Read more to find out our top 5(/6/7) recommendations for a weekend in Copenhagen!
1. Easy Travel
We stepped off the plane Friday night into what is now one of our favourite cities- Copenhagen! After a short flight from the Charleroi airport, we found our way through the terminal to the trains so that we could take the train right into the city. One thing I found quite funny was that right next to the ticket machines, there were vending machines selling cans of beer, so that you can greet your guests with a beer when they arrive! Many people we’re greeting their friends with danish flags and cans of Carlsberg- what a great welcome!
We used the ticket machines to purchase a ‘tourist ticket’- for only 200kr you could make use of all public transportation, including trains, metro, and buses, unlimitedly for 72 hours. Definitely a great purchase for travelling around the city! We then hopped on the train and headed to Copenhagen Central Station, which was less than a 15 minute ride away.
2. Street Food
Once we arrived at the central station, our first stop was to go and check out Papirøen, or ‘Paper Island’, a big warehouse full of food trucks and unique bars located right on the water. The atmosphere here was incredible! It was very busy, as it was a Friday night, but the tables were full of people enjoying the music, having some drinks, and sampling the huge variety of food! There were twinkly lights strung from the ceiling, decorations to go with the themed food trucks, and fire pits with benches outside so you could enjoy food and drinks by the fire. By the time we arrived, most of the food trucks were closing up, so we had a beer and sat around the fire overlooking the water; our trip was certainly off to a fabulous start!
Saturday morning, we picked up some pastries from the bakery next door to our AirBnB and ate at home, trying to save a bit of money because food and drinks in Copenhagen are very expensive! We then headed out and took the bus into the city, which was incredibly easy thanks to our travel pass.
We started the morning by trying to go on a free walking tour of the city, however we got a bit lost along the way and ended up at the wrong place where we thought the tour would start. After waiting a bit for the tour that never came, we decided we would do a boat tour instead and walked through the city to Nyhavn where we knew of some boat tours. Somewhere along the way, we came across the Lagkagehuset Bakery, and were drawn in by the mouthwatering pastries in the window. We decided to go in and check it out further, and ended up treating ourselves to some tarts and minty-fresh homemade lemonade!
We really could not have had a better day to see the iconic, colourful Nyhavn. The sky was bright blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight! The sunny, warm weather brought hundreds of people to the patios and bars lining the harbour, and made the colourful buildings really pop against the bright sky. We walked along the street admiring the amazing view before heading across the water to buy our tickets for the boat trip. Some of the restaurants were giving out free samples, so we were lucky enough to taste some traditional Danish food and local drinks. We sampled a fish roe with a creamy cheese, and a locally-made cider.
3. Copenhagen by Boat
Our boat tour started right from Nyhavn harbour and was very affordable at only 40kr. We had a fabulous tour guide, who very impressively gave the tour in Danish, English, and German. The boat was very flat and wide because all of the bridges over the canals in Copenhagen are very low. On the tour, we saw many highlights including the Opera House, the Royal Palace, Papirøen, the historic Little Mermaid Statue, and numerous houseboats big and small. What a cool way to live that would be!! We were very lucky that the sun was out, because it would have been very cold on the water otherwise.
As we were moving along, we saw little hot tub boats off in the distance- they were pretty much floating tubs of hot water that had motors and could travel just like boats- definitely something to add to the bucket list or great for a group of friends!
After our boat tour, we headed to the Danish Parliament to go up the tower. We were hoping that we might be there when the sun was setting, but it seemed that others also had the same idea and there was quite a big line. The line moved quite slowly because only 40 people could be at the top at a time, however the view from the top certainly was worth the wait! We were able to see the city of Copenhagen from above, right at dusk as the city lights were coming on!
And could see all the way to the sea and the bridge to Sweden, as well as the grounds of Parliament directly below us. We spent a bit of time at the top snapping photos, and then decided to head back to Papirøen for dinner, since we didn’t have the chance to sample the food the night before.
Saturday night at Papirøen was even busier than Friday, and we found it difficult to find a table. But we eventually succeeded in finding a place to sit, and enjoyed a delicious surf and turf burger with prawns and a Moroccan flatbread for dinner! We stayed out a bit longer to have a beer and enjoy the live DJ at the ‘Discow’, one of the bars at Papirøen. They had some drink specials and a disco ball shaped like a cow- adding to the already creative and unique atmosphere!
4. The Royal Palace
The weather was much chillier on Sunday, but we didn’t let the cold Copenhagen wind stop us from visiting the royal palace! We walked up the river, following the big dome all the way to the grounds. Both the queen and the prince were home, as could be told by the flags flying high above the residences. On the left was the queen’s residence, and the right the prince and his family’s. Directly ahead we could admire the big dome of Frederik’s church, which is one of the biggest domes in Europe and certainly amazing! However, the inside was even more exceptional and had thousands of little details painted and carved into the walls and ceiling.
It was really amazing how a dome so large can create such a big open space, with seemingly nothing supporting it! After taking in the sights of the palace and the church, we stopped for a cup of coffee to warm up and headed on towards the area of Christiana.
Walking through Christiana was definitely an interesting experience, and we would certainly recommend it for something different than the usual tourist destinations. I actually wasn’t sure what to expect, and thought there might be a gate or something to let you know you were entering the area, but there wasn’t; we were able to know we arrived by the colourful graffitied buildings, small market stands selling handicrafts, and people sitting at small stalls selling marijuana out of plastic bags- not something you see everyday! Unfortunately, they are very strict about taking photos within the area, so you will have to check it out yourself for the full experience!
We walked up a small hill where we were able to overlook the bustling streets and marketplaces of Christiana, and on the other side of the hill, a small lake and the rest of Copenhagen in the background! It was so interesting to see how incredibly different the way of life in Christiana is compared to that of downtown Copenhagen, and it surely made for a unique afternoon stroll!
Once we had seen much of the area, we decided to head back to Papirøen for one last taste of street food (since we loved it sooooo much), before we had to catch our flight back home. This time on the menu: Korean noodle bowls and ice cream! With our bellies full and our travel bug satisfied (for now), we made our way back to the train to catch the plane home. Feel free to message us if you would like to know more about Copenhagen, or any of our other adventures- this is certainly a city to put at the top of your list!