The city of bikes, vintage prams and... cobblestones! Welcome to beautiful Copenhagen!


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Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen
May 30th 2016
Published: September 13th 2016
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I was really looking forward to going to Europe once again... I couldn’t believe it had been 2,5 years since I was last there! It was actually the longest time away from home so far... where did the time go? And even though I had been to Denmark once before, I can’t really say I saw any of it at all back then as it was just a short bus trip to Legoland when I was a kid... I think the bus journey took longer than the actual stay in Denmark... So going there now felt as if I was going to a totally new country. New and yet familiar as after all it’s good old Europe... It’s where I grew up and where I spent most of my life in...



As much as I was looking forward to visiting Europe, the idea of flying 14 hours (2 flights 7 hours each) was making me feel very uneasy though... Not a big fan of flying and on top of that trying to entertain Millie for 14 hours in a plane and keep her in one place for that long was going to be quite a challenge for sure... It was the first time we were going to use Qatar Airways and I have to say I was quite curious what was making this airline stand out from all the others as apparently it was voted the best airline that year. We got a few freebies from the airline – a book for Millie and a little kiddie survival kit for the parents (few nappies, wipes and the like) and were even offered some baby food! No thanks but we had our own little production line. 😉 Besides that – airline like every other one, I guess I’m not a very demanding passenger. The first flight went very smooth and without any hassle at all. Before we knew it we were landing in Doha already. I pictured Doha in my head before, little oasis by the water and surrounded by desert... I wasn’t too far off I guess... It was still an oasis but a concrete one as all I could see was skyscrapers with a little marina and yes, it was surrounded by desert, but not by the calm dunes that I have pictured but rather a cloud of dust and sand! Not exactly on my bucket list,
Interesting staute in front of Christiansborg Palace Interesting staute in front of Christiansborg Palace Interesting staute in front of Christiansborg Palace

The statue of impaled bear is supposed to emphasize that global warming is becoming 'unbearable'
but since we have friends living there, we might as well visit one day. 😊



The 1,5 hour wait in Doha seemed to be taking ages but finally we were boarding the plane to our final destination. Even though the plane to Denmark was almost empty, somehow they managed to put all the babies in one row... 2 overtired babies and one freshie... Unfortunately Millie was one of the overtired ones – she was really fighting against going to sleep... No ‘real’ crying thankfully, just very, very cranky... 3 hours of rocking her in my arms to sleep and hundreds of Twinkle little stars, Knick Knacks and whatever other songs that popped in my head at that time and she finally gave up and fell asleep... That was one hell of an exhausting flight!



Once we landed we caught a taxi and in no time at all were at our AirBnB place. We were looking at all sorts of options when booking accommodation and seeing how pricey Copenhagen could be, decided to check out what AirBnB had on offer. I have never used it before so was quite surprised to see how many people were offering their houses for rent this way! Tonnes of offers... Since we were going to stay there for a week, we booked an entire place rather than room only. We were actually sharing the house with the owners but had our separate entrance, bathroom and even a little kitchenette! Not bad at all! Not to mention our hosts were super friendly and helpful and had a little girl slightly older than Millie so we were able to exchange a few baby stories. The neighbourhood was lovely as well with a fantastic bakery and two supermarkets just around the corner and we were only 45 minutes walk away from the centre. So far so good!



On our first night in Copenhagen we didn’t even make it past 10pm! It was a bit weird going to bed when it was still bright outside but thankfully we had some good blinds on the windows and could finally catch some z’s. I totally forgot how long the summer days in Europe can be! I wondered what plans Millie had for the night since she did have quite a few naps that day already... In the end she decided to wake up at 4 in the morning... Not great... Fortunately after an hour of crawling and rolling around between us, she decided to snooze off for a little bit longer... and so did we of course! Now we were ready for Copenhagen...



We didn’t have any specific plans for our stay here, just wander around the town and get over the jetlag somehow. So on our first day in Copenhagen we just walked to the centre, nice 45 minute walk, it felt great to stretch our legs after the flights. The weather was very pleasant as well. It was overcast and it even rained a bit throughout the day, but we weren’t too upset about that at all! It was actually a nice and refreshing change to the hot and humid Singapore. Finally being able to breathe normally. 😊



We started our little wander around the old town with a visit to the... LEGO shop! It’s been quite a while since the last time I had anything to do with these little blocks and even though the idea of LEGO hasn’t changed since then, there sure is more variety and choice now – apart from the usual sets for building houses, cars and all that, you have a gigantic selection of themed editions: all sorts of series and movies, Simpsons Lego, Big Bang Theory Lego, Star Wars Lego, Avengers Lego... you name it! Hey, they even had Angry Birds Lego! Crazy! And not the cheapest either... Thankfully it’s not something that we need to buy for Millie just yet, but who knows in a few years time, we might be emptying our wallets in a shop just like this one...



