After being in London for nearly three months, I took my first mini-break from the city. I wish I knew who said it and how they said it, but basically “Copenhagen feels like the perfect way to spend a Sunday”. Three days was the perfect amount of time to explore. We got to see all we wanted to see and still had plenty of time to chill.
Where to Stay
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel is a lively hostel located in the city centre. There are many opportunities to meet people, as they host movie nights, karaoke, dinners, and more. Or you could simply stop by the bar and chat some people up. It has the social and location aspect going for it, but the accommodations aren’t the best. I’m used to hostel life, but the bathrooms would be much nicer if they didn’t always smell freshly used. I’d still recommend staying there, but note it isn’t luxury … that’s what hotels are for!
Top Things to Do
Nyhavn: If you’ve ever seen a photo of Copenhagen and immediately wanted to visit, I can guess that you were looking at a picture of Nyhavn. The colourful harbour was the first thing my friend Lauren and I went to see. I recommend going to the harbour first thing to grab breakfast. We stopped by NyhavnC and got a table outside under the heaters and ordered the brunch platter. It was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. A perfect mix of flavours and nothing to feel guilty about!
Gløgg: Wherever you are in Copenhagen if you see a sign that says Gløgg, walk towards it. There is deliciously warm mulled wine waiting for you.
Rosenborg Castle: is one of the top attractions in Copenhagen. If you are trying to save money, don’t worry, you can explore the outside for free … or maybe someone just forgot to check if we had a ticket. Being in London, I’ve seen the interiors to quite a few palaces, so I didn’t feel the need to pay to go inside. If I knew more about Danish history (other than watching The Danish Girl), I would have been more keen to check it out, but I was also too excited to go to the next spot …
Tivoli Gardens: is A MUST. This amusement park is so elaborate, you don’t need to touch a single ride to have a good time. It’s the second-oldest operating amusement park and said to have been quite an inspiration for Disneyland. The perfect time to visit is during the Christmas season (19 Nov – 31 Dec) – that may be biased, but who doesn’t love the magic of Christmas! We wandered around in awe of the elaborate details, sipped on gløgg, and got some hotdogs and fries (we were at an amusement park after all).
Explore the City on a Bicycle
There are many places to rent bikes throughout the city, but our hostel also offered 12hr and 24hr rentals. For our last day in Copenhagen, we hired some bikes to make sure we could see it all in enough time (we did, and we had the afternoon to spare). This is what we covered:
Freetown Christiania: is an eclectic place, to say the least. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures, but just imagine a neighbourhood that was built and continues to be run by hippies. A neighbourhood with different laws and colourful paint. Keep your closed mind and your car at the door.
Amelienborg & Frederik’s Chruch: On our way to see the Little Mermaid statue, we passed by a courtyard with prestigious looking buildings and made a quick detour to check it out. This courtyard is surrounded by a palace and a beautiful marble church (seen below). If you are lucky, you’ll get to see the changing of guards, and if you are unlucky you’ll get yelled at for biking through the courtyard while they do this.
Churchillparken & St. Alban’s Church: is another lovely stop on the way to the Little Mermaid statue. The park features a quaint church and various statues. No need to stop, as long as you can get a good look without crashing your bike.
The Little Mermaid: I’d been warned that this statue was a tad underwhelming, so I’ll pass the warning on to you. Regardless, it is still very cool to see the statue of such an iconic story in its birthplace.
And finally, we headed to the Street Food market to spend the rest of our day (see that later on).
Fancy a Drink … other than Gløgg?
Espresso Martinis: Lauren and I went to Cafe Wanna B on our first night, as it was just a two-minute walk from the hostel. We ordered espresso martinis that were so good that the next night we had to bring some people from the hostel to try them too. Everyone agreed that it was the best espresso martini they ever had. The bar was fun on the weekend too. There was a group of 50-to-60-something adults singing and having a good time at the booth behind us. We couldn’t help but join in for a few songs – including Wannabe.
Zefside Cocktail Bar: After some espresso martinis, we headed to Zefside, which is around the corner from the hostel. They have a great selection of delicious and strong cocktails. I ordered one with grapefruit and was tempted to try another cocktail when our group decided to head the next location. Zefside is also good for dancing when the club starts to fill up.
The Meat Packing District: is where we ended up for a bit. This neighbourhood is super trendy and full of bars to check out (see the link). Though I can’t find what bar we were at, it was a fun time dancing in a packed little restaurant – they took the packing thing a bit too seriously. We didn’t last too long there, but it was a fun little adventure while it lasted.
A Break From the Cold
I visited Copenhagen in November, and it was cold! We ate outside under heaters many times to enjoy the views around us, but once in a while, you need a proper break to de-thaw. Here are some ideas on how to take a break from the cold:
Magasin du Nord: is a huge department store along the walk from the hostel to Nyhavn (where we often found ourselves). You can enjoy a shopping break at the department store or you can do as I did, and do the cold broke girl wander (a.k.a. using the store as a shortcut on the way home, but stopping to use a Kiehl’s hand lotion sample).
Museums: the city is full of museums … art, history, … ya, I didn’t bother visiting any of them. All the other bloggers recommend checking them out, so be cultured like them and check out some museums!
Copenhagen Street Food: is my top choice for how to chill out in the warmth. This is an indoor street market full of various cuisines and more importantly, GLØGG. The trick is to go on a weekday and nab a spot by the fire. Lauren and I sat by the fire, took turns getting new foods to try, drank gløgg, and chatted the day away. Then we took the bikes back to the hostel to collect our things and head back to London!
That’s it for my trip to Copenhagen! Have you been? What was your favourite part?