So, you finally decided to go to Denmark, and what better way to start than with the capital – the lovely city of Copenhagen! It might not be as flashy as Paris or Rome, but it sure does have a lot to offer to a hungry tourist!
No matter if you are 6 or 60, Copenhagen certainly is a place for everyone! Museums, libraries, cafes, nightclubs – and all of them are truly stunning. Moreover, the Danes are such a pleasant people, and most importantly – they all speak English, no exceptions. So no worries there.
But there must be a downside to everything, right? Here it’s the prices. Denmark has an extremely elaborate and favorable social policy and their taxes are sky high. Depending on where you come from, be prepared that everything is from 20 to 50 percent more expensive.
Apart from that, this truly is the perfect holiday destination!
1. Tivoli Gardens
One of the first images that pop up in my mind when someone mentions Copenhagen is the beautiful fairy-tale-like amusement park Tivoli. Give yourself a treat and release your inner child for a day!
Tivoli is next to the main railway station in the city centre, so it is very easy to find. It has everything you would enjoy in an amusement park: amazing rides and that sweet treats we all loved as children. Cotton candy is highly recommended!
Even though the park is being kept in the style of the epoch in which it was built (1843!), new attractions are constantly being installed to keep with the times. There is everything from carrousels to mind-blowing rides that are not for those with a bad stomach.
Tip: You will want to go to Tivoli when the weather is nice, be sure that it will not rain the day you’ve planned to go, because that would spoil all the rides.
If you have somebody that is underage in your crew, I most highly recommend you leave them behind. Because what goes on in Christiania is only for the ones of age.
Christiania is a sort of a free community inside the very city of Copenhagen that does not belong to the EU and has a special regime of governance. Why would this be? Well, let’s say the inhabitants profess a very casual and carefree lifestyle, that also happens to be favorable to recreational drug use.
The first thing that you notice going in Christiania, which has no formal boundary, is the feeling that you’ve definitely left the “ordinary” world behind. To compare this neighborhood with the hippie communes of the seventies would be too cliché, but it sure comes very close.
The houses are colorful and cute, but not very hygienic. The locals on the other hand are friendly and all in a sort of haze. All around the main area – the Greenlight District – are stands with different sorts of marijuana, and even a newby such as myself could notice that there was an amazing variety of choice.
The prices go from 7$ up to 50$ depending on the quality of the merchandise. Cookies with a twist are also available for the non-smokers.
What surprised me most was the amazing number of tourists and young Danes who were taking up all the bench space in order to have a beer and smoke a joint. Certainly not something you see every day!
Tip: No matter how carefree this community might look, it does have a certain code of behavior. You are not supposed to take pictures or linger around the stands if you’re not there to buy. Bear in mind that the people are not aggressive or intrusive, so no safety concerns there.
This was certainly not my cup of tea, but a very unusual and unique experience and I do recommend it to all visitors of Copenhagen.
3. Canal Tour
All travel agencies offer this type of tourist activity – cruising the canals of Copenhagen. This provides you with the opportunity to experience Copenhagen in a different light, from water. This is one of my favorite activities in Copenhagen and I have done it several times. Plus it is not that expensive at all!
The tour is operated by an English-speaking guide, so you are sure to understand everything. It lasts about one hour and a half and it flies by in a second! You start with the posh neighborhoods that were previously houses built for the marines, which really look exquisite! Today they are the homes of rich Danes and headquarters of different enterprises.
Then there is the lovely statue of the Little Mermaid – the hallmark of Copenhagen. You will also be able to see one of the best restaurants in the world – “Noma” from outside.
Other attractions include: the royal library popularly called “The Black Diamond” – referring to its architectural design and the special type of glass around it that makes it sparkle in the sun; Houses of Parliament, and many, many more.
Tip: weather in Copenhagen is always very changeable and very windy. Be sure to bring a hoodie or a hat with you in order not to catch a cold. If it’s raining, choose a closed-top boat.
4. Danish Cuisine
Maybe not one of the most elaborate and refined cuisines out there, Danish cuisine still has a lot to offer.
The signature meals are: pumpkin and carrot soup with delicious rye bread, lean chicken burger and a special kind of sandwich called the Smørrebrød. This last one is a combination of rye bread with many garnishes. The classic combination is pork meatball and beetroot salad Smørrebrød and the curry salad and marinated herring Smørrebrød. Be sure to try one of these, they are absolutely delicious!
And last but not least – the magnificent Danish pastry. I don’t think I have ever tasted better pastry than I have here. They are sinfully good and cost a fortune, but be sure to try the carrot cake in the Norden cafe and cinnamon rolls at Emmery’s bakery.
Tip: be prepared that coffee to go is around 6$, and to-stay around 8$. Desserts can go up to 15$ a piece. But don’t let that discourage you! The only thing you have to remember when staying in Denmark and spending money is: YOLO. Enjoy your stay!
Cover photo: noellefloyd.com