Copenhagen is a city of culture and great food – and it doesn’t have to cost as much as you think. If you have a few days, I’d recommend using one of them to take a day-trip to Malmo in Sweden and to visit the Swedish Peninsular.
We stayed near the train station at an apartment (Flensborggade No 1, 3rd floor), which we found on booking.com. I would recommend staying in an apartment as it is often cheaper than hotels and it reduces your food costs significantly. Particularly when there is a Netto on your doorstep!
The train station area is perhaps a little “up and coming” and we did see a lot of drunks and occasional prostitutes on the streets when we were coming back late very at night but this did not trouble us and the street our apartment was on was very quiet. However, if you are a lone traveller and planning on being out til late, getting a taxi back to your apartment might be a good idea.
It’s pretty easy to navigate Copenhagen by foot but if you have mobility issues or are planning on hitting the suburbs then the metro system is easy to use and relatively cheap. However, remember to buy your ticket before you travel as you cannot buy a ticket on the train itself and the fines are hefty.
It’s also fun to rent bikes – the city is flat, has tons of cycle lanes and the bikes are motorised, so you hardly need to pedal. Bike shops are ten a penny but the bikes I saw tended to be a bit rickety! You can also take your bike on the train. We visited some of the suburbs, took our bikes on the train and then used them to explore.
Even if you are not into roller coasters, Tivoli is a must see. I’d recommend going at night as the park is lit up and there is often live music on (definitely on Fridays). We saw a DJ for free and the light show was fantastic. The entry price is a bit steep but you don’t have to spend any money once you are inside, unless you want to eat at one of the many restaurants or buy souvenirs. Click here to visit the website.
This building is situated in the heart of the medieval quarter and offers views over the city (it’s nearly 35m high). The 17th century architecture is fascinating and the walk up the spiral ramp is novel. There is a small entrance fee to get in. Click here to access the website.
Located in Christianshavn, this alternative community is in the process of being demolished and the land given over to developers. It’s a fascinating area, full of murals, artists, shops etc. However, be vigilant as there are also lots of junkies around and at times, we felt a little unsafe. If you’d a like to learn more about the community click here.
Other sites include Rosenborg Slot where you can see the Crown Jewels or just chill in the park and gardens for free. We also had a lovely day just walking around the city, looking at the exhibitions along the canal, sitting in the sunshine having lunch and relaxing in Nyhavn watching the boats on the cancel and looking at the colourfully painted houses. A word of warning, the eateries around Nyhavn do cater for tourists and we found the food to be overpriced and fairly sub standard.
Copenhagen has some great bars and clubs. For inspiration, check out these ideas: Top Bars.
Generally, you can’t go wrong in Copenhagen (tourist traps aside) and I recommend the famous Danish open sandwich. To reduce costs, we cooked in our apartment. If you fancy trying something more upmarket, there are a bevy of Michelin star restaurants. As it was my birthday, we decided to treat ourselves to Søllerød Kro in Holte, a suburb of Copenhagen, which is easy to get to by train. We actually rented bikes, took them on the train with us and cycled from the station to the restaurant (about a 10 minute cycle). The setting is beautiful – the restaurant is in a leafy village with a pretty church and has lakes nearby which are fabulous for relaxing after the set-menu lunch (which is a lot more filling than you imagine!). For menus/booking click here. The food is delicious too…
Jaunts to Malmo in Sweden are easy by train – it only takes circa 40 minutes. Malmo is definitely a summer city and has some nice green areas and some sites to interest tourists. We were impressed by Malmohaus Slott, a small castle with museums and a lovely park beyond. For eating, I would recommend the Lilla Torg area, where we had some wonderful food.
However, our main reason for travelling to Sweden was visiting the Swedish peninsular, Skanor and Falsterbo. The beaches are popular with fashionable Swedes and we thought the white sand beaches and brightly painted beach huts were worth a view. However, the water looked quite grey, so I wouldn’t recommend a swim! The peninsular is easy to get to by bus and might be worth a half-day trip.
I hope you found my whistle-stop tour of Copenhagen, Malmo and the Swedish Peninsular helpful, the trip was a great introduction to Scandinavia.