After spending New Years in Hamburg, my family and I headed up to Denmark by bus to visit the spectacular capital city of Copenhagen (København).
The first thing I noticed about the city as we drove through were the neat and tidy geometric brick buildings and the prevalent use of bicycles on the road. Copenhagen is proud to be known as one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.
Our hotel was right by the central station, so we went to explore the surrounding area with the help of my mum’s Danish friend who showed us around. There was an eclectic mix of modern and old going on in the centre, like these fancy new buildings under construction near the station.
The Copenhagen Cathedral or The Church of Our Lady is the national cathedral of Denmark. It looked more like a palace inside than a church and for good reason – there has been many Danish royal weddings and events held here.
We had lunch at Det lille Apotek or The Little Pharmacy, which claimed to be the oldest restaurant and coffee house in Copenhagen. In 1720, a pharmacist converted his pharmacy into a restaurant after his unique home distilled spirits became popular with the locals.
The Round Tower or Rundetaarn is one of the most famous landmarks of the city since 1642. University astronomers used the tower as an observatory and the old Library Hall is used for gallery exhibitions and concerts.
To get to the lookout at the top, you have to walk up the long spiral ramp which winds seven and a half times around the tower core – so no stairs until the very few at the end!
Frederik’s Church or the Marble Church is located west of the winter home of the Danish royal family, Amalienborg Palace. The royal mansions surround an octagonal plaza manned by guards – we saw a lot of tourists taking candid photos with them!
Denmark is also home to famous fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, who penned stories like The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Snow Queen. On Copenhagen’s harbour promenade is a small statue of Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, which is a famous tourist spot and also notorious for being painted over and beheaded twice by artists.
On our last night in Copenhagen, we went to Tivoli which is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Usually theme parks are far away from the cities, but this one was located smack bang in the city centre next to the station!
The night was bitterly cold but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. My brother went on The Demon roller coaster ride in the Chinatown quarter, which looked terrifying but only lasted for under two minutes (the price tag was also terrifying at 75 DKK).
My dad and I went on the somewhat tamer but more famous wooden roller coaster called Rutschebanen, which is one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters still operating today.
Although we only had a few days in Copenhagen, we all enjoyed ourselves a lot – much more than we expected. Denmark’s capital is such an interesting place steeped with a lot of history and there was so much we didn’t get to see this time around, so I hope we can go back for more soon!
So, did you like Copenhagen as much as I did?
Has anyone else been here or would like to add it to their travel list?