Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Weekend break - Copenhagen, Denmark
One of the first things I would like to say about my short time in Copenhagen is how nice and friendly all the local people were to us. Hotels, bars and restaurants (which of course you would expect anyway) but also stalls, shops, and anyone we stopped to ask for directions. I found everyone very welcoming.
After arriving at our hotel on a Friday afternoon, we dropped our belongings off then headed straight back out to explore the area. Our hotel, The Copenhagen Strand, was in a great location near the waterfront and only a short walk to Nyhavn. Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront and entertainment district where many of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants can be found. A great place to spend the evening and mingle with locals! However, being our first night and also it being very close to where we were staying anyway, we decided to head over to Tivoli Gardens. Here there is an amusement park as well as various cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from. As it was around Christmas time all the gardens were lit up with impressive fairly lights which looked amazing. We had some Italian food at Vapiano which was really nice then had a walk around the gardens and had a few drinks.
The next day we got the train to Helsingor, which is about 40 minutes north of Copenhagen, to visit Kronborg Castle. The castle is situated on the coast commanding one of the few outlets to the Baltic Sea and is only a couple of miles from Sweden which is clearly visible from the castle’s towers. It was built in the 1400’s and was made even more famous when William Shakespeare based his play Hamlet there. Kronborg Castle is now listed as a UNESCO's World Heritage Site and is somewhere I would definitely recommend visiting if you like your castles and/history.
After getting the train back to Copenhagen we headed towards the Christmas markets in the city centre to get some warm food and drinks as I had got caught out in the rain earlier and got soaked. Next we went to The Rundetaarn “The Round Tower”, built in the 17th century as an observatory. It is famous for its spiral staircase which you get a bit dizzy walking up to be honest. It is around 115 feet above street level at the top and provides great views of the city. With it starting to get late we decided to head back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.
I had heard about an area of Copenhagen called Christiania in the borough of Christianshavn, a group of islands not far from the city centre, which has a really interesting history. Originally an army base, it was abandoned and around 50 people started squatting there back in the early 70’s. Now it is a commune of about 1,000 residents, with its own shops, bars and restaurants so we decided to check it out.
As you first walk over the bridge everything is quite bright and new but before long it got very quiet and dark (there were no street lights at all) and we wondered if we were going in the right direction. I had pinned a bar which had good reviews on my maps app called Café Nemoland so we decided to head towards there and found the main area of the district dubbed “Pusher Street” for the interesting market stalls dotted along it. We had a couple of drinks at the bar, which also had an eating area, and again everyone was really friendly. Being our last night we decided to go and explore Nyhavn a bit more as it was closer to our hotel and enjoyed some more drinks along the waterfront, bar Nyhavn 17 being one of my favourite.
Unfortunately we had a fairly early flight the next day so we didn’t have time to squeeze anything else in but Copenhagen is for sure a city I would highly recommend and hope to visit again one day.