Less than two hours away from London, Copenhagen is a city that I had never really considered visiting before. But on one of my general browsing sessions on Skyscanner (don’t lie, I know you do it too), I found some ridiculously cheap return flights over our anniversary weekend so it only made sense to book them up right?
At this point I hadn’t quite taken into consideration that the flights would be the only remotely inexpensive thing about this trip. Clearly I didn’t have my traveller head fixed on properly as I failed to realise that Denmark is in fact one of the most expensive countries in the world. But, as it was only a short break, we decided to say to hell with the cost and just enjoyed ourselves discovering this new destination (although I can’t say that our bank account enjoyed itself quite so much though!).
The place in Copenhagen I’d heard the most about, which turned out to be our favourite part of the city, was Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world that has been one of the city’s main attractions since 1843. It’s a pretty random attraction to have right in the centre of the city, but inside we were taken to a whole different world as we wandered through the park bursting with colourful Japanese gardens, Egyptian decorations, pirate ships floating on the lake and runaway trains circling the snowy mountains (fake mountains of course).
The Gardens are huge and could honestly keep anyone occupied for an entire day with an open air theatre, live music, a huge range of restaurants, lots of fairground games and rides including a big rollercoaster that Mr Ayla couldn’t seem to stop going on, and one of the most fairytale-esk hotels I’ve ever seen.
We stayed until dark to watch the Tivoli Illuminations, a colourful light show over the lake, to end off a fun day spent in the most magical part of Copenhagen.
Another part of Copenhagen that can’t be missed is Nyhvan, and there is good reason this is the most photographed part of the city. The harbour front is lined with rows of bright colourful buildings, with bars and cafes setting up tables and chairs outside where we grabbed a drink and watched the boats bobbing in the water as tourists bustled past.
Around the corner from Nyhvan is another small harbour where we stumbled across some deck chairs (completely free!) all set up along the deck for people to sit on and enjoy the sunshine. There was such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that we felt completely at home here and I almost drifted off to sleep under the Scandinavian sun.
To this day The Little Mermaid is my number one Disney movie and even though the famous Little Mermaid statue that sits in Copenhagen’s harbour is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s version rather than the red-haired Disney princess, I still dragged Mr Ayla to see it anyway. Tourists flocked around it all trying to get a photo, some people even attempting to sit on a rock to imitate the mermaid themselves!
The Little Mermaid isn’t in the main harbour area of the city which does mean a bit of a walk out of the centre to see it but there is a lovely park nearby and lots of other statues and water fountains which Mr Ayla found much more impressive than the mermaid sitting on her rock. (He had also become pretty fed up of me constantly singing “Part of Your World” at this point.)
Neither of us are massive fans of Danish food and because eating just a basic meal in a restaurant will empty your purse out quite a lot in Copenhagen, we tended to stick to more simple places as well as lots of street food.
We couldn’t resist the lure of the popular hot dog stands that are on every corner – and I’m not exaggerating when I say every corner. We couldn’t wander for more than a few minutes without coming across somewhere else offering some tasty hot dogs. My absolute favourite part of a roast dinner is the pigs in blankets so when I found a hot dog wrapped in bacon (basically a giant pig in a blanket) there was no way I could resist.
It seemed another popular street food are the giant – super giant – ice creams that every tourist seems to enjoy when the sun is shining in Copenhagen. We grabbed a large cone, filled it with as many different flavours of ice cream as we could and enjoyed the refreshing sweet treat while sitting along the harbour.
There are some other parts of Copenhagen that we unfortunately missed out on such as the hippie district of Christiana and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art but as we only had two days in the city we decided to take our time wandering around rather than rushing to fit everything in and it turned out to be the perfect short weekend break. Plus this just means that we have an excuse to go back another time, and this lovely city is most definitely somewhere I’d like to visit again.
Have you visited Copenhagen? What did you like most about the city? Let me know in the comments below or at: