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 Rundetårn, Amalienborg, and Langelinie along with a recipe for the Ristet Hotdog (Danish Hot Dog with ketchup, mustard, remoulade, onions, and pickled cucumbers). 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
- Birkesvafler (Poppy Seed Waffles) and Copenhagen: Experimentarium and Den Blå Planet
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There are a handful of places in København to find a sweeping view of the city. We especially enjoyed Rundetårn (Round Tower), since it is one of the better options to handle alone with two small children. They aren’t currently the biggest fan of heights, so the enclosed spiral ramp to the top was definitely easier to navigate. They also had fun exploring the little alcoves and looking out the windows as we rotated higher and higher.
Completed in 1642 as an astronomical observatory (now the oldest functioning in Europe), Rundetårn stands at 114 ft tall and 49 ft wide with a cobbled ramp that spirals seven and a half times around a hollow core to the top. The design was perfect for horses to pull heavy and breakable equipment to the observatory and library. If you aren’t particularly afraid of heights, there is a glass floor to stand on with a view straight down to the base (we opted to skip this). Two small sets of staircases connect the ramp to the viewing platform- one wide wooden one (28 steps) and a winding stone one (31 steps).
Evan was able to walk up the ramp while I pushed Claire in the stroller. Once we reached the top, I briefly left the stroller by the stairs while we went up to the viewing platform. During peak hours, there may be a line at this point. As a note, there is no elevator and the incline may be difficult for some wheelchairs. Halfway up the ramp you will also find the Library Hall which is home to rotating exhibits and events (it originally held the University of Copenhagen’s 10,000 volume book collection).
The platform at the top offers a beautiful 360˚ view of the city. On days with good visibility, you can even see Sweden.
The tower is just a short walk southeast from Nørreport St. at Købmagergade 52A. Admission was included with our Copenhagen Card. Prices at the time of this post are 25 DKK for adults and 5 DKK for children between 5-15 years (free for under 5). Visiting hours for the observatory vary based on the season.
While in Solvang, California, we came across a replica of the Rundetårn (1/3rd the size and home to a pizza restaurant).
Nearby stops on our list that we didn’t get the chance to visit include Arnold Busck (bookstore) and Spaghetteria La Perla.
Directly next to Rundetårn is DØP- Den Økologiske Pølsemand. This small hot dog stand (pølsevogn) features organic hot dogs with a variety of delicious options (pork, chicken, beef, goat, and even vegetarian) and whole grain buns.
I tried their Ristet Hotdog with a classic roasted pork sausage and topped with ketchup, mustard, remoulade, fried onions, fresh onions, and pickled cucumbers. The kids enjoyed a Fransk Hotdog (French Hotdog)- a hollowed out mini baguette filled with a sausage and French herb dressing. It was also easy for them to carry without the risk of dropping all the toppings on the ground.
Another stand can be found next to Helligåndskirken (Church of the Holy Ghost) at Amagertorv 31.
I came across photos of Democratic Coffee’s flaky croissants on Instagram and immediately added it to the list. We were able to stop by on the way to Den Blå Planet and each picked out a different croissant- almond, chocolate, and plain. The coffee was quite delicious too. It is around the corner from Rundetårn at Krystalgade 15 and about a 5 minute walk from Nørreport Station.
Also near Nørreport Station (we went through this area a lot) at Fiolstraede 27 is Royal Pancake. It was the perfect spot for our first morning in København. I was able to get a much needed coffee (in an adorable glass) while the kids picked out some fun and delicious crepes.
One street over from Royal Pancake is Sømods Bolcher at Nørregade 36B. Sømods Bolcher is a family-run (now 4th generation) candy store and factory that has been in operation since 1891. They are the only remaining company to still make bolcher (hard candy) using the traditional methods and have been suppliers to the Royal Court since 1991. During certain times of the day, you can watch the candy being made from the shop. In addition to the original flavors, they now feature around 74 varieties including a few sugar-free, vegan, and gluten-free options.
We visited the week before Easter and were able to try some fun seasonal flavors including little candies with the shape of ducks and eggs inside.
Amalienborg Slot at Amalienborg Slotsplads 5 is a collection of four identical Rococo palaces built in the 1750s around an octagonal courtyard. It is currently used as the winter residence for the royal family. Learn more about the history here. Every day at noon, you can watch the Changing of the Guard as Den Kongelige Livegarde (Royal Guard) switch shifts and march from Amalienborg to the barracks by Rosenborg Castle.
Entrance was included with our Copenhagen Card (you still need to go to the ticket counter- there may be a line during peak hours). At the time of this post, tickets are currently 105 DKK with free entry for children under 18. Hours may vary based on season. Lifts are available for those with wheelchairs. I was able to store our stroller under the stairs at the ticket office. Small bags may be placed in the lockers by the entrance. A bathroom is also located here. Larger bags and suitcases are not allowed.
