Our first trip of a packed full 2017! Being in October now we have already been away five times (including this holiday) and visited a total of eight countries so it was about time to get back on track and catch up!
As we landed in Copenhagen back at the start of the year, we were greeted with rain… and lots of it. Our first decision in Denmark was how best to get into the city. You can choose between the train, bus or taxi, after a bit of research it seemed the quickest option would be the train.
A day travel card costs 80 kr which is easy to buy from the machines in the airport. Nick had read that these machines did not take notes, so we were prepared. However, as we found out the machines at the airport were fine, but ones in the central station only took coins.
Day 1 – Rainy
We had chosen to stay at the Copenhagen Plaza as it seemed to be fairly central and looked straight onto Tivoli gardens as they were opposite. Unfortunately Tivoli opened the weekend after we were there, however, looking back I don’t know how we would have fitted in time to go!
Our holiday started with a bit of a stumble, as our first room had a faulty safe. To give the hotel their dues they couldn’t have been more helpful, we were given the option of using the hotels safe at reception or a new room…we of course chose the latter. Our new room was on the 6th floor and was much more modern. Although it was the style of our first room which had drawn me to this hotel, the thought of leaving our passports and money away from our room was just not an option.
We had a quick lunch in an indoor food market before making our way to The Little Mermaid on the train from Noraport to Østerport. The rain actually came in handy when we arrived there as due to the weather it was very quiet so we could take as many photos as we wanted in between the downpours.
Before leaving for Copenhagen we had read and been told that the mermaid was either underwhelming or small. To be honest we didn’t feel this to be true, yes it is a smaller statue in comparison, however, we actually thought it was bigger than our expectations and the setting by the water made for a very peaceful atmosphere. Although I’m sure in the busy season and with warmer weather this would be a different story.
Just around the corner was a monument for ‘Denmark’s international effort”, separated into three parts it is for those deployed to conflict or disaster around the world.
‘One moment – one place – one person’
We finished our first day walking around Nyhavn, Amalienborg Palace and Kongens Have. Walking over the bridge from the tram stop to Nyhavn all you can see are these beautifully colourful buildings along the water front. After this we just carried on walking around and caught the end of the changing of the guard at the palace by chance, as we were exploring the area. We had some spare time on our last day so made our way and returned to watch the full ceremony at 12pm.
We then, while walking around exploring some more, stumbled across Kongens Have when the light was just going but it was so worth seeing all the statues and gardens. We then made our way back past Nyhavn in the dark when all the lights were turned on which just made the view even better.
Day 2 – Running out of time
The second day was a bit of a blur, we had woken up that morning realising that technically we only had two days left in Copenhagen with one of those being a half day as we will need to head to the airport.
We decided buying a 24 hour Copenhagen card that morning would ensure we made the most of our time and I definitely think we achieved that. Over the course of the day we used various buses and the metro to travel to:
Had we not planned to travel over to Malmo on the third day we would have definitely chosen to get the 48 hour Copenhagen card as with easy travel and free entry to the main museums it would be a no brainer.
Our first stop on our busiest day was Copenhagen Zoo. It covers a large area and feels huge, spread over both sides of the road. A wide range of animals from polar bears to brown bears and tigers. We spent a lot of time just watching the brown bear cubs playing around in the water with the containers. Even the polar bears seemed to be having great fun swimming in the large pool and diving down to collect their container. It was one of the best zoos I have been to as all the animals had good enclosures and seemed happy.
Our next stop was the Geological museum, which proved to be a bit of a mistake. When we arrived it was based in a few small empty rooms filled with mostly rocks – not what we had thought. After about 10 minutes having a look around we said a warm thank you to the man in the shop and quickly made our way back to the bus stop.
The next place we had on our list was the Zoologisk museum, with the usual taxidermy it was actually very interesting with a lot of exhibits. One of the these which sticks out to me was a dodo skull, the only other specimen they say is in Oxford, England but whose journey to Copenhagen from Mauritius is unknown.
Den Blå Planet was our last stop of the day and despite being a little further out was well worth the trip. Based by the water, it had a wide range of sealife. We took our time walking around the different areas and interactive exhibits and even had a quick hot drink in the cafe looking out onto the water with a brief glimpse to the bridge over to Malmo.
Without the Copenhagen card the total for our day would have been a great deal more but as it turned out we only payed for the card itself, which was less individually – perfect. There are some places that we don’t worry with the travel cards as there are better ways to best use the options available such as 10 journeys or 72 hour cards.
When we made our way back to the central part of town we on a whim decided to go on the last canal tour of the day. This turned out to be a great choice as we had one of the friendliest and funniest guides. He truly made the tour interesting with some great facts thrown in we even had a sing song through the last tunnel to Hallelujah.
When we stepped back onto dry land we had a quick break back at the hotel before heading out for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. One of our longstanding traditions now to visit any Hard Rock we come across on our travels, despite we know the food being relatively the same. We go now more for the different memorabilia and look of each one.
Read part 2 here.