Copenhagen in summer is truly a beautiful and magical place. And even though the Danish summers aren't always just sunny and dry, there is undoubtedly a very unique vibe and atmosphere about the long days and bright summer nights in Copenhagen.
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Issue 10. * June 15th, 2022

The temperature in Copenhagen is rising, the sun is shining, people are outside and spirits are high. Or at least that's the ideal scenario that we're hoping for today as we're going to show you how to spend a real summer day in Copenhagen 🌞

Copenhagen in summer is truly a beautiful and magical place. And even though the Danish summers aren't always just sunny and dry, there is undoubtedly a very unique vibe and atmosphere about the long days and bright summer nights in Copenhagen. Frankly, when the weather gods are with us, there is no other place on this earth we would rather be on a hot summer day than Copenhagen 😎🔥

  • Best harbour in the world for swimming
  • A day trip to Dragør
  • The Ice Cream Neighborhood-guide
  • Meet a Copenhagener 
  • Reffen Streetfood Market 

🌞

Buckle up! As you see we have quite a busy schedule packed with awesome summer activities planned for today. Let's not waste any time, so put on your swimsuit, sandals, and shades. Don't forget to bring some sunscreen and let's go!

BEST HARBOUR IN THE WORLD FOR SWIMMING

It's 25 degrees, the sun is out and all the local Copenhageners are on their way to the nearest harbor bath. That's just a typical summer day in Copenhagen. If you're here on one of those warm summer days, you need to go for a dip in the harbor 🌊🌞

And now you're probably thinking; the harbor... isn't that a really dirty place to swim?. In Copenhagen, it actually isn't. The Copenhagen harbor is very clean and one of the best to swim in. Want a deep dive (see what we did there?) on that theme you can check out this report done by the City of Copenhagen and The Danish Ministry of the Environment. 

All around the harbor, you can find designated swimming areas to enjoy the refreshing water. 

Foto: Astrid Maria Rasmussen

One of the more popular harbour baths is the one on Bryggen. With a large swimming area and lots of grassy spots to lie and dry on, it's quite a perfect place to hang out.

But it almost doesn't matter where you are in the city, in Copenhagen you're always close to a swimming spot 😎

A DAYTRIP TO DRAGØR

Dragør is an idyllic little fishing village at the southeastern tip of Amager founded in the 1300s. With old cobblestone streets and authentic yellow fishing houses, it makes for the perfect summer day trip, without being too far away from Copenhagen.

There are many ways to get to Dragør. The obvious one is by bus, but a more fun way would be by bike or by foot. There are about 15 km from the central part of Copenhagen to Dragør and it will probably take you around 50 mins by bike 🚴‍♀️

You can also try the popular hiking trail Amarminoen. The 24 km long trail starts at the northern end of Amager, continues south through the big nature reserve on the island and ends up in Dragør, for a well-deserved beer or ice cream 🚶‍♂️

Foto: Astrid Maria Rasmussen

When you're there, walk the cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful view over the Øresund strait and get something to eat. There are many cozy cafés in town, but for the authentic fishing village experience, Dragør Smokehouse is the place to go 🦐🐟🦀

If you are hyped up for even more trips outside of Copenhagen, check out our guide on experiences beyond Copenhagen.

THE ICE CREAM NEIGHBORHOOD-GUIDE

If there is one thing you, by all means, want to avoid on a hot summer day, it's being low on ice cream. Therefore we've done you a little favor and put together a list of where in the city you can get some good ice cream. We've covered almost all the neighborhoods, so your chance of having a(n) (ice)cold turkey is minimized 🍦

Vesterbro

If you happen to be in Vesterbro when the gelato munchies hit you, there is no reason to panic. Siciliansk Is has been a popular local pusher of Italian gelato for over 10 years. Needless to say, they know their craft 😉

Nørrebro

The hip and diverse neighborhood, Nørrebro, is quite a hotspot for good ice cream. Nice Cream, Istid, and Isoteket, just to name a few, got you covered whether you prefer your ice cream organic and vegan, freshly made in front of you, or simply Italian-gelato-style.

Foto: Marc Skafte-Vaabengaard

Østerbro

The greenest neighborhood in the city, Østerbro, is home to a couple of good spots too. Østerberg is one of them and here you're always guaranteed a high-quality handmade ice cream. If you're looking for something lighter, Olufs Is, has a great selection of homemade Italian popsicles 🤤

Foto: Østerberg Ice Cream

Frederiksberg

In Frederiksberg, you'll find Social Foodies. Apart from serving delicious ice cream, they also work on social projects aiming to improve education and working conditions in Africa. 

Amager

Last but not least, Amager. While on one hand blessed with beautiful beaches and nature, Amager is on the other hand also a neighborhood buzzing with life, which of course, also shows in the ice cream scene. Both Alice and Ismageriet are notorious for quality ice cream.

Foto: Daniel Rasmussen

Psst... If you haven't had enough yet, then here's a little personal ice cream tip: Coffee Collective makes an exquisite and unforgettable espresso soft-serve 😉

CATHRINE ØSTERBERG - DEVOTED TO ICE CREAM

You might have had enough ice cream for now, but that hopefully doesn't mean you can't read about it. Because for this edition's Meet a Copenhagener we met up with the founder of Østerberg Ice Cream, Cathrine Østerberg 🍦

Cathrine has always had a passion for ice cream and her path within the ice cream business already started at the age of 13. From working as an ice cream girl as a teenager to studying food science at the University of Copenhagen, or investigating the chemical part of ice cream structure as her master thesis in Canada, it's certainly no underestimation to say that Cathrine lives and breathes ice cream 💛 

We had a chat with Cathrine about her passion, favorite ice cream flavors, and summer activities in Copenhagen.

