With Copenhagen being only a one-and-a-half-hour flight from London Gatwick, it makes a great destination for a short city break. It’s a colourful and creative place to go, full of fantastic architecture and a wonderful bike system so you can travel authentically through this cool Scandinavian city.
The train station at Copenhagen Airport – Københavns Lufthavn, is conveniently located in the airport. With only a 10 minute train journey and then a 10 minute walk to our hotel, it really was very convenient to reach our final destination. It seemed appropriate to try an authentic hot dog as soon as we stepped out of the train station. Hot dog stands are everywhere and they really are super tasty.Copenhagen has a great bike system and their nearest Bycyklen pick up point was in the next road to our hotel, just a 5 minute walk away. The bikes are great, if not a little heavy, but they come with Sat Nav and an eletric motor which help with propulsion. We found the Sat Nav incredibly useful and the fact that you could pick up bikes and drop them off at bike points proved really handy for moving around. At £2.50 an hour they worked out good value and we much preferred using them for travelling around the City as you see so much more.Bikes are absolutely everywhere in Copenhagen. The dedicated cycling lanes are constantly in use and there are bikes parked on the roads, pavements and outside houses. They are very much part of the scenery.We had already planned our sight-seeing schedule before our trip so that we could make the best use of our time. Our destinations had been marked out on our handy pocket travel map, so we knew what we wanted to see and could be really efficient with our time. It was mid afternoon when we arrived at the hotel so our first destination was the famous bronze statue, the Little Mermaid.The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the water at the Langelinie promenade and is based on the fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson. She is an iconic city statue and attracts lots of tourists, although it was really quiet when we went to visit her. Along the way we saw many of the bronze statues that decorate the city with their beautiful weathered bronze shades of blue.We also fell upon one of the sets used in the film the Danish Girl, a beautifully cinematic film which used Copenhagen as it’s backdrop for part of the story, something that we found quite simply by chance while riding our bikes.Our next destination was the freetown of Christiana. We had read a lot about this area of Copenhagen and understood it to be a commune that had a unique status regulated by a special law. Because the area is renowned for drug selling, tourists are not allowed to take photographs in Christiana. We were obviously intrigued about the area, but were disappointed with what we found. The graffiti was cool, but the area felt very much abandoned and almost post-apocalyptic and yes it was a contrast to the rest of Copenhagen, but we had hoped to find evidence of an alternative community, which we didn’t see. There was a small area with lots of booths and shops selling drugs, but not being drug users Christian ultimately had no interest for us.We then returned to our hotel for dinner as we wanted to try the Cocks and Cows burger bar. The food was amazing and just what we needed after a busy day of travel which had started at 7.00 am that day.Our second day started with a cycle ride to the Round Tower, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. With its very ornate church and cobbled slope, the tower is an amazing piece of architecture, which provides views across the roof-tops of Copenhagen. These two cherub statues sit outside the Round Tower – one looks a little sinister and the other one looks bored 🙂
Our next stop was the Botanical Gardens of Copenhagen. At the entrance to the gardens was this beautiful little shop selling plants. The greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens is huge and full of tropical plants. I was surprised that there was no entrance fee and that we were able to wander around and enjoy the hothouse of plants. We made our first meal stop of the day at the mobile cafe, Botanisk Have, on the terrace of the Botanical Gardens and enjoyed Danish paninis at tables with blankets on the chairs.After our lunch we jumped back on our bikes and headed towards Marmorkirken Church, cycling past Rosenborg Castle and Amalienborg Palace with its guards.Our next stop was Nyhavn with its beautiful and colourful canal houses. Full of street cafes, we enjoyed the culture, rhubarb juice, artchitecture, boats and a spot of urban sketching and watercolour painting. The Black Diamond is home to Copenhagen’s library. A stark contrast to Nyhaven’s pretty canal houses.Our final destination of the day was a visit to the Hans Christian Statue which sits outside City Hall and overlooks the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s amusement park. This is also the area for shopping and after a little wander we stopped at a street cafe for some beer. Carlsberg of course, as Copenhagen is home to it’s headquarters. We returned to our hotel again for dinner at the Work in Progress restaurant, where we were served a la carte Danish food. With dishes of squid, apples, jerusalem artichokes and mussel soup, followed by grilled trout, broccoli, thyme and hazelnut sauce and finished with junket mousse, blackcurrent sorbet and liquorice meringe the food was absolutely delicious. Mr Fry opted for the grilled lettuce, jamon iberico, cream cheese and bread vinaigrette, followed by ribeye, smoked butter, beetroot, smoked cheese and pepper sauce with a desert of honey and oats ice cream with pear puree, white chocolate and oat biscuits. It was all very enjoyable!
On our final day in Copenhagen we had a far more gentle day. Our flight wasn’t until the afternoon, so we started off with brunch at Copenhagen’s cat cafe, which was only a few buildings away from our hotel. It was quirky and fun and you could easily spend hours in there hanging out with the cats. After a spot of window shopping and then a trip to the Lego store where we made viking to take home with us and give as gifts, it was then time for us to return home.We really enjoyed our stay in Copenhagen. There was plenty to see and if you are staying for longer then there are plenty of museums and art exhibitions to visit. We understood Copenhagen was going to be expensive, but we found it comparable to prices in the UK. It is a beautiful and colourful destination and you really are spoilt for choice with their cafes and restaurants. We flew with Norwegian Air, which offered the most competitive flight prices and we chose the uber hip SP34 boutique hotel for our two night stay. The hotel is modern and contemporary in design with three restaurants, a supermarket outside and conveniently located for all the sights. Copenhagen’s Bycyklen is the city’s bicycle sharing system. The electric bikes proved very useful for travelling around the city with its GPS system. Your account keeps a record of your routes and your can even view them visually to see where you have cycled. You need to register an account with Bycyklen before you use the bikes so that it can store this information, as you log into your account every time you pick up a new bike.