I hope you’re doing well? I was so anxious about travelling this year because of Covid-19 (WHAT A SURPRISE) but as someone who loves to explore new places, being stuck in the UK since March had started to get pretty boring so for me, travel was a worthwhile risk. The initial struggle came from finding somewhere that had minimal restrictions and wasn’t on the FCO warning list – we should have gone to Paris on the 12th of September but as the situation started to get worse there we decided to cancel. That’s how my partner, Haydn, and I finally agreed on visiting Copenhagen. It’s been on my bucket list for quite a while and given the great discounts across the travel sector right now it was relatively cheap.
We booked the flights from Manchester to Copenhagen with Ryanair for just £50 return which was great. We didn’t pay for seats together and honestly, I was surprised that the seats were still randomly allocated, on both flights Haydn and I were put in between strangers however I did give in and pay £4 to sit next to him. On the outbound flight, we had the row to ourselves but on the return, there was someone else sat in the aisle seat. If you are wondering if Ryanair is socially distancing the answer is a hard no!
Anyways boring parts over let’s get into what we got up to on the trip!
for all the trips we go on I like to put together a Google My Maps, this can be accessed from your phone whilst away in the regular Google Maps app and makes it really easy to find places you want to see as you can get directions straight there. I made a My Map for Copenhagen so if you want to virtually explore or will be visiting yourself feel free to have a nosey.
We landed quite late so it was dark on arrival. We used the train to get from the airport to the central station and from there it was just a short walk to the hotel. Like all European public transport we have used, the price for a ticket on the train was so cheap around £4 making it a much better option than paying for transfers!
As a little treat, we choose to stay in a nicer hotel than what we usually go for so we stayed in The Ascot Hotel. I loved the classy lobby and our room was so big with a cute balcony. We also had breakfast included which made it super easy to get up and start our day. We checked in quickly and then went to watch the fireworks at Tivoli Gardens, we didn’t get tickets to go into the park but instead stood in the Radhuspladsen square. Lots of other people had gathered there too and we are glad that we did! It was nice to watch the fireworks and we made the most of it seeing as most displayed here in the UK will be cancelled for the rest of the year.
After the fireworks, it was about 11pm so we found some snacks and went back to the hotel to get some sleep. We knew we wanted to be up early so we tried to fall asleep as quickly as possible which was fairly easy after travelling all afternoon/evening. Our first impressions of the city were so positive, it was so modern and clean and not like many other places we had been. The main square was full of billboards and different flashy signs which just made us so excited to go out the following day.
This was our full day of sightseeing and exploring so we wanted to fit as much in as possible, or at least that was my excuse for creating a thought out itinerary.
To start our day we wandered around the quaint streets and were able to admire the blend of modern and traditional architecture that is prominent throughout the city. This area is called Strøget and it is car-free making it ideal for a carefree stroll. We felt incredibly safe whilst in the city both in terms of viruses and theft therefore it was easy to relax.
Christiansborg Palace was the first place we really stopped to admire the view. This place was massive! It has these really cool stone balls around the front which obviously make a great place for an Instagram pose! I can’t say I know too much about the history of this place but it was great to see the scale of this incredible Palace. Here’s a snippet from the website:
‘For 800 years, Slotsholmen has been the center of power in Denmark. The current Christiansborg Castle has stood since 1928, but from this square kings and queens have ruled for centuries. Today, HM the Queen uses the castle for official events, such as gala dinners and public audiences. ‘https://kongeligeslotte.dk/da/slotte-og-haver/christiansborg-slot.html
We then followed the streets towards Rundetaarn which is around viewing tower that you can go to the top of and see out across the city. It was about £5 to go up to the top which we decided to do as I always love to get these high up perspectives of cities. To get to the top you follow the halter skelter style ramp, there were kids there who seemed to love running around the ramp. They have a great green/red light system in place to allow you to get up and down the tower without bumping into people coming to the other direction, this is useful for the very top as it is only a narrow spiralling staircase that takes you right to the top.
The views were so pretty, even though it wasn’t the clearest of days and the weather was still pleasant enough for us to comfortably explore the 360° views without needing to head back down early.
Afterwards, we headed to probably the most well-known area of Copenhagen – Nyhavn. This is the picture-perfect old harbour that is lined with colourful restaurants, cafes and shops. We wandered up and down several times as this was such a cute place. If it had been summer and we had longer to explore we might have taken one of the boat tours which started from the port however we decided not to for this particular trip.
I was starting to get hungry by this point and knew exactly what I wanted to treat myself to for “lunch”, a bubble waffle with ice cream and chocolate toppings from Munchies which was just a short walk towards Christianshavn. I was so excited to get one of these as had seen them a lot on Instagram in the build-up to the trip. The hype was worth it, it was delicious, and it was much lighter than a regular waffle which made it easier to eat. I had mine with vanilla ice cream, smarties and chocolate sauce.
Electric scooters are a popular mode of transport in Copenhagen, influenced by the volume of bike lanes that are pretty much everywhere making it feel a lot safer. We used the Lime app which enables you to unlock and pay for the scooter from your phone. At first, we couldn’t get them to work as Google Pay blocked it but once we added an actual card. We then used the scooters to get a little further away from the centre towards The Little Mermaid statue.
We made a stop on the route to explore Kastellet which ‘is one of the best-preserved fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagon with bastions at its corners. You can walk along the top of the pentagon which was clearly a popular way to spend a Sunday as quite a few local families were taking advantage of it. It rained lightly at this point so we took shelter for a little while before heading back out.
