The first overseas trip I took with Charlie is very memorable for a few reasons. Firstly, it was Valentine’s Weekend 2006, secondly we flew to the beautiful Danish city of Copenhagen….and thirdly we were almost frozen solid! Never before or since have I felt so cold….as a bitter east wind blew in from the Baltic making the already below zero temperatures ever colder with the wind chill. That said, we still really enjoyed our short trip and I hope to revisit one day – in the summertime!
One of the most beautiful waterfront cities in Europe, Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, but was originally built as a Viking fishing village and hub for trade. Copenhagen has a rich and long history. A weekend there gives you the chance to see some of what makes this city so popular. We took the little over two hour SAS flight from Dublin to Copenhagen after work on a Friday evening and still had time to enjoy a pint of Danish beer in Denmark!
Our hotel was the 4-star Palace Hotel (now known as the Scandic Palace Hotel). It is less that 10km from the airport, in the centre of the city, with gorgeous views of Rådhuspladsen (the City Hall Square). Our double room was lovely:
And I even got to eat Danish Pastries in Denmark as part of our included continental breakfast:
Nowadays though, there is also a booming Copenhagen Airbnb scene. Whatever kind of place you’d like to rest your head can be found in Copenhagen.
8 Things To See and Do in Copenhagen
Copenhagen isn’t that large, but there are so many things to see and do. Here are my 8 suggestions for a short stay:
1. Strøget Street
Strøget Street is the best place to start your Copenhagen trip itinerary. Our hotel was just across the street from the start of it so it made sense for us to start our exploring here. Around here is probably the best place to stay in Copenhagen, especially for first-time visitors (Do I sound like a Carlsberg ad?….probably!) This long pedestrian street is teeming with stores, shops, and restaurants. From budget clothing to boutique jewellery or whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here! Here is a more recent YouTube video of the street by Michael Jiroch:
We then stolled down to explore Nyhavn and to drink in the atmosphere. Nyhavn is what you could call Copenhagen’s watering hole. The area consists of two main streets lining the harbour canal and is full of fun and energetic establishments. The brightly coloured buildings reflected on the canals make for a picture-perfect way to spend your first day of your Copenhagen trip.
While Nyhavn can be quite busy at times, it’s definitely a must-see when visiting Copenhagen. You can simply grab a take away and sit along the canal banks with many of the locals. However, as we were perished with the cold we wandered back towards the hotel and decided to stop take a break for lunch.
3. Enjoy great food
We chose to have lunch in a great Italian restaurant called Vesuvio. I enjoyed Lasagne and Charlie opted for Pizza Calzone. A couple of glasses of Chardonnay soon warmed us up and we were ready for the road again.
4. Tivoli Gardens
As one of the most popular Copenhagen attractions, Tivoli Gardens is a must-visit during your stay in Copenhagen! It was just a 6 minute walk from our hotel (in the days when I could walk without a stick!). Although a bit on the pricier side, you don’t have to go on any of the rides to simply enjoy the park! It is rumoured that Walt Disney took inspiration from here.
There is an aquarium, a concert hall, and a theatre inside Tivoli Gardens. You’ll also find a host of stores and shops in the Gardens, great for picking up souvenirs of your trip to Copenhagen.
5. Ripleys Believe It Or Not Museum
(Above) - Us Enjoying the Museum! - Copenhagen Feb2009
We are both of an age that remembers this TV programme, Ripley's Believe It or Not hosted by the late Jack Palance so of course we had to take a look. This attraction was just beside our hotel and the building also hosted three other attractions, the Guinness World Records Museum (where Charlie got to sit in a replica of a record-breaking racecar - above), the H. C. Andersen Museum and the Mystic Exploritorie.
6. Canal Boat Tour
We had fully intended to do this but it was so, so, cold that we didn’t in the end. From Nyhavn, you can hop onto one of the Canal Tours boats and enjoy an hour-long tour of the city by boat. See some of these fantastic sights that Copenhagen is so famous for, and enjoy the night’s views of the harbour. Many of the tours include a live guide with both English and Danish commentary.
7. H.C. Anderson Boulevard
This was just across the Town Hall Square from our hotel. You can go on your own Copenhagen walking tour and see the road dedicated to the writer that gave us some of our favourite childhood fairy tales. This boulevard is the most densely trafficked road in Copenhagen but is lined with sightseeing opportunities!
8. The Little Mermaid Statue
Possibly one of the most famous Copenhagen points of interest, The Little Mermaid statue was created by the sculptor Edvard Erikson. And she really is little! It was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen after he became fascinated by the fairy-tale thanks to a ballet he had seen. The statue was unveiled on August 23, 1913, and is proudly perched on the edge of the harbour, welcoming visitors to Copenhagen.
So …..although it was a short trip for us, it was thoroughly enjoyable. We really only got a taster of the city and the people. Would I love to return to Denmark and Copenhagen? Probably? No....definitely!! 😊
Bucket List Items Ticked Off in the above Blog 49
Number 34 - Eat Regional Food & Drink
Other Blog Posts
Blog 11 - Sydney, Australia
Blog 12 - Hong Kong, China
Blog 17 - Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai, China
Blog 19 - California, USA
Blog 27 - Scotland
Blog 28 - Barbados
Blog 29 - Canada
Blog 30 - Alaska
Blog 31 - Everglades, Florida
Have you ever visited Copenhagen? Tell me about your experience in the comments section below.
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My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!