Here’s an overdue post about our trip to Scandinavia last September and October 2018. 🙂 This post shall be dedicated to Copenhagen, the beautiful capital of Denmark. Similarly, I will write separate blog entries about Oslo and Stockholm. Happy to share that Denmark is the 19th country that I have visited outside the Philippines! 😀
Copenhagen is a vibrant and beautiful city, indeed such an eye-candy with lots of picturesque spots. It has a modern and relaxing vibe. It was easy to go around as we never saw signs of heavy traffic. It has been nominated as the Best City to visit now by a couple of organizations and websites (i.e. The Lonely Planet). And we understand why.
5 THINGS WE LIKED ABOUT COPENHAGEN
- Cleanliness – It is one of the cleanest cities in the world. You would almost never find any trash/rubbish on the street and the air is also fresh!
- Safety – We felt secure during our entire stay as we knew that the crime levels are very low. On top of this, the Danish are also kind and friendly – not just basic politeness. But just like any other city, one must still take necessary precautions, especially against pick pockets. You can always contact the police at 114, and at 112 for emergency situations.
- Ease of communication – Almost everyone speaks good English. Checking in at the hotel, ordering food from a restaurant, buying from a convenience store, asking for directions, all these have been a breeze because they are also fluent with the English language.
- Easy to explore – As a tourist, it was easy to go around through Citysightseeing. But even without the tourist buses, the public transportation is very efficient (buses and trains). Cycling is a serious mode of transport, there are even highways for bikes. I even read from the Visit Copenhagen website that they have more bicycles than people!
- Picturesque locations – The city features modern and sleek Danish design with a mix of old architecture. Everything is such an eye-candy.
5 THINGS TO EXPERIENCE IN COPENHAGEN
- Sea and Canal Cruise – The city is surrounded by sea. It would be such a shame if one misses out riding a boat to explore the sea and the canals. The views are spectacular!
- Go for a Bike ride – E and I rented bikes on our last day. Unfortunately for me, I found the bike unsuitable and uncomfortable that’s why I did not go far (Hehehe). E shared with me that it was indeed a fantastic experience. The locals go around by bike and it was nice to experience what they commonly do.
- Take a bus tour – If you have just arrived and would like to have an overview of the city, doing some sightseeing by bus could be a could start. Each tour lasts for 1-2 hours and it allows you to get a glimpse of each key location. With the help of the audio guide which is usually available in many languages, you will gain more appreciation of the the city.
- Explore by foot – The city is very pretty, the streets are lovely and it’s generally safe. Walking around has been a brilliant idea for us. Nothing beats this if your goal is to immerse yourself.
- Eat Danish pastry – Get your self some danish pastry for each and every morning that you are in Denmark. Period.
GETTING AROUND COPENHAGEN
We went around the city by bus via City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off which is a sightseeing tour that takes you through all the must-see attractions in Copenhagen. They provide daily departures in the double-decker buses with sliding top for rain or shine. We were able to hop on and hop off at any of the stops along the routes. Aside from buses, they also have tours by boat which I highly recommend as it gives you a fantastic experience.
Click HERE to be redirected to CitySightseeing Copenhagen’s website.
My husband and I are usually the DIY kind of travellers, meaning we usually travel on our own via public transportation to experience the city. In this case, we think that the Hop On Hop Off tour is the more practical choice in terms of cost, productivity and mobility. As a complement to your travel, they also offer free wi-fi on the bus.
Tip: When planning your trip, take time to check the schedules as the stops and departure times vary for each season.
You may book your tickets in advance through the website or purchase it on site just like what we did. CitySightseeing is available in many cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Edinburgh, New York, Singapore, Amsterdam, etc.
TYPES OF TOURS
It is important to know that City Sightseeing offers three (3) different tours.
Tip: If your time is limited, I would recommend prioritizing the Mermaid Tour and Carlsberg tour over the Christiania Tour. Let me share with you the details on the brochure.
Mermaid Tour (Duration 1 hour, 30 mins)
“This route takes you to historical parts of Copenhagen, unique atmosphere with old and modern architecture, numerous museums, experiences and attractions. You can stroll through living areas which used to be for the working class, but today are modern and attractive places to live. Along the route are lots of different shopping possibilities.”
