Copenhagen Travel Guide with a Toddler
Last month, I shared three posts about our recent trip to Copenhagen. The first two (here and here) detailed the trip in two parts. The third post was all about our date night out to Höst. To round out our trip, I also wanted to share a travel guide for Copenhagen. I received some AMAZING emails and recommendations from people (particularly Jordan Bunker and Ania Krasniewska from The New Diplomat’s Wife…thank you guys btw). Those recommendations and others really made a difference in how enjoyable our trip ended up being with Hayes and Mike’s parents. It was an amazing trip in an amazing city, so I thought if I pulled together a guide of our recommends from our trip as well as some tips for traveling with a little one in Copenhagen it might be helpful to those of you looking to do a similar trip yourself.
Traveling with a toddler isn’t easy even in your own country, but in another country, there are plenty of challenges to be prepared for while wrangling a little one. So I pulled together this guide with parents with toddlers in mind. I hope it helps many of you enjoy your time in Copenhagen, which is already such a family friendly city.
Places to Eat with a toddler:
- Anywhere that there is outdoor seating: We looked for places that offered outdoor seating where we could pull our stroller up and stay warm but still eat while he either napped or enjoyed food with us.
- Torvehallerne: I mention this place a few times, but this is a very family friendly food place. There are plenty of options (we did smoothies for Hayes a lot) for everyone. Then there is plenty of seating as well. You can also easily get things to go as well.
- Sticks and Sushi (to-go): Seriously doing to-go is worth it for the presentation alone. You can do an order online and say when you want it ready. There was one just a block from the apartment so we did this one night. VERY GOOD!
- Tivoli Gardens: There are a ton of restaurants here and they are very kid and family friendly. Most have outdoor seating too.
- Souls: A great breakfast or lunch. A little out of the city, but if you are in the area is very good.
- Mother: A pizza place with a couple different locations in the city. They are really wonderful and the food is top notch!
- Copenhagen Street Food: We didn’t get to go unfortunately, but this is another food hall where there are communal tables and food stalls. Very relaxed place to eat with kids.
- Meyer: A Great place to get takeaway to take back to your apartment and enjoy. Perfect for an early night in.
Places to Eat without a toddler:
In case you find a way to slip away for an evening with a sitter or if you travel with friends, head to one of these places. THOUGH you cannot really go that wrong with food in Copenhagen. It all is amazing!
- Höst: We ate here and LOVED the experience. It was relaxed, beautiful, and a wonderful high-end taste of the food
- Gemyse: Located in Tivoli Gardens and when I go back I want to enjoy a kidless meal here. It was like someone went into my mind and created my dream restaurant and food experience.
- Kødbyens Fiskebar: This was on our list, but I sent my in-laws there to try instead because they needed a night out as well. They enjoyed it immensely and had one of the greatest experiences. The staff was very welcoming and friendly and the food was outstanding. It is located in a neat up and coming area of Copenhagen.
- Paté Paté: Another place that was on our list, but we didn’t make it to. This was on nearly every list anyone gave me so I feel like that says something.
- Noma 2.0 (not open yet but coming soon): If by chance René Redzepi has completed this new space in Copenhagen find a way to go. René helped transform the way we see Copenhagen’s cuisine today. Even if you cannot go in, do research on him, watch his interview with Anthony Bourdain on Parts Unknown, and be inspired by his creative, passion for quality, and his desire to eat the flavors of a region. It is incredible and more or less something I would define what he is doing as a wonder of the food as we know it today.
- Relæ: A suggestion by many and on nearly all travel lists for high-end dining.
- Amass: Just going to the website will entice you to make a reservation, but this restaurant is sustainable and doing some revolutionary things.
- 108: I debated about going here, but we couldn’t get a reservation. It looks gorgeous and the food ooks just unreal. I would suggest checking it out.
Places to Stay:
My suggestion if you are traveling with a toddler or young children is to stay in an apartment so I have included the places we stayed as well as a few other suggestions in case these are booked. Having a kitchen and separate rooms saves money and gives you as an adult a place to relax while your little one goes to bed early.
- STAY Seaport: Not a ton of amenities here, but there is an Irma close by. The apartments are very nice though!
- The Apartment we stayed in (WE LOVED IT. The location is one of the best on Airbnb)
- An Architect’s Apartment
- A Private Home in the City
- Townhouse in the heart of the city
- City Center Apartment
- Simple Apartment in the Latin Quarter
- Europahuset Luxury Apartments: Near Tivoli and the meatpacking area where there is some very hip food and drink places.
Places to See + Play:
- Tivoli Gardens: This was one of the first amusement parks in the world and it has been maintained beautifully. It is a beautiful display of how the Danes view childhood. This place is worth a trip with your children. Hayes had one of his best days here and we wished we could have gone back.
- Botanical Gardens: The Copenhagen Botanical Gardens are an amazing place to let your little run and explore on a nice day. There are tons of acres of space for them to explore and things you will enjoy as well.
- Rosenborg Castle Gardens: We wandered here one afternoon and loved the ducks and
- Round Tower: Have them walk up and then walk down and grab lunch after. It won’t be long and they will be napping and you can shop.
