Read this in: German
It’s about 9 am and disillusionment is spreading because I find that the coffee, which is even recruited on posters, is not a café within the ferry from Puttgarden over to Denmark. It is simply a coffee machine that uses reputable coffee beans. My husband buys a pomegranate cider at the ferry tax-free shop because I told about him so much of Cider which you can get in every supermarket in Scandinavia.
In my childhood and my youth, I was almost a weekend Danish – so I’m all the more excited to return to Denmark after almost 10 years. In the meantime, I lived in Göttingen and discovered other countries outside of the Scandinavian cosmos with which I grew up as a child.
And now I am sitting in the ferry in the direction of Copenhagen. This city was one of the few in Denmark that I visited only a few times, because it is simply very expensive and my parents were more likely to go on vacation somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I’ve grown up with a lot of walking holidays. Luckily there is Airbnb today so we can experience Copenhagen for the first time like a resident of the capital of Denmark.
Winter Wonderland Copenhagen
Immediately after arrival, we realize that the weather will be a bit of a hindrance to our holiday as we are unfortunately unable to photographically capture some of the attractions. This includes the park Superkilen, which is located directly at our accommodation. This is an art project in cooperation with a German landscape architecture firm, which exists since 2012. So snowy you can see only a few graffiti and a few snowy halfpipes, but nothing else. 72 hours in Copenhagen – what to do in bad weather? Fortunately, Copenhagen is so diverse that even a rainy or snowy holiday does not have to end with bingewatching evenings at the hotel or airbnb.
A big compliment to Copenhagen because there are really many great attractions that are completely free. Copenhagen does not deserve the reputation of being an expensive city. In fact you do not spend more than on another holiday – just for other things. Christiansborg is right in the heart of the city and a must for every Copenhagen tourist. But not only the view is very special, even the building itself is unique in the world as it combines all three state powers – executive, judiciary and legislature under one roof. An elevator will take you comfortably to an intermediate level with a restaurant. The view over Copenhagen with panels explain which buildings you can see and on days with good visibility one should be able to look over to Sweden at the city of Malmö.
If there is a postcard motif next to the Little Mermaid of Denmark, then it is probably the beautiful and picturesque harbor in which Hans Christian Andersen once lived. Unfortunately, the reality is often different than on postcard motif because even early in the morning everything is full of people who take selfies and gamble with their selfiesticks and gopros. But the winter weather was also good for us, because you do not see Copenhagen with thick ice floes every day. In addition to photos you can also find good restaurants and hotels – this corner of Copenhagen is just pure tourism. This is not for everyone, but if you are in Copenhagen for a short time, it is ideal to find accommodation here.
Even though I am an old hand and I know more about Arhus or Kolding than in many German cities, Christiana is new territory for me. Of course, as a child, my parents did not want me to go through Christiana – it was probably warned in some guidebook to do that. However, I had envisioned Christiana much more blatantly than it was then. For us, the visit was no different than in Amsterdam or Cologne-Ehrenfeld. If you like extraordinary architecture or street art, you will definitely find it here. But maybe this was only due to the winter temperatures and in the summer the freetown is busier and more colorful.
Organic and Botanic
Raw And Organic are the two words that jump us in every corner of Copenhagen – even many hairdressers in the Danish capital advertise being an “organic hairdresser”. In general, Copenhagen is a city in which the trend towards sustainability has a large following and is regarded as the most sustainable city in Europe.
Copenhagen is a bit more expensive than most German cities when it comes to food, but you can save that money on many other things. There are, as mentioned above, numerous free museums and there are also many beautiful places to visit without spending any money. For example next to the little mermaid there is a beautiful park. My absolute insider tip is on days with bad weather is the Botanical Garden, which is centrally located in the city center. Its outdoor facilities not only make an almost bewildered impression when it is snowy. Especially the palm tree house of the Botanisk Have is a wonderful motive for tropical-looking vacation photos in the middle of the green. If you can read a little Danish, you will learn something about the different plants (I have just translated everything for my husband). And of course you can also sit there in a warm climate there on a bench and read a book.
Also in the field of culinary there are great locations with food in organic quality: In Copenhagen, I have actually found the tastiest salad in the world. At The Organic Boho there is vegan Feel Good food of all kinds with feel-good factor. However, please note: here you can pay only with a card. The prices are also absolutely affordable and the flower decorated food look great and taste wonderful. While sipping a pink Rainbow Latte with pitahaya powder for 45 DKK (about 6 Euro), which tasted wonderfully fruity, my husband had a juice with turmeric and pepper, a very interesting and spicy combination. In addition there was a wrap with Edamame for 89 DKK (about 11 Euro) and just the salad “I am strong” for likewise 89 DKK with among other chickpeas, smoked almonds and sweet potato sticks – a great combination, with each fork to a small taste explosion in the mouth leads. Those looking for interesting restaurant concepts such as California Kitchen or fusion cuisine will definitely find something here in Copenhagen, as there is a wide selection of first-class food.
