Eating and Drinking
In terms of ease from getting from the airport to the city, Copenhagen is sorted. At 360DKK (approx. £3.60), the metro takes about 20 minutes to arrive into the centre of the city. The metro only goes in one direction, so no chance of getting lost. Best part is, the metro has no driver! It's like a little monorail, soaring through tunnels, making it a very unusual experience after adapting to the London Tube...
Copenhagen is a very green city, in that there is probably just as much bike traffic as their is car traffic. We hired bikes from our hotel on Christmas Day, for 142DKK for the day (approx. £14), and saw the city from this perspective. You can also hire the city bikes at stands for around 35DKK an hour. Copenhagen is well prepared for cyclists, offering wide bike lines on each street and even separate traffic lights for cyclists! The only challenge was riding on the cobblestone, but your butt eventually gets used to that.
A Day Trip to Malmö, Sweden
At only 32 minutes on the train from Central Station, visiting Malmö for a day trip is a must do. You cross over the iconic Øresund Bridge, and are left in the middle of the city centre when you get off at Malmö Central Station. We were unlucky with the weather, but we didn't let this dampen our mood.
For a top quality place to eat and drink, I would recommend Bullen, a small pub that Liz had in mind, and we happened to just randomly stumble upon it as we walked around the town. There are a range of local Swedish beers on taps, and you absolutely 100% MUST try the Swedish Meatballs. Liz swears they were the best she's ever had, and I can't stop drooling over the mashed potato, creamy, smooth, heaven. The pub itself was cosy, with a nice mix of locals and visitors. A must!
Highly recommend a visit to this place. It's a small but very unique community of around 800 residents, located in the borough of Christianshavn. Christiania has its own set of laws, flag, and currency. It's a completely sustainable community, with plenty of organic eateries around. A friend who lived in Denmark told me that not just anyone can live in Christiania, you have to be able to offer something to the community i.e. sell clothing, be a chef, or a teacher etc. Your application is then taken to a board, who decide if you are allowed to become a resident or not. A very interesting place, which I put on my 'must see' list, but wouldn't be for everyone.
A few simple rules to keep in mind for your visit, for 100% enjoyment in Copenhagen's 'Green Light District':
Changing of the Guards
Starts at 12pm, everyday. Fun to spot as your roam through the streets.
The Cleanliest Toilets in the World!
I kid you not - whether public or part of a restaurant, the toilets in Copenhagen are the cleanest I've ever experienced. Fear not, if you're a germaphobe like me!!
You Can Probably Miss...
Strange, new word. Difficult to pronounce. 5 letters, 1 vowel. What does it mean, you ask? Hygge basically wraps up my experience in Denmark in one short (yet impossible to pronounce) word. This notion of hygge (pronounced 'hooga') essentially means creating a warm atmosphere wherever you are, whilst enjoying the good things in life with great company surrounding you. It means warmth and comfort, security and protection, fun and love. At this time of year, it means getting through winter. As we saw on a sign at the first pub we stopped at, we were guaranteed hygge for each drink we bought. Naturally, our curiosity won, and hygge did we receive. Not only in this pub, but for our entire stay in Denmark.
I mean this with complete sincerity when I say that the Danish are the friendliest people in the world. They smile, they laugh, and they genuinely want to speak to you and learn about you, something that is almost unheard of in this day and age. Among many, we met a charming middle-aged man, out at a local pub for Christmas lunch with a group of 20 single friends. Not only did he give us some invaluable insights on Princess Mary (giving us hope of finding our Scandinavian Prince in a pub), but he also taught us about his favourite blend of snaps, which naturally we sampled. We met a Danish grandmother on the train, who told us about her daughter who lives in London and was studying music. We met the most helpful young lady, working at the desk of the Admiral Hotel which we called home for 4 nights. On our last pub visit for the trip, we had a man who was drinking next to us at the bar, who bid us farewell and a happy new year on his way out the door. If I can give you just one tip about Denmark, it is to embrace and get to know its' beautiful people, they are something special.
5 days in Copenhagen, Denmark