Since the creation of this site, I have used this platform as a way to showcase my galleries and organize my passion for film, photography, and travel. Having recently returned from two month trip to Europe and Africa, I am striving to write more about the destinations I’ve visited and share insight on how I ventured to such places. I hope you find my next posts more useful as I share tips, recommendations, and of course photographs of my recent travel. Without further ado, please enjoy my first written travel post as I started my adventures in Denmark.
Planning a Europe trip is always difficult. Because there are so many cities and neighboring countries that are so close together, it can be challenging to narrow down which places you actually want to go to. Typically travelers plan itineraries based upon region (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Mediterranean, etc.) Although Copenhagen seems like a far out-there city, I can successfully say that it’s a great pit stop on your way to anywhere in Europe. Most importantly, I can easily say that Copenhagen is one of the most character-rich cities that is definitely worth visiting. The architecture, vibe, people, and culture makes it a fantastic place to visit. Because I had a friend on exchange in Denmark, I decided to start my travels there for three nights to see her and explore the city. Three nights proved to be plenty of time to get a feel for the city and visit the main attractions. Here is the rundown on my trip and how we did it all.
After two long days of travelling, my sister, cousin, and I arrived in Denmark ready for some serious sleep. We arrived at the Generator Hostel and spent our first night in the quirky and lively lounge. The Generator Hostel was a fantastic place to stay, because of its young and eclectic vibe. The bar and lounge area is always filled with festive people every night, and it’s a great place to meet fellow travelers. The hostel has a great reception area filled with useful information about the city and great breakfast buffet for an additional cost. On the rare occasion that Copenhagen is sunny and warm, there is a very spacious outdoor courtyard with an additional bar and yard games. In the basement of the building there is even an ice bar (I highly regret not signing up for this). It was always a great place to come back to after a long day of walking and exploring the city with its great proximity to all the important sites.
Here is the website for more information: https://generatorhostels.com/destinations/copenhagen?lang=en-gb
On our first day in the city, we wanted to see as much as we could. There was no better way of doing this than joining a free walking tour. Like most major cities in Europe, there are typically free walking tours that only have an obligatory tip at the conclusion of the tour. Copenhagen, however, is one of the best cities to do a walking tour because of how close everything is to each other. The tours run everyday at 10 a.m, 11 a.m, and 3 p.m, starting at the City Hall Square. Finding the guide is always easy with their distinctive green umbrellas (and of course the flock of tourists surrounding them). The tour runs for about 3 hours but you see EVERYTHING. It is a great way to get a feel for the town and finding out where you want to return to for the rest of your visit. The tour goes through the giant shopping district, around quaint Danish alleyways, through the famous Nyhavn Canal, through the Parliament Building, along the riverside, and all the way up to the Royal Palace of Amalienborg. The guides are always very interesting and fun people who know interesting facts about the city, history, and where the locals like to eat and hang out. Through this tour we figured out how to spend the rest of our time in Copenhagen, and discovered some amazing places to eat. 10/10 would recommend this tour.
If you’ve ever seen a postcard or picture of Copenhagen, you’ve probably seen a photo of Nyhavn. This iconic canal is where all the colorful buildings and boat tours come and go. This is of course a place to see, but NOT a place to eat. This area has good food, but not great food for the expensive restaurants. Another thing to take note of is that Copenhagen is the most expensive city I’ve ever visited because everything is of very high quality. We found ourselves eating breakfast and lunch at the ubiquitous 7-11’s (which by the way are much nicer 7-11’s than anything you’d find elsewhere). It proved to be the cheapest place to go for quick meals. Everything is very fresh and never on the shelf for longer than a day. We would splurge for dinner and find restaurants near our hostel.
