Lifestyle

What I do in CPH when my little brother visits me

My little brother is 12 years old. Soon he will be a teenager and things might get more difficult. I love to spend time with him, but I must admit that too often we hang around digital devices playing games. In my opinion that does not strengthen my relationship with him. Nor does it add value to his or my life. Instead one should spend time together, exploring, learning and experimenting.

Free activities versus paid ones

It is a fact that most suggested activities by tourist offices are centered around paid ones. Have a look at Visit Copenhagens list of attractions for kids or a similar list from Visit Denmark. All 10 activities from Visit Copenhagen are paid activities. Visit Denmark suggest 10 paid activities and 3 free ones.

little brother spending time

Free activities for kids in Copenhagen

Let us keep things simple. Here are my 5 suggestions of the greatest activities in Copenhagen with kids – and they are all free

1) Go to “Strøget” and enjoy the musicians, comedians and other street artists
2) Enjoy a free dip in the water at Islands Brygge or one of the many other outdoor pools in Copenhagen
3) Take a trip to Bakken Amusement Park – the entrance if for free
4) Eat free tasters in Illum, Magasin or at Torvehallerne
5) Go to one of the outdoor gyms and play around like monkeys

I hope you enjoyed the list. Having fun does not necessarily cost money.

Using Copenhagen to Make New (Entrepreneurial) Friends

When I moved to Copenhagen almost a year ago, I barely knew anyone. I had a single acquaintance, whom I had never met in person, and my girlfriend (who was living with me).

But now, less than a year later, Copenhagen has become my city. It is the place where I know the most people, despite growing up in the southern part of Fuen and studying for two years in Aarhus.

So how did this come to be?

Copenhagen is an amazing city when it comes to meeting new people.

Not only because there are so many participatory events for people with all sorts of varied interests, but because there is such a large number of people in the city that you can arrange almost any kind of event and still draw a crowd.

Of course, I’ve had the great pleasure of hosting a few events myself.

One of the first things I did in Copenhagen was initiate a monthly meet-up for owners of online stores. 15 people came to my first meeting and I got to know all of them. A few of them have now become close friends that I see a few times every month. Since then, we have stopped holding our meet-up events every month and have settled for doing so just once in a while.

I also co-arranged quite a few 24-hour “work-a-thons.” The purpose of these being to sit together and work through the entire day, and sometimes even through the night. I’ve made quite a few friends at these events as well, as many people are drawn to the prospect of being able to work through the weekend in a space where the phone won’t be ringing all the time. To clarify, for some people, working over the weekend sounds like a form of torture, but for entrepreneurial people, it’s the best.

Last week, I had nine people from the “online marketing” community at my home, where I provided them with food (as they had paid around 50 DKK (~$8.85) to participate). I ended up having to ask them to leave at midnight, at which point everyone had been here for 6 hours and I needed to get some sleep.

Another great way to meet people is by writing to an interesting person and asking them out for coffee or a burger. I simply write them an email telling them that I think what they do is interesting and ask them out to get to know each other. I haven’t received a single “no” through this method yet, and I’ve made quite a few new friends through it (some of which who have accomplished way more in their businesses than I have).

Can this be Done in Other Cities

If you live anywhere outside of Copenhagen, you probably think I am underestimating the rest of Denmark.

And I just might be.

I know this approach works in certain other parts of Denmark as well. I used some of these same techniques in Aarhus too and I know Søren Skriver has made tons of friends in Aalborg by just asking around. Emil Eriksen moved to Malmö for his business recently and now knows more Swedes than I will get to know in a lifetime.

In my experience, it’s just much easier in Copenhagen due to the critical mass of interesting people we have here.

I work with lawyers all over Denmark through JUF.dk, but most of my best collaborations are located here in Copenhagen. My proximity makes it easy for me to say hello to them and create the personal relations that I value so much in my business.

If you want to meet new people in Copenhagen, I suggest giving Meetup.com a visit. I’ve used it to arrange a number of my meet-ups with great success.

Also, consider joining the various events places like RocketLabs host. I recently participated in “Kings of Scaling” through RocketLabs and met a few new people, as seen in the picture below.

Making new friends is easy if you’re not afraid of reaching out!

Folkekøkken here we come

So we did something wonderful last week with a couple of friends, and I really want to advertise it. We ate at a public “Folkekøkken” which can probably best be translated with “Soup Kitchen”, though the target audience is not primarily homeless or poor.

