We arrived in Copenhagen late the previous night and checked into our hostel – Danshostel Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a very expensive place to visit and as students to be able to travel to Denmark we had to hunt on the internet for this place – it is a hostel but by far the most modern and clean that I have ever visited (more like a cross between a hotel and hostel). Be warned if you are a couple the rooms have single beds so that’s just something else to bare in mind. On the walls they had some little quotes about travelling which were cool.
We got up and walked to Sundby metro station (12-15 minute walk) in the rain – not a great start to the trip after dry and warm Amsterdam. We took the metro to Christianshavn and went into the Magasin department store – it was really cool to see all the Danish brands and get a sense of how they shop. The real reason for going shopping is because it was really cold in Denmark and I had only brought lightweight cardigans on the trip with us. I managed to get a nice warm jumper – it’s red and will be seen in many of the trip pictures. In the store we had a coffee and spent our first Danish Krone on a Danish pastry.
As soon as the weather slightly cheered up we finished our coffee and went out to explore the centre of Copenhagen. Alex had found this artist called Tortus on his instagram. Alex wanted to find the store and I’m so glad we went to the area, walking along the wet cobbles and into hidden courtyards until we found the store. Alex had a browse at the ceramics and decided that if he had enough money left at the end of the trip he would come straight back to buy something to remember the holiday by.
Christiansborg Palace is one of the locations recommended on all the sites and guidebooks on Copenhagen so we thought we would pay it a visit. It was quite impressive so we took a few photos. One thing we weren’t sold on is the fact that there is so much construction going on in the centre of Copenhagen which kind of spoilt all of the photos and the beauty of the place.
With Denmark the home of Lego, we then decided to visit the Lego superstore. We looked at the massive models they have built and all the stock. We then made ourselves out of Lego and Alex made one for his brother who is a big fan of Lego. I bought a little lego robot which is now on my car keys and is a nice reminder of the holiday.
Neither Alex or I had been to Denmark before and the only people we knew of that had been to Copenhagen were my grandparents and as you could imagine a lot has changed since they went!! So we decided to use the internet when planning what to do. Obviously there are plenty of ‘Best things to do in Copenhagen’ and ‘Top 10 in Copenhagen’ sites and blogs to check out for the main attractions and links to booking museums or tours. When thinking of Copenhagen, it isn’t like other European cities where there are many obvious things to do so we had to get a bit creative. With cities such as Rome you could do half of the recommended activities and still have no time to explore further. That’s the beauty of Copenhagen, its more of a relaxing city break.
Before coming I followed a lot of people on Instagram and bloggers that lived in Copenhagen to see places they go to get away from the usual tourist traps. This came in handy with Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island (Papirøen). It’s such a unique place and the nearest thing I could possibly compare it to is Borough Market in London only much, much calmer and less claustrophobic. We just took a short bus from near Christiansborg Palace.
The market is basically a massive warehouse that has been lined with street food carts of so many cuisines – when we were there we found everything from traditional Danish, Vegan smoothies, local breweries, Chinese, Korean, Moroccan and many more. There are plenty of places to sit so we sat inside first and then ventured out to have our drinks outside overlooking the harbour. Everything was reasonably priced, with most dishes between DKK 50-80. The great thing about converting from DKK to GBP is that it’s pretty simple – you just move the decimal place. So DKK 50 is equivalent to about £5 – a very decent price for lunch in Copenhagen, trust me. Alex had a surf and turf burger and I had a Chinese plate with spring rolls and cashew chicken noodles (which was delicious)!
Paper Island was not too far from Christiania which was something on all of the lists of things to do in Copenhagen so that is where we headed next. It is a commune that is regulated by its own law in some aspects (The Christiania Law). It is a pretty liberal place, to the extent that there is just weed growing alongside other plants and bushes. Alex and I felt a little out of place and very out of our comfort zones, but that is sometimes what exploring is about so we opened our eye wide, took it all in and walked quickly in and out of the place.
We then walked along the harbour further and to Nyhavn – the most colourful and vibrant place I’ve ever seen.