Copenhagen, Denmark, is the city of fairy tales, the happiest city in the world, home to Hans Cristian Andersen and a city I’ve always wanted to visit. I promised myself at the end of 2018 that I’d have a good go at knocking a few countries off my 40 before 40 list this year, so I knew Copenhagen had to happen. I didn’t expect it to be February, only I am daft enough to visit cold countries in the winter, but YOLO, right? Spending 48 hours in Copenhagen was a lot of fun and this post shows just a fraction of how lovely this city is so if you’ve never been, you really should. I spent 48 hours in the city, over 3 days, and I saved a fortune by swapping two sets of flights on my Hamburg to Copenhagen to Stockholm trip for two coach tickets. Highly recommend doing this to save money on a trip across Europe.
As soon as I arrived in Copenhagen I dropped my bags at Copenhagen Station, paying less than £5 for a locker for 24 hours. My first stop after lightening my load was Nyhavn, home of the colourful houses most people think of when they hear the city’s name. Nyhavn was originally an area full of pirates and prostitutes and I found out all about the history on a boat tour around the harbour and some of the many canals. This cost less than £10 for an hour and a half’s tour with commentary in English, Danish, German and another language which changes daily (ours was Spanish). I’d recommend doing a tour like this, it’s the change for a much needed rest (for me after a long coach journey from Hamburg) whilst seeng a few bits of the city in a sport space of time, from a different angle. You usually find out so much information on these sorts of tours too.
I first spotted The Little Mermaid from the boat. She was a gift to the city from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen and is, obviously, inspired by the Hans Cristian Anderson story. The poor mermaid has been vandalised a few times, but she’s always been restored back to her original form, ready to welcome visitors to the city. Our tour guide told us she wasn’t that impressive close up, but after a cup of tea in a cafe on Nyhavn I decided I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t get the shot. I spent an hour walking along the harbour to get to her, taking photos as the sun set over the city, and I walk slowly due to my fibromyalgia, so most people would have spent less time getting there. I will say that, whilst the walk was lovely, it’s basically a walk along a pretty river, and most cities have pretty rivers, so if you’re not desperate to see her, there may be better ways to spend your time in the city. She’s a fairly well known Copenhagen attraction though, one to tick off if you’re a person who likes to do the most well known things in the city.
My second day in Copenhagen started in Christianshavn. This is still part of the city centre but felt a bit less busy and the many canals gave me a real Amsterdam vibe, as you can see from this photo. Christianshavn is known for great food and I could have probably found somewhere really amazing but, mid week in February, when you’re really hungry, isn’t going to be the busiest time. I chose a cute looking cafe and went for egg and toast with a cup of tea, to start my day off right. Decent food, friendly people, not particularly photogenic but filled my stomach with fuel for the day.
Now to my favourite part of Copenhagen. Freetown Christinana, as it’s sometimes known, is a commune known for it’s relaxed take on drugs and its plentiful street art, and I loved the area so much I wrote an entire post on it so do head over and read that if you want to know more. It’s worth if for the photos alone. So much colour!
Anyone who knows me, has seen my social channels or has seen this blog before will not be suprised to hear that the next thing I did during my 48 hours in Copenhagen was Street Art hunting. Clearly I’d not seen enough in Christiana so I enjoyed a couple of hours just walking, not knowing what direction I was headed and seeing what I could spot. Quite a few pieces, as it turned out.
City Hall was the next stop, as I wanted to take a photograph and have a look at the building. City Hall in any city tends to be spectacular, and this was no exception, just look at all that gold! I fancied some nice Copenhagen themed things to take home so went shopping for an hour before heading along to Rosenborg Slot, the Castle. I didn’t have the time to explore inside so I took some photos and had a rest in the gardens for a while, before heading back towards central Copenhagen for my final stop of the day.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s small but jam packed theme park, is just opposite the Central Station and my bus stop for the journey back to my air b n b. I had no intention of going in-I’m not a big fan of rides, and theme parks aren’t that fun solo-but everyone told me I should and I realised the ticket wasn’t that expensive (there’s a just wandering around ticket that costs a third of the price of the one with rides included) so I went in. I wandered around for a couple of hours taking photos because everything was so pretty lit up at night, with fake snow everywhere, fairy lights and an ice rink, and I did wish I’d planned to spend more time there.
My final day in the city (Valentines Day, as it happens) started with finding a pretty little flower stall in a small square. 48 hours in Copenhagen may not be much,but I had to get the pretty square in didn’t I? I then headed to The Round Tower, so I could walk the spiral path right to the top. It turned out the very top had stairs, but I still made it up there for gorgeous views of the city.
Once I’d seen the city from the top of the tower (turns out is it COLD up there in February, who knew!?) I walked back down the ramp and headed off to find the Palace. which turned out to be very difficult to photograph as I needed to be across the road and the traffic was busy, but I’m still glad I went along before leaving the city.
Before picking up my bags and going for my train to Stockholm I treated myself to a Wagamama Katsu (well, it was Valentines Day after all) so I could reflect on everything I’d managed with 48 hours in Copenhagen. I don’t think I’ve seen all of the city, I’d probably spend another day there as part of a trip in the future, but I did see the majority of the things I wanted to. Have you been to Copenhagen before? Did you think 48 hours in Copenhagen was long enough?