I feel like Copenhagen was one of those places which grew in popularity over night; it was never somewhere that had even crossed my mind, until the year 2016, when it was all I heard about.
There were 3 things I knew about Copenhagen prior to visiting:
- Copenhagen’s most iconic shot; the beautiful multi-coloured houses alongside the canal – picture perfect!
- It is expensive. Relatively speaking, we did find this to be true (mostly for food and drink) but it didn’t shock me, perhaps because I am familiar with London prices.
- It was home to the famous fairytale author, Hans Christian Anderson, who was born and died there.
WHEN DID WE GO
We visited over Easter weekend which fell mid-April. Despite the bank holidays, we found that many of the restaurants and tourist attractions remained open, and that the crowd levels were relatively low which was ideal.
I knew that it was going to be cold so I brought a big coat and scarf. I don’t think the temperature rose above 2 degrees whilst we were there, but we were completely caught off guard by the bitingly cold sea breeze; man that was piercing!
WHERE DID WE STAY
We stayed at the charming Hotel SKT. Annæ, a small boutique hotel literally just round the corner from Nyhvan – you could not beat the location! It provided a perfect base for exploring and after a long day of sightseeing, it felt really warm and homely to return to.
WHAT DID WE DO
One thing which took us by surprise, is just how small Copenhagen is and how easy it is to get around. Other than the train to and from the airport (which took about 15 minutes), you are walking distance from everywhere. It is also a really bicycle friendly city so this is the second most common form of transport.
With Nyhvan right on our doorstep, this was the first and last place that we visited both in rain and in shine. It is even better than it looks in the pictures, with its restaurants and cafes dotted along the waterside and its boats toing and froing down the canal. This, coupled with the colourful 17th century townhouses create a lively, yet romantic ambiance which makes it quite hard for you to leave!
*The bars can be pretty expensive here; one beer and an apple juice set us back nearly £15!
We visited two food markets in Copenhagen:
*Papirøen (Paper Island): We actually returned here on two occasions because the food was so delicious and there was such a huge selection. It is basically a huge warehouse with various street food vendors delivering every cuisine you can think of.
*Unfortunately, I believe this has now closed
Torvehallerne: I would consider this a more ‘upmarket’ food market or food hall, selling fresh produce as well as small plates to eat.
This is probably the attraction which lies the furthest away from the main city. After a 20 minute walk from Nyhavn in the pouring rain, we could see a group of people all huddled together. We knew we had reached the statue but don’t expect it to jump out at you; it is a little underwhelming.
If you love a good viewing point, then the Round Tower is a good place to go in Copenhagen. It costs 25 DKK (£3) to enter and you walk up the spiral walk before reaching the outdoor platform. Whilst not the tallest of viewings, it provided beautiful views of the city and the many copper coloured roofed buildings.
Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world, and served as inspiration to Walt Disney for Disney World. Being a fan of Disney, of course we had to go! Upon entering, it is like stepping into a fairytale with its lush gardens, magical theming and spectacular architecture. As it was Easter, the park was specifically decorated for the holiday and it has various lively shows going on.
It is also home to their oldest wooden rollercoaster (dating back to 1914!) which has a man on board who operates the brakes; we couldn’t resist!
We returned at night to see the park transform into this truly magical world. Everywhere is lit up with hundreds of colourful lights; I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Time for some Royal history! We never actually intended on visiting this castle. We came across it whilst we were mooching about so we didn’t go inside it, but you can do so for 110 DKK (£13). The grounds are beautiful and we arrived right on time for the changing of the guards.
If you love beer, then this should probably be on your list of things to do. Its a little out of the city centre of Copenhagen, but we caught a train which took no time at all. It is exactly what you can expect from a brewery (if you have ever visited one before), giving your the history and story of Carlsberg, how it is made, followed by the chance to redeem your two free beer tokens at the end which came with the cost of admission, 80 DKK (£10).