I just returned from almost three weeks in Copenhagen. It blew past my former #1 spot for solo travel and writing, Malta. Below I explain a bit why that is and also offer some recommendations, if you go. And, you should go!
Copenhagen is not known for grand buildings, monuments, concert halls, beautiful gardens, or hills (of ANYtype) for that matter. What makes it special is its hygee (pronounced "hoo ga"), which is a Danish word that embodies a sense of wellness, wholeness, and comfort. Therefore, you will find the nicest, most welcoming people-- they embrace outsiders (including refugees!), which results in a wonderful mix of cultures that are integrated thoughtfully by the best city planners in the world. The city has beautiful parks, canals, secret streets, bike shops, and pets (the dogs are adorable, especially when they ride bikes). There is also an inspiring cafe culture and absolutely the BEST URBAN BIKING in the universe.
You must, must, must rent a bike. Full stop. It is the very best way to see the city. It is also incomprehensible how well-designed it is for bikes--much more so for bikes than cars!
The best bikes can be found at Velorbis: https://velorbis.com/velorbis-rental-bicycles/ I'd recommend renting them for the entire period you are there because you'll want to ride them everywhere and you can park them anywhere.
If you want to have an older, but more authentic Danish bikes, Sorgeni Bikes: http://sogrenibikes.com/index.php?main_page=the_shop Owned by a hilarious but slightly grumpy Danish man, it is one of the oldest Danish bike shops in town. He makes or refurbishes all of his bikes and has the coolest bells, fenders, and pedals I've ever seen.
When you rent your bike, have the person helping you give you a general lesson on proper etiquette. But here are a few general tips:
Things to See
So, here is a crude map of an initial bike route you can take (though I encourage you just to wander and explore).
Below are the main stops with google locations. There are also the same comments on the map.
Before you get on your bikes, you have to see Nyhavn--the old canal with beautiful row houses. They still let antique boats dock there. It's crowded, but a great place to people watch, if you walk towards the end toward the water. There is also a beautiful performing arts center (with an outdoor bar) at the end.
A must visit. Hard to explain, but Christiana one of the world's last anarchist communities! Just go.
3) Cafe Wilder
Cafe Wilder is on a great, quiet street. You can have some bubbles and, after 5:00, some delicious oysters (though you can usually convince them to give you oysters early).
4) Boardwalk for kayakpolo
Great place to watch kayakpolo on a weekend (yes, it is exactly what you think it is). I also think WeCycle is a great bikeshop/cafe nearby
5) Bike bridges
My favorite bike bridges! They're like a bike super highway over water. Check out the shopping mall's bike parking garage at the end!
6) Assistens Cemetery
In Denmark, cemeteries are like parks, so feel freen to enjoy the most beautiful one in Copenhagen, Assistens. This is where Kierkegaard and Hans Christian Anderson are buried. Make sure you go through the center. The street on the end, Jaegersborggade is a great place to get a drink. If you like beer, Mikkeller & Friends can't be beat
Food and Drink
#1 Brunch plates are the way that the Danish have a nice breakfast. Like it's name, it means brunch on a plate! Sooo many options. Two of my favorite places for brunch plates:
#1 My favorite Danish/Hungarian friends own Cafe Hygge and they will make anyone feel special and welcome and feel the hype love. It's not boojie, it's delightful. Best americano in the city. If you plan to visit, please let me know and I'll introduce you! They'd love to meet you.
#3 If you like crayfish, which I do. The best crayfish I ever had are at Alabama Social on the lakes.
I also really liked:
Slurp Ramen Joint: Get there early!
The Olive Kitchen Bar: Higher-End Danish Food. Excellent!
Feed: Excellent fish and French fries.
Feel free to email me any specific questions!