Friday, December 26, 2014

Copenhagen



The only thing better than planning a trip abroad, is being surprised with one two days before you’re due to leave. My lovely boyfriend, who knows me all too well, gave me a birthday card the Saturday before last with a boarding pass to Copenhagen attached on the inside. Lots of jumping, hugging and squealing later, I was mentally planning the clothes that needed washing, camera batteries’ that needed charging and toiletries that needed to be bought at the airport. In the blink of an eye, it was 4am on Monday 15th December and we were leaving for Luton Airport.

From London, the flight time is around 1 hour and 40 minutes, just enough time for a quick power nap before heading to passport control on the other side. The weather forecast the day before had predicted rain for the entirety of our trip and as promised the heavens opened when we arrived. Unlike predictions however, the rain stopped by the first afternoon and kept away for the remainder of our stay. It may have been freezing cold, but as long as it was dry, we were content. 

Copenhagen, the capital, is the most populated city in Denmark. All the locals speak English, which although practical, can result in you not attempting to learn any Dutch. The city is safe, clean and ridiculously tiny, making it extremely easy to travel around. The transport system, like most of Europe outside of London, is efficient and reasonably priced. It also operates 24/7; meaning late night trips to the other side of town don’t result in expensive cab rides back to the hotel. On the whole, much like Amsterdam, the city is made for bicycles, with beautiful parks, bike lanes on every street and an orange bike bridge (cykel slangen) crossing the water. 

Attractions that are definitely worth a visit include the elevator to the top of the Parliament building, it’s free and offers the highest viewpoint across the whole city. If you’re planning a trip in advance then it may be worth booking a tour around the Parliament building. We didn’t have time during our stay, but we would definitely jump on one next time we are in the city. The church in the city centre also offers you the chance to climb to another beautiful viewpoint, for a small fee. We wandered up there on the morning of my 21st birthday. The December chill and strong winds made it particularly cold, but the views overlooking the city were astounding. 

If visiting in winter, the Christmas market is a must. Selling local food and drink, typical Christmas gifts and some quirky memorabilia. Nyhavn was certainly the most beautiful part of Copenhagen, with long colourful houses right next to the water. If you’re on a budget however, avoid eating and drinking in this part of the city, as prices are particularly high. For a cheaper night out, the Student Bar (Studenterhuset) offers a friendly atmosphere, live music and happy hour from 4pm until 8pm every day. 

The botanical gardens were a minor let down, with the best part closed off due to construction work and the rest covered with overgrown weeds. It would certainly be interesting to visit in the summer and see if it is as magical as the photos online. On the other hand, the changing of the guards at midday in Amalienborg Slotsplads was remarkable. Equipped with lines of soldiers, an incredibly talented marching band and police officers to supervise the crowds, it is certainly an event that shouldn’t be missed while in Copenhagen. 

We stayed opposite the Tivoli amusement park, which was the perfect location for moving around the city. Tivoli itself was pricey, but if you have some extra cash and a whole day to burn, spending it on rollercoasters wouldn’t be half bad. 

Copenhagen itself was beautiful, relaxed and intimate in size. Every inch of the city is mapped as though it has been thought about, to make life easier and serve the needs of the population. With Baresso coffee houses on every corner (which Jake labelled the best coffee he had ever had outside his own home), great food including Dutch pastries which make your mouth water, and locals with huge grins on their faces, it’s no wonder it is called the happiest nation in the world. Being there for three days certainly made me smile.








1 comment:

  1. It was so lovely from your boyfriend to give you a trip to Copenhagen! I hope you are having fun! It must be a gorgeous city, although pretty cold! With love,
    Vera

    http://theflashwindow.weebly.com

    ReplyDelete