We walked around a bit more through the streets of the old town but soon after were forced to look for some roof over our heads as it started raining... We found some shopping centre so just had a lunch there and waited through the rain. We were both quite tired from the journey still and knew we weren’t going to last too long that day. Once it stopped raining we continued with our stroll around the old town. We checked out the postcard perfect Nyhavn as well and even treated ourselves to some overpriced beer by the canal. We were still trying to figure out how much it was that we were actually paying here as DKK to AUD is not exactly the easiest conversion... Despite the ridiculous price, the beer was definitely worth it! Perfect location, the sun came out as soon as we sat down and since it was my first full beer since I got pregnant (couldn’t help myself and steal a few sips from Grant a few times in between), I enjoyed every sip... and every sip went straight to my head as well as I could definitely feel it! Copenhagen looked even more beautiful after that. 😉 Nyhavn is definitely a nice spot for a beer or two or even something to eat. A bit too pricey for us though but it looks like you don’t have to get broke to enjoy some food and drinks here as it can be done much cheaper – quite a few locals were simply bringing their own beers and snacks and enjoying them while sitting on the quay, right in front of the restaurants and nobody had anything to say about that. How about that?



The rest of our stay in Copenhagen wasn’t too different to our first day, except the weather that is as we were very lucky with the weather for the rest of the week. Sunny, but not too hot, as the temperature stayed at a pleasant 26C. Every day we would walk to the centre and from there planned the rest of our day, usually trying to fit some kind of attraction into our schedule each day and just stroll around for the remaining part of the day.



If there was anything that our hosts thought was worth doing in Copenhagen, it was the canal tour. It was just an hour in the boat but it would give us an overview of some things around so we jumped into one of the boats one day, leaving the pram behind and hoping it would still be there when we came back, and soon after we were cruising through the canals. We picked the good day as the boat was quite empty. Just as promised it was a very pleasant trip, we saw a couple of places that we would definitely like to go to, like Papiroen (street food market) for example and we also saw a few places that we would definitely give a miss – like the mermaid statue, much smaller than I depicted it and on top of that totally swarmed by tourists. No, thanks...



Grant read somewhere that one place definitely worth a visit in Copenhagen was the National Museum, which actually had a free entry! Well how about that! Not often you come by freebies these days, so we were definitely going to check this place out. And it was well worth it for sure! Fantastic collection of old artefacts, some of them dating back as far as 2600BC and all the way up to the 19th century. Special attention was of course given to the Vikings – skeletons from some old burial sites and wooden (oak) coffins, ancient rune stones, artefacts and even the remains of a Viking boat. Really impressive and did I mention already it was free? 😉



One day we made it to the Amalienborg palace at noon to check out the changing of the guards. Apparently there are three different types of watches depending on who resides at that time in the palace and I’ve read that it wasn’t anything spectacular unless the royals were there. It didn’t look like the queen was there that day as the flag wasn’t up on the palace, but we decided to check out the changing of the guards anyway. We were a bit early so trying to find some shade, we leaned against one of the walls of the palace or more like barely touched the wall as we were screamed at by one of the guards straight away. Ok, no touching the wall, we get it grumpy! Shouldn’t there be some kind of sign or maybe a simple barrier put in front of it to stop people leaning against the walls then? It would definitely make life easier for the guards as during the time we were standing there, Grumpy who shouted at us before, had to shout a good few more times again. But then maybe at least it makes it a little bit less boring for the guards to walk up and down the same path the whole day – nothing can make your day more than shouting at some ignorant tourists, right? 😉 In the end I have to say that this little bit of ‘action’ with the Grumpy was way more interesting than the changing of the guards itself. There was no music so I guess we witnessed the palace watch which was the least ‘spectacular’ one. Ah well, at least we could people watch a bit and it was definitely more entertaining seeing all the people queuing and pushing each other to get a better view than the changing of the guards itself...



Another day we went to check out the Rosenberg Slot (Castle) as well. We didn’t really bother to go inside as it looked like you were basically standing in a long line throughout the castle – lots of tour groups...But it was well worth it to come here if only to see the park. Lots of people relaxing on the grass, having picnics, drinking beers and wine... Not to mention that it was a perfect spot for us to let Millie practice her crawling skills also. We knew we would be back here for sure – with some snacks and drinks of course...



Next on our list was Tivoli, the 2nd oldest operating amusement park in the world, founded in 1843 (the 1st one is also in Denmark!). I wondered if there would be anything here that could give you a little bit of an adrenaline rush taking into account the age of some of the rides... But there sure were quite a few around! And the park was definitely popular. We only strolled around the park without jumping on any rides – think we might save it for the future, but as we were leaving the park, it looked as if the party was only about to start. They were setting up the stage and lots of beer and shots stands were slowly opening... and it seemed that we were going against the traffic, as people were only coming in! No party for us this time... Think we’ve seen enough though. 😊



