Copenhagen, Copen can you not?!

OK so ignore the title, I’m not even sure what it means myself. When I started writing about this holiday I was very, meh, not much here, what did I even do? What I’ve come to somehow realise is that the company you choose when you go somewhere is just as important as where you go. I was at the time I was in an unhappy relationship, this is no secret and as I sat here writing what felt like a bad review of poor old Copenhagen who hasn’t done a thing to me I had to check myself. Copenhagen itself was lovely. If you’re spending your hard earned cash on a holiday, a chance to get away with, go with someone who enjoys holidays like you enjoy holidays, and with someone who has roughly the same expectations and interests. The other alternative is to go by yourself, which sounds daunting as fuck but is actually just the best. You may not be an itinerary kind of person like me, which is also fine, you can wander to your heart’s content but for the love of god, go on your own. Even just once. 

I was in Copenhagen for a gig, a Christmas present. It was a few years ago now and the main thing I remember is how expensive it was. As y’all know I’m not one to travel luxury style and much prefer hostels for making friends and meeting people. Another downside to travelling with someone, having to compromise on where you stay! The hotel was by far the most expensive thing about this trip, somewhere in the region of €7-800 for two or three nights I believe. A lot of this trip was blocked from memory, as happens after breakups but the following is what I can remember and enjoyed.

Tivoli Gardens are stunning. They’re kind of a magical mix of Chinese and Indian architecture, along with rollercoasters and pirate ships and lakes! It was my favourite place in Copenhagen and I wish I’d had more time to spend here. Allow at least half a day to wander around, enjoy the live music, the architecture and the animals.There were all sorts of performances happening in pop up tents and prebuilt stages around the place.  It would have been a wonderful place to bring a picnic, or maybe cycle around. Copenhagen is built for cyclists. The roads are wide, traffic in the middle, parallel parking along the side, then the cycle lane, then the footpath. Everyone and I mean everyone stops at the lights and follows the rules of the road properly. I watched a skateboarder wait for the green light at an empty crossroads. Mind blow. People cycle their whole family around on bikes, carts attached to the front, tandem bikes, partners on the back, Frankly the world needs more of this. Dublin’s sort of half measure attempts seen in the likes of Drumcondra where they just shrink the car lane to ‘accommodate’ the cycle lane, what a joke!

If you’re looking for something a little daring, check out the Our Saviour’s Church and climb to the top. It was probably the highlight of my trip. The stairs right at the top get very narrow so be prepared. For a good picture ask someone in front of you to take one of you with the view of Copenhagen city behind. You can see Stockholm from here too which is pretty cool. It’s cheap to climb and the best panoramic view of the city.

I checked out Nyhavn and to my great regret only have fairly shit photos to show for it! It’s as pretty as it looks online and a lovely stroll, even in the cold. I also stumbled across Rundetarn when wandering around. Not even knowing what it was, I went in and climbed to the top. The entire tower inside was sloped, no stairs. Families were pushing buggies up to the top, where there’s an observation deck. I fecking love an observation deck. There’s a glass floor too you can look down over in the centre of the tower if you’re that way inclined, and a telescope that unfortunately isn’t accessible to the public.

On the last day, I did a sightseeing cruise around the city which was nice and got to see the little mermaid statue, except from the water and behind. It’s tiny! I like to do a boat tour around a city if it’s an option. I feel you see so much more of the city and often some of the most beautiful buildings are around the river or canals. I think this tour was included on the Copenhagen Card, which was one thing I had researched beforehand. It definitely saved money and included airport transfer so it was handy. 

When I was there at least, in 2017 you could still smoke in some bars. I smoked at the time but still found this so bizarre, smoking inside. I turned 18 the year the smoking in bars was brought into place so I’ve no memory of this and even when I was renting over the years and still smoking I could never imagine smoking inside. Kind of like chips taste better eaten outside, smoking felt nicer happening outside. Also my clothes fucking stank when I got home, everything in the suitcase smelled vile. 

Speaking of smoking, one of the things Copenhagen is known for is Christiania, which is basically a mini Amsterdam in the middle of the city. What’s unusual about this is unlike Amsterdam the consumption and sale of weed is completely illegal in Denmark so this little outlier community sort of just exists seemingly invisible to the laws in the rest of the city. I had a wander around. It is forbidden to take photo’s inside, not to say they don’t exist but I don’t have any as I didn’t fancy getting into an argument with a dutch dealer. It’s very much a hippy commune sort of place, a great place to eat if you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan food and lots of art and young people. Very much reminded me of Nimbin in NSW, Australia, lots of bright colourful buildings and people.

Until I started writing this Copenhagen was on the list of cities I felt I’d done and had no intention of going back to. Looking online now though I realise there’s still things I’d love to see and do. There was a bridge so nearby that you could cross over to visit Sweden. I’m sick now I didn’t do that. I want to go back with my proper camera,  stay somewhere cheap, do a free walking tour. These free walking tours aren’t actually free but are on a pay what you can in the form of a tip at the end kind of vibe. You could if you wanted to try and subtly slip away but usually the guides are so invested in getting paid they do a great job and will answer questions you have and are great for food or drink recommendations too.  Most now can take card payments, but some can only take cash so be prepared. I’d love to cycle this city too, once you’ve cycled around New York I feel you can cycle anywhere! Finally, actually visit the beautiful castles. So yeah, Copenhagen, soz babe.   I’ll be back. 

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