Christmas is over ! To start the new year, we left to Copenhagen on an extended weekend (from Friday night to Tuesday morning), city also called ‘the happiest city in the world’.
Good to know
The capital Copenhagen is situated on an island between Denmark and Sweden. There’s no time difference compared to France (UTC+2).
There, they speak Danish : a dialect which seems impossible to understand, sounding a bit like German. But don’t worry, because people in Northern countries speak English very well !
Although Denmark is part of the European Union, they have a currency different to the Euro : the Danish Crown (DKK). Get yourself an adapted credit card, or plan to exchange some money once you get there…
Be prepared not to be the richest man alive there : the cost of life is 40% superior to the Europeran average (yes, you’re reading right!) The power sockets are the same as in England, so think of taking an adapter with you if needed!
Last point we kind of didn’t bother thinking about : the temperature ! In January, and especially for us coming from the South of France, it’s like a cold coming straight from Siberia ! Without exaggerating though, January, February and March are the coldest months of the year, so make sure to take things to keep you warm : an undercoat, a portable blanket, a hot water bottle…! For people who get easily cold, rather prefer the May-September period to visit Copenhagen.
The more the plane journey is long, the better : 7 hours with a stop, arriving there at 11:30pm. But don’t freak out! Underground works 24/7, which is good since the M2 line takes us directly to the city center in only 15-20 minutes.
We chose the 72h ‘City Pass’ option (200DKK, or 26€/person) to be able to use public transports (train, tube, bus) unlimitedly during our stay.
With the City Pass in hand, let’s head to the Airbnb we booked ! We had two options for the same price :
1 bunk bed in a dormitory mixe composed of 18 beds in a youth hostel close to the city center.
1 double bedroom in an flat via Airbnb, not as close to the city center. Up to you, but we chose option number 2 !
The day begins with a nice breakfast at the Airbnb, straight coming out… of the suitcase ! There is no little savings (especially in a city where a simple coffee can cost 4€!)
Once we put our multiple layers of clothes, we fight the cold to get to the tube. There’s no doubt : we’re really in the North !
Here we are then to the tube station, with a name still impossible to pronounce (to ask for directions is not something we’d wish for a tourist !)
To find our route, we’re using Citymapper, a great app calculating for you different possible itineraries for a single destination (good to know : you can use it in many cities !)
It’s 11am, and we’re meeting our guide at the Cityhall. Indeed, we booked a tour going all around Copenhagen with ‘Copenhagen Free Walking Tours‘. This group tour is therefore free and works on tips. Be careful however, because tours are only in English and Spanish.
As usual, we’re ahead of schedule. We thus decide to enter the City Hall, waiting for the rain to pass. The hall is publicly accessible and very animated : a shooting of a young married couple is going on in this red-brick decor…
… It’s time, follow the guide ! Rikke walks us through little streets with colourful houses, telling us funny stories about the area, showing us the principal spots to see in the city. Take pics !
Christianborg Palace : pretty castle where it’s not rare to see guards riding horses.
The old city : all these nice colourful houses and little cafés make us want to stop every meter to take pictures of them all !
Nyhavn Harbour : we love it ! These bright coloured houses reflecting in the harbour warter where beautiful boats are moored… just like a postcard ! We understand why this is the most popular place in town.
The Royal Palace of Amalienborg : it is located on a place surrounded by old buildings, where the royal family lives during winter. It’s also where is happening the changing of the guard, which we’ll talk about later in this article.
The tour lasts 3 hours, including a lunch break where it’s strongly adviced to eat at one of the trailers The Danish Hot Dog or Polser, which are in the area. It is the famous sausage sandwich, but you can add the ingredients you want : pickles, fried onions, cheese… It tastes really nice and it’s good value for money ! Indeed, most restaurants in the famous area Nyhavn Harbour are quite expensive because touristic.
The tour is now over. It’s almost 3pm and we’re going back to Christianborg Palace to climb up to the highest point of the capital : the Taarnet Tour. It’s really worth it : it’s free, beautiful, and not too touristic ! Indeed, even though you have to queue up to access it and the number of people up there is limited, it’s not crowded with tourists either, which is enjoyable. After the elevator and going up some stairs, what’s waiting for you is a unique view ! The sunset starts and the city lamps light up. It’s really nice and beautiful to see. No, you’re not dreaming : the sunset starts at 4pm !
We’re going back dowstairs and it’s dark, which is a bit annoying for the rest of our plans because the next thing to see is Assistens Kirkegard, which is… A cimetary ! But nothing stops us : we open Citymapper, take the bus, and here we are, facing it. It’s a bit like a horror movie : it’s really dark, the graves old of a hundred years, the wind blowing… After 5 minutes hesitating, it gets too much for us : we’re turning back towards the Airbnb, stopping on the way to buy some food at the little shop around the corner… We’ll come back there when it’s light!
Ouch, quite hard to get out of bed… But come on, let’s get some motivation : today, we visit parks biking !
First step : the bike station is next to Copenhagen botanic garden, also called Botanisk Have, near Norreport St tube station… We were sure renting public bikes was included in the Citypass, but not at all : you actually have to create a Bycyklen account via the bike itself, equipped with a tablet ; except it costs 4€ per person per hour… A bit expensive for a city where more than a third of its inhabitants bike move around !
We agree to continue on foot without a problem : it’s free so it’s automatically good ! But we did well, because a few minutes later, we see a sign on the botanic garden gates : bikes are forbidden in the park : it’s not Central Park ! We come in, it’s really cute but also all icy : the lake the grass… and us !
