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Citybreak in Copenhagen
Wednesday 24 August 2016
Being a travel agent, you would expect I’d know the flight duration to the Danish Capital, but I was pleasantly surprised while boarding my Ryanair flight that the journey time wasn’t the 3 hours I had thought, but a mere 1 hour 50 minutes. Off course the duration is not something to concern me after my new found tolerance of flying but on a short 3 night break, time is precious!
The city from above
The landing in Copenhagen is similar to lots of experiences we’ve all had where the aircraft wheels are down as we barely skim over the water, with land making a sudden last minute appearance. But the airport location gives you a great opportunity to see the city from above as you come in to land (if you’re sitting on the right hand side of the aircraft!)
Being thrifty in an expensive city
I won’t dwell on it as I’m sure it’s quite common knowledge but Copenhagen is expensive. Discussing this before we booked, we rationalised that no matter how high the cost of living is, it, couldn’t be much higher than Ireland. Well, it is! But how much damage are you likely to do on a long weekend?
There are ways of keeping the cost of your weekend trip down. We took the metro from the airport to the city which I’d highly recommend. Tickets cost the equivalent of approx. €5 each way and can be purchased at one of the many kiosks at the airport. There are 2 metro lines at the airport terminal and you can’t go wrong as both trains go in the same direction. It will take you 15-20 minutes to get to the city centre.
Getting around the city
Copenhagen is a compact city, with plenty to see and do on a short break. The city is highly technically advanced. We decided if we were going to tick off everything on our ‘to do’ list, getting around on foot might not cut it. So, we joined the rest of the population of Copenhagen on two wheels. The city bike scheme is just incredible! Bycyklen stations are located all over the city and once you register your credit card number on the touch screen tablet on your bicycle you’re free to go! Top of our list was ‘The Little Mermaid’, after a quick check on the built in GPS and with the help of the Electric Motor, we were off! These bicycles are amazing!
The ‘Really’ Little Mermaid!
Roughly 2 km later we arrived along the water’s edge, assured by the GPS that we were at our destination. After a quick search of the area, we still couldn’t see her. It turns out that the Little Mermaid is quite little and the crowds that go to see her are quite large. Once you manage to push your way through the throngs of tourists and take a quick photo (with a slight look of disappointment on your face), well I wouldn’t hang around.
Changing of the Guards
Next on the list was the changing of the guards at Amalienborg Palace. We had timed our route perfectly, arriving at the Palace just before the 12pm ceremony. This is another huge tourist attraction in the city and takes quite a while to complete. We stayed for at least 20 minutes and it seemed far from completion, we left at that point to get lunch.
Copenhagen Street Food
For lunch we were off to Copenhagen Street Food which is a massive Food Hall situated along the water’s edge and home to every nationality of food you could imagine. I had heard quite a lot about it and it didn’t disappoint. The fabulous weather just added to the atmosphere as we sat outside with our gourmet burgers overlooking the canal. A stroll along the canal is a perfect way to walk off your lunch, where every mode of water transport can be seen. From barges to paddle boards, and jet skis to solar powered wooden boats. I could have spent hours watching the world float by.
There are some great shopping streets in the city centre. It wouldn't be a priority for me on a short break but the streets are lined with all the usual high street shops that you would get in any other city.
Tivoli Gardens is one of the most iconic attractions Copenhagen has to offer. It is not often you get an amusement park in the centre of a city. Conveniently located between the main shopping streets and Central Station, Tivoli is a step back in time having first opened its gates in 1843. It boasts a choice of roller coasters, performing arts and beautifully landscaped gardens.
A visit to Nyhavn is an absolute must. The terraced row of coloured houses along the canal make up one of the most popular dining and entertainment districts of the city. Although it is packed with tourists, we had no problem getting a table in any of the numerous restaurants and bars as many of tourists visiting the area seem to be passing through. Nyhavn really is the perfect spot to pass an evening over a glass or two of Carlsberg!
Go Go GoBoat!
The highlight of my weekend was a recommendation given to us by our receptionist. We captained our very own solar powered picnic 'GoBoat' from Brygge Island, and spent an hour navigating through the city canals. It is essential to book the GoBoat in advance. After a very brief introduction on how to 'drive' the boat, we set off with our picnic of cheese and wine. Everything about it was brilliant from seeing a different view of the city to the heart stopping moments when a barge would get a little too close for comfort. It's hard to believe they are so easy going with the rental of these boats but it just works. It cost approx. €50 for the one hour rental.
I really loved my 3 days in Copenhagen. I came home feeling that I experienced everything there was to offer. Copenhagen is small enough to leave you satisfied that you've experienced it to the full. Just make sure you don't come home without trying the Danish Pastries!!!