Copenhagen: The Essentials

Hej! Hope you’re well and welcome to the the next instalment of my Essentials series – Copenhagen! This gorgeous city is only a short flight away from the UK, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re after a small break – or even a week, as it certainly packs a punch.

I have listed the essentials for your trip, from how to get there, to what to do and eat when you’re there, enjoy!

The Currency

Danish krone, which holds a pretty big exchange difference to the British pound. Reading menus priced 251 DK for a meal certainly causes a shock, but that sits at around £30. Before the trip I was advised by several people to consider Copenhagen to be an expensive city, but after going myself I would liken it to London pricing. So if you’re a Londoner you might not be too shocked…!

As always, my recommendation for bank cards abroad would be Monzo as I think it has a really great exchange rate and is accepted mostly everywhere. But don’t forget to check before you travel!

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Getting There

By plane is the best way to get there from the UK, as it’s only an hour and a half flight. Copenhagen airport is also the nicest airport terminal I think I’ve ever been in. It was like an airport terminal that had been dropped into a nice shopping mall, with plenty of places to stop for something to eat, drink and shop.

Once you’re at the airport you can easily get into the city centre via the metro which runs straight from the station. We paid around £12 for a 24 hour tourist travel pass which we could use on the metro and the bus system that came in handy to get us to our apartment.

Uber isn’t available in Copenhagen – the city is very bike friendly after all – so if you want to get a taxi into the city centre it might set you back a bit.

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Travelling Around

Bike! The Danish are famous for their cycling and in Copenhagen it’s certainly a bike friendly city. You can rent bikes from shops dotted all over the city, but we used an app called Donkey Republic and it was such a great experience. It’s very similar to Ofo or like our Lime experience, where you use an app to unlock bikes dotted all over the city. You can rent them from 2 hours to 12 days, and we chose to book them 24 hours at a time which worked out really well for our 50 hour trip!

You can use the app to find bikes, unlock and lock them up and also to ‘dock’ them when you’re finished at ‘hubs’ across the city. The cost of hiring them every day came to around £12 each, which I think is a pretty good deal for a 24 hour rental. There are also bike hire shops dotted all around the city if technology isn’t your thing, but the ease of locking the bikes up and ending our rental.

If cycling isn’t your thing then the city’s public transport system is pretty great. Buses, tubes and also water buses are included in travel passes you can buy for varying durations if you need.

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Dishes you needed to Eat:

Danish Pastries

I mean, if you’re going to Denmark, you have to have the danish pastries right? When I woke up on our first morning there I googled danish bakeries near us and walked along in the sun to pick up a coffee and two ‘morning buns’. Safe to say they were absolutely incredible, so much so that we went back again Monday to pick up some more…

Danish bakeries are dotted all around Copenhagen, and if only I had more mornings I would’ve tried to experience some more…

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Smørrebrød

Another Danish staple we had to tick off the list was Smørrebrød, which you can find in most danish restaurants. Pickled herring is a common and traditionally danish topping to have on your rye bread, but there are plenty of toppings that can be found in carious restaurants, varying from the wonderful to the weird.

They’re a great option for a budget lunch as cheaper lunches aren’t that easy to come by in Copenhagen. Plus they’re handy if you can’t decide how much you want to eat – you can mix and match to your hearts desire…

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Bits to see:

The Little Mermaid

The infamous aquatic heroine from Hans Christian Andersen’s story sits on a rock at the edge of the sea. This famous statue is placed by the waterside, and is definitely worth a walk along the coast – or even a bike ride – to go and visit. She is a lot smaller than you’d expect, but I would say a definite sight to see if you visit Copenhagen.

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The Round Tower – Rundetaarn

There are a few viewpoints you can visit in Copenhagen to see across the city, but one of the top on my list was The Round Tower, which is an astronomical observatory. I’d seen pictures online and can confirm from what I’ve seen that it really has gorgeous interiors, and it’s not too hard to walk up!

The inside of the tower circles up, so it doesn’t feel like you’re climbing up too much as it might do with steps. And if you have children, or fancy the challenge yourself, there’s an interactive ‘map’ with numbers that go up the tower. Tickets are only 25 DKK (around £3) so it’s not too expensive either.

Once you get to the top you can see across the city (on a good day of course), and you can also visit the large telescope at the top of the building.

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Nyhavn

The infamous and picturesque area of Copenhagen is very popular with tourists, and is lined with cafes and restaurants that cater to that crowd. We did stop there for dinner and it wasn’t too expensive if you consider the majority of Copenhagen restaurants are quite expensive anyway.

If it’s a lovely day like we had it’s really nice to sit outside and people watch with an Aperol Spritz in hand. If you want to take a canal tour (more on that later) then that’s where the tourist boats pick you up and drop you off.

If you just want to explore it’s fun to walk along the row of colourful houses and take in the gorgeous view of the river and the boats lining the harbor edge.

Tivoli Gardens

To our shame we didn’t actually visit the infamous gardens, but they hold one of the oldest theme parks in Europe. It costs to get into the gardens and then extra to go on the rides, but they are open for the summer and then decorated especially and re-opened for Halloween and Christmas. So if you’re there around those times maybe pop by to take a look!

If you have the time:

Canal Tour

There are plenty of canal tours on offer around Copenhagen, from the more touristy options to off-the-beaten-track options. We opted for Hello Sailor, which we actually found on Airbnb. For £25 an hour, and on a much smaller boat than the larger tourist options, we were sailed around the canals with complimentary wine and beer.

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Trip to Malmo

Whereas this wasn’t something we had the time to do, it came highly recommended to us as but something to do if you have more time in your trip. A train to Malmo in Sweden is only 35 minutes and runs every 20 minutes, so it’s super easy to hop over to a different country – just don’t forget to bring your passport!

This fun expedition can just be to explore a new little town, but it’s also right by the ocean so you can take a dip in the sea or pay a visit to Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, which is the outdoor bathing pools. But don’t bring your trunks as they won’t be needed – only skinny dipping here!

Cycle Further out of the City

If I haven’t gone on about it enough already, it’s safe to say cycling really is one of the best things to do in Copenhagen to see the sights and also just to enjoy a few hours exploring.

If you have more time than just a few days in the city definitely get on a bike and look up a cycle route. When we were there we looked up the best route to cycle out to see The Little mermaid and it took us along some cycle paths with great views along the way.

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Anywho, I hope you enjoyed the latest addition to my Essentials series, if you’re planning on visiting Copenhagen soon let me know in the comments! More posts in this Essentials series will be coming soon, but in the meantime check out my Instagram @GrundyTravels for the latest updates!

Thanks for reading x

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