In April, we spent a week in Copenhagen, Denmark! I will be sharing our experiences in a series of six posts with recipes inspired by our travels. Today, I am covering Experimentarium, Den Blå Planet, and a recipe for Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles). Here are my previous posts on Copenhagen in case you missed it:
- Tebirkes (Danish Poppyseed Pastries) and Copenhagen: Nyhavn, Christiansborg Slot, and Strøget
- Flødeboller (Danish Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Puffs) and Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens, Nørrebro, and Vesterbro
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Wulff & Konstali
We started our second day with breakfast at Wulff & Konstali. Wulff & Konstali is a delicious spot for brunch with locations in Hellerup, Amagerbro, Islands Brygge, and Nørrebro. We stopped by their beautiful café in the Waterfront Shopping Hellerup at Philip Heymans Allé 17 since it was right across the street from Experimentarium.
The seasonal menu (available in both Danish and English) features 22 different options to create your own brunch, tapas-style. You can choose between 5 or 7 pieces which come out styled in small bowls on a wooden tray. We picked the following and it was more than enough for the three of us, especially since our stomachs were still catching up with the jet lag:
- Brødkurv (Bread basket)
- Røræg med purløg (Scrambled eggs with chives)
- Avokado med hampefrø saltflager olivenolie (Avocado with hemp seeds, salt, and olive oil)
- Vesterhavsost med æble-havtornmarmelade (Vesterhavs cheese with apple sea buckthorn marmalade)
- Stegte chorizopølser (Fried chorizo)
- Birkesvaffel med citronskum og saltkaramel (Poppyseed waffle with lemon cream and salted caramel)
Their coffee and hot chocolate (varm chokolade) are also delicious. Claire especially loved that the hot chocolate came with a side of whipped cream, so she was able to add it herself. She continued to request hot chocolate every morning for the rest of our time in Denmark.
The café is open 8.00 to 19.00 Monday-Friday and 8.00 to 18.00 Saturday/Sunday with brunch served from 9.00-15.00. Reservations are not available and they can be very busy at times, especially on the weekends. We had no issue finding a table around 9 am on a Tuesday, though it definitely started to fill up as we were finishing our meal. You can also grab baked goods, coffee, and juice to-go.
Located on the outskirts of Copenhagen at Tuborg Havnevej 7 in Hellerup, Experimentarium is a hands-on science and technology museum. It is especially perfect for days with less than ideal weather or temperatures. Getting there was easy. We took Bus 1A from Tivoli to the Tuborg Boulevard (Strandvejen) stop. The ride was about 25 minutes and the museum is just a short walk from the stop (350 meters). Tickets can be purchased online or in person. Our entry was included with the Copenhagen Card.
Originally opened in 1991 and housed inside the former Tuborg Brewery bottling facility, Experimentarium reopened in 2017 after an extensive refurbishment. One of the most iconic new additions is the massive helical copper staircase just inside the entrance. Inspired by the DNA double helix, this 100 meter long staircase twists all the way up the four levels to the roof.
Stranden (The Beach)
We spent most of our time at The Beach. This exhibit focuses on all things water with a beach-themed play area, submarine, and experiments to see how water can be manipulated.
The Bubblearium was another favorite. We had a great time creating bubbles in all shapes and sizes with a variety of tools, soap wall, and even a laboratory to inspect the bubbles more closely.
Byggepladsen (Construction Site)
The Construction Site (best for those between 3-6 yrs) focuses on mechanics. The kids enjoyed dressing up, operating the crane, and racing balls down a track while learning about gravity and friction.
Other current exhibits include The Interactive Roof, Under Your Skin, The Yeast Cell, The Puzzler, House of Inventions, The Port (a huge winding marble run- photo above), Pulse Plaza, The Tunnel of Senses, Be Seen Be Safe, The Wave, Energy Zone, The Miniverse, and more.
We spent about 3 hours here, but definitely could have stayed longer. Lockers are available next to the gift shop/ticket booth along with stroller parking. We were still very much full from Wulff & Konstali, but there is a café on the 1st floor with drinks, cold/hot dishes, a kids’ menu, and baked goods.
