Destination: Copenhagen, Denmark
Welcome to stop number three, and my most favorite stop on my European tour. In today’s post, I will be talking about my time in Copenhagen, Denmark. If you’re still around, you’ll get to hear about some of my adventures, where to find some good food, excellent views, and everything in between. I hope you enjoy it!
Arriving in Denmark was honestly a little weird for me. There was no sort of customs or passport control for us to go through at the airport. We just walked straight in. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this is weird, right? Turns out this is normal once you're in the EU; this was just my first time experiencing it. From the airport, we took a train to Kongens Nytorv Street. From this stop, it was only about a 10-minute walk to our hostel. Now, I cannot express this enough because I am continuing to learn the hard way over and over again: do not bring a rolling suitcase with you! Everywhere in Europe that I’ve been to so far has been cobblestone streets, and it is not fun.
At our hostel, the Generator Copenhagen, I stayed in a 6-person female-only dorm. This is a super cool place because if you want, you can be in bigger mixed dorms, or you can even be in a single, one person only room. The beds here were much more stable than the ones we stayed in while in Bergen. They also were cleaner and more private. Every bed was equipped with a reading light and an outlet inside of the sleeping area. You don’t have to worry about leaving your tech out at night. Each bed also has a very secure locker that pulls out of under the beds. These lockers were even spacious enough to fit my massive suitcase.
The Generator also had an incredibly lively hangout area on the main floor. There are calm, solo areas if you want to focus on getting work done, a bar, and a game area that includes shuffleboard, foosball, pool, and darts. This is where we met some new friends that would join us for the rest of the week.
Our new friends, two Icelanders, Brynjar and Fridrik, who were living in Copenhagen, and an American, Craig, took us to a local bar, The Wallstreet Pub, that was about a block and a half from our hostel. This place isn’t the fanciest, but if you’re traveling on a budget, it can be a lot of fun. Here, we also met up with Kiona and Ava, two of my friends from the University of Montana, who happened to arrive the same day. We were lucky enough to have them join us for a couple days of the trip. (Pro tip: if you get hungry on a night out in Copenhagen, the Seven-Eleven is actually a surprisingly good place to get food. Unlike the ones in the US, they have really fresh food and highly recommend.)
The next morning we went to do my favorite thing - adventuring! We started off wandering the streets past a billion shops to Rådhus and the Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli is an incredibly beautiful amusement park in Copenhagen. Although I didn’t get to see, I hear it is especially beautiful at night when it is all lit up. Definitely check it out if you get a chance. We then wandered up along these beautifully colored buildings in a neighborhood called Magstraede.
Past this neighborhood, we came to the Christiansborg Palace and the Slotsholm Canal. Here, along the water, there are underwater sculptures called Agnete and the Merman. These statues are even lit up at night under the water. The story behind them is a Danish folktale that is passed down by mouth. Take a look if the seaweed is low enough. Another mermaid themed sculpture is the sculpture of the Little Mermaid that inspired the Disney story.
From here, we went to Nyhavn, which you will probably be seeing a lot of throughout this post. It is my favorite place to look at. This is where you see the pictures of the famous, beautifully colored buildings.
In Nyhavn, there are beautiful ships that line the canal, and is complete with a super romantic lock bridge if you are traveling with someone special. Here, we stopped off at McJoy’s Choice for a Carlsberg while we waited for the rest of our friends to arrive. This place was very slow, expensive, and the food was not good. I do not recommend. Once the group was complete, I forced Ava and Kiona into a mini photoshoot. We wandered along the water’s edge before heading back to the hostel for some snacks and pool.
The third day was hands down my favorite day in Copenhagen. By this point, we were really getting a feel for the city and felt ready to explore. Not to mention we had some pretty good tips from back home, as well as our new friends to guide us.
