Copenhagen

 

Copenhagen

Copenhagen aka København is the capital of Denmark. The city is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is seperated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

Copenhagen’s international airport is Scandinavia’s busiest hub, with direct flights from cities in Europe, North America, and Asia, as well as a handful of Danish cities, it is easy to find reasonably priced flights to explore this wonderful city.

Copenhagen has something for everyone and you won’t be short of things to do! From museums to Michelin-starred restaurants, you can explore Copenhagen’s sights and neighbourhoods by foot, bicycle, kayak and waterbus.

I mentioned in my Gdańsk post that I can’t resist cheap flights, well that’s how I ended up going to Copenhagen with my friend Lucy! I booked my flights 3 months prior to visiting Copenhagen through EasyJet and got a really good deal; I paid £36.07 for a return flight from London Gatwick flying out on Friday 10th March 2017 at 13:00hrs and returning on Monday 13th March 2017 at 17:35hrs – it was going to cost me more to get to the airport than it was to fly to Copenhagen and back!

When we landed in Copenhagen on Friday 10th March 2017, we purchased a City Pass at the airport for 200 DKK (approx. £23.50) for 72 hours of unlimited use of public transport in Copenhagen which includes the Metro, train and bus. You can also opt for a 24 hour City Pass for 80 DKK (approx £9.30). Children under 12 years old travelling with an adult (maximum of two children per paying adult) are free for both options. The Copenhagen public transport network operates 24 hours a day, with special train, Metro and bus services covering the night and early hours. You can purchase the City Pass online here.

If you plan on visiting lots of attractions in Copenhagen, you might be interested in the Copenhagen Card which gives you unlimited free access to public transportation by bus, train and Metro, free admission to 79 museums and attractions as well as discounts on restaurants, attractions and entertainment. You can also bring along two children under 10 for free. The Copenhagen Card is available in 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours and 120 hours. Prices start from 379 DKK (approx. £44.50) but these prices are increasing from 01st April 2017.

We took the 15 minute Metro (M2) from Lufthavnen (Copenhagen Airport) to Nørreport Station which is the hub in the city centre. From Nørreport Station we walked 450 meters/6 minutes to our hotel and checked-in to Ibsens Hotel which we booked through Booking.com.

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Ibsens Hotel

Ibsens Hotel is a 3 star hotel situated in the Nansengade area. We stayed in a medium room and paid just over £300 for 3 nights. Room 463 offered us a bright and clean room but it didn’t have any drawers or wardrobes to store clothes so we lived out of our suitcases all weekend! Furthermore, the safes are located in reception.

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Ibsens Hotel

Ibsens Hotel

No monsters underneath my bed!

We arrived at the hotel just in time for “cozy hour” which was an added bonus. Cozy hour consists of a free glass of wine, beer or apple juice between 5-6pm every day which is great considering Copenhagen is quite expensive! We made sure we were back at the hotel every day for our free glass of wine… Skål!

After our free glass of wine, we went out in search of food and ended up a restaurant called Un Mercato located at Torvehallerne Food Market just a couple of minutes away from Ibsens Hotel.

Dinner at Un Mercato

Dinner at Un Mercato

Dinner cost us 390 DKK (approx. £45). I had mussels linguine, Lucy had bolognese linguine and we shared risotto balls with tomato and mozzarella and bread with marscapone spread – YUM!

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to plan what we were going to do the following day and had an early night.

On Saturday morning we woke up fairly early so that Lucy could attend Parkrun Faelledparken. Copenhagen is great for fitness fanatics; you can explore this city by foot, bike or kayak. There’s actually three different Parkrun events in Copenhagen at Faelledparken, Amager Faelled and Amager Strandpark if that’s what you’re into – I decided to stay in bed instead!

Once Lucy was back from Parkrun, we went out in search of some breakfast. Ibsens Hotel does offer breakfast at 150 DKK (approx. £18) per person per day but we decided to swerve this and find a local bakery instead. We stumbled across Lauras Bakery located in Torvehallerne food market and it would be rude not to get a Danish pastry from here! I had a ‘chokolade snegl’ which was a chocolate and cinnamon swirl for 25 DKK (approx. £3.00).

After our snegls we took the S-train from Nørreport Station to Østerport Station. From here we walked to Kastellet. Kastellet, also known as The Citadel in English, is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Nothern Europe. There are a number of buildings located within the grounds of Kastellet, including a church as well as a windmill. The area houses various military activities but it mainly serves as a public park and a historic site.
Kastellet

Kastellet

From here we walked to the famous Little Mermaid statue. For almost a century, the Little Mermaid statue, the embodiment of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, has perched on her stone along the Copenhagen promenade Langelinie.

