Saturday, June 2, 2018

Copenhagen Mini Guide

Last month I was able to check off one of top travel destinations off my bucket list.  I can't quite remember what exactly sparked my interest, but it feels as if I've been wanting to go to Copenhagen for years.  After numerous friends visited and had nothing but rave reviews, I knew I had to go this summer.  My friend and I lucked into some great deals on plane tickets, and off we went.  It was an amazing trip consisting of hot weather, friendly people, and delicious food.  So I thought I would put together a little guide of all the things I think everyone should do when in Copenhagen.

Where to Stay
Downtown Copenhagen Hostel
Listen, my friend Penny and I are students - we don't have tons of money for travel.  Combining with the fact that we were there for five days and Scandinavia is notorious for high prices, we knew that hostels were pretty much our only option.  We found a fair price at the Downtown Copenhagen Hostel, and overall it was a great experience.  It's location was impeccable; we were able to walk everywhere and only needed to use the metro when going to and from the airport.  It was clean, and it has a bar in the check-in area featuring different themed nights, such as live music or beer pong.  The only thing Penny and I weren't quite sold on was the breakfast.  It did offer breakfast - which is good - however the options weren't that appealing to us.

What to Do

 The Little Mermaid Statue
About a 30 minute walk from the hostel, the statue is based on the tale from Danish author Hans Christian Anderson.  It has become synonymous with Copenhagen, and tourists flock to it.  We went in the evening, and the crowds didn't seem to be too bad.  If you're walking there from the hostel (or from a similar direction), there's an army base near by which offers a gorgeous walk elevated above the water which leads out to the statue.  If you're a fan of the tale, or more likely the Disney film, this should definitely top your must-see list.

You've seen this on Instagram.  This harbor filled with colorful buildings has filled everyone's social media feeds, and is probably the first thing now associated with the city.  This was the busiest place my friend and I encountered whilst in Copenhagen, and the photo friendly area is filled with tourists, artists, and boat tours.  That being said, unlike many tourist places I've visited before, I didn't feel overwhelmed by the amount people around me.  There's plenty of space for people to walk around, and the only thing I did worry about was getting hit by a bike.  The new harbor (the translation for 'Nyhavn') doesn't disappoint, and it really does make for great photos.

Boat Tour
This was something Penny and I did on our last day.  There are lots of options to choose from in the Nyhavn area.  I can't remember the name of the tour we went on - sorry - but it ran an hour and was only about £5.  The people who ran it were friendly, informative, and offer the tour in three languages: English, Danish, and German.  However, there are loads more tours available, including longer ones and some that are 'hop-on, hop-off.'

Rosenborg Castle
I would equate Rosenborg Castle as the Kensington Palace of Copenhagen.  Many years ago it housed the royal family whose portraits still live there.  Today the royal family of Denmark lives in Amalienborg Palace, but Rosenborg is situated in the middle of a green park, where you can sit and relax if it's sunny out.  In addition to holding centuries worth of paintings, the castle is also the home to the Crown Jewels, that alone making it worth the visit.  As a student, you can visit it for 75 DK, which is about £8.

 Changing of the Guard
Everyday at 12:00 pm, the changing of the guard occurs outside of Amalienborg Palace.  My friend and I happened to be there at the right time and caught the beginning of it.  We didn't stay for the whole thing as we heard that it can last for a while and we already had a full day planned.  Still, it was a fun thing to watch, and it reminded me that it's something that I've still yet to watch back in London.

Design Museum
Is there anything more trendy right now than Scandinavian interiors?  If you're a fan, then you cannot miss this museum.  It contains the history of Danish design, from paintings, to clothes, to furniture and has modern pieces inside as well.  My favorite part were the historical clothes, but my friend Penny - who studies graphic design - loved the museum as well.  The best part?  It's free entry for students.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Copenhagen has no shortage of museums.  This one, whose name is a bit of a mouthful for a non-native speaker, is the place to for paintings and sculptures.  However, they even have a small Greek and Egyptian area as well.  The one downside was I don't think they have air conditioning (or at least not all of the rooms); we happened to be there on a very hot day and ended up not staying there as long as we might have it we hadn't have been so warm.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Okay, so this isn't technically in Copenhagen.  This modern art museum was highly recommended to me by a friend, and after visiting I 100% agree that it was worth seeing.  About a 30 minute train ride outside of the city, this gallery resides in a converted home overlooking the sea.  We lucked out when we were there as the weather was beyond perfect making the view endless.  Outside, many of the flowers were also in bloom, making for great photo opportunities.  Inside holds a vast collection of Picasso, as well as a changing exhibition.  The exhibition that was currently on display was of German artist Gabriele M√ľnter that I personally loved (I couldn't help but buy a poster of one of her works at the gift shop).  Entry for students is 110 DK, or about £13.

Where to Eat

Conditori La Glace
Remember how I said my friend and I weren't huge fans of the breakfasts offered at the hostel?  This was where we ate instead.  Living in the holiday mentality, we shamelessly ate delicious pastries for most of breakfast, and boy were these good.  At about £3 a pastry, I think it's well worth it.  However, be warned, their drinks are where they'll get you.  I ordered a hot chocolate without looking at the price and realized it cost nearly £9!  That being said, it was one of the best hot chocolates I've ever had, so you're to judge whether you're willing to spend that.

Bertels Salon
This place has cheesecake galore!  It's housed in a small, old building with a quaint second level.  There's plenty of seating despite it's little exterior.  Each slice is about £5, but there are plenty of types to choose from that are rich in flavor.

The Donut Shop
This place delivers exactly what it's offering.  And with it being located right next to a vintage shop, it makes for a great pit stop after a bit of shopping.

Cafe Oscar
In-between the Design Museum and Amalienborg Palace, this is a great lunch spot for a day of museum hopping.  Frankly, I think Copenhagen deserves a spot on the map for their amazing fries.  I didn't have any bad ones whilst I was there.

There you have it!  Hopefully, this is helpful for anyone considering visiting Copenhagen.  Did I miss anything or have any helpful future tips?  Let me know in the comments below!

Elizabeth xx

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