Another city break done with my two girls Lucy and Karolina and this one didn’t disappoint. There’s nothing like a change of scenery to lighten my mood and feed my need for travel and adventure. City breaks are such a different type of trip to a relaxing holiday or long haul stay. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in one place, explore all the corners and embrace the food, culture and feel of a new bustling destination. You clock up the steps (we averaged 20k a day here!) and squeeze in as much as you can and even though it’s tiring, a city break always manages to make me appreciate new things and get excited for more.
Copenhagen is a cool, clean and friendly city that has so much to offer. It’s only an hour and half flight from London Stansted and the airport has easy connections to the city centre via metro and train. The buses run regularly and bike hire is easy to find.
TIP: A 72 hour travel card can be purchased from the airport for 200 krone (about £25) and gets you access to bus, train and metro for the duration of your stay. You can buy the Copenhagen card for travel and free entry into lots of attractions, but depending on what you want to do, this isn’t always worth the money and we decided against it. Also – don’t fly Ryanair from Stansted. Pain in the arse.
We stayed in an Air BnB in the Ostebro district, about 4 stops from the centre on the train and easy to navigate around. We always prefer to stay in an Air BnB because you get a real feel of living in the local area and exploring parts you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were in a hotel in the centre. It was really modern and had a balcony we ate breakfast on and an exposed brick wall perfect for photoshoots (obvs) – very hygge!
TIP: Research your Air BnB choice wisely. Ours was beautiful, but the host turned out to be rude and not very understanding when our flight was delayed by 2 hours. Scope the house out when you arrive to see if there is any damage that the host could blame you for – unfortunately I am being chased to refund a scratch on the hob even though we cleaned and tidied the flat to a great standard and didn’t damage anything – hob included! Always leave the place as you find it and respect the house rules. Of course we did this, but a bad (false) review on my profile now taints my chances for future Air BnB rentals which makes me really upset.
As is tradition on our city breaks, we started our weekend with a Sandeman’s walking tour. They’re technically free and you’re shown around by a local guide from the area who takes time out of their day to show you the sites. You tip at the end the amount you see fit and for us, it’s always worth it! We ticked off the Little Mermaid*, Amalienborg, Nyhavn, Dragon Fountain and loads of other official buildings and historic spots along the way.
*The Little Mermaid statue is not worth it and quite a walk away from the centre. Full of tourists too.
Our afternoon was spent at the Carlsberg experience which is about £12 to enter and you get a free beer, but compared to the fun, interactive and guided tour of the Heineken experience in Amsterdam, I wouldn’t recommend it as we were done within half an hour and it was a bit lacklustre. Save your money for food and drinks elsewhere!
TIP: If you bring a raincoat, actually take it out with you. I forgot and thought I’d get away with it but ended up having to buy this beaut of a bin bag:
We ate and drank at some lovely spots (the only good thing about the Carlsberg experience was the smoked salmon sandwich I had at the bar!) but we also went to Kassen cocktail bar for happy hour on Friday evening, Noho in the trendy Meatpacking District on Saturday night and enjoyed a delicious burger and ice cream along the main shopping street Kobmagergade. Sample the local danishes and cakes and do your research. Copenhagen is pricey, you just have to roll with it and accept you’ll be spending some money whilst you’re there – treat yo’self!
Our Sunday was more leisurely but still included lots of walking around. The Botanical Gardens and Palm House were stunning and luckily we saw most of it in the sunshine. The Roudtower is an old observatory with no steps but a spiral walk up to the top instead. It has 7 twists in total and is around 209 meters long to get to the top. The observation deck gives some lovely panoramic views of the city and is a great spot.
After our burger and ice cream pitstop we headed to Christiania – Copenhagen’s hippy freetown – where a community of about 1000 residents live and have created their own society within a society. No pictures are allowed once inside as weed is dealt openly on the cobbled streets and it’s very relaxed – definitely go explore! It sits near the water and has a lovely relaxed vibe.
TIP: There are also loads of free things to do in Copenhagen, the Botanical Gardens are free to enter and there are some museums that are free if you’re under 25. Research what you’re interested in and plan accordingly.
We saved Tivoli Gardens for our last night in Copenhagen. Tivoli is such a spectacle. A huge amusement park packed full of rides, food stalls, landscaped gardens and more, all situated in the middle of the city – bizarre but beautiful. It’s been open since 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world – amazing! The old fashioned feel of the place is infectious and we loved it so much. We got the unlimited ride ticket and it was so worth it. We went on the giant swing ride, rollercoasters, ferris wheel and more. It’s not just for kids. There’s live music and shows in the summer and an amazing food and drinks hall offering loads of choice. The restaurants are situated all around the park in tucked away manicured lawns around by the lake. It’s so pretty and atmospheric and a bit like stepping back in time. This is a must, try arrive when it’s still light and stay into the evening – the park all lit up is a brilliant sight!
TIP: Go for it with the unlimited ride ticket – it’s really worth it when the park gets quieter in the evening and you can keep going on the ones you like. We loved the miner coaster and went on it 3 times in a row.
Overall, I couldn’t recommend Copenhagen enough. The food, the friendliness of the people, the ease of getting around – it all makes for a great city break! Have you been before? Leave any recommendations or questions in the comments!
With love for smorrebrod and snegl (google it)