The Mermaid Tour brings you to the following areas and top attractions:
Ved Stranden/Stroget, Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace, Gefion Fountain, The Little Mermaid, Langelinie*, Rosenborg Castle, Gammel Tov, City Hall Square, National Museum of Denmark, Tivoli/ Radison Royal Hotel, Fisketorvet – Copenhagen Mall/ Tivoli Hotel, Kalvebod Waves / Marriott Hotel and The Black Diamond/ DAC / BLOX
Those with asterisks (*) are only available during summer (5th May – 30th Sept).
The Tivoli Gardens is a very popular attractions in Copenhagen, if not the most popular. Unfortunately, it was not operational during the dates of our visit. 😦
Christiania Tour (Duration 55 mins)
“The purple route takes you to the area housing the world famous Freetown Christiania. At Christianshavn, houseboats are located along the canal line with narrow houses, where hip Copenhageners live. People enjoy the atmosphere by taking a stroll and maybe visit ‘Street Food’ at Refshaleoen for a delicious meal.
The Christiania Tour brings you to the following areas and top attractions:
Ved Stranden/ Stroget, Christianshavn, Christiania Freetown, The Opera, Street Food/ Reffen, Islands Brygge/ Casino Copenhagen and Tivoli/ Radisson Royal Hotel
Tip: Try to visit the Freetown with caution. I was taking random photos and someone shouted at me and asked me to put my camera away. I then realized that indeed, people were buying weed in the streets. A few moments later, we saw a group of cops inspecting the area and the stall selling weed was already gone.
Carlsberg Tour (Durations 30 mins)
“This is the fashionable area of Copenhagen, where cosy cafes and shops line the streets which ‘end’ in the beautiful Frederiksberg Garden, an amazing park with small lakes, trees and flowers.”
Unfortunately for us, our time was already limited so we only had to settle for the sightseeing and did not hop on and off anymore. 😦
The Carlsberg Tour brings you to the following areas and top attractions:
Tivoli / Radisson Royal Hotel, Planetarium, Frederiksberg Garden, Copenhagen ZOO, Visit Carlsberg and Vesterbro Square
Boat Tour (Duration 1 hour, 30 mins)
“The harbour side of Copenhagen is extremely lively. The citizens love to spend their spare time next to the canals and the many cafes and restaurants are always well-visited. The boat tour passes areas and attractions from both the red and the purple line, but the view is obviously different from land to see.”
The number of stops are limited during the Fall and Winter, which I think is why they gave these as a free tour during our visit.
The Boat Tour stops at the following areas/sites:
Ved Stranden/ Stroget, Nyhavn, Street Food/ Reffen*, The Little Mermaid*, Ofelia Plads*/ Amalienborg Palace, Christianshavn*, DAC/ BLOX*/ The Black Diamond
Those with asterisks (*) are only available during summer (5th May – 16th Sept).
CITY SIGHTSEEING TICKET PRICES (24 HOURS + EXTRA 24 HOURS FREE)
- Mermaid Tour – Adult, 28 euros / Child, 14 euros
- All Lines (Bus) – Adult, 33 euros / Child – 16 euros (In our case, this was already inclusive of the boat tour)
- Boat Tour – Adult, 15 euros / Child – 8 euros
We stayed for 2 nights at Wake Up Copenhagen Borgergrade. It’s located at the city center of Copenhagen, only 8 minutes away from Nyhavn which is probably the most picturesque and most popular spot in the city. Among all the hotels we booked for this Scandinavia trip, this is the most expensive accommodation that we had. It is indeed true that this city is quite expensive.
While this is a 2-star hotel, it looked premium, chic and it provided more than the basics. The hotel lobby is nice. Bed was comfortable. There were some english channels on the television. The bathroom was well-kept. Most importantly, it was quiet so we were able to rest properly. E booked our accommodation via Booking.com as per usual.
Location: Borgergrade 9, DK-1300 Copenhagen
Contact: +45 4480 0090 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall, the 3 days that we had to explore was just right. Suffice to say that I would definitely recommend everyone to visit CPH! ❤
After exploring Copenhagen, we cruised via DFDS Seaways to Oslo. Read about our Copenhagen to Oslo Cruise HERE.