After that pit stop, we then found our way to The Little Mermaid statue. The weather was quite dull at this point which didn’t make for the best viewing time. Haydn was quite underwhelmed by the statue and I was too, given the sheer amount if amazing architecture nearby this wasn’t one of the most impressive things to see. Although seeing as the statue is based on one of the classic fairy tales (Disney took over later), it was still nice to see.
The weather had drained me and I was ready to sit down having been on our feet all day. We stopped at one of the Lagkagehuset coffee shops, I got a hot drink and we had a mini pizza to share as a late lunch. These cafes seemed to be everywhere throughout Copenhagen almost like the equivalent of Costa or Starbucks. The prices were quite high however that seemed to be a trend throughout the entire trip – Denmark is just more expensive than other European cities we had visited. After a little rest, we decided to freshen up back at the hotel as the rain had ruined my hair and I wasn’t ready for more walking just yet.
When we were ready to head out again we took electric scooters to Frederik’s Church which was absolutely beautiful and maybe one of my favourite pieces of architecture that we saw whilst in Copenhagen. The beautiful dome roof and gold detailing looked amazing, especially as it was set at a crossroads of incredibly normal buildings. The juxtaposition made it look so much grander.
We had walked through the King’s Garden which backs onto the Rosenborg Castle earlier that day however forgot to take in its beauty and recognise where we were. So after Frederik’s Church, we headed over again this time to appreciate it some more. The gardens were so pretty and we sat here for a while whilst deciding on somewhere to go for dinner. The sun started to set and I was just so full of joy – we just had the nicest time and it felt so good to explore somewhere new again.
We didn’t make any evening plans as had been up since 8 and were tired from a full day of walking. Instead, we got some more snacks from a local supermarket and ate them in bed.
We had so much fun using the electric scooter the day before that we decided to get day passes. This would enable us to get around quickly and see all the things we had missed and was a little easier on our legs (35,000 steps the day before made my muscles ache). After breakfast, we found some scooters and headed straight out towards Queen Louise Bridge. Sadly the bridge was under a lot of construction so we didn’t see it at its best, however, the views from the bridge over the river were gorgeous. The weather was so much nicer on this day and we were being treated to warm sunshine and blue skies!
Since we were out early on Monday we were able to experience the morning rush hour – most people were on bikes and I loved it! Seeing hundreds of bikes being cycled through the streets was so uplifting. Everyone there seemed to make use of the great bike lanes. I couldn’t take in just how many bikes there were!
Our early morning scoot took us back through Rosenborg Castle and along Nyhavn which we both enjoyed and since the weather was so much better it was a great opportunity to snap a few extra photos.
Tivoli Gardens opened at 11am so we got back there just after as we wanted to make use of our unlimited ride wristbands. Warning though these are so expensive! All in I think the bands and park entry were about £40 each! There aren’t that many rides there since it’s relatively small and is more of an amusement park so the price was a little alarming but since we knew we probably wouldn’t go back any time soon we were able to justify it.
We spent a few hours at the park enjoying some of the rides and the food – I had a doughnut shake that was amazing. Oreo donuts, whipped cream, chocolate sauce – one thing Copenhagen definitely has going for it is the sweet snacks! We knew we wanted to come back into the park at night so decided to go back out and explore once we had done all the rides we wanted. The more, funfair type rides we left until the evening so we could enjoy them in the dark.
We hopped back on our scooters and just went all over the place from back up towards the little Mermaid statue where we spent some time lying by the water’s edge just relaxing and then back to Christiania the Freetown. We wandered through and took in the hippies, the tie-dye shirts and everything else that comes from having a free town – there was a lot of weed and other drug use so we just passed through quickly. It wasn’t intimidating but it just wasn’t the sort of place we usually hang out although I’m glad we went to see it.
We spent ages trying to find somewhere to eat but all I fancied was pasta and loads of places were shut. After spending about an hour and a half going between different places trying to find somewhere we eventually decided to eat at the Tivoli Food Hall… This was by far the most expensive place we have eaten in Europe. I paid £18 for a portion of carbonara and a can of coke! Whilst the price was super high I had gotten to the point of hunger where I just needed to eat so I wasn’t too upset.
Going back to Tivoli Gardens at night was such a good idea! We loved it. There were so many gorgeous lights and all the rides were lit up. We went on different fairground rides like the Balloon Swing and the Swing Carousel. We then relaxed in front of the garden by one of the water features and just reflected on what a good trip we had.
This was quite a short last day as we needed to head back to the airport at around midday. We got up and enjoyed breakfast before going back to the Strøget area where we found Illum Rooftop which had a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes. We went into one of the cafes and just got some juice so we could sit and enjoy the views. If we went again I think I’d like to have dinner up there as it would be so romantic at night.
Afterwards we went to Nyhavn for one last time and sat with our legs hanging over the harbour edge. It was another great day weather wise so we were able to relax and enjoy the sunshine once again.
Heading back the airport was easy, we just got the same train from the station, we arrived quite early at the airport as didn’t know what procedures would be in place but we were through security within minutes and were able to wander around the airport before heading home.
I’m so grateful that we were able to get away this year, it was the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and get a break from the Covid drama. There were still some restrictions such as masks on public transport, in the airport and on the flight but overall it was a relaxed, easy-going trip with plenty to explore and do for the short time that we were there. This is definitely one of the top 3 European countries ever visited so if you’re thinking about going I highly recommend it.