- The City Lake: You can rent swan boats or go for a walk here. It is in the heart of the city and really beautiful.
- Danish Design Museum: Great if your little one is napping and you want a quiet place to wander.
- The National Gallery: This place has a huge cafe and lots space for running. Grab some lunch and enjoy the nice strollers they give you and show your little one some classic Danish art history. You also get a discount on your ticket if you bring your little one with you.
- The Louisiana Museum: We didn’t go but I wish we had. It is a short train ride outside of the city. It is on our list for the future.
- Nyhavn Harbor: Take a boat tour here, see the beautiful canal and more. This place is totally touristy, but it is worth it! Wonderful food off the main street too. Check out Union Kitchen and even a few of the cafes offer classic food, it just tends to be a little pricey.
I think it is really important to know where to shop for groceries. Personally, I loved Irma for groceries when we were in Copenhagen. The other grocery stores are fine, but I am an experience person when I shop and Irma did the trick for me.
- Torvehallerne: A market full of fresh fish, veggies, and other local produced foods and goods
- Irma: Around the city and kind of similar to Whole Foods in the states. There are lots of options and their own brands. They have a wonderful wine selection as well! A lot of organic options.
We didn’t do a lot of shopping in Copenhagen because sometimes it is hard to make happen with a little one, but we did hit a few places and I also had some others on my list we didn’t make it to. I thought I would share them all.
- Hay: There a few places you can experience Hay items at, but the big one is on Strøget. There are multiple floors and pretty much everything from them. Not to mention they have an amazing shop full of adorable office supplies that are hard to resist.
- Martinique: Mike purchased a suit here that you can bike in. One of the older clothing brands of Copenhagen, we randomly stepped in and Mike walked out with a suit for the summer and beyond. Great prices for the quality and a great place to find some classic quality items.
- Illum: It is Copenhagen’s department store so everything is available you can imagine.
- Paustian: A home decor gallery to top all home decor galleries.
- Dora: An adorable design shop you don’t want to miss.
- Designer Zoo: Tons of awesome home decor with a playful edge.
- Nibble Shop: A shop focused well-curated magazines and design goods
For more shopping, this list of streets has wonderful shopping and should fix any need to shop you may have.
Foods to Try:
- Grød: This is a classic Danish breakfast dish or porridge style dish that comes in various types of flavors from savory to sweet. Go here for a good taste.
- Smørrebrød: These are the classic open-faced sandwiches they are known for. Eat as many as you can. They are great!
- Shrimp on Toast: Do it the Danish way and eat all those little shrimp.
- Pickled Herring: Sounds gross…but if you eat fish try it!
- Carlsberg Beer: It is classic and fairly cheap plus it is really good. I had never had it till I visited.
- Yogurt: They do yogurt really well in Denmark so pick some up at the store with some Muesli and fresh fruit for a quick snack or breakfast.
- Rugbrød: A classic nutty rye bread that most open face sandwiches are served on.
Other helpful info when traveling in Copenhagen with a toddler:
Hayes was still drinking whole milk when we were traveling so we had to find milk for him there. I had to ask someone in the store what milk had the highest fat content. From what she told me it is the one marked: Sødmælk. Milk can be a little confusing there because there are a lot of options in the dairy department and all of it is in Danish with very little English. I thought I would help any of you looking for milk for your little ones. I googled it later and sure enough, it was true. Most grocery stores have it, but organic isn’t available everywhere.
Do not be alarmed if you are asked to leave your stroller outside or in a locker or even on the side of the street. First of all, it won’t be taken. Secondly, most places they offer you another stroller to use such in museums. Roll with it and always keep a carrier on hand just in case. Also, do not be alarmed to see babies asleep outside of restaurants in the cold in their strollers alone, this is very normal and if your child is asleep the restaurant may ask you to do the same. We never left him because we felt completely uncomfortable with it, but just something to be made aware of.
- No car seat problem:
I had no idea what to do cause we didn’t take a car seat with us. Then my friend told me in taxi cabs and such you can wear your baby in the carrier, buckle in, and for the short drive, most cab drivers will allow this. Another reason to keep a carrier on hand for quick jaunts in cabs around the city.
I suggest, choosing one nap a day to do in the carrier or stroller and one to do back in your apartment or hotel. I found this meant better sleep for Hayes. The days we did two naps on the go were tough.
Plan ahead for occasional cold breezes and light rain. You are right on the ocean so the weather can shift quickly. Make sure you have a rain cover for your stroller (we didn’t) and some warm layers and a hat for your little one especially in early summer or close to fall.
- Black Out Shades for your babies room:
We brought black out shades with us so we could darken Hayes’s room because Denmark gets a lot of light between May and October. So if you have a little one who doesn’t sleep well in light filled spaces you may want to bring some. I just bought these from Target along with some pushpins to tack them over windows. We use them at home as well. time transitions are hard, to begin with, but extra light can make it even worse. It also helped Hayes realize he wasn’t at home. When the room was completely dark he had no idea the difference in the room and passed out pretty quickly.
If you want to read more about the trip you can see the posts here:
So have any of you traveled with your little one? What suggestions do you have? Any places you would recommend in Copenhagen to others?