I’m really enjoying that my little ‘A Weekend in’ posts are getting a lot of use at the moment. And this time next week I will be adding Sorrento in Italy to the list, as I [hopefully] am eating gelato on the beach there. But back to Copenhagen first, one of my favourite cities I’ve ever visited, and really unexpected. When I first booked to visit the Danish capital with six of my best school friends, I had heard it was very pretty but wasn’t sure what I would discover. What I found was a really modern, laid back city with amazing architecture and lots of interesting history.
Of course it helped that we had the most amazing weather all weekend. Considering Copenhagen is in line with Scotland, I certainly didn’t expect that. But we were in shorts all the May bank holiday and every city looks more beautiful bathed in sunshine. After a ridiculously delayed flight we arrived in the airport at 2am on Saturday morning. I was immediately impressed by how modern and pretty the airport was – I think that’s always a good sign. We stayed in my very first Air BnB and it was a pretty brilliant experience, one I would recommend and absolutely do again. We had a penthouse apartment for much cheaper than we could ever have got a hotel, not too far from the centre. The owner had made up all the extra beds we needed and even left us a bottle of wine and some beers!
On Saturday we walked into the centre of Copenhagen, stopping on the way for an all you can eat brunch buffet. Throughout the weekend I found the city to be brilliant for veggies, always having plenty of options on the menu. We were quite a difficult group with two veggies, a gluten free and someone avoiding carbs – but actually we didn’t have too much trouble. We spent our first day on a train tour round the city, finding the food market, the canal and indulging in ice cream – something that would become a bit of a theme of the weekend. Then we headed over to Tivoli, one of the top attractions. It’s a bit like a theme park in the centre of the city, with gardens, restaurants and a stage area. We had heard that there were free concerts inside every Saturday of the summer and were excited to find out what we might be able to see. Imagine our disappointment when we discovered the date we were there was the date of the Champion’s League Final – and that was what was to be shown on the stage that evening. So after having an explore, we escaped and sat outside a gorgeous little restaurant wrapped in blankets with mojitos as the sun went down. Our amazing waiter turned singer in the middle of the evening and serenaded us, it was really a perfect evening. And it all ended watching the Tivoli fireworks and light show which were stunning.
We kicked off Sunday with breakfast on our balcony in the sunshine. We’d quickly discovered that, as expected with any Scandinavian city, Copenhagen was rather expensive. Not Geneva expensive, I have to add, but London expensive. So we bought pastries, juice, yoghurt and fruit and made our own. It turned out to be one of the lovliest experiences of the trip, sometimes it’s just nice doing things for yourself.
I’d heard that the water was the best way to see Copenhagen so we took to the canals for a boat tour. It was a highlight, and something I’d definitely recommend. We even got to peak at the famous mermaid, although as I’d been told she is quite small and a little disappointing. And becoming a theme of the trip, our boat host turned singer and sang us a little song as we got off. We then went to find the famous coloured houses and were not disappointed. Although the street they sat on is particularly expensive, and a Carlsberg advert slightly spoilt them, I loved it. We ate some more ice cream and continued exploring, visiting the Christiansborg Palace where the Danish royal family live, and having a scary encounter with a Danish beefeater who dropped his gun as we posed with him – leading my friend to think one of us had been shot!
After dinner outside again – when we experienced the first, and only, rain of the holiday and thanked our lucky stars for the city’s tendency to put blankets out – we spent the evening with a Danish Olly Murs lookalike in one of the only bars open on Sunday night. The cocktails were amazing, but we found that Copenhagen was a bit too cool to have many dance floors!
Our last day was Monday, and we spent most of it exploring Christianshavn. We discovered an amazing Street Food Market which I would 100% recommend, there were so many options inside – again lots of veggie options – and it was all so cool. There was lots of space outside too to sit in the sunshine on the riverside, with deckchairs, couches and all sorts.
Finally we climbed the Church of Our Saviour tower, and it was one of the most unexpectedly hair-raising experiences. Inside it’s wooden and full of bells. But once you get outside, it’s only for adrenaline junkies. The wind really picked up and we were told to put everything away in bags, we were clinging to hand rails as we got higher and higher with amazing views of the city. The stairs get thinner and thinner and come to a final amazing point, but we raced down worrying a sudden gust might blow us over the edge!
It was a brilliant way to end an amazing trip. I fell in love with the city in a way I never imagined, and could even see myself living there one day. The Danish were so laid back and positive, perhaps because of the sunshine but I like to think they always are that way. And it was so quick and easy to get there. If you’re looking for a city weekend break, definitely consider Copenhagen.