City-breaking is nothing new. For the last four years, Brits have booked more city breaks than long-haul holidays. And with an uncertain post-Brexit future looming, European getaways feel more relevant than ever before – a kind of, get it while you still can, sample-sale. But the increasing lure of the city break means the market is competitive, and said cities must try a little harder to entice tourists and travellers. No city is more proactive than Copenhagen. There’s something to pique the interest of every type of wanderer, from the foodie to the adventurer to the culture-gatherer. But to see everything there is to see, you’d have to travel at 100 miles per hour…Or just six miles an hour actually, the distance the average runner can cover in sixty minutes.
Copenhagen put its thinking cap on and decided there was a new way for tourists to see the local hotspots, at a slightly faster (and possibly sweatier) pace than usual. Don’t worry if your trainers are covered and dust and anything other than a wine tour sounds less than appealing. These tours are cool, individual, bespoke and a complete mood-boost.
Running Copenhagen offer a range of tours designed for ‘sightrunners’ – but what you actually get is a very personal and informal guided tour around the nooks and crannies of the city. You learn as you run, and get deeper, hidden, secret and more intimate insights than you ever could on a generic bus or walking tour.
On the architecture tour, you’re immersed in Danish design and innovation. Denmark have long been the forerunners of building and interior trends and this tour gives you a glimpse as to why. You’ll zoom past beautiful, iconic buildings like the Opera, The Black Diamond and the Copenhagen Playhouse, as well as the lesser-known buildings along the waterfront, and gain an insight into the architects’ visions, and how the buildings reflect how Copenhagen residents live.
There’s the 8km winter special running tour that ends with participants casting off their clothes (underwear on though please, we’re still British after all), and relaxing those muscles in a steaming hot sauna. But not just any sauna, one floating on the canal in the heart of the city.
The private sunrise tours are a dream. If you can bear to get up early on your holidays, it’s worth it, and feels like it’s just you, your guide and the pavement present as the sun comes up over Copenhagen. You’re picked up from your hotel and hit the road with a friendly and knowledgeable running companion, who leads you through the streets seeing breathtaking buildings and all the coolest places to visit later. You’ll pass converted long-boat factories, harbour fronts, shops, museums and the trendy meat-packing district.
Christiania Freetown is – aside from its hipsters, art and diversity – mostly known for the cannabis trade, and this run encapsulates the eccentric district perfectly. Keep an eye out for the female blacksmith, the famous statue of the little mermaid and the organic eateries galore. And if you want to partake in the local culture (*ahem*) afterwards, feel free.
I could ramble on, but that doesn’t seem in the spirit of this piece. The fast track is, there’s every kind of tour you could wish for – a family tour, a nature tour, and for those of you wanting to see the grittier, non-tourist version of the city, there’s a tour for that too.
And if you aren’t persuaded yet, it’s worth mentioning that Copenhagen is completely flat. You heard that right, there’s no hills to contend with! If you’re not comfortable running with others, opt for a private tour. If you’re worried about how far you can go, just say, but there’s so much to see and so many stops that you’ll probably beat your personal best without even realising it. Even for running novices, push yourself out of your comfort zone – you won’t regret it. #TeamCoco guarantees you’ll fall in love with the city and get the running bug too.
The running tours have proved so popular that they’ve even been rolled out in other countries, so keep an eye out for them wherever you choose to travel.
WHERE TO FUEL UP
As well as miles – you’ll certainly clock up a list of must-see food and drink haunts to go back to after your run. And as you’ve exercised on holiday (!), overindulgence isn’t just allowed, its required. Copenhagen has become a tour du force on the gastronomy scene, so here are just some of the best places to fuel up.
This restaurant in a greenhouse means your surroundings perfectly mirror the organic, fresh food you’re served. The tasting menu includes some absolute delights, from ‘hake, broccoli, organic buttermilk and mussels’, to ‘apple, salted caramel, pound cake and sweet gale schnapps,’ with lush wines to accompany them. After dinner, explore the Latin Quarter on your doorstep to seek out some of Copenhagen’s best craft beers.
Sankt Peders Stræde 34, 1453 København K. Open every day, 12pm-10pm.
0034 38 41 27 2. hostvakst.dk/vakst/
Co-founder, chef and fellow Brit Samuel Nutter cut his teeth at Noma, so you know you’re in for a treat. Decorated in typical understated Danish style, the food does the talking and pushes the boundaries of your palate. In addition to experimental ‘snacks’ of bull’s testicles with tartare sauce, crisp
y penis skin and an open sandwich of cow’s uterus (bear with us), there are sumptuous dishes of squid ink risotto, cod cheek, and bone marrow brulee with a quince sorbet. Bror’s wines are all
produced organically or biodynamically, and the staff know how to wow with their recommendations.
Sankt Peders Stræde 24A, 1453 København K. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 17.30 00.00 (last seating 21.30).
0045 32 17 59 99. restaurantbror.dk
The Danish take brunch seriously. But there’s no stuffy formality at this Italian eatery nestled in the heart of the meatpacking district. It’s self-service, but the fresh wood-fired pizzas are prepared in front of you, the salads are made with love and the tiramisu is delicious. If you’d prefer to be waited on, and let’s face it who doesn’t, opt for one of the specials such as the braised rabbit in white wine, with black olives, pine nuts and mashed potatoes. Salud.
Høkerboderne 9, 1712 København V. Open every day, 11:00 to 01:00.
0045 22 27 58 98. motherrestaurant.dk