We’re continuing our walk towards the greenhouse in which we enter : we’re so happy !!! Even though it’s very humid, it’s so warm in here, we’d almost forget about the tropical plants surrounding us all of a sudden. Once we get used to the warm nice temperature, we realise how beautiful this greenhouse is, with a spiral staircase, offering us a high point with a view on the inside and the outside.
Come on now, let’s get out of this hammam to see the next park near here, Rosenborg Have. The acess to the king’s castle located in the park isn’t free : 110DDK, or 15€ per person. Considering the price and our passion for castles is not the strongest, we decide to only admire it from the outside, from the park, which itself is free and nice. And we are not disappointed as this garden is perfectly taken care of, and a fine layer of ice on bushes makes the surroundings even more beautiful. If you try to get closer to the castle, you’ll be able to see water where ducks try to find a non-icy corner to swim a little. Again, a nice pic that could be a poster !
We’re now walking to the third and last park. It’s time to eat, so we stop at a café/bakery, but it doesn’t have anything exceptional…
We are now at the Kastellet, a star-shaped park, between canals, greenery, and red-brick citadel, we feel well there. You can also see the famous little mermaid statue in this park. Everyones rushes towards it, which makes it impossible to see anything. Nevermind, we’re passing on that.
As it’s getting dark, we’re going in the city center to do some shopping. If you want to buy some souvenirs or just shop, Stroget Street is The place to be ! Being big lovers of Nutella (and because it’s always recommended to take a break during a shopping sesh!), we can’t resist eating a stick waffle with the famous chocolate spread all over it. Yum, it’s a sure choice ! Perfect to end the day.
It’s (already!) the last day here in Copenhagen. We decide to go back to the city center to walk around in streets we haven’t had the opportunity to see yet.
As we’re back on Stroget Street, we’re turning towards West. It’s in this part of town that you can find pretty churches, from the outside and the inside. Our own little tour includes Copenhagen Cathedral, Holy Ghost Church, Saint Patrick Church, and Trinity Church.
We’re now ready for what’s coming next, a halo above our heads !
It’s almost noon : we hurry to Amalienborg Palace to see the Danish version of the changing of the guard. Every day at 11:30am, guards leave on foot from Rosenborg to the palace to replace their colleagues. Beware, if the flags flies in the wind, it means the queen is here ; you’ll then see a big unforgettable ceremony ! Otherwise, you’ll assist a ‘typical’ scene… Despiste this, we still laughed a lot thanks to Justine who’s fooling around (plus, it keeps us warm!)
Now let’s stop laughing : our stomachs are empty, we’re hungry (which is a serious matter with us!) We’re heading towards what we called ‘the crazy expense of the trip’ : the restaurant Schonnemanns. One of the Danish food specialities is the Smorrebrod : a wholemeal buttered toast, with the fresh ingredients of your choice on top (salmon, potato, duck…). As we were planning this trip, we read that it was the place to go at all costs to try this special recipee ; we therefore booked our table via internet.
We were ready to pay a certain price, but we clearly didn’t plan to pay 15€ for a little toast (it looks bigger on the pic!) : it was hard to swallow (without playing on words!). However, the service was good : our waitress took time to let us know what they had, because there’s a large selection of Smorrebrod ! Anyway, we’re still hungry after this.
We’re early for the next step (once more!). We decide to have a small dessert at Joe & The Juice in Christianshavn neighborhood, nothing very local here as it’s a restaurant chain present in several countries. Still, the setting is nice.
This time, we’re not hungry anymore (yeay!). We’re continuing with a digestive walk on the side of the canal : it looks like Nyhavn Harbour, but less touristic and more residential.
It’s 4pm : it’s time for the group tour of Christianshavn we booked, still with ‘Copenhagen Free Walking Tours’, except… Time’s passing buy and we still can’t see the guide’s recognisable green umbrella… Of course, since we got the meeting point wrong.
Come on, it’s not that big of a deal : we’re going to make our own tour again, although it was advised to be accompanied by a local to go to the free town of Christiania. For the story, it’s a self-managed neighbourhood said ‘hippie’, with its own currency and where the sale of cannabis is permitted.
We were quite disappointed… We got surrounded by small hut where men were dealing (and not just cannabis). It smells like the countryside ! We keep on walking, but we feel like we’re being watched. Thinking we’re not in the right part of the quartier, we try to go further, but nothing interesting still : it’s dirty and delerict.
The arrival of the police in one of the huts put an end to our curiosity, we’re leaving ! It explains why we
don’t have any pictures of this place because we didn’t feel safe enough to use our phones… It wasn’t allowed anyway. You can however find some online, but impossible to tell you where they were taken exactly.
It’s alright, we spent 3 very good days in Copenhagen ! We’re coming back to the Airbnb for an early departure tomorrow.
To conclude :
Here are our expenses (per person) :
Plane with one stop : 146€
Citypass : 26€
Airbnb 4 nights : 111€
Hot dog : 7€
Waffle : 4€
Lunch in a café : 8€
Restaurant : 15€
Dessert : 4€
Groceries : 9€
Avoided expenses (per person) :
Breakfast at the Airbnb : 4 x 8€
Dinner at the Airbnb : 4 x 10€
Not renting bikes : 20€
Not entering the castle : 15€
There we go, our plane tickets to Malta are paid, and without making any efforts !
Here’s the link to find our guide to find the best plane ticket !
⛵️Traveler sisters & #bloggers
✈ Next : Guadeloupe 🇬🇵
🏡 #Montpellier & #Marseille 🇫🇷
🌐 #Travel, tips & #cheap itineraries