Copenhagen Travel Tips.
The past month has been a busy one, as I had almost non-stop friends and family visiting. Of course they did not only come to visit Copenhagen, but also to see me. 😉 And it was a pleasure for me to show them around in Copenhagen. I personally really like it when someone provides me with a lot of insider knowledge when I travel. It makes my stay easier and keeps me away from tourist traps. I love to discover new places, but having some first hand experience is always twice as nice. That’s why I thought it was time to share some of my Copenhagen travel tips with you. These tips will help you when I am not there to show you around. 🙂
So here are my most useful Copenhagen