A Few Days in Copenhagen
Denmark is a great country to include on any European trip. If you don’t have time to see the whole country, then I recommend a few days in the capital, Copenhagen. Many people put off travelling in Scandinavian countries because they are expensive. Yes travelling in Scandinavia is going to be costly, there is no way around that, it’s just the way it is! Food, drink and attractions all cost more than other European countries, however there are plenty of things you can do that are not going to break the bank. When I went there I had a great time and managed not to spend an absolute fortune.
When it comes to cutting costs on accommodation, you know the score, stay at a hostel. You’ll be looking at paying about $30 for a night in a shared-room. HI has four hostels in Copenhagen, so take your pick. I did find eating out very expensive, so it is definitely worth taking advantage of the kitchen facilities in the hostel and taking bag lunches with you during the day.
I found the city to be pretty easy to walk around, but then I am very happy hitting the sidewalk and poking my head down little alleyways exploring, and in Copenhagen there are plenty, so I was in heaven. If you are not a walker, then you could always jump on a bike. Copenhagen is well known for being bike friendly, it has designated cycle paths and you can pick up a bike for free! Yes, that’s right, free. The city has a very cool free bike program (during the summer months) where you can pick up a bike from one of the designated bike parking areas around the city. You leave a small deposit of DKK 20 (about $3.50), and when you have finished you take the bike back to one of the parking areas and get your deposit back. Simple! However you have to stay within in the BikeCity Zone, which is just the city centre.
One of the most famous sights in Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid and it’s free. The statue is located at Langelinje Pier. This area is a nice place to walk around and in the area you will also find some other Copenhagen attractions such as The Old Citadel, Gefion Fountain and Amalienborg Palace. If it is a sunny day, you can combine the viewing of the Little Mermaid with a nice picnic lunch in the park!
If you like beer, then I suggest a trip to the Carlsberg Brewery. Also it is excellent value for money. Admission is DKK 70, around $12 CAD and with that you get 2 beers! The visitor centre is actually located in the original Carlsberg Brewery. The self-guided tour shows you the beer brewing process and the history of Carlsberg. The tour ends in the Jacobsen Brewhouse where you sample the brews.
Nyhavn is another famous sight of Copenhagen. The colourful buildings that line the canal are very cute. Along the cobbled street are street vendors selling their crafts and souvenirs. You’ll also be entertained by street artists. This part of the city has a great atmosphere and is very popular with tourists. Within the coloured buildings are restaurants and bars offering local Danish food. I found the food in the area expensive, however I did splash out and went to one of the restaurants and I have to say, the meal was great and the establishment itself had a lot of character, so it was worth it. Unfortunately I don’t recall the restaurant’s name, but that area has plenty to choose from, I am sure you’ll find one just as nice!
On a couple of days during my stay in Copenhagen I left the city to explore the surrounding area. My first day trip was to Roskilde. Roskilde is known for a few things; it was the former medieval capital of Denmark, it has a rich Viking history and it holds the Roskilde Festival, one of the world’s largest culture and music festivals. When I was there I had a wander around the town and headed down to the Viking Ship Museum, which was well worth the visit and extremely interesting.
On another day I headed to Sweden! From Copenhagen you can take the train to Malmo. The train journey itself was a highlight of the day out. Denmark and Sweden are connected across the ÖresundStrait by a combination of the Öresund Bridge and the Drogden tunnel, which are linked by an artificial island called Peberholm. The Öresund Bridge runs nearly 8 km and is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. Once at Malmo there is quite a bit to see. I was visiting during Christmastime and there were some lovely Christmas markets to look around, but if you’re there in the summer you can hang out on the beach! Don’t miss Lilla Torg which is a charming city square and a popular meeting place with numerous restaurants, bars and shops.
Have you been to Copenhagen? Do you have any suggestions of what to see and do? Leave your comments below.