Downtown and Tivoli
Copenhagen has the second longest shopping street in Europe – so there are enough shopping possibilities. You can confidently make a big bow around the shops you can everywhere in Europe or everywhere in the world. I recommend you small boutiques with fashion Scandinavian designers or furniture shops. Clean lines and modern style with pieces that you just can not find in every IKEA. And who wonders: Also for alcohol and sweets, there are extra stores in Denmark.
A very distinctive flagship of the city center is the Tivoli, a small amusement park and green oasis in the city, which is considered in 1843 as one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Of course, the park entrance fee isn’t that cheap, but I would recommend it to anyone who is with children in Copenhagen, there once in little time to spend and to try out the rides. It is already a unique experience, when driving surrounded by the houses of a downtown in rides in time honored and noble look. In particular, the slide banquet, a roller coaster from 1914, is an experience that you will hardly find a place like that. And it is advisable to stay in the park until the evening, as it is wonderfully illuminated after dark.
The market halls
The second day begins with a rich selection and delicious food in the market halls. There is really everything that your heart desires, from quinoa salad to Danish delicacies like the potato cake or the typical pulsar sausage. Potato cake is not a cake made of potatoes, but a loosely cooked pastry with vanilla cream and a hood with cocoa-powdered marzipan, reminiscent of the look of a potato.
The market hall is not only a great place to try out food – it is also a very pleasant place, because as a self-catering there you want to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Here you will find not only tourists, but also many locals who get their lunch or relax at the wine after work.
Unfortunately we did not have so much luck with the weather on our 72 hours Copenhagen trip and so we had to spend the second day mostly inside buildings to avoid the blizzard and the icy wind. Fortunately, there are numerous museums that you can visit for free, such as the National Museum. This museum has such a large and rich exhibition that at one time you can not manage to look at it enough – this museum alone helps to bridge a day or two of bad weather.
De blå Planeten
For families, it is a must to visit the aquarium near the airport. And also for people who are waiting for their flight, it is a good opportunity to visit this aquarium. Inside the aquarium you can store your luggage for a very cheap price, 10 DKK. We were a little surprised how many small children are here. Children up to the age of three have free entry – this may not be for everyone and those who are not friends with childrens crying or a high volume level. If you want to avoid such a unpleasant atmosphere, you should visit the afternoon hours. It’s a unique experience to watch the largest aquarium which sharks and giant rays swim. The largest aquarium in Northern Europe is of course not cheap, but you can spend a few hours here. In addition to a restaurant, you can also eat your own meal or enjoy the view of the water outside. Unfortunately, not all feedings are in English, so it only makes sense to go for the big feeding in the biggest pool, which is definitely translated in English.
Arrival, transport and overnight
If you are not from Northern Germany, South Sweden, Denmark or Norway, it’s the best way to get to Copenhagen by flight. And if you are a lucky one who lives near the capital of denmark, then maybe the arrival by train or by car makes sense. Within the city, I recommend only for die-hard to get local transport ticket. This is less on the metro and more on the buses because these are often very busy and unpunctual. With the 72-hour ticket, which costs about 22 euros, you can travel to all zones by bus and metro. However, if you are lucky enough to be in good weather in Copenhagen, I recommend cycling to get from A to B within the city. Copenhagen is a city of cycling and it is a great place to explore the whole city and go on larger tours. There are even free bicycles within the city which can be found at many tourist hotspots and you can lend for 20 DKK deposit. Unfortunately, not possible is a bike ride over the Öresund Bridge to Sweden in the city of Malmö. If you want to go there for a day trip, you can do it by train.
As for the overnight stay, there are many nice hotels and also a good selection of affordable airbnbs in a good location. If you would like to experience Copenhagen like a local self-sufficiency, then I would recommend an airbnb.
Metro and airport
While the buses in Copenhagen enjoy a rather bad reputation, the Metro is already a small showpiece of Copenhagen. It drives completely autonomously and so you can have a very special experience. if you sit directly in front of the metro and experience a look that otherwise only train drivers have.
The airport of Copenhagen is being rebuilt and is small but nice. However, one currently has the feeling that one is a bit cramped. If you want to travel fast, you can not miss the airport, but thanks to the metro you have a good connection to the city center. So if you want to escape the busses or long stretches on foot or by bike, so should possible take a hotel near the airport.
In times of Euro in almost all European countries one is no longer used to converting and so my husband was very confused when we went to the supermarket on the first evening and wanted to buy things. There suddenly stood 50 DKK and 70 DKK for food. The Scandinavian countries still have their DKK and so you have to pay very much attention to how much you spend. If you still want to be sure, open your calculator app on your smartphone and google the current exchange rate. You never know.
Copenhagen is always worth a visit and the prejudice that this city is a fair-weather city is definitely not true. Nevertheless, I think, I will come back next time in good weather. Fortunately, as a North German I can also spontaneously cheap to this metropolis in the north.