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Lucy & I at the Little Mermaid statue

Langelinie Promenade

Langelinie Promenade

We then made our way to the royal district in Copenhagen. The district is home to the Queen of Denmark and the Royal Palace, also known as Amalienborg Palace, the Marble Church and galleries and boatmen’s houses. We also got to watch changing of the Royal Guards which takes place at 12 o’clock noon, and when the Queen is home they also strike up the band. The parade leads the Royal Guards from Rosenborg Palace through the pedestrianised heart of town to Amalienborg Palace.

Royal Copenhagen

Royal Copenhagen

Changing of the guards

Changing of the guards

We then proceeded to Nyhavn Canal. The name, Nyhavn, literally translates to ‘New Harbour’, although the canal, dug by Swedish prisoners of war between 1671-73, is one of Copenhagen’s oldest. Nyhavn really is picturesque.

Nyhavn Canal

Nyhavn Canal

‘The Princess and the Pea’ and ‘The Tinderbox’ were penned by fairytale storyteller Hans Christian Andersen while dwelling at Nyhavn No 20.Close to Nyhavn Canal by Kongens Nytorv you will also find Charlottenborg Palace from the 1670s, an edifice now home to Kunsthal Charlottenborg, a contemporary art centre.

We picked up a 60 minute boat tour with Netto-Bådene from Nyhavn at Heibergsgade for 40 DKK (approx. £4.50) each. Stromma also operate canal tours through Copenhagen, however I believe these tours are slightly more expensive than the boat tour we did. On this tour we got to see Holmen, The Opera, Old Riggin Sheers, Langelinie, The Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Palace, Marble Church, Christianshavn’s canal, Our savior’s Church, Frederiksholm’s canal, Royal Danish Arsenal Museum, Thorvaldsen’s Museum, Christiansborg Palace, Holmens Church, Stock Exchange, National Bank and Ministry of Foreign of Affairs before making our way back to Nyhavn.

Amalienborg Palace from our boat tour

Amalienborg Palace from our boat tour

Our boat at Nyhavn

Our boat at Nyhavn

Lunch was at Copenhagen Street Food, just a short walk across the water from Nyhavn. Copenhagen Street Food is on The Paper Island and has a view to the Opera and Royal Playhouse and has 39 different food stalls selling street food from all over the world! Lucy and I both had a Danish gourmet hot dog (59 DKK) from the stand Pølse Kompagniet and a raspberry mojito (90 DKK) from Cocktailbaren.

Danish hot dogs and mojitos in the sunshine!

Danish hot dogs and mojitos in the sunshine!

After sitting in the sunshine enjoying our hot dogs and mojitos, we walked across to Christiania neighbourhood. Christiania is also known as Freetown Christiania and is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood in the borough of Christianshavn. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned militiary barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government. Freetown Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues and cheap and organic eateries. The area is open to the public and you can even have a guided tour run by the local Christianites, however you are advised not to film nor photograph in Christiania.

Freetown Christiania

Freetown Christiania

On our way back to Christianshavn Station, we walked past the Church of Our Saviour. This stunning baroque church is most famous for its helix spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering views over central Copenhagen. You can climb the 400 steps for a small fee, or free with the Copenhagen Card. We was going to do it but unfortunately it closes at 15:30 so we had not long missed the last admission!

Church of Our Saviour

Church of Our Saviour

We made it back to our hotel in time for ‘cozy hour’ before heading out for some dinner.We came across a burger restaurant called Sporvejen located on Gråbrødre Square. Inside the restaurant, it is fitted like an old fashioned tram! It was fully booked inside so we sat outside under the heaters with blankers instead. Burgers are priced between 79 DKK – 99 DKK and are served with potato wedges. I chose the guacamole burger (99 DKK) and added cheese (10 DKK). Lucy had the pineapple burger (89 DKK) with added cheese too.

Burgers at Sporvejen Byens Burger Bar

Burgers at Sporvejen Byens Burger Bar

After our burgers we went to a cocktail bar called Strøm Bar for a Singapore Sling each! Strøm is one of the city’s best cocktail bars serving a variety of cocktails.

Strøm Bar

Strøm Bar

As Lucy and I are such party animals, we were back in the hotel by 10pm ready for another day exploring Copenhagen!
We started our Sunday off with a tebirke from Naturbageriet for 13 DKK.

Tebirke - Danish poppy seed pastry

Tebirke – Danish poppy seed pastry

We then visited the Botanical Gardens just a short walk from the hotel and bakery. The Botanical Gardens covers an area of 10 hectares and contains more than 13,000 species. It is free to enter.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

After visiting the Botanical Gardens, we walked past Rosenborg Castle on our way to the Rundetaarn (Round Tower).

Rosenborg Castle is one of a many castles you can visit in Copenhagen. It was built in the early 17th century by one of the most famous Scandinavian kings, Christian IV. Rosenborg Castle is part of the museum district Parkmuseerne in and around King’s Garden. A ticket to Parkmuseerne costs 195 DKK and gives you access to all six museums in one ticket. Tickets are sold at all of the six museums. Entry to the castle is 110 DKK (approx. £13) for adults and free for children up to 17 years old. It is also free with the Copenhagen Card and free with the Park Museums ticket.

