As a part of my Nordics trip in 2017, I decided to pay a quick visit to Copenhagen to add an extra country to my checked list. I admit that I haven’t planned my trip properly. I just created a quick list of “must visit” locations and left the rest to whatever I find on my way.

I took a train from Malmo, Sweden heading to Copenhagen. It’s a 30 minute trip on a bridge built over the sea. Seemed to me that many people commute from Sweden to Denmark on daily basis. The train was full and a few had luggage. My first impression was that this city, even though it’s quite big, but you can actually walk around the city and explore most touristic attractions on foot. I rarely used public transportation, even though it’s very reliable and you can get around easily, even for non-danish tourists, especially that everybody speaks English perfectly.

Fun fact: Copenhagen was voted best bicycle city in the world in 2017! So that’s another option for exploring the city.

I arrived quite late in the afternoon, so I had half a day to explore

Nyhavn district during blue hour

My first stop was Nyhavn, the beautiful 17th-century waterfront, canal, and entertainment district. It is renowned for its colorful 17th and 18th-century houses and bars. The area is one of the main attractions for tourists and locals, and get really busy during the night.

I took a boat tour around the canals. It’s a fun experience, especially if you would like to explore the city in a different way. The ride is almost 1 hour long, which passes by the famous Little Mermaid statue, the Amalienborg Palace, winter home of the Danish royal family and the Copenhagen Opera House.

Church of our Savior and the Helix Spire in Copenhagen
Church of our Savior

I started my second day from Strøget, a pedestrian street lined with shops, which is considered as one of the longest car-free shopping streets in Europe at 1.1km. I arrived there around 9 am, when most shops were closed and few people walking around. 

From there, I walked towards the “Church of Our Savior” that is most famous for its helix spire with an external staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering an extensive view over the central Copenhagen. Unfortunately, I didn’t go up for some reason, but I’ve seen some really nice pictures taken from the top.

In addition to the church, Christiansborg Palace Tower offers a great view of the city due to it being the tallest in the city. Access to the viewing platform is free, though passing through a security check is required due to the official nature of the building. There is a comfortable elevator. The palace is the seat of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget), the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark. (source: Wikipedia)

Christiania, the hippie “free town” in the middle of Copenhagen

Close by, you can find Christiania, the hippie “free town” in the middle of the city. It’s a very interesting place as it is considered a community that has its own rules and regulations completely independent of the Danish government, mostly due to the cannabis trade. It’s worth mentioning that cannabis is illegal elsewhere in Denmark. I am not at all interested in this, I mainly went there for the hippie atmosphere. Even though it is a touristic area, some don’t recommend going there,  especially during the night. But don’t take my word on it.

Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen, Denmark at Sunset

Tivoli Gardens are a must if you visit Copenhagen. It is an amusement park and a pleasure garden in the heart of the city. The park is best known for its wooden roller coaster, and wide green spaces. Besides the rides, Tivoli Gardens also serve as a venue for various performing arts & as an active part of the cultural scene in Copenhagen.

My last stop in Copenhagen was the Little Mermaid statue. It wasn’t as close to Tivoli Gardens as I imagined, as I had to walk for almost 1 hour to get there. My first impression was: Is this it?

Don’t be fooled by the photos. The statue is quite small and there are tons of tourists around taking pictures. So if you want to wait for your turn to take a photo, you’ll have to be patient.

According to my phone, I walked 20 km on the second day 🙂 so if you love walking long distances, Copenhagen is a perfect destination.

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