So as you may know if you follow me on Instagram, my boyfriend and I visited Copenhagen at the beginning of this month! It was such a beautiful city so I’m going to be writing a mini Copenhagen city guide explaining everywhere we went and what we did!
We drove there by car – a whooping 10 hour drive – with a stop at a camping in Hamburg which is about half way there so it would ease the blow a little bit.
I thought today I would share with you everywhere we went, what we did and if we enjoyed it or would say maybe skip that. We spent 5 whole days there which for us was definitely enough to the see the whole city and do everything we wanted to do.
We went camping in Copenhagen for 6 nights, and 2 nights in Hamburg. We brought our bikes with us since Denmark is supposed to be as big a biking country as Holland. I can safely say, this is definitely not the case but nevertheless it is quite a nice biking city with proper biking lanes. It was about a 40 minute cycle from the camping to Copenhagen but inside the city itself everything was no more than 10 minutes from each other.
We stayed in the DCU camping in Copenhagen which was incredibly nice and luxurious for a camping, with ovens, microwaves and even places to cook inside.
A mini Copenhagen city guide
The first day was a little bit hectic. We had planned to go shopping on Strøget street in the city centre but it wasn’t really our cup of tea. I had written down some other little shops that I thought we might like so we decided to cycle there. First we cycled the wrong way, which I guess wasn’t all bad because we found this adorable little vegan hot dog place where we had lunch. After we went to where the shops were supposed to be, we either couldn’t find them or they weren’t really our thing after all and then we spend half an hour trying to find somewhere to buy a freaking frying pan.
So if you like shopping more than us, and mostly if you enjoy shopping in a big typical (a little bit luxurious) shopping street, then Strøget is definitely for you. If not, I would steer away from dedicating a day to shopping and would suggest simply popping into any shop you see that you like.
In between shopping trips we passed through Nyhavn – which, ironically, is literally translated to new haven, but it’s the oldest haven in Copenhagen. This is the street with all the coloured houses which will show up first when typing Copenhagen in google images. This is a great place to take photos and wander around but there are a lot of tourists, so you might have to wait your turn for that Instagram shot. I also wouldn’t recommend eating there as it’s far too expensive and touristy, instead find the hidden gems around the city.
We also wanted to pass by Paper Island but forgot to take out some cash since we thought we needed it. Then I saw online that paper island was actually closed permanently, even though I later learned it was just moved 2 km further because they were building houses in its original place. I would definitely recommend visiting it if you have the time as food markets are always nice to walk around and grab a bite.
There’s absolutely loads and loads of museums in Denmark, so you definitely will have to decide which ones most interest you and visit maybe 2 or 3, depending on how much time you have and how much time you tend to spend in a museum.
We decided to go to two museums, the first being the National Museum of Denmark. I thought, what better way to take in all of Denmark’s and Copenhagen’s history than to go to the biggest (or at least most complete and general) museum of them all!
Beware, it is a huge museum. There’s 4 floors and there is a lot to see. One mistake I made is that I started at the beginning. I would suggest looking on the map what interests you most, and starting with that so you can give the most energy to that. Then after you can keep going – with a little less energy every time (museums drain me, am I the only one?) – until you’ve seen it all or until you’ve seen everything that interests you.
Since we spend the majority of the afternoon there when we got out it was almost dinner time. I knew of this other food market close by called Toverhallerne so we decided to go there to see if we could grab anything to eat. There was food to buy such as cheese, meat and veggies outside, and there were meals to buy plus also some flowers. We went for ice cream – the best ice cream I think I have ever eaten, blood orange with dark chocolate(!) and all vegan(!!) – and then decided to make dinner at the camping.
But not before we went into the flying tiger which was exactly opposite this market! We couldn’t resist going into the the store at it’s place of origin. My boyfriend bought quite a few little knickknacks including a mini table football which you have to play with your fingers! I bought a frame which is too small for what I intended for it which is kind of a bummer
On the third day (of Christmas my true love gave to me) we decided to go up the round tower. Every city we go we also like to go up at least one of their towers (if they have multiple) to get a nice view over the city. In Copenhagen it was the round tower. For the full story on how I actually recognised that tower as soon as we went inside you can read my caption on this Instagram post!
