A Day in Copenhagen

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We got the wind of Nordic romance when we chose to get hitched in a Danish island called Aeroskobing in 2013.  By that year too, Denmark had taken again the top spot on the United Nation’s World Happiness Report.

Definitely, we are convinced.

Freedom to make life choices is surely one of the reasons why this country is amongst the happiest, and we’re evenly glad that the Danes share this value with foreign couples like us.

But before we headed to the Danish island, we went and stayed in Copenhagen first.

ALSO READ HERE:  Tying the Knot in Aeroskobing

Copenhagen is the capital and the most populated city of Denmark.  Founded as a fishing village in the 10th century, it became the country’s capital in the 15th century.

Fast forward today, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, thanks to investments in its infrastructure and institutions.  What a million of Danes call home, this vibrant city has become the cultural, economic and government center of Denmark.

Let me share with you what we did in Copenhagen in 24 hours – plus my travel notes with a few extra tips!

Walk around the city.

In Copenhagen you will actually find a lot of different ways to experience the city.  There are themed tours to match your specific area of interest like food, culture or adventure.  You can also do sightseeing by bike, boat, bus, Segway, kayak, or just simply by foot.

We first chose the most classic thing to do to explore a city like Copenhagen – walking around leisurely.


OUR WALKING TOUR AROUND COPENHAGEN - Click on the image to enlarge

Since he’s been in Copenhagen before, my hubby was my personal tour guide. Nothing much was planned, but rather we did a more spontaneous tour, randomly taking streets that piqued our interests.

If ever you want a more detailed self-guided tour, here’s a walking tour map guide I found that you may find interesting.

Free walking tours are actually available. You can take the classic tour that starts at the city hall and leads you to major attractions such as Stroget, Tivoli (from the outside), Nyhavn and Amalieborg Palace.

There’s also Christianshavn tour that takes you on a tour around the Christianhavn area with the highlight of visiting the Freetown Christiania.

There’s also a handful of themed walking tours with a guide telling you bits and pieces of every place you visit.

Take a boat tour.

I always find it enjoyable taking boat tours. Especially here in Europe, some of its cities have beautiful canals and rivers.

So far the most interesting I’ve seen are the ones in Amsterdam, Venice, Duoro River in Porto, Brugge and Ghent in Belgium.

Then at Copenhagen of course, it is an old harbor and maritime city so it is more pleasant to experience it by cruising around its waters.


OUR BOAT TOUR IN COPENHAGEN - Click on the image to enlarge

Hang out at Nyhavn.

Nyhavn (or more popularly “pronounced” in English as New Haven) is a picturesque 17th century harbor that served as a gateway from the sea to the old inner city at Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square) where ships lodge cargo and fishermen’s catch.

At its early heydays, Nyhavn was a go-to place for sailors coming to Copenhagen that’d go to drink beer or meet some “ladies.”  Hans Christian Andersen also happened to live here.

With old sailing ships on the water canals and colorful facade of old houses, Nyhavn is now amongst the most favorite hangout – both for tourists and locals alike!

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As we expected, there were lots of people in Nyhavn.  We stayed rather briefly, yet still I find this side of Copenhagen pretty pleasant, especially with a Danish beer at hand that quenched our thirsts after a full of day of exploring the Danish city. It’s a good reward!

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Did you know that Nyhavn is where H.C. Andersen lived and died?

In 1835 he wrote his first fairy tale in the house number 20. In between he lived in the number 67 for nineteen years. He ended his life in the house number 18.

Try Danish dishes.

Gastronomical food joints in Denmark is very known for serving fresh, high quality meals using local ingredients. Copenhagen is home for a few of the best restaurants in the world, which revolutionized Nordic cuisine, leading to a rebirth of classic Danish dishes.

I attempted to try pickled herring smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich), but since I’m not a big fan for anything raw and pickled, I didn’t quite like it. I was pleased with these special curry dishes and Danish beers, Calrsberg and Tuborg.

And oh, these Danish butter cookies too, it did bring back good childhood memories. These were my favorite delights that my dad brought home once when I was a kid.

copenhagen aug 2013
We’re lucky to find an authentically traditional Danish restaurant in front of our hotel. Here’s what we had on our dinner table, sorry for the dark photos though! Photos clockwise: We’ve got these pickled herrings, potatoes and bacon over special sauce, meatballs curry dish with rice (surprise!) and Carlsberg beers. All were delicious and it was a pleasant stay in this resto indeed…
My Travel Notes
How we got there…

Get in by plane, flying from Geneva to Copenhagen. It’s actually easy to reach the city center by train. Walk for 15 minutes towards the mainline train to get from Kastrup to the Central Station. The train ride will only take 15 minutes until you arrive to the city’s main station.

Where we stayed…

copenhagen aug 20131

At Axel Guldsmeden Hotel located near the central square, it’s only 10-minute walk from the Central Station. It’s a cozy, bio boutique hotel with chic Balinese interiors and plenty of organic and healthy options. We heart our stay there! It surely was a pre-honeymoon stay for us.
What we did…
  • Try Danish dishes.
  • Take a city walk to see Tivoli Gardens, the city hall, Copenhagen Stock Exchange, Royal Palace…
  • Take a canal tour.
  • Hang out at NyHavn.
What else we could have done if ever we had more than 24 hours…you just might want to try these out, too!
  • Get the signature photo shoot with Little Mermaid. After seeing bus loads of tourists swarming over this poor statuette, I felt already satisfied to see it from afar on a boat tour.
  • Rekindle childhood memories in Tivoli Gardens.
  • Score a romantic table for two in the 2-Michelin starred gastronomic mecca, Noma. This restaurant has been ranked four times as the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine.
  • Before it’s too late, visit the hippie enclave, Christinia.
  • Experience the “morning bars” and the night life.
  • Explore the secrets of Carlsberg brewery.
  • See the Christianborg palace ruins.
  • Walk towards the top of the Round Tower and Church of Our Savior.
  • Debunk Disney stories by visiting Hans Christian Andersen museum.
  • Free entry to the Danish National Gallery
  • Relax at Kastellet park.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY ?

Have you visited Copenhagen? Did you also like it? What are some other things to do that you can recommend?
If you haven’t been to Copenhagen, would you like to go? Which places would you like to visit?

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