A few things to bring before visiting Copenhagen. 1. A coat or jacket. We visited during the warmest time of year and it was frequently chilly. Denmark has a very windy environment, changing the weather from sunny to suddenly rainy in one afternoon. Most of the restaurants have blankets for the outdoor dining areas, which says something about how rare it is that the weather is appropriate for outdoor eating. Plus, everyone who lives in Copenhagen looks like they’re from a style magazine, so a jacket wouldn’t hurt to be a little more chic in this very stylish city. 2. money. Yes, bring money everywhere you travel but ALOT for Copenhagen because everything is so expensive. Just to get a mere ham and cheese omelet was about $15 American dollars. The nightlife is fun in Copenhagen, but the cost of a one pint beer can be up to $10 American. These costs add up fast if you want to enjoy your time in Denmark. These costs are constituted by the high-end quality that is everything. 7-11’s are as ‘cheap and low quality’ as it gets but even the food there are handcrafted, typically gourmet, selections. I don’t blame Danish people for wanting such high quality lives but it makes it difficult for travelers like me to make it through without spending all the fun money. 3. Umbrella. It frequently rains in this region of the world. Expect that there might be surprise rain showers while walking around the city.
Places you must go in Copenhagen. The first place that is a MUST SEE in Christiania. This sub-district of Copenhagen is a very bizarre but unique community. I still don’t quite understand what, why, and how this place exists but there’s a free walking tour just for this place to find out. Based on what I understand, Christiania was once a military barrack, and somehow the community is not legally part of Copenhagen but is right in the middle of it. There is a somehow tolerable cannabis trade that takes place in the area and the vibe in the district is very wide-ranged. The buildings are covered in street art and political messages. Walking through the main streets, there is a very compact and competitive market for weed venders. The quirky restaurants are full of people lighting-up and it seems everyone is Christiania is very…happy if you know what I mean. This is definitely a very unique place that I’ve never thought of before but definitely worth a quick trip!
Another MUST is Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park is the second oldest in the world (the oldest also being in Denmark) and is right in the center of Copenhagen. This theme park has a very charming and classic feel as the style predates old Disneyland. At night, the rides and decorations light up to make the most magical theme park ever. I definitely don’t regret buying the unlimited rides pass. This ticket is about $35 American dollars but provided for a solid evening in the park. The taller rides, such as the spinning swing, puts you sky-high over a 360 view of Copenhagen. This park is magical, fun, and worth every penny. I say penny, because the cashier at the park entrance accidentally charged my card only 2 Danish Krones (Less than $1 dollar) instead of 200 Krones (:p). I recommend going to Tivoli on a Friday or Saturday, because included with your ticket is a free concert. We didn’t know this until we were there and we got a free concert from the band Chic! It was pouring rain but it didn’t effect the enormous turnout and great crowd. Make sure to look up which concerts are happening during your time in Copenhagen, because sometimes there are some pretty big names that perform.
I don’t say this often, but I actually do want to go back to Copenhagen one day (maybe when I’m really rich and can afford everything there). This city is quaint, beautiful, and unique. Perhaps one of my favorite things about Copenhagen is the sweet potato fries. the Sweet Potato Company has food stalls scattered throughout the city and I always got a cup of them at every chance. One of the best places to find a great place to eat is Paper Island. Not sure where the name comes from exactly, but inside the building that sits aside the river is a giant food market complex with delicious, high-quality options. SUCH AMAZING FOOD. Everything is for to-go order and there is certainly an option for everyone who is anyone. For me, it was the delicious sweet potato fries and bakeries. Right in the same area are art exhibitions and the area of Christiania.
Please put Copenhagen on your bucket list. It’s on mine again and I’ve already been there. There is something interesting to see at every street corner and the culture is vibrant. By the way everyone in this city is gorgeous, super stylish, and model-like just as an added bonus. The city is very clean and busy with bicycle traffic. Hundreds of bikers absolutely everywhere, and the cycle-lots are full of bikes piled on top of each other. Another great thing about the city is that everything is super close together and never did we drive, taxi, or subway to a certain place because everything is within walking distance. The central train station is right next to Tivoli and makes travelling in and out of the city very easy. We even spent an afternoon in Malmo, Sweden just across the channel because we could!
Oh yeah, and there’s a famous mermaid statue thing.
I hope this post provided you with at least one piece of helpful or new information about traveling to Denmark. For more photos and updates follow my instagram @jeff_hyer or my twitter @jeffdhyer. This city was a spectacular experience and I owe it to the charm and appeal of Copenhagen. Until next time, farvel Denmark!