After walking up there and taking some nice photos we cycled to a canal boat tour and took a one hour long tour around the waters of Copenhagen. Whenever I’m in a new city with lots of water where this is offered I always want to go on it since it’s such a beautiful way to see more of the city and also to see experience it from a different perspective.
Finally we finished the day by hopping into the Danish Design museum – which is free if you’re a student or under 26 years old! There were some pretty cool things but I think the sun had made me a little tired so I kinda went through it a little quick and then waited for Merlijn in their garden which was also beautiful
I would definitely recommend to go up the round tower and do the boat tour for beautiful views and to get to know the city a bit more. The Design Museum is really nice as well if that’s your thing, and if you’re under 26 or a student then there’s never any harm in just looking because you can leave if you don’t like it without feeling guilty for having paid for it.
On the Friday we decided to spend the day relaxing at the beach in Freetown Christiania. It was the most tiny beach you ever did see but it was super nice just laying there with a book (The Multi-Hyphen Method for anyone interested) and swimming every once in a while.
Afterwards we visited Freetown Christiania. This is a district in Copenhagen which was taken over by hippies in the 1970’s to kind of start their own community. It was a much more free space where marihuana for example, was legal. Eventually gangs started coming there and trying to take over the place by also selling hard drugs so for a little while it was a pretty dangerous place with lots of criminals and crime. Eventually they got the gangs out but there was still a lot of drugs being sold, especially marihuana. When the district was set up in 1970 the police always stood down and allowed the marihuana trade but since the gangs things became more strict. In 2011 there was a police officer shot dead and from then on the residents have also started changing their policies, marihuana is still sold in that district but it is now done in secret and residents beg the tourists to not by their marihuana there as to not encourage the business any further. Now it is just a hippie district, everything is very colourful as soon as you walk in with lots of market booths and places to eat.
Before going back to the camping, we wanted to buy a game for us to play so we looked for a toy store. Eventually we didn’t buy the game but we did find a Sephora! Obviously I had to go in! I had never even been inside a Sephora before so I obviously couldn’t resist.
For the last day we didn’t really have anything else to do in the city so we decided to just stay at the camping. There was a huge inflatable cushion in the playground at the camping that we took some photos on (example above) and we just chilled and hung out for the rest of the day.
If you got to the end of this post, congratulations! Because it has been a meaty one. Following are some tips that I thought would be helpful if you’re visiting Copenhagen for the first time.
- If you’re in Europe, don’t exchange cash in your home country or in Denmark. They will always charge you a lot of money and taking out cash from an ATM will cost you much less. You can check online how much extra you have to pay for taking out cash there, for us it was 1% of the amount we took, plus 2.50€, but I would check online before leaving.
- Also, when you do decide to take out cash there from an ATM, don’t go to the Euronet ATM. We went there and it said we had to pay 10€. Go to any other one and you will simply have to pay the rates you saw online.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of paid things – going into castles, museums, boat tours etc – you might want to consider buying a Copenhagen card, you then pay a set amount for the card and you can visit a lot of the things for free. It’s important to calculate if it will actually save you money though, be realistic on everything you’re going to do and see if you would spend more or less money buying the Copenhagen card. For us it would have been more expensive since we also strolled around and went to a lot of free things.
- If you decide to go to Copenhagen via car it’s very doable and the roads are perfect. I would advise to go the longer route in terms of km, where you would have to go over the Storebælt bridge instead of taking the ferry between Germany and Denmark. The Ferry costs about 60€ per person if you’re lucky and book far in advance. If you don’t, it will probably cost you 100€ or more. Plus it takes 45 minutes which is also more travelling time. The bridge is a toll bridge but it’s only 34€ each way, besides the bridge itself is one of the biggest in the world and very impressive to drive over.
- If you decide to take your bike or rent one there, make sure you’ve spent some time online finding out the general cycling rules and have a close look at how the locals cycle as it’s a little different and a little more chaotic than in other countries. Plus be aware that they cycle incredibly fast. We usually cycle pretty fast but we were definitely the slowest ones there as a lot use mountain bikes or sports bikes and we were there with simple city bikes.
- If you have the time and are not afraid of heights, I would recommend going up the Church of our Saviour, the views must be incredible from there.
Have you ever been do Copenhagen?
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