Ophelia Ding

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#BigBentotheDen: Copenhagen, Denmark

A big hello from Europe! It’s been a hurricane lately — from spending time with my mama, auntie, cousin and her lovely husband in Zurich, to moving in and meeting fellow exchange students and locals from London — the last couple weeks have felt like a travelers’ dream. 

I left London as hurriedly as I arrived — my fellow University of California exchange students and I spontaneously planned a trip to the beautiful Scandinavian city of: 

 Photo and design by me.

Photo and design by me.

We picked Copenhagen, Denmark on a whim and booked tickets two days (!!) before we were scheduled to depart. Copenhagen was so different from any other place I’ve ever visited, and I fell head over heels for the quiet serenity, cobblestone lined streets (albeit difficult to walk on), romantic canals and pastel colored houses. The herds of flawlessly dressed bikers on the streets (with their adorable bikes with woven baskets) and the beauty of Scandinavian design took my breath away. I wanted to refurnish my entire room with the mid-century modern pieces in the stores here! Everything and everyone is so darling — it's no wonder that it was named the happiest place on earth. Although I could go on and on and on about how much I loved this Scandinavian capital, here were my four favorites from Copenhagen: 

1. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. Although it's about an hour north of Copenhagen via train, our trip to the Louisiana was the highlight of my stay. I must admit, I was thoroughly confused upon arrival. The entrance to the museum makes the museum look like a small cottage nestled in the woods — and for a second, I thought the museum was cottage-sized. Boy, was my first impression wrong! The Louisiana is one of the biggest museums I’ve ever been to, complete with a lovely outdoor space (read: sculpture gardens galore!) on the water, surrounded by trees. I was blown away by the sheer beauty of the museum itself, and even more enthralled by Yayoi Kusama’s solo exhibition. I am a huge fan of Kusama’s work (just ask my poor travel companions, who had to endure my “YAYOI!” yelps). I first saw her Obliteration Room piece whilst in New York, but being able to see her entire life’s work was humbling. To get inside her colorful and polka-dotted headspace, to be blown away by her thoughts was magical. We spent half a day here — which wasn’t enough time! Highly, highly recommended. Everything single thing about this museum was exceptional. 

2. Christiansborg Palace. Ah, a palace with light fit for Danish royalty! My favorite part about visiting Christiansborg Palace was the Royal Reception Rooms. The rooms were beyond beautiful, and the light coming into Christiansborg was enthralling. Heart eyes everywhere, am I right? We also had to put on little scrubs for our feet to make sure the palace stayed pristinely clean. Walking through was well worth a visit.

3. The Round Tower. Another stunning place. Copenhagen, why are you so beautiful!? The round tower was so much fun to photograph — the light coming into the tower was crazy beaut, as were the exhibitions that were scattered throughout the trip up to the round tower. The view at the top of the tower was breathtaking, and you could see all of Copenhagen (and the pops of color courtesy of the adorable buildings!). 

4. Copenhagen Street Food. The lovely Natasha suggested this place for my friends and I — and we loved it so much we came here twice! Copenhagen Street Food is a huge warehouse on Paper Island with a ton of various food trucks serving food from all around the world. Moroccan food, Korean bulgogi, Brazilian grill, English tea — you name it, it had it! There are also gorgeous, candlelit picnic tables for you to take your food after you’ve made your selections and firepits to keep warm. So much fun, and worth every penny. 

Thank you for sharing your beauty with us, København! I can’t wait to return to your lovely streets someday. #BigBentotheDen out!