Our Scandinavian adventure starts here! We eventually went on a 7-day road trip to check out all of Denmark (overall a 4 week roadtrip), which will be laid out in the upcoming posts. But to start off, we stayed at an Airbnb for 2 nights in Copenhagen. Copenhagen was a great place to visit. It appears everyone in the city owns a bicycle, and uses it as their primary transportation. Our favorite thing about Copenhagen was the social atmosphere.
We left Minneapolis at 7:30pm with IcelandAir and arrived in Copenhagen at 12:45pm with a short layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. Once we arrived, we went through passport control and were on our way to grab our luggage. We ended up checking two bags – one for our camping gear, one for our clothes. Unfortunately, only our camping gear showed up (we would pick up our clothes in two days ☹). It was the start of our trip, so we were not going to let a misplaced bag slow us down! We took the train from the Airport to Central Station and then Central Station to Dybbølsbro and walked to our Airbnb. We stayed in the Versterbro borough near the Fisketorvet shopping mall, which ended up being a prime location; close to any shopping necessities you may need at the mall or grocery store, and walking distance to local sites, or the train station.
Since the first half of our day in Copenhagen consisted of travel, here is a 1.5-day itinerary for the city.
After settling into our Airbnb, we took the train back to Central Station and caught a bus to Freetown Christiania. This is a famous utopian commune in the borough of Christianshavn. In the 70s, the Social Democratic government gave Christiania the official temporary status of “social experiment”. Old barracks have been transformed into practical spaces such as houses, kindergartens, workshops, cafes, and the streets are completely void of cars. The community also has its own social services and likes to do things its own way. Drugs seem to be the norm here – on Pusher Street, there are stalls lined up selling all types of Cannabis. It was a fun and unique area to explore.
We strolled back towards Christianshavn and grabbed a pizza to go along with a 6 pack from the nearby corner store. We ate and drank on the edge of the canal and watched the boats stroll through. We decided to walk the canal back to our Airbnb and saw many bars/restaurants along the Kobenhaven Havn (a main water channel through Copenhagen). There was also a Jazz Festival taking place outside that drew a lot of attention. It was very relaxing to walk along the canal, drink in hand, sunset on its' way. It had been a long day of traveling, so we went to bed early to make the most of our final day in Copenhagen.
We started the morning bright and early with a walk to breakfast at Mad & Kaffe. The menu is laid out so you can choose 3, 5 or 7 items to create your own breakfast. We thought it had great variety, but was slightly expensive (we would rather spend our money on dinner). The food was fantastic though.
We stopped at the mall on our way back (while we were on the phone trying to sort out our luggage situation). We found a grocery store there – Lidl – which quickly became our best friend. Breakfast options are much cheaper here. We stocked up on a few snacks for the day, and also some wine.
After getting our luggage sorted out, we took the train to Østerport to start our walking tour of the city. Our route for the day – Kastellet – The Little Mermaid – Amalienborg – Nyhavn. Kastellet is one of the best-preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe.
The Little Mermaid isn’t very interesting – there are a lot of tourists and overpriced street merchants selling coffee and ice cream. It was worth the 2 second view, but we kept walking. We walked past Saint Ansgars Church which was lovely.
Next we saw Amalienborg Palace – which is the home of the Danish royal family. It is guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards and at noon they execute the changing of the guard (which we happened to see!).
We walked a block further and were able to see the Copenhagen Opera House – which appears to be made entirely of glass. Then we arrived at Nyhavn – a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district. The harbour is lined by brightly colored 17th century townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants. The canal harbours many historical wooden ships.
For lunch, we made the short walk to Torvenhallerne (you will pass Rosenborg Castle – definitely worth a picture) – a food market that has over 60 stands selling everything from fresh fish and meat to gourmet chocolate and exotic spices. There are also restaurants serving up paninis and other quick items with all those fresh ingredients. There is plenty of outdoor seating. We picked up some fresh fruit for the next day’s breakfast.
We walked back through Strøgert (shopping street) to window shop and went to our Airbnb. We waited here for a few hours (drinking wine and playing cribbage) hoping our bag would show up (it did not). When we got tired of waiting, we went out to Island’s Brygge to watch the Jazz Festival. There are so many places to eat/drink/listen to music on Island’s Brygge – worth a walk down (or two!). After the Jazz finished up, we grabbed a bottle of wine from a corner store (they actually hand you plastic glasses because they know you are going to drink on the street) and walked to a bar called the Fermentoren. This was a great spot with many local tap beers in a good setting. We would definitely recommend it. After a drink, we hopped over to Mikkeller Bar – also a great setting with a great beer selection.
We then walked back to our Airbnb – tomorrow we are picking up our rental car and starting our Denmark road trip (and getting our lost luggage☺)!