And my travels continue in Europe! From September to December 2015, I am completing an internship in London, UK. Here is a long overdue post on my trip to Copenhagen that I took at the end of September.
We had three full days in Copenhagen, and I think that was the perfect amount of time to explore the city and its main attractions without any rush. Though Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark, it was much smaller, with respect to both area and population, than the big cities I was used to in North America and Asia. During our stay in the city, we never used any form of transportation other than walking and some biking.
One thing to note about travelling in Denmark is that many places only accept chip & pin credit cards. (i.e. American swipe & sign cards will not work in some places. Have a backup!)
This was probably one of the least planned trips I’ve been on. We booked the flight and hostel in advance, but did no research after that. We got to the hostel, picked up a couple brochures from the front desk, and read about a free walking tour that took place everyday. We went on this two hour tour where a local guided us around all the major parts of the city, explaining the history and significance of each sight.
Honestly, this tour was probably the best thing that could have happened to us. It not only gave us an awesome introduction to the city, it informed us of many other sights and activities to do for the rest of our stay in Denmark.
We took a 30 minute train ride to Sweden, separated from Copenhagen by only a narrow strip of water. The closest city to us in Sweden was a place called Malmö.
Malmö was very clean and had nice, modern buildings. It had a couple parks to stroll through and a beach. One thing that seemed to be missing from this city though, was people. We were there on a Sunday, and the town seemed like it was deserted. We even had trouble finding an open restaurant for lunch, so we ended up buying salad from a grocery store and eating it at a nearby park. Later, we were surprised to find out that Malmö was the third most populous city in Sweden! I think we were too used to walking through the crowded streets of London.
We stayed in Sweden for a total of 3-4 hours, then got on the train back to Denmark.
In Copenhagen, we went to the top of the city’s highest tower, Christiansborg Palace (Parliament). The funny thing was that this tower was not more than ten stories high, but that was more than enough to see over the entire city.
After this, we strolled through Christiania.
In the morning, we went on a nice, relaxing canal tour from Nyhavn.
After the tour, we decided to spend the rest of the day on bikes. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. (Apparently there is even an index called the Copenhagenize Index, which represents how bicycle-friendly the city is.) Every road has a bicycle lane, which was sometimes even as wide as the car lane.
We rented several bikes for a couple hours and road around to visit The Little Mermaid Statue, Kastellet, Rosenborg Castle (which was closed 🙁 ), and Christiania.
Overall, I thought Copenhagen was a beautiful city. The wide, spacious roads and sidewalks were a huge contrast to the narrow and crowded streets of London. It was so nice to be able to walk everywhere within the city, to see people using more bikes than cars, and to be somewhere new that wasn’t flooded with tourists. The lack of planning ended up working out really well for us, and it made this trip very relaxing.
*Credits to Tony Au-Yeung for the photos.