Copenhagen, Denmark

 

I stayed in Ibsens Hotel for 3 nights in a medium room, priced at approximately £100.00 per night booked through booking.com. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and I liked that we had a single duvet each on the double bed – there was no fighting for covers! Although there wasn’t a safe located in the room, you could find one at reception.

The Ibsens Hotel is located in the Nansengade area, and is just a 6 minute walk from Nørreport Station which is the hub in the city centre, making it an ideal place to stay to explore the city.

The hotel offers a buffet breakfast for 150 DKK (approx. £18.00) per person per day, but we thought this was quite expensive so decided to grab a Danish pastry from a local bakers every morning instead. We did take advantage of the “Cozy Hour” that took place every day between 5-6pm down by reception. During this hour, the hotel offers you a free glass of wine, beer or apple juice which is great considering we found Copenhagen quite expensive. We made sure we were back at the hotel every day for our free glass of wine – Skål!

 

I landed in Copenhagen, known locally as København, on Friday 10th March 2017. I purchased a City Pass at the airport for 20 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 buy 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.

I took the 15 minute Metro (M2) from Lufthavnen (Copenhagen Airport) to Nørreport Station. From Nørreport Station, I walked 450 metres to Ibsens Hotel and checked-in to room 463.

Lucy and I arrived at the hotel just in time for Cozy Hour, which was an added bonus. After our free glass of wine, we went out in search of food and a restaurant called Un Mercato located at Torvehallerne Food Market took our fancy. It was just a couple of minutes away from the hotel.

I ordered the mussels linguine, Lucy ordered the Bolognese linguine and we shared some risotto balls with tomato and mozzarella, and bread with mascarpone spread. It was delicious. The bill came to 390 DKK (approx. £45.00).

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 be a tourist at Parkrun. I’m not that energetic, so she left me in bed whilst she went off to Parkrun Faelledparken. Copenhagen is great for fitness fanatics; you can explore the city by foot, bike or kayak.

Once Lucy was back from Parkrun, we went to a local bakery for some Danish pastries for breakfast. We went to Laura’s Bakery located in Torvehallerne Food Market and 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, and from here we walked to Kastellet. Kastellet is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe, and there are a number of buildings located within the grounds including a church and a windmill.

We then walked to the famous Little Mermaid statue. For almost a century, the Little Mermaid statue, the embodiment of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale, has perched on her stone along the Copenhagen promenade Langelinie.

After, we 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 got to watch the changing of the Royal Guards which takes place at 12pm every day.

Next up was the picturesque Nyhavn where we picked up a 60 minute boat tour with Netto-Bådene for 40 DKK (approx. £4.50) each. On the tour we got to see Holmen, The Opera, Old Riggin Sheers, Langelinie, The Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Palace, Marble Church, Christianshavn’s canal, Our Saviour’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.

Lunch was at Copenhagen Street Food, just a short walk across the water from Nyhavn. Located on the Paper Island, Copenhagen Street Food is undercover and has approximately 40 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.

After sitting in the sunshine eating our lunch, we walked across to Christiania neighbourhood. Christiania is also known as Freetown Christiania and was established in 1971 by a group of hippies. Here you will find a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues and cheap and organic eateries. Although you are welcome to explore the area, you are advised to not film or photograph Christiania.

On our way back to Christianshavn Station, we walked past the Church of Our Saviour. We were going to go inside and climb the 400 steps to the top of the helix spire for a view over Copenhagen, but we’d just missed the last admission.

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 was fitted out like an old fashioned tram which was pretty cool. It was fully booked inside, so we sat outside under the heaters with blankets instead. Burgers are priced between 79 DKK – 99 DKK and are served with potato wedges. I had the guacamole burger (99 DKK) and added cheese (10 DKK), whilst Lucy had the pineapple burger (89 DKK) with added cheese.

After dinner, we went to a cocktail bar called Strøm Bar. This cocktail bar is one of the city’s best, and we both had a Singapore Sling before heading back to the hotel.

We started our Sunday off with a tebirke from a local bakers called Naturbageriet for 13 DKK.

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

After we were finished at the botanical gardens, we walked to Rundetaarn (Round Tower), passing Rosenborg Castle on our way.

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.

We arrived at The Round Tower and paid 25 DKK (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.

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.

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

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

After finding my inner-child, we continued walking 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dinner was at Barburrito. I love burritos so I was super excited for this meal. We shared crispy plantains with guacamole and salsa cruda for starters (45 DKK) and I had the braised veal burrito for main (139 DKK) and Lucy had 3 different types of tacos, washed down with a couple of ginger mojitos. After a few more ginger mojitos, we made our way back to the hotel for bedtime.

We started our final day in Copenhagen off with another Danish pastry from Laura’s Bakery at Torvehallerne Food Market. My frøsnapper snegl was delicious.

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 and we walked to Amager Beach Park. From here, you can look across the water and see Sweden including the bridge, Øresundsbroen, which connects Denmark to Sweden.

Lunch was back at Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island. This time I had a pork loin with red cabbage, gherkins and mustard smørrebrød for 70 DKK. We sat here for quite a while, watching the world go by, to kill some time before our afternoon flight.

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

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my long weekend in Copenhagen, and can’t recommend visiting this city enough. 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.

Did you enjoy Copenhagen as much as I did? Please leave your comments below.

 

 

 

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