Foto: Østerberg Ice Cream

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Why did you get into the ice cream business and how did the idea of Østerberg Ice Cream come about?

I have always loved being creative, loved cooking, and at the same time always loved math, physics, and chemistry. I wanted to combine my creative side with my rational side, so the program in food science was perfect for me. Also, I’ve had a desire to start my own business since I was a teenager. Towards the end of my bachelor's, I experimented a lot with making ice cream at home and bought a ton of ice cream books, noticing that each recipe was different from the previous. So, I found a bunch of scientific articles and came across the name of the world's leading ice cream professor, Douglas Goff from the University of Guelph. Then I went on an exchange there and took all his courses in dairy science, ice cream science, and functional foods. At some point, I had developed 50 ice cream recipes that could not be perfected anymore and all I needed was a location for the shop. In 2014 I found the location in Østerbro and on 17 June 2014 we opened Østerberg. 

How does Østerberg stand out from other ice cream places in Copenhagen?

When working with ice cream, my education really benefits us in product development. We rarely make mistakes with bad ice structures or wrong flavor balances. To make ice cream just right, we only need the ingredients, a head, and a spreadsheet. The scientific aspect of our business is quite unique and the reason why we do ice cream courses, consulting work, and help calculate ice cream recipes for other ice cream companies. Our "taste the world" concept, where we offer customers to try many different flavors with different fruits, is also unique. Fruits like tamarind, dragon fruit, lychee, etc. are quite common in Vietnam where we also have a shop, but for many people in Denmark, they are new and unknown. I can easily source large amounts of delicious fruits from for example Vietnam or the Middle East for our ice cream because my father has a fruit processing factory. There is something special about introducing and surprising people with these new flavors. 

If you order an ice cream yourself, which flavors do you go for?

From our own shop, I always go for sea buckthorn. It's my anchor as it's refreshing, light, and a palate cleanser. I wrote my bachelor thesis on fatty acids in sea buckthorn, as I am deeply fascinated by this berry. In addition, I usually match the sea buckthorn with something richer like chocolate, pistachio, matcha, or caramel. If I go for ice cream somewhere else, I'm quite curious, so if they have a unique flavor I haven't tasted before, I'll pick that. I also often go for a chocolate flavor, because I have a pretty clear perception of what it should taste like. 

If you were in Copenhagen for an ice cream experience, what would be important not to miss out on?

Copenhagen has an excellent ice cream scene with a lot of niche places. People typically come to us if they want ice cream with special fruits. Istid I have huge respect for because they make it with liquid nitrogen and have found their own niche. Siciliansk Is is also great because they really stick to their Sicilian roots. Alice Copenhagen also makes some really good ice cream and has quite a scientific approach to their recipes. Of course, there are many other good places, but besides Østerberg, I think you should try these 3 places, as they are true to their own values and way of producing ice cream.  

Describe what a perfect summer day in Copenhagen looks like for you.

It's a good start if the sun is shining. If I was a tourist, I would go on a canal cruise as it's a really nice way to see the city while learning a bit at the same time. Then I would find one of the many great places in the city to have coffee and pastries, like Juno in Østerbro or Hart Bakery in Frederiksberg. Then I would go to the wine bar, Ved Stranden 10, and have a glass of wine before dinner. It's important that it's a day where I'm not busy, that there's no definite plan for the day, and that I can just wander around and meet up with some friends.

Do you have any hidden gems in Copenhagen that you would like to share with our readers?

I live on the outskirts of Østerbro and I really like to sit at this cozy little wine bar called Gotland. I have a weakness for very sweet dessert wines and now I've found one on their wine list that I just love, so I keep coming back there.

REFFEN STREET FOOD MARKET

These long and bright summer days call for cozy and festive nights. You feel a constant desire to be outdoor, enjoy refreshing drinks and delicious fresh food in good company, and maybe even listen to some smooth tunes. Copenhagen Reffen Street Food Market is the ideal place for all of that. 

31 food stalls with dishes from all over the globe ensure that you'll find just the meal you're in the mood for. Try for example delicious West African food from Baobab, authentic Nepalese classics from Everest, Argentinian street food from Fuego, or maybe some Venetian delicacies from Osteria Lamuri. The selection is wide and the choice is all yours 😉🧡

Photo: Lukas Bukanov 

Reffen is not only a good place to eat, but also great for having drinks as the bars are open till 2 at night. There are also often different events taking place at Reffen such as music, workshops, talks, quizzes, bingo nights, or markets. Hop on a bike or catch bus 2A or take the harbor bus to Refshaleøen and enjoy life in Reffen-style 😎 

OVER AND OUT

Oh, what a day! Now you know a bit more about what summer in Copenhagen is like. Should you, against all odds after such a day, need more tips for your summer in Copenhagen, then take a look at our Copenhagen Summer Guide 😉🌞

And just like that, we're at the end of this edition. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading our tips and now feel well-prepared, inspired, and super pumped to come and experience summer here in Copenhagen 🌊

It won't be long until we're back with a lot more tips, hidden gems, cultural experiences, and food recommendations for Copenhagen. We hope you enjoyed this issue. If you did, or if there is space to improve, we would love to hear from you. We’re here for you 💘

Anders, Frederik & Kasper, Copenhagen Unfolded

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Copenhagen Unfolded is published by VisitCopenhagen. Our goal is to tell the world about Copenhagen and the great experiences that are to be had here. Be sure to also check out www.visitcopenhagen.com and our social channels.

This issue of Copenhagen Unfolded is put together by Kasper Syhler, Frederik Ibsing and Anders Nørland.

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