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Jul 2022 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Things have been pretty quiet lately, but only because our first summer roadtrip was just around the corner. Intrigued that Nordic countries score high every year on the World Happiness Report, we decided to check this out more thoroughly. 🙂
And what better way to do so, than planning a new trip. Denmark, here we come!
I found at least 5 reasons to love Copenhagen. First ones that come to mind are: history, food, architecture, public transport and lifestyle.
The city has a lot of elements from the life we already got used to in the Netherlands, so I can’t say it took us by surprise. But the overall relaxed, cozy vibe made me think ‘yeah I could live here’. Here’s what we loved and why.
It’s a foggy rainy afternoon when, after 900 kilometers on the road, we drop the anchor in Copenhagen.
Can’t understand a word from the local language, food seems a bit peculiar at first sight. Prices are shockingly high. I have to convert several times in my mind from Danish Krone to Euro to make sure I got it right. Everything looks neat and clean. Lots of people are biking. It even gets a bit sunny on the horizon. Ok, we’ve got this. Let the holiday begin!
WHAT TO VISIT IN COPENHAGEN
Start with digging deep into history at the National Museum of Denmark. I have to warn you that this is a massive collection of archaeological treasures and deserves half a day if you wanna fully enjoy what you paid for. Covering the full story from Prehistory to Middle Ages and Renaissance of how the nation came to be, the Vikings raids (including the largest Viking ship known so far – Roskilde 6), explorations and life in the colonies, ethnographic collections from North America, South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Arctic, it is the best national museum we’ve seen.
Maybe it’s worth mentioning that after 4 hours I had to lay down on a sofa in the lobby, while Geo continued the exploration until closing time. 🙂
Next is Christiansborg Palace, the place where kings and queens have ruled for centuries. Now is still used by The Queen for official events and public audiences. A walk through the royal reception rooms, royal kitchen, stables and ruins underneath the palace can easily take a few hours. But at the end of the whole experience you’ll be in awe. For us it took a while to let it sink in. Perfect time for a long walk and a delicious dinner.
If you haven’t left the area already, wait in line and climb the Christiansborg’s Tower. Admire the city’s rooftops from the highest building in Copenhagen at 106 meters above ground.
For yet another royal flavor, head to Rosenborg Castle. Surrounded by Kongens Have (literally The King’s Garden), it guards the Danish symbols of power including the Crown Jewels.
End the day with a walk around the colorful harbor, Nyhavn. At no. 9 is the oldest house in the area, dating back to 1681. The design has not been altered since that time. And what do you know, Hans Christian Andersen used to live in no. 20! This is where he wrote his early work. He also lived twenty years in no. 67 and two years in no. 18, until his death.
Leaving aside the artists who lived here, the captivating Nyhavn remains one of Copenhagen’s most iconic sights and a great spot to have a cold beer on a hot day. Loved it!
WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT COPENHAGEN AND WHY?
Rich history – Copenhagen is over 850 years old. There are plenty of opportunities to walk in the footsteps of royalty with numerous museums or outdoor activities.
Fabulous food scene – Noma, the famous three Michelin Stars restaurant in Copenhagen, was voted The World’s Best Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Copenhagen’s gastronomic reputation has undergone a renaissance over the last decade, and this can be easily verified every time you randomly stop by at any restaurant, pub or cafe.
Secondly, Copenhagen’s bakeries are piled high with delicious pastries. You don’t have to say more to win me over.
Beautiful architecture – if I hadn’t known it’s Copenhagen, I would have guessed we’re wandering the streets of Vienna, that’s how elegant it all looks. Copenhagen is recognised globally as an example of urban planning. It’s a real visual pleasure to walk around the city.
Great public transportation – the public transport network looks modern and reliable. Also, everything we visited is packed in the city center. Compact and liveable, that’s my kinda place. Thumbs up for the biking infrastructure as well.
Lifestyle – somewhere between cozy, friendly and chill, hygge is the Danish way. It seems to transpire in every aspect of everyday life. It’s usually the little things that make a difference.
HOW DID WE GET TO COPENHAGEN?
By car: Utrecht – Hamburg – Copenhagen
We split the journey in 2, more of a reason to spend a night elsewhere and explore Hamburg as well. But about that, in another story.
Moxy Copenhagen Sydhaven was our home away from home for a few nights. It’s modern, friendly, close to bus/train connections to the city center and most importantly has a parking lot, which is the main reason we picked it.
Restaurant Karla was our favorite go-to place for lunch in the city center. It combines delicious dishes with a great atmosphere and customer service.
Of course, you might be wondering ‘ok expensive, but how much exactly?’ There you go.
A single dish at a restaurant costs the equivalent of ~35 EUR, so expect to pay between 80-100 EUR for a 2 persons meal with drinks included.
Accomodation: 200 EUR/night, including breakfast and private parking.
Entrances at museums: ~20 EUR/ticket.
Gasoline: ~2.3 – 2.4 EUR/liter.
Needless to say we came back home even more tired than before we left. Time to recharge and plan the big roadtrip of this year.
Until then, wishing you all more hygge in your life.