Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quick Guide to Copenhagen

Destination: Copenhagen
Travel Companion: Wissam (from all the way in Canada)
Duration: 2.5 days
Budget: $530 pp (excluding flights - return flights from Beirut are around $600, internal flights / euro rail tickets in Europe can be very cheap)

 
As you know, there are now direct flights (3 times a week) between Beirut and Copenhagen with FlySAS and this is only going to mean one thing: my walking tour guide will be meeting many more Lebanese people! Lucky him :). Jokes aside, Copenhagen is beautiful but is equally expensive! At first glance, you will feel like this is a place that will be outside your budget, but if you plan it carefully, you will be able to manage.


Nyhavn on a sunny day - Copenhagen


1) Where to stay


Obviously you can stay somewhere around Copenhagen city center, but as usual it's not a bad idea to stay a bit further (20-25 minutes walk from the center) but close to a metro station, some areas would be Norreport, and Osterport (which is where I stayed).

2) How to move around

Obviously, you are in the capital of cycling (it's a close tie between Copenhagen and Amsterdam. They say there are more bicycles in Copenhagen than people), and some airbnb hosts actually let you use their bicycle, if not you can always rent one, otherwise you can use the bus and the metro. When you land, you can take the train from the airport to the city center. You can buy the ticket in the airport, you can also buy something called "Copenhagen Card", this card allows you free entrance to museums, to Tivoli gardens, free usage of all modes of transport such as buses, trains, ferries and some cruises. Now, if you're planning to walk more and not visit a museum, you probably don't need it as this card costs around €95. You can also choose to do the hop on - hop off (both by bus and by boat). I wouldn't recommend getting the Copenhagen Card in this case.

Beautiful Copenhagen


Christinia Bike is a bicyle native to Christinia town, you can host your family or friend in it!

This is not the Go Boat, but this something that floats and can be steered! :)

3) Things to do

  • Walking tours: I will never tire from recommending walking tours. I actually did two with the same tour company, an alternative tour (usually they tell you unconventional stories) and a free history tour. In addition to those, you can do a food tour and a bike tour (if you're a skilled cyclist, go for it!)
  • One hour canal cruise (included for free in the Copenhagen Card, and 12€ on this website) with a guide telling you about the sites you're going to see including the famous Little Mermaid statue.
  • Go Boat: if there is a group of you, this is certainly a great way to see Copenhagen, you have a table in the middle to have some drinks and food, and you get to cruise through the canals of what's known as the little Amsterdam in a town called "Christianshavns Kanal".
  • Kayaking and SUP (stand-up paddle board).
  • Swimming in the harbor (if the weather is good, go for it, they keep their harbor clean)
  • Visit Museums. There is a ton, and caters to all tastes. I genuinely wish I had more time so I can visit a couple of interesting ones there.
One hour canal cruise in Copenhagen
Botanical Gardens - Copenhagen

4) Places to visit

  • Christiania: is a must visit. During the walking tours you will be told about the history of this free town. It has a population of 800 people, it's a sort of a social experiment, where soft drugs are allowed (only to consume within the actual town). There are two rules: No photography and no running! Because running means the police are here. Now putting that aside, it's a colorful beautiful crazy little town that is like no other town in the world. Full of Graffiti, we caught a band playing during daylight, has a nice path for a short hike by the lake. Originally, this island was a military base, which was then occupied by hippies and the rest is history!
  • Tivoli Gardens: free entrance if you have the Copenhagen Card. It has the oldest roller coaster in the world, has plenty of restaurants and filled with beautiful flowers. It has a classic feel to it, so if you have the card, I recommend you at least take a walk in it This is definitely recommended for a family.
  • Nyhavn - plenty of restaurants and pubs there by the harbor.
  • If you're a plant and flowers geek, take a walk in the Botanical Gardens. They contain 13000 species!
  • If you loving shopping, you will have access to the longest pedestrian shopping street "Stroget".
Nyhavn aka New Harbor in Copenhagen
Graffiti in free town Christiania - Copenhagen
Tivoli Gardens - Copenhagen

5) What to eat

You really can't go wrong in Copenhagen. Every restaurant I picked (and I use foursquare to check what's close, affordable and has a good rating) turned out to be great no matter the cuisine. Of course, I recommend to try Scandinavian food at least once. It's different and interesting. We went to a place called "Barr" which is where Noma was located in the new part of Copenhagen called Christianshavns. Here are few places my friend and I tried and liked:
  • District Tonkin - facebook page (Vietnamese, I tried the Banh mi, and it was as if I was back in Vietnam)
  • Corner on the 108 (Good in the morning with a nice view, has a great selection of pastries)
  • Barr restaurant, has a great vibe, all wooden on the inside, and if you're social you'll appreciate the table sharing, and you might end up making friends like we did! We tried the Pork Schnitzel, and it was amazing.
  • Jensen's Bofhus (Steakhouse, great steaks and burgers but slow service)
  • Pizzeria La Fiorita
  • Lagkagehuset (it's a pastries chain, always packed and you'll have to queue for it)
Yum! Right?

6) What and where to drink

  • Well, if you're an anise lover, you have to try Schnapps
  • Mikeller Craft Beer
  • Moose Bar (if you fancy a game of table tennis as well)
  • Barabba Restaurant (wine tasting) 
Mikkeler
 #FROMCOPENHAGENWITHFUNK (instagram)

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