The self-guided tour through Christian VIII’s palace highlights the history of the Danish royal family since 1849 along with modern day life. I was pleasantly surprised to come across activities and crafts for the children as well. This was actually the case for so many of our stops in København. They especially enjoyed making the little dog hats (which somehow managed to stay intact through the airports and travel back home). We spent about an hour walking through the museum.
A statue of King Frederik V in the center of the square- photo below. It was designed by Jacques Saly and completed in 1768 (then cast in bronze in 1771).
Marmorkirken (The Marble Church, Frederikskirken) is a marble Evangelical Lutheran church located at Frederiksgade 4 just west of Amalienborg. Work on the neo-baroque church was abandoned in 1770 due to the expense and budget cuts, but construction was renewed when Danish industrialist C.F. Tietgen took over finances for the project and the church was completed in 1894. Learn more about the history here.
The copper green dome resting on top is one of the largest in Europe. Admission for the dome is currently 35 DKK for adults and 20 DKK for children- cash only. Entry is at 1 pm daily during the summer and on Saturday/Sundays the rest of the year through a guided tour. Check the website before planning as tours may be cancelled during services and special events. The church itself has free admission and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Friday/Sunday 12-5 pm.
We were also able to get a beautiful view of Marmorkirken through Amalienborg from the coast during our boat cruise- photo below.
The temperatures stayed in the mid 30s˚F on our last day in Copenhagen, but that didn’t stop the kids from still wanting ice cream. Hansens Is is just a short walk from Amalienborg at Store Kongensgade 93. We enjoyed a scoop of chocolate ice cream over a warm Belgisk Vaffel (Belgian waffle).
After Amalienborg Slot and some very cold ice cream, we walked along the edge of Kastellet towards Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid Statue). The original plan was to spend some time exploring Langelinie and the playground, but none of us were really up for it with the cold temperatures and high wind.
Kastellet (The Citadel) is a star-shaped fortress separated with a moat from the surrounding land. It was founded in 1626 and is still actively used by the military and home to a historic windmill, 18th century barracks, and a chapel.
We also walked by St. Alban’s Church (The English Church) at Churchillparken 11. It was completed in 1887 as an Anglican Church (the only one in Denmark) for the British community.
Den Lille Havfrue
Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid) statue is located along the water at Langelinie. It is one of the most popular tourist stops in Copenhagen.
I have not included a close-up photo, but the bronze and granite statue rests on a rock just off the shore and is 4 ft tall (1.25 meters). It was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and unveiled on August 23, 1913. A smaller replica of the statue can be found in Solvang, California.
Langelinie is also home a small playground, plenty of paths for walking, a popular spot to view cherry blossoms in the spring (and the annual Copenhagen Sakura Festival at the end of April), and has a deep enough port to allow for cruise ships.
After trying the Ristet Hotdog at the DØP stand by Rundetårn, I was inspired to make it at home. This street food is assembled by topping a Danish pølse (hot dog) with ketchup, mustard, remoulade, raw onions, fried onions, and pickled cucumbers. They are especially delicious paired with Chokolademælk (Chocolate Milk).
There are a couple of different steps to make the condiments for the Ristet Hotdog, but they can be prepared in advance. If you want to take things a step further, you can also make your own hotdogbrød/pølsebrød (hot dog buns).
Try to find European-style hot dogs or even the Danish pølser if you have a market nearby. If available, use Scandinavian mustard.
Remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce popular for pairing with hot dogs, seafood, and meat dishes. Ingredients and add-ins can be adjusted to taste. Allow the mixture to refrigerate for at least an hour to give the flavors a chance to meld.
I like to use one large onion for all the components in the assembly of this Ristet Hotdog. Half is thinly sliced, tossed in flour and a pinch of salt, then fried in vegetable oil until golden and crispy. I set aside 1 tablespoon to mince for the remoulade and finely chop the remainder for the raw onion topping.
Ristet Hotdog Recipe
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 carrot peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pickled cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 tablespoon capers finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley
- Pinch curry powder
- 10 hot dogs
- Yellow mustard
- Remoulade ingredients above
- Fried onions
- Raw, chopped onions
- Pickled cucumbers ingredients above
To make the pickled cucumbers:
- In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Thinly slice the cucumbers and add to the vinegar mixture. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
To make the Remoulade:
- In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, carrot, pickled cucumbers (I like to add a couple of tablespoons from the recipe above), mustard, lemon juice, onion, capers, parsley, and curry powder. Refrigerate for 1 hour and until ready to serve.
To assemble the hot dogs:
- Place a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the hot dogs and fry on each side until heated through and golden.
- Place each roasted hot dog in a bun. Top with ketchup, mustard, the prepared remoulade, raw onions, fried onions, and the sliced pickled cucumbers. Serve immediately with chocolate milk.