Copenhagen has been on my city break list for a while now – mainly to add a photograph of the beautiful buildings down the well-known Danish harbour Nyhavn to my collection (and to my Instagram, obvs). With the April-May time being bank holidays galore, I thought this would be the perfect time to just book a flight and go. So we did!
After grabbing one of those huge maps (yeah the ones that say ‘LOOK AT ME, I’M A TOURIST!’) from the metro station at the airport, I started circling places with a big red marker as soon as we got back to our apartment. Yes it really was that cliché.
Eager to get out and explore, we dropped our bags at our Airbnb (which you can find my tips for here), and headed out. We had no real plan – our thinking was just to take a walk around the city and see what we came across. This was also my new camera’s first proper outing so I was keen to get some really cool photographs too.
This tall, round viewing tower offered amazing views over the whole of Copenhagen, and onl cost around £3 per person. I really enjoyed the different walk up – which was apparently designed so horses could walk up way back when, and there was a design music about half way up too. The only downside was that it was pretty cloudy, and I imagine the views would have been much better if it was sunny.
Located on the tiny inner city island of Slotsholmen, Christiansborg Palace is home to the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. Parts of the palace are also used by the Danish royal family from time to time, and while they weren’t there on this occasion, we did see a couple getting married there.
Unfortunately we didn’t take a look inside, so the pictures are only of the outside and surrounding courtyards, which, nonetheless, are still impressive!
This is the main shopping street of Copenhagen. When I was researching places to go, this wasn’t actually on my list because I’m not fussed about shopping at the best of times, let alone while I’m on holiday. However, this was one of the main streets in the city where everything was, so I found myself up and down it every day without even realising it was Stroeget!
Friends and brgrs
Now, I usually like to do a separate blog post about where to eat and drink, but as Copenhagen was bloody expensive, we didn’t get to eat or drink out an awful lot sadly. So, I thought I’d include our Saturday night dinner on here just in case you’re after some food inspo for your trip to Copenhagen.
Friends and brgrs was located right in the heart of the city, and promised fresh, fast burgers. The burgers were bloody tasty, and it kind of reminded me of a Scandinavian Shake Shack. The best thing about it was DEFO the triple cooked chips though. I would never normally say that but they definitely upstaged the burger somehow. Would definitely recommend a visit.
Nyhavn – the first image you might imagine when you think about Copenhagen, and a tremendous burst of colours. This was the first thing on my Sunday to-do list, and I’m happy we left it to our second day, as the sun was out too, and I was excited to get some great pictures of the famous, picturesque harbour.
It’s such a pretty spot to chill out, especially when the sun is out, but we warned, the drinks are ridiculously overpriced so be prepared to pay out a little extra if you’re planning on grabbing a beer there.
We read nothing but good reviews about Tivoli Gardens so made our way over on Sunday afternoon. A delightfully Scandinavian amalgamation of beautiful buildings and sculptures, green open spaces, colourful, maintained gardens, lakes, and, of course, rollercoasters!
Yes the rollercoasters were so much fun, but aside from that, Tivoli gardens was such a great afternoon in the sun. The surroundings were beautiful and, and it just had such a magical feel about it. I definitely could have stayed there all evening.
On day three we got bikes out, which meant we were able to whizz around and see so many sights in one day.
Set in the King’s Garden in the heart of Copenhagen, Rosenborg castle features some of Copenhagen’s oldest treasures, including the Crown Jewels. We didn’t go in (if you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen my tweets that I left my purse at home, so we were on a strict budget!), as tickets were out of our price range. The outside was beautiful though, and it even had a moat!
Christiania is a neighbourhood in Copenhagen best known for its inhabitants’ alternative way of living. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government.
No pictures were allowed inside, but it was a weird old place, with people openly selling hash down the main street. For some people this could be a put off, but if you look past this, the place is really quite cool – think homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries, and beautiful nature – with a lot of history behind it too.
Papiroen food market
On Paper Island – which got its name as the industrial units used to house the paper for the Danish Press), Papiroen food market offers locals and tourists alike to sample both traditional Danish and worldwide cuisines.
The options were honestly endless, and as we were starving when we got there, it took about half an hour to make a decision – everything looked so good! In the end we went for middle eastern-style wraps which were HUGE.
We ate them outside, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful view of boats passing by in the harbour.
The Little Mermaid
One of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions, the sculpture of The Little Mermaid. The sculpture is really historic, and is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name.
If I’m being completely honest, this was a little underwhelming. It was a lot smaller than I had anticipated, and an all-round anti-climax really.
Still, I’m glad we went, as a trip to Copenhagen without seeing it wouldn’t have felt right – even if the bike ride was bloody tiring!
Copenhagen canal tour
After returning our bikes, we decided to spend our last few hours in Copenhagen learning a bit more about the city by boat. The canal tour, which set off from Nyhavn was really cheap, and they didn’t mind that we had a few beers for the journey too which was an added bonus!
The tour went through Christianshavn where some of Copenhagen’s oldest houses are, as well as around Paper Island, the Royal Opera House, and the surrounding waterways. It was a great way to learn a bit more history about some of the buildings.
After our boat tour was over, we headed home to get a good night’s sleep before our early flight home the next morning. Conclusions? Copenhagen is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. If you’re planning a trip, make sure you’ve got enough funds to tide you over, and don’t let the high prices put you off doing things – you’re on holiday after all!
Have you been to Copenhagen? What did you enjoy most?