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As we had an early afternoon flight home to England we didn’t have a lot of time today so we decided not to book anything or see anything that would take up too much time or would take a long time to get to and from.
The first thing we did is go to Nyboder which is a row of houses all in the same yellow/orange colour (known as Nyboder yellow). The houses were built in 1631 for the naval officers of the Royal Danish Navy. They are absolutely stunning and kind of chilling at the same time because there aren’t many people about and because they are built so differently from everything surrounding them they seem a little isolated. We heard about this place through watching the Eddie Redmayne film ‘The Danish Girl’ where he visits somebody in one of these house.
We then went back to Tortus and Alex bought a pot and I blew my final Danish Krone on some really nice earrings from Creol – a Danish jewellery shop. We then had a quick drink and bite to eat at Cafe Stella before we headed home.
The first thing we did is head to the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens. I’m not sure if it was the time of year, but to be honest they were quite underwhelming. There weren’t many exotic looking flowers despite the greenhouse and the whole place just didn’t seem very well managed or organised. So that took less time than we anticipated so we moved on to next on the list.
Next we went to The Little Mermaid statue on the Langelinie promenade dedicated to Hans Christan Andersen who wrote the fairytale. This again was underwhelming as we could barely get a picture of the statue due to the mass tourists pouring off the tour buses. But when you have a great companion by your side it doesn’t really matter so we walked on and even started to use our lego selves in some silly pictures.
To be honest in some respects I am quite glad that the first two parts of the day were average because it meant we had more time to do things that otherwise we would not have done.
Rosenborg Castle was not on our original list of things we were going to see in Copenhagen but after a quick look on google maps to see what was nearby we thought we might as well visit the castle. Alex loves castles and I love gardens so this neat and tidy castle with immaculate grounds certainly cheered us up. We sat under a rose archway for a while and just took the place in. There were a few people who had just come, popped their bikes down and started a picnic on the lawns.
We then went to The Round Tower (Rundetaarn) which is a 17th Century observatory – the oldest in Europe. It was built in honour of Denmark’s astronomical findings at the time. Every city seems to have one focal building for great views, the Shard in London, The Eiffel Tower or Montparnasse Tower in Paris, Castel Saint Angelo in Rome, and this is Copenhagen’s. We loved walking round and around and around right to the top. The pictures don’t do the views justice because it was quite a cloudy day, but they were really good. Its loving to see the colour scheme of Copenhagen – the green spires and the orange rooftops.
We then finished our day with dinner at Zalt in our favourite part of the city with all the design shops and cobbled streets. We had a wonderful meal here to top of an exciting day full of unexpected things we last minute decided to do.
We had the most beautiful evening in Nyhavn. In the day we had checked out the area and seen that there were many restaurants on the harbour so we decided once the day was up to go back to our accommodation, freshen up and head back out to Nyhavn. The sun was out, musicians were playing and the colourful buildings were reflecting off the water to make it a truly magical night.
I’m not going to lie it was quite difficult to find somewhere to eat. The main problem was that I don’t eat red meat and I don’t like fish so I am limited to vegetarian or poultry dishes. This is not usually a problem for me but considering we were on the harbour all the restaurants were trying to hero the local fish and most of the menus were ALL fish with no other options. We did manage to find Nyhavn C which advertised vegetarian options so I had a veggie burger. I felt a little bad because Alex just loves fish as there were some really great looking fish restaurants along the street, but at least he got plenty of fish the rest of the trip (practically every meal)!! If you like fish it’s a great place to go, but if not just be prepared.
We had a nice romantic wander around Nyhavn before head back to the hostel by metro watching the sunset.
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.