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle

 We arrived at The Round Tower and paid 25DKK (approx. £3) to climb to the top for the observation deck. The Round Tower is one of the best-known structures of Denmark, and since 1642 visitors have been able to enjoy the view from above. It was built between 1637-42 by King Christian IV.
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The Round Tower

The tower is 34.8 meters high and once soared far above the rest of the rooftops in the city. Its original purpose as astronomical observatory is still active, and visitors can gaze at the cosmos through the Observatory’s telescope from 1929.
Walking up The Round Tower

Walking up The Round Tower

Halfway up the tower, there is access to the Library Hall. Originally, it served as university library until 1861; today the hall accommodates art exhibitons and a souvenir shop.

“Prepare for the worst” by Lise Harlev, 2016

At the top of The Round Tower

At the top of The Round Tower

Once we had finished at The Round Tower, we went to find the LEGO flagship store along the famous pedestrian street Strøget. The LEGO Group is one of the world’s best-known Danish toy manufacturers and they opened a flagship LEGO Store in the centre of Copenhagen in December 2010. You’re never too old for LEGO – right?!
LEGO Store

LEGO Store

Nyhavn made out of LEGO

Nyhavn made out of LEGO

We then proceeded to walk down Strøget street, past many clothes shops such as Zara and H&M and ended up at the Tivoli Gardens. The Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park just a short walk from City Hall and Copenhagen Central Station offering rides, games, musicals, ballet, and major concerts. Entry to Tivoli Gardens starts at 120 DKK or free with the Copenhagen Card. Once inside, you can then purchase a multi ride ticket for admission to all of the rides. Tivoli Gardens was actually closed when we visited Copenhagen so if you’re hoping to visit between January and April, check their website to see when they re-open!
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Tivoli Gardens

You’ll find the statue of author Hans Christian Andersen at the City Hall Square, facing H.C. Andersens Boulevard. Hans Christian Andersen is a very important part of Danish culture, and his fairytales are known worldwide. You’ll find him sitting with a book.

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

We then went in search of lunch and ended up in Streckers Pub & Brasserie. Lucy and I both wanted to try the open-faced sandwiches, also known as smørrebrød in Danish. I had a slice of buttered rye bread topped with herring, red onions, black pepper and chives for 59 DKK and Lucy had hers topped with tomato, mayonnaise and brie.

Smørrebrød in Streckers Pub & Brasserie

Smørrebrød in Streckers Pub & Brasserie

After lunch we made our way to Copenhagen Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård) and took the train to Kongens Nytorv so we could go visit our favourite Nyhavn!

Nyhavn

Nyhavn

Lucy got an ice cream from Rajissimo before we made our way back to Kgs Nytorv for Nørreport to chill in the hotel before cozy hour!

Getting ready for mojitos and burritos!

Getting ready for mojitos and burritos!

We’d made a dinner reservation at Barburrito for 7pm. I love love love burritos so I was super excited for this meal! Lucy and I both had ginger mojitos to accompany our food. We shared crispy plantains with guacamole and salsa cruda for starters (45 DKK) and I of course had the braised veal for main (139 DKK) while Lucy had 3 different types of tacos.

Burritos and tacos in Barburrito

Burritos and tacos in Barburrito

We stayed in Barburrito for a couple of mojitos before making our way back to the hotel for bedtime!We started our final day in Copenhagen off with another Danish pasty from Laura’s Bakery at Torvehallerne Food Market. I had a frøsnapper snegl this time and it didn’t disappoint!

Frøsnapper snegl

Frøsnapper snegl

We took the Metro from Nørreport Station back to Kongens Nytorv Station to say our goodbyes to Nyhavn and got a “sex me up” shake from Joe & The Juice in Magasin department store. We saw Joe & The Juice stores throughout Copenhagen so we had to try one before we left!

We then took the M2 from Kongens Nytorv Station to Amager Strand Station where we walked to Amager Beach Park and looked out to Sweden.

Amager Beach Park

Amager Beach Park

Amager Beach Park

Amager Beach Park

The bridge, Øresundsbroen, connecting Denmark and Sweden is visible here.Lunch was back at Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island again! This time I had a pork loin with red cabbage, gherkins and mustard smørrebrød for 70 DKK. We sat here for quite a while, people watching, to kill time before our afternoon flight.

Smørrebrød at Copenhagen Street Food

Smørrebrød at Copenhagen Street Food

It was then time to make our way to Lufthavn Airport for our 16:30 flight back to London Stansted.

Thank you Lucy and Copenhagen for a lovely weekend away!

Copenhagen really does appeal to all age groups. If you’re travelling with children then there’s plenty to amuse them from Copenhagen Zoo, The Blue Planet aquarium, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not to Experimentarium. There’s also plenty of museums and castles within Copenhagen to explore too. You can even take the 30 minute train journey across to Malmö, Sweden!

Let me know below what you got up to in Copenhagen!