Destination Denmark: chilled and chilly in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a place that I have wanted to go my entire life, and the Danish capital effortlessly exceeded all my expectations. The most liveable place I had come across thus far in my travels, the people were extremely welcoming and friendly (although rumours reveal this attitude is reserved for tourists and not immigrants) and from both political and economic standpoints, Denmark has it sorted. The only factor working against Denmark’s favour is the weather – geographically, Denmark does not offer the best location. Also, Denmark is an expensive country – as we found out the hard way!

 Free walking tours are a bonus for traveller on a budget – although the quality of the tour (usually dependent on the tour guide) is sometimes hit and miss. This one was one of the better ones, and if our purses weren’t so light from our lack of Danish kroner we would most definitely have tipped our guide a substantial amount. Not only were we enlightened about the interesting history of Denmark (and its ongoing rivalry with Sweden) we got to see and learn about a number of interesting sights including the main square, the town hall (containing the world clock designed by Jens Olsen) and Nyhavn. Later that day we went to Paludan Bog Café – a sprawling bookshop and café with reasonably priced, delicious food and drink – continuously full of interesting and quirky characters. The recommended Somersby cider was delightfully refreshing, however it came at the cost of what could have been dinner, therefore I had to resort to bread and carrots – one of the joys of being a poor travelling student!

One of the activities that we had put money aside for was a canal cruise. Seeing Copenhagen by boat provided a new and welcome change to seeing a city by foot, especially in the rain. We got to see the Little Mermaid statue (not quite as underwhelming as the Mannekin Pis!), Noma (rated the best restaurant in the world 2010 -2014) the Opera House and the Black Diamond Library. The other activity we did was hire bikes from Copenhagen Bikes (60DKK for 6 hours) in Nyhavn. After biking around the perimeter of Tivoli, we went right around the harbour side past the Little Mermaid until we reached the port. Watching the changing of the guard ceremony at the Royal Palace was pretty special – apparently when the parade is accompanied by a brass band it means the royal family is in residence – turns out we were in luck! Afterwards we biked across the canal to Christianshavn and free-town Christiania, where there were lots of masked men selling weed in the pouring rain, making for an interesting sight. Nearby, the Church with the spiral staircase is astonishingly beautiful inside, and the unexpected cost to climb to the top left me with negative kroner (I had to borrow from Danielle!) however the panoramic views were some of the most rewarding we have had to date.

The hostel we stayed at was called Sleep in Heaven, and while it was relatively cheap (especially for Copenhagen) and the facilities adequate, next time I would probably opt to pay a little more and stay somewhere slightly more central (it was about a 30 minute walk from Nyhavn, but felt longer due to the blistering cold). We flew in and out of Copenhagen – both Scandinavian and Norwegian airlines were both a delight to fly with, and the airport was well set out – we had little difficulty navigating our way round despite its immense size.

I also made a video, check it out here.

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