just over a month ago (yes I’m still catching up on blogs), a few of my fellow exchange students and I ventured of to the scandenavian treasure that is Denmark, to me more specific, Copenhagen. A little gem of Europe, located only a stone throw across the water from Molmo, Sweden (literally it is a 20 minute ferry ride from Sweden, very close) .
I have, unexpectedly, incontrovertibly, fallen in love with Copenhagen.
It was a very last minute trip , with most of my fellow exchange students watching sites like ‘skyscanner’ like obsessive hawks, all hoping to snap up cheap deals for the weekend. So it happened that one of us was browsing flights one afternoon and found cheap flights to Copenhagen, it sounded cool.. so we booked ourselves the flights.
( Quite the novelty to weekend in foreign cities to the extent they do in europe. with most major cities under 3 hours away, it is all too convenient)
Traditionally its not the most popular, nor raved about city in europe its true, being comparitively small and limited in terms of sites and attractions, it was not at the top of my list. However,its perfect for a weekend trip for this exact reason, you can fit in a lot and leave feeling like you have seen a large portion of the city/culture.
After a two and a half hour flight we touched down, despite it being late at night, the city was alive with people out eating and drinking and being generally merry, quite a nice welcoming. After some midnight Maccas we checked into our accomodation for the weekend, the Downtown Hostel (incidentally, a really great place to stay if ever you are there), a cool little place just left of the city centre.
With its own bar and movie area downstairs is very chilled and a great place to come back to after a day sightseeing in the chill for a beer and pizza. Hostel traveling can be hit and miss, finding a gem in one city with cosy beds and fun staff one day, and cold showers and mice the next… so buyer be ware- check out sites like famoushostels.com and read the reviews from fellow travellers. However on the flip side, we met some really cool people staying at the hostel and were able to compare notes on what cities and sites to see.
The city of Copenhagen itself is small enough that you can walk everywhere. We were lucky that, for the most part, it was sunny for our stay. that being said… it gets VERY cold.. so pack your coat and umbrella!
With a central network of canals, its worth taking a boat tour, they will give you some background info on the city, as well as take you to possibly the most famous monument, the statue of local Hanz Christian Andersons most iconic creation, The Little Mermaid… did someone say photo op? The city itself was an inspiration for many of his fables, with its cobbled stone streets, palaces and generally romantic vibe its not hard to see why.
If the water is not your thing, the staff at our hostel pointed us in the direction of free walking tours that are on offer, although we didnt have time to go on one, everyone we spoke to raved about it and said it was a great introduction to the city and culture.
Copenhagen, is an odd mix of southern Europe and Scandinavia. Sitting between the two, its not quite either, the buildings echo both the sand-stone look and feel of france- and the clean lines and design orientation Scandinavia is famous for, with a slightly quirky edge. little cafe’s and bespoke stores line the canals, with multicoloured buildings and street art a common fixture.
The people themselves are fantastic, very friendly and open. English being a common tongue, it made it a really easy and relaxed trip, we were able to soak in the city and talk to locals with ease. Of course part of travelling is experiencing the challenge of language and really immersing yourself in a culture, so rolling with those challenges and taking the opportunity to soak in an alternative vocabulary. never the less, hearing your mother tongue in a foreign city makes it a lot less foreign.
I would call Copenhagen a must see for Europe, travel and accommodation are relatively cheap, but eating can be a little more pricey. Even so, the city has an incredible history, and night life. There are several castles and palaces dotted around the city, including the royal residences. Most of these are open to the public and well worth the look, especially the royal stables for those horse lovers.
Copenhagen is the perfect city for wondering around and getting lost ,everything being so close, and with plenty of museums, cultural centres, shops, cafes, bars and parks, for an easy weekend, with a chilled out atmosphere and certain charm. It’s easy to fall in love with.