The concept is simple: cheap food aimed at busy families. This time we ate at the Café Rouge on Nørrebro, which is communally owned, and we paid 50 kroner per adult and 30 kroner per child for a simple, delicious meal of roast, different salads, roast potatoes and sauce. We sat outside in the sunshine with our friends and their children, and after an hour of relaxed eating, we went home to tuck the baby in. No grocery shopping, no cooking, no dishwashing. And a bit of much needed quality time with old friends and some sun .

I will recommend Copenhagens different Folkekøkken’s to anyone.It’s really great. And if you have kids, they’ll be busy playing with all the other children and having a blast. And it seems, that there are many more, than I knew. So as a little service to my numerous readers (hi mom!), I’ll give you a short list of some of the most established and well known:

Café Le Rouge, every Tuesday 17.30 – 20.30. 50 kroner adult/30 kroner child.

Café N, Blågårdsgade, every Friday from 17. Vegetarian. 39 kroner.

Korsgadehallen Nørrebro, every Tuesday, veg and non-veg. 50 kroner/25 kroner for children.

Ungdomshuset Dortheavej, Kbh NV. Every Thursday. Vegab, 20 kroner.

Kraftwerket Valby. Every Tuesday from 19. 20 kroner.

When it comes to cheap eating out, I guess I can be very satisfied with living on Nørrebro! Cooking yourself is so yesterday, folkekøkken here we come.

Copenhagen – a city of bicycles

There is no doubt that Copenhageners love bicycles. Just take a look anywhere in the city and you are sure to see lots and lots of bicycles. Both parked bicycles and bicycles being used for transportation from A to B. No matter what social layer people are coming from, they are using bicycles for transportation.

The reason for all the bicycles are many, but according to research from the municipality most people choose to cycle because it’s both easier and faster than any other means of transportation in Copenhagen. In other words, it’s easier and faster to take the bicycle than to take the car or public transportation (of course depending on where you are going. If you are going directly from one metro station to another, it usually is faster to take the metro than your bicycle).

I’m so happy that Copenhagen is full of bicycles. According to tons of research and my own personal opinion, cycling makes a city much more liveable and the people in the city both happier and healthier.

And according to some of the research done by the municipality, cycling is good for the economy to. Apparently the society as a whole makes 1,22 kr for every km cycled – and loose 1,13 kr for every km driven in a car.

But no matter who bicycle friendly the city is right now, it can still get better. My dream is that one day the city is closed for cars, so there is only bicycles and public transportation on the streets!

Unfortunately it seems like my dream is far, far away from becoming a reality. There was hope at one point with the so called “betalingsring”, but as you might know the government decided to scrap the idea because of complains from people commuting from the suburbs and into Copenhagen to work.

But no worries. Copenhagen is still a wonderful city to live in – and it’s still much more bicycle friendly than most other cities.

A new backpack for my nephew

Like the headline says, I’m looking for a new backpack to buy my nephew for school, and I’m thinking about one from Toys’R'Us. Anyway, the point is that there’s a bit of story about what happened to the old one.

I was walking him to school, and just as we entered the classroom, the bottom of his backpack fell out. Out came all his booklets, crayons and toys. Though, thankfully, not his lunch box, which was stored in the front pocket.

Anyway, the large ripping sound and the sound of things hitting the floor was enough to draw the attention of the whole class. They stopped what they were doing to just look at us. You would have heard a pin drop on the floor. And then the kids started laughing.

And you know what my nephew did? No, he didn’t run away in embarrassment or tried to hide behind me l– he took a big bow and high-fived everyone! They were having a great time!

After school, I picked him up again. We ended up carrying his books home in a shopping bag, and that same day I spoke to my brother about chipping in for a new bag and surprise him.

It really made me think about how cool my nephew is – I’m sure in that same situation at his age that I would’ve probably been a little embarrassed because people were laughing.

And it got me thinking about growing up and how it seems that a lot of our personality is already kind of defined through childhood. We might think that we’ve developed a new, daring personality trait over time or done something spontaneously out of character, and our parents will counter with, “Oh yeah, that’s just like when you were little.”

It happens all the time, and after all, it would be preferable to hearing your parents say that they’re not sure who you are :)

But all joking aside, I wonder if in 20 years, something my nephew does will remind me of this day,  or if this kind of easy going showmanship has become part of his basic personality. Then I’ll be the old one and go, “Yes, that’s just like when you were little!

Anyway, gotta go – yet another thing binds him and I together in that I’m also looking for a new bag. No, not a school bag, I’m considering a travelling bag from Regovs – what do you think?