A friend of mine, spotted another great website to discover Copenhagen from a *local* perspective.
We are proud to say that we do recognize many of the places.
Just check this out:
SPOTTED BY LOCALS – COPENHAGEN ( also other European cities!)
For a few reasons I had to fly over to Warsaw. Once again few days magically disappeared, I had done more than ever and saw few friends.
Whenever you say *Poland*, people immediaely respond: Cracow. Well, Cracow is very impressive but for methe comparison can be a *pretty cake*, a lot of monuments, nice places. Whereas Warsaw is not that pretty- big communistic gift from Stalin in the middle surrounded by huge roads, unfortunate new development- shopping mall * Zlote Tarasy* and post-communistic buildings. Warsaw is a place that you have to discover. And it’s worth it.
*Reportage* from a weekend in capital of Poland
There are few places you can discover in Warsaw even if you are there for few days. If you take a stroll form Zbawiciela Square down the Mokotowska Street you will discover many places.
Plac Zbawiciela is nowadays known for its Cafe Karma and Bar just on the other side of the street- Plan B. It is usually a good bet if you do not know what to do with yourself. Then you take this small street where you can find : *Warszawska Nike*-independent Nike store; Reebok store- I have actually no idea what is happening there…; restaurants/snobbish shops ( if you go to the
right side at some point you can find *Les Garcons*+*Wood Wood* independent store); the best patissereie * Slodki Slony* unfortunately owned by a very vicious woman ( Magda Gessler).
Then you have a surprise becuase street carries on but on the other side of the *carrefour*- there you can find real nice pre-war buildings which are being gradually renovated; not so expensive deisgned fashion *Odziezowe Pole*, Bagatt shoes, a bunch of snobbish shops and a cafe-reastaurant owned by a former chief editor of Polish newspaper *przekroj*, which itself is called * Prze-gryz-cos*- *Have something little*- highly recommended, Polish cuisine with a tiny bit of fusion and great drawings on the wall ( be a graphic from *Przekroj*).
While you reach the end of the street you can find an *office* of a Foundation for Culture, mainly in Warsaw * Fundacja Bec Zmiana* and at the very end you reach Plac trzech Krzyzy- magnificent square with Three Crosses- try to spot them. You have a lot of snobbish shops and then you can go to the other side to see Cafe Szpilka, Polish Press Agency go down the street to reach Al. Jerozolimskie and see what is on the photo in the left- a communist store with toys for kids- SMYK. It had been there since I remember . On the side there is a travel agency *ORBIS* with a great neon on the top. pay attention!
See? 20 minute walk and so many things you can see!
Warsaw is also about places you can have fun in. This is another topic. I managed to go to a bit-hidden party in the basement of Hotel Europejski- magnificent ex-hotel that is supposedly being renovated. A group of people had organized a Superheroes party and it looked like this:
good times. Lets go back to the reality though.
Cities are like an alive mass that changes but usually we do not notice that. It is worth having walks in your favorite places to see what had changed and what is still there. This is especially true for developing countries, but maybe also for Copenhagen?
I was trying to find one of another yet libraries, this time in Christianhavn. I am there quite often but usually take the same, boring way to get to my destinations. And here I had found a yet another *magical* hidden corner. First of all it is a very old part- you feel like you are in different times. Second of all it is a corner of nice-looking cafes and bars with a not-so-hip clientele ( in comparison to Norrebro, Elmegade, lets say)
Places to still discover:
*CAFE WILDER (http://www.cafewilder.dk/)
*Eiffel Bar (http://www.eiffelbar.dk/)
some Sandwich shops and Italian restaurants. You can combine it with a visit to Danish Architecture Center which is just neer-by!
There is an existing problem of what to do when visitors come to Copenhagen.
Personally, I encountered so many fantastic sites that it is practically impossible to decide for me what my guest should see- everything seems to be equally important and worth seeing.
I had to come to a compromise- choose what is the most important ( must-sees)+interesting+entertaining. This is a short advice for those who are struggling to entertain their guests.
FOR A SHORT STAY
*Canal tours (http://www.canaltours.dk/dct/da) perfect to see everything: starting from Nyhavn ( old sailor/red light district) going to see the Opera ( new 14 storey building with 5 levels under water), Amalienborg ( Queen’s residence), The little Mermaid, Black Diamond and many more. Takes an hour and is around 60 dkk. Worth it!