A short bus ride south of Hellerup at Ryesgade 118 in Østerbro is Leckerbaer. I came across photos of their beautiful småkager (cookies) on Instagram and immediately added it to the top of our list.
Leckerbaer is open Tuesday-Friday 10-17.30 and Saturday 10-16.00. They feature a variety of småkager (cookies), tærter (pies), brownies, blondies, and drinks.
We tried the Lakrids (sour blueberries and ruby chocolate), Mælk (dark chocolate and vanilla), and a chocolate chip cookie for Evan. Everything was delicious and yet another highlight of our wonderful week of food.
Other stops on our list for Hellerup and Østerbro that we didn’t get a chance to visit include: Tårnlegepladsen (Tower Playground in Fælledparken), Remisen, Juno the Bakery, and Konditaget Lüders.
Den Blå Planet (National Aquarium Denmark)
Den Blå Planet is situated along the coast of the Øresund with sweeping views of the water and the airplanes taking off/landing at the nearby airport (making it a perfect stop for those with long layovers). It opened in 2013 and is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe at 130,000 sq ft. We took the metro from Nørreport Station to Kastrup Station (8 stops, about 15 minutes), then walked 650 meters to the aquarium. There is also a shuttle bus (free with admission) from Central Station (Vesterbrogade 6).
Check the current tickets and operating hours here. Every Monday, the aquarium has longer hours and stays open until 21.00. Our admission was covered with the Copenhagen Card.
Before going inside, we spent some time admiring the modern architecture and reflection pool. Inspired by a vortex, the building is designed with aluminum waves swirling out from the center. They definitely took great care to arrange every little detail around the water.
Den Blå Planet is divided into three themes (Northern Lakes and Seas, Ocean, and Tropical Rivers and Lakes) with 8 sections, 53 tanks, and 7 million liters of water.
The most popular animals are the sea otters, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, Pacific octopus, and arapaima. Along with these, our other personal highlights were the touch tank, rainforest- especially the piranhas, the focus on Danish wildlife, underwater tunnel, and ocean tank (bottom right in above photo).
There is also a fun play area behind the aquarium. We didn’t stay long as it was still quite cold outside, but it was a nice way to let off some steam and watch the planes for a bit. The Water Playground (photo below) looked like it would be fun when the temperatures increase.
We didn’t try it, but the aquarium has a restaurant (TANG Bistro & Café) with a focus on ocean produce. You can also bring in your own food to enjoy at one of the designated picnic areas. Lockers, coat racks, and stroller parking are available near the entrance. The aquarium is wheelchair/stroller accessible. On busy days, there may be a wait at the entrance. Additional experiences (not included with admission) are currently a behind the scenes guided tour (in Danish), close encounter with a sea turtle, and diving with the sharks for those who are certified scuba divers. We spent about two hours exploring everything.
Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles)
Shortly before our visit, Wulff & Konstali released a cookbook with many of their favorite recipes, Brunch: Til fester og hyggelige dage. I saw it on display at the café and regretted not getting it then. Luckily, I came across the book again at Thiemers Magasin and can now enjoy many of the recipes at home. They even included their Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles). I used that recipe as inspiration and topped the Birkesvafler with a light lemon whipped cream and a drizzle of my Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce (in the cookbook, they top the waffles with bærcreme- berry cream) to have a memorable reminder of our time in Denmark.
I formed the Birkesvafler into a classic heart shape using this heart-shaped waffle maker. The amount of batter used per waffle may differ in other molds. They are best served warm right from the waffle maker. Extras can be frozen (on a parchment-lined baking sheet before transferring to a freezer-safe bag) and reheated in a 350˚F oven.
Looking for more waffle recipes?
Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles) Recipe
Adapted from Brunch: Til fester og hyggelige dage
Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles)
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the iron
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Caramel sauce for drizzling
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
- In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, lemon zest, and butter.
- Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk by hand or use a hand mixer to combine just until no lumps remain. This batter can be refrigerated for up to two days.
- Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions. Grease the heated iron with butter. Pour in a ladleful of the prepared batter, about 1/4 cup. Heat until the waffle is cooked through and starting to turn golden. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.
- To make the lemon whipped cream: In a stand mixer, blender, or by hand, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the lemon zest.
- Top the warm waffles with the lemon whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce and serve immediately.