We had a glimpse at Christiansborg Palace another day as well. Only a glimpse as we got discouraged by seeing all the tour groups. It probably would have been interesting to see where the queen worked but it just seemed like the wrong time of the day. As we were leaving we saw a small queue to the tower and guess what? It was free entrance to the tower! Another freebie! It looked slightly awkward to make our way there with the pram and we were about to walk away, but they were just calling people for the next elevator and it looked like we might be able to make it... Quick decision... Ok ,I’d go! 😊 It took a bit longer than expected as once we went through the security gates, there was another queue. They were actually letting only 8 people in the elevator at the time, so it would take a while. It turned out that there was one more elevator after that and some steps to climb as well... Yay! Finally I made it to the top! The views were actually not bad at all and guess who I could see as well, yep! Grant and Millie waving to me sitting in front of the palace. No time to waste then, a couple of pictures and ready to go back... I was surprised to see a big queue in front of the elevator again and what was worse it wasn’t moving at all? Hello? Did anyone press the button? No? Well how about pressing one then? Thank you! What would they do without me? 😉 Just in case I skipped the next elevator and just ran down the stairs. Copenhagen panorama? Check! 😊
Getting a small glimpse at the Mermaid... Getting a small glimpse at the Mermaid... Getting a small glimpse at the Mermaid...

slightly underwhelmed I have to say, mostly because of the commercial side of it... way too many tourists!




As for food we usually had some kind of lunch in town and just made dinners at ‘home’. We really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Papiroen, the Paper Island. They used to make newspapers here hence the name, now it’s a very popular place among locals as well as tourists to eat some street food – apparently one of the cheapest places to eat at in Copenhagen as well. It was packed with people! Lots of different foods to choose from, I wouldn’t say it was super cheap here at all, but it was definitely cheaper than the centre, great atmosphere as well, we loved it!



Another food related thing that I was particularly happy about in Copenhagen (and I knew it would only continue throughout Europe) were THE bakeries! The moment I passed the first one (did I mention it was just around the corner from our house? 😊) I knew I was in heaven! The smell of freshly baked bread, not to mention the pastries... yum! Yum! Yum! And the choice! If there is one thing that Australia is definitely lacking are good bakeries... Haven’t come across one yet... Maybe for the better actually? As I knew already it was going to be hard to keep me away from these... 😉



Besides that we just walked, walked, walked and walked! All around, there and back, wherever our feet and pram took us... And it wasn’t that easy manoeuvring the pram as they sure like the cobble stones in Copenhagen! As it would turn out later on during our trip, it was actually quite a common thing for many European cities, if not all the older cities. To be honest I never really paid much attention to it, the cobble stones were simply there and were never bothering me before... But now walking around with the pram, they sort of became a bit of a nuisance. If only Millie had any teeth sure they would’ve been knocked out by now... 😉 We’d better get used to the cobble stones, quick!



I was also surprised to see so many bikes here! I’ve actually read somewhere that there are more bicycles in Copenhagen than people, not sure if it’s true, it makes you wonder though! It reminded me very much of Holland, hundreds of bikes parked everywhere, fantastic bicycle paths and lots of cyclists all around, that’s the way to go! I guess it helps the cyclists that Copenhagen is pretty much flat. What I loved above all was seeing people with kids on their bikes – teaching them to be eco-friendly and sporty from the early years of their life. And if they couldn’t bike on their own, there were plenty of options to sort this out – a back seat, front seat, front basket, back basket, even the whole bikes attached to the parents’ bikes by the front wheel... with the kids on them! Probably wouldn’t try that but I could certainly picture Millie in one of those baskets... The things we are considering now haha! For now the pram and carrier will do though! 😊



We probably could’ve gone for a trip or two somewhere around Copenhagen as we had plenty of time to do that but to be honest we just couldn’t be bothered into organising anything like that. After all we were hoping to relax here and that’s exactly what we did. Now we were ready to go to Poland to introduce Millie to her grandparents and to relax even more! I would gladly get back to Denmark one day to continue exploring this lovely country... probably with a bit more money in our pockets though as it sure is expensive!! For now, next stop: my lovely hometown, Elblag. 😊



******

During our week in Copenhagen we spent DKK 3,700, which is around AUD 730 (without accommodation), adding to it accommodation, we spent on average AUD 200 per day, which is EUR 135.

Small breakdown of our main expenses in Copenhagen:

* Accommodation – a room with a bathroom and kitchenette booked through AirBnB – 7 nights AUD650

* Taxi to and from the airport – DKK 325 & DKK 370

* Tivoli entrance – DKK 220 (DKK 110 p/p)

* Canal tour – DKK 80 (DKK 40 p/p)

* 2 beers in Nyhavn – DKK 140 which is approx. AUD 28!

* travel plug – DKK 90 (so much luggage and yet no travel plug, who would’ve thought?!)

* DKK 200 on average on lunch, much, much less on dinners as made them ourselves (actually Grant did, lucky me!) at our temporary home 😊


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Taaaraaaa! Taaaraaaa!
Taaaraaaa!

At the Amalienborg palace


13th September 2016

I remember the bakeries
I can totally understand why you enjoyed the bakeries. It was many years ago since I last visted Copenhagen but I still remember the fresh bread in the morning. /Ake
14th September 2016

The bakeries
Yes, they were a real delight! Thanks for reading :)

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