* Stroll around Stroget, well after all it is the main shopping district and the building are quite interesting. For those who prefer more cosy and less commercial atmosphere just go onto the parallel street to Stroget: running to the South STRAEDET– many bars and little boutiques. Also an excellent jazz bar La Fontaine (http://www.lafontaine.dk/ ), good entertainment for the evening.
where to eat with your guests? well, if you are active visitors you would like to see as much as you can, then just rely on the hot-dog stands. I would suggest the ones with red-yellow colors and name “Tulip”, the other are blue red and white, I guess.
In the center: Close to Norreport station- Kalaset cafe. Always a good bet.
FOR A LONGER STAY
Then you have a whole variety. However, things which are exciting and a bit further from Copenhagen are:
*LOUISIANA MUSEUM (http://www.louisiana.dk/dk) – Museum for Modern Art. you have to take a train to Humlabaek ( half an hour from Central Copenhagen) have a 10 min walk and there you are: fantastic building with a great garden by the seaside with all kind of forms of art: sculptures, mirror toilet and a square for kids.
* A trip to Sweden, just half an hour and you are in another country! Malmo Central is the closest stop and it is worth seeing- a bit industrial but still charming. At the train station go to the tourist office and ask for a map and there you have all the must-sees: main square, design centre and famous Torso. From Malmo- next stop LUND. Charming town of 90 000 inhabitants and great academic atmosphere from XVIIth century. Different times!!!
So here we are on this Sunday afternoon, thinking about doing something constructive. We do know that working at home does not always help our efficiency (distractions, i.e. : fridge, laptop, newspaper etc.). We come up with a perfect idea: LIBRARY. And… nothing. There is an exisitng problem: libraries in Copenhagen do not work on Sunday. They give us this blissful free day (concerning everything: shopping of any kind, some cafes) not taking into account that Sunday is actually a perfect day to catch up with your work. Well, there is one library… CBS (Copenhagen Business School) Library ( Frederiksberg Metro Station)- those people value knowledge, cause afterall its economics running our world, isn’t it? If you are not a part of the “clique” you will have to sneek in and not show off with what you are working on.
During the week there are 3 picks:
*Den Sorte Diamant (Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, 1219 København – 3347 4363)- the most famous library due to its excellent location. Situated by the canal in the mystic “Slosholmen”area it actually resembles a “black diamond”. Finished in 1999 it is joined to the Royal Library from the 19th century. I highly recommend the last room on the first floor in the old part- we call it “Harry Potter room”. Great atmosphere to study.
*Humanities Library ( Njalsgade 80, 2300 København – 3532 8046)- brand new library at Islands Brygge part of University. Very spacious with a lot of light. Modern spirit. Quite the opposite of the Diamond Library.
*Social Sciences Library ( Gothersgade 140, 1123 Kobenhavn K)- situated in the old Botanik building ( it is surrounded by amazing Botanic gardens), just opposite the main city Campus (CSS). It is an old building with many reading rooms that you can get lost in and also a space when can you make your own coffee ( in the basement!).
Using library is another mistery- many cards, including photocopy card and above all CPR number ( they will have you in their system). Keen stuff will try to explain it to you. Sometimes it works.
I did not mention it yet, but I live in a place called “SIGNALHUSET”. Finished in 2006 it is a building consisting of 288 residential units that can be turned into 72 flats. What is important it is in a development surrounding Orestad tube station called – “Orestad City”. So here I am: in between office buildings, facing a shopping mall Field’s on one side and some block of houses on the other.
Remember what I wrote about cafes in a rainy day? Well, getting some food at local supermarket located in Field’s mall, proved me wrong. People do not want to explore. People do not want to see what is out there. They just want to indulge in bare “Spirit of Capitalism” ( I got inspired by Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello book). So this is what I propose:
if you are too tired to go outside and too cosy with your feet covered by blanket have a look on what is out there at http://cphx.dk . You have a link on the side.
My favourite so far is TIETGENKOLLEGIET, ah a masterpiece! (http://www.cphx.dk/index.php?language=uk#/29228/)
And whoever said about Signalhuset : “A refreshing accent between buildings of steel, glass, and stone”, was probably right in 2006. After 3 years it does not seem to be true anymore.