City Guides

Everyman Mapguide

Several readers have asked what guide books – if any – we use on city trips. Well, we do a fair bit of internet research at home first, but take the Everyman Mapguides along with us.

The Everyman guides are handy because they are pocket-sized and you can tuck them away into your coat or into a small handbag. They don’t weigh much and we find them especially useful in cities. The guide divides the city into sections and each has a foldout map as well as listings of places of interest, eating & drinking holes, and shops. The front and back covers also carry some cultural and logistic information.

There’s a decent spread of global cities but bear in mind that Everyman don’t update these guides very often. Places of interest remain unchanged for decades but the eating/drinking and store listings tend to be old favourites and granddaddies, rather than the hip and trendy. That doesn’t bother us too much because we discover those ideas online, through recommendations or with the concierge.

That doesn’t mean we don’t get lost. I had a long weekend in Marrakesh with The Ladies where we couldn’t make head or tail of the labyrinthine streets and alleyways of the souk and they weren’t always signposted. No matter … there were lots of ‘helpful’ citizens who led us round in circles, only to ask for a healthy tip at our destination !

Let us know how you plan your city breaks. We might indulge in a bit of crowd sourcing on this blog soon.

~ Spotted Cow

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Spring Break. Copenhagen.

The smell of spring is in the London air. We have three bank holiday weekends coming up in succession and my thoughts turn to city breaks. I love the capsule holiday long weekend getaways.

This week I’m featuring Copenhagen because it is a wonderful cycle-friendly city with greenery, street art, cafe culture and a fair dash of edginess. In particular, I did two city tours when I visited on my own – a food tour and a Segway tour.  

The walkabout with Copenhagen Food Tours should be on every foodies list.  Our guide, Maria, was very knowledgeable  and passionate about food and its place in Danish culture. Go with an empty belly and open mind. I tried everything – sweets from the 120+ year old Somods Bolcher, beer at Nørrebro Bryghus, smørrebrød (open face sandwiches), an  organic hot dog, and deli favourites at the Bornholm Shop. The eating is well paced between walks and the portions are reasonable but I was definitely very full at the end of it.

I’ve already written about the Segway tour with Tours Cph, which gave me a good spatial orientation of the city. The trip passed all the major sites – The Little Mermaid (lonesome), Tivoli (fun), Nyhavn (colourful), Christiansborg Palace (grand), Amalienborg Palace (impressive), the Old Stock Exchange (amazing building), just to name a few – as well as a several I wouldn’t have known to look for. I liked the feeling of being on the ground, but faster, and there were lots of photo stops.

I went back to explore many of the sites afterward :

Nyhavn for the waterfront colourful buildings that are a great backdrop to have a beer;

Nørrebro which is a melting pot of a neighbourhood with lots of cafes & bars;

Christianshavn and its canals and cobbled streets, past hippie Christiania and onto the Opera House which has a waterfront view back onto Frederik’s Church;

Tivoli for its gardens … and roller coasters;

Strøget and surrounding streets for window shopping and Danish design. I wanted the tea cups at Royal Copenhagen and I bought an intriguingly designed egg-beater at Magasin du Nord. When you’re tired, pop into Perch’s tea room for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

On hotels and restaurants, the girls at The Slow Pace love Copenhagen too and I want to go to some of the places they’ve highlighted.

~ Spotted Cow

Nyhavn Amalienborg Palace cafe culture Copenhagen L1020698 smørrebrød  Danish hot dog Perch's tea room