrød (open face sandwich) and more. The list goes on and on.
You can also find a good variety of wines and craft beers.
Most meals and drinks cost between 40 and 100 krone or about $5.91 to $14.78. These prices were quite reasonable considering how expensive it was to eat in Copenhagen.
If you are in the mood for pizza, then you might want to check out Madenitaly, which was operated by Italian baker Eva De Masi.
Organic dough and toppings were used to create an authentic and delicious gourmet pizza.
On my recent visit, I ordered a pizza with prosciutto and arugula (45 krone or about $6.65 for 2 slices). The crust was surprisingly delicious, thin, smoky, and crunchy. I was a little surprised that the pizza did not have any cheese. Without cheese, the crust was slightly drier than I would have liked, but the soft prosciutto and fresh arugula made up for the lack of cheese.
Still hungry, I decided to roam around more. It was seriously tough to decide what to order.
After browsing the warehouse for a few minutes, I happened to stumbled on Hav2Go, a fresh seafood truck that was also found at Torvehallerne Market. Hav2Go’s menu consisted of interesting seafood dishes including a swordfish steak sandwich, whole grilled fish, seared tuna and smoked salmon salads, and fried calamari.
I went with the fried calamari with a side of lemon cream sauce (50 krone or about $7.39). The calamari, served in a black paper box with a slice of lemon, was excellent.
A generous portion of fresh calamari was deep fried until perfectly golden brown and hot. It wasn’t too greasy or oily. Dipping the rings of chewy fried goodness into the delicious lemony tartar sauce was amazing. For the price, I highly recommended it.
Plenty of tables and benches were scatted around the warehouse for diners to sit and eat. There was also outdoor seating available for those warm summer days. During dinner hours and on weekends, expect seating to be limited, but with people moving around, seats often opened up.
There was no right or wrong way to enjoy Copenhagen Street Food. My advice: come hungry and walk around from stall to stall trying as many foods as you can. And don’t forget to grab a beer or glass of wine from one of the many bars.
Copenhagen Street Food Hours
Saturday: 12:00PM-10:00PM (some stalls open at 10:00AM)
Sunday: 12:00PM-9:00PM (some stalls open at 10:00AM)
This completed my trip to Copenhagen. After a 30 minute stroll back to my hotel, I began to pack up once again and got ready to move on. Next stop, Stockholm, Sweden.