In the morning, Isaac and I ventured out to find a few locations recommended to me by my fellow adventure lover, Micah Larsen. We started out at the Torvehallerne Market. This was honestly probably my favorite place in all of Copenhagen, though it is a little more expensive. Torvehallerne has the most incredibly delicious, diverse foods. And everything is so fresh,
you can’t believe it. There are two separate buildings. One was to be more focused around already prepared food and desserts, while the other was raw materials, such as cheeses and meats. In between the two buildings is a farmer’s market-style area with fresh vegetables and flowers. Click through below to see some of the yummy goodness!
I started out with an apple pomegranate juice from a company called Fresh Market, followed by homemade chicken salad with bacon, chervil, and mushrooms from Hallernes Smørrebrød. To end it all, I had the most incredible pasta of my life from Il Mattarello: parmesan Cardinali topped with freshly grated truffle. If you get the chance to go here, I beg you to try this pasta. It is incredible. It changed my life. I wish I could put into words how excited this market made me. Everyone was so kind and happy to be there. Plus, everything there was so fresh.
On our way back from Torvehallerne, we walked past Rosenborg Castle. We had wanted to stop here when we passed it the first time, but what we saw this pass made it even more special. We were just in time to see the Danish Royal Life Guard band marching in time to the drums. They started out on the end closest to Rosenborg Castle before walking around the yard and right onto the streets.
We then wandered the grounds of Rosenborg Castle. Schloss Rosenborg is located on a small piece of land surrounded by a mote. Yes, I got to see my first ever mote. Although the flowers in the quart yard were not in bloom, I did enjoy seeing the armed guards who stood like statues in front of the entrance to the castle. If you have time, take the opportunity to take a tour. The Rosenborg Castle Gardens are a must, though I wish I could see in warmer weather when everything is in bloom.
Boats & Soaks
In the afternoon and into the evening, one of our Icelandic friends was kind enough to show us the city from a different viewpoint. He is a boat guide for CopenHot. He took us
out through the canals of Copenhagen, teaching us about some of the histories of the city. One of my favorite things I learned about was Børsen. The four dragons at the top of the spire were designed by an artist who had little knowledge about dragons, ironically. And although the design bears little resemblance to dragons, it actually inspired the iconic Micky Mouse character, Goofy. The boat also had the most incredible view of Nyhavn at sunset. I wish I had taken my camera aboard, but for safety reasons, phone photos will have to cut it.
We then headed to the central location for CopenHot, passing incredible boats and sunken ships along the way. CopenHot may have been the most fun experience of the entire Europe trip. They are hot tubs that are heated by wood-burning fireplaces that are located right along the water. It was incredible to spend time getting to know our new friends in such a special, unique setting. You can even rent hot tub boats to take you on a boat tour.
On the final morning, Isaac, Kiona, and I headed back to the Torvehallerne Market. That morning, I got an apple, ginger, and lemon juice from the Fresh Market, as well as another round of pasta from Il Mattarello. I couldn’t resist. Isaac tried some empanadas, and Kiona tried a sandwich stand. All of us were beyond content. On our way back, we were just on time to see the Danish Royal Life Guard band returning to the castle grounds. The rest of the morning and evening were spent doing homework. Gotta love being a senior in college and doing school online while traveling.
To end the evening, we went back to Nyhavn to do some night photography. After wandering through Nyhavn, we headed over to the water’s edge, where you found this incredible lit up triangle sculpture called The Wave with the most haunting music playing. The sculpture was a part of the Copenhagen Light Festival. It was a blast singing along to the music with our own interpretations and running in and out of the lights. Turns out the music was actually a preview for an opera that will be coming out in a few years, which I definitely hope to find my way back to Copenhagen to see. To this day, I'm pretty sure they were just singing "Feeeeeet".
I must say, although there was not as much sight-seeing as Bergen, the people we met in Copenhagen and the unique way we got to explore it has made it my favorite location in Europe so far, granted I'm only half way through the trip as I write this. You always hear that Copenhagen is one of the happiest cities in the world, and I wholeheartedly believe that.
Where do you believe is the happiest city you've visited in the world? Comment it below, or tell me some of your favorite locations in Copenhagen! I will definitely be back there, hopefully sooner than later. Until next time, cheers.