Copenhagen has been dubbed as one of the happiest places to live on Earth. Originally a fishing village, now the hub for a strong urban and cultural explosion with trendy pop-up food eatery and superb art structures dotted around the city. We’d be fools not to visit this vibrant city on our Scandinavian trip.
We’re going to share with you how to spend seven hours in Copenhagen. With a bit of pre-planning and a pair of good comfortable shoes, you’ll be set to race around the city at the pace of the tortoise, not the hare.
11:00 – København Hovedbanegård (Copenhagen Train Station)
We arrived at the Central Station, København Hovedbanegård after catching the train from Malmö over the Öresund Bridge. What a wonderful way to wave hejdå (goodbye) to Sweden. We had luggage, so first port of call was to drop off our bags. The train station has a convenient drop off point which you can leave suitcases or backpacks at the fee of 70 DKK for all day.
11:15 – Tivoli Gardens
After checking in our luggage, we immediately headed out of the station in search of Tivoli Gardens. We didn’t need to look far. It’s straight across the road; seriously a theme park is right across from the station. Tickets to enter the park and have unlimited rides are 230 DKK, under 8’s go free! Personally, I’m not a rides fan. I’d rather sit and eat candy floss and look cute. Richard, on the other hand, is a bit of psychopath and enjoys getting thrown around. To say the least, he was in his element.
After Richard’s hit of adrenaline, he was ready to continue with our mission. We were on a tight schedule, so an hour was just enough time to have a few rides and move on. Our visit was on a weekday, so queue sizes for rides were at a minimum, so bear this in mind if you visit on a weekend or national holiday.
12:50 – Botanisk Have (Botanical Garden)
The Botanical Garden was a perfect solution to calm us, or should I say quieten Richard down. We meandered through the lined tree paths. It’s hard to imagine a place so peaceful in the busy city, but it was right here. Even the birdlife came here to rest their wings. The gardens would have been a perfect spot to have lunch, but we had to press on.
13:20 – Rosenborg Slot/ Rosenhaven/ Kongens Have
Only just five minutes walk away East; you’ll find the King’s Garden. It’s one not to be missed if you like symmetrically tree-lined paths, which in all honesty I am a geek over. We walked through the paths, which seemed to go on forever. To our left, the Rose Garden popped up from nowhere. The beautiful roses range of colours awoke all your senses; the scents were radiating, sending delightful messages to the brain. We would advise if you’re a hayfever sufferer to stock up on hayfever medication or a admire from a distance, it was intense.
13:50 – Refuel at Det Rene Brød
Our fuel was running low, and we’d worked up an appetite by this time, not to mention being a little hangry. We spied a small corner bakery a short distance from exiting the Kongens Have. It was a unanimous decision, so we didn’t kill one another, we had to stop for a little snack, and a pick me up coffee. If you stop here then grab a chocolate croissant, they’re to die for!
14:30 – Kastellet
Finally, we’d reached the Kastellet. This place was something that I’ve never seen before. A moat surrounded the star-shaped military base, probably the most beautiful military base in fact. We walked up along the paths that surrounded the base and admired the views. We could see water and knew we were near our furthest point of the city trek.
15:00 – Little Mermaid
We reached The Little Mermaid to be greeted by a busload of tourists. They’d taken the easy route and probably hadn’t experienced the delights of meandering through the streets of Copenhagen finding hidden gems. More fool them. We admired the statue for a couple of minutes, however, decided to make a swift exit as the afternoon heat was taking hold and the plethora of tourists was slightly overwhelming at this point.
15:30 – Nyhaven
Walking what seemed miles was, in fact, a 15 minutes stroll along the canal to turn a corner and we’d finally reached the famously picturesque Nyhaven. We were certainly ready for a refreshing drink to quench our thirst and a little pit stop to rest our feet. Although Nyhaven was densely populated with tourists, it was nice just to sit, and people watch instead of being the hustle and bustle of things.
16:20 – Christianshavn
Our next stop was to follow the bridge over to Christianshavn one words of warning. Watch out for the cyclist, they are fast and will not stop. After our dangerous journey over the bridge, which we survived luckily, we found ourselves in one of the urban and trendiest parts of Copenhagen. Walking around Christianshavn, it was not surprising how it manages to stake its claim. The old warehouses that are dotted around the canal are now being used as architect offices, art exhibitions (By Yoko Ono nonetheless) and designers sample sales.
17:00 – Papirøen
We had walked miles so definitely had earnt the right to eat whatever we like! We saved the best thing for last. FOOD! Street food to be precise. We’d had many recommendations, but this was surely the best. Papirøen is housed in a what can only be described as an old unused warehouse in Christianshavn. Quite rightly so, it fits beautifully into the urban vibe. As we entered Papirøen, the culinary delights and atmosphere smacked us in the face, in the right way. It was a feast not only for the taste buds but for the eyes too.
We walked around the warehouse, our mouths watering at every single sight of food, we were certainly spoilt for choice. We were not calorie counting after our long walk, so settled on the decision that we’d have something carb heavy. A vendor happened to attract our attention with free samples. One mouthful and we were in line drooling over a BBQ Pulled Pork Burger. It was the most delicious pulled pork we’d ever tasted, and that’s an honest opinion.
18:00 – Goodbye Copenhagen
After stuffing our faces at Papirøen, it was time to say our goodbyes to Copenhagen. We staggered back to the train station. Although we were exhausted, we felt that our first visit to Copenhagen we’d done it justice. We do not doubt that Copenhagen has so much more to offer. We’ll let you into a little secret; we will be back in this beautiful city very soon.
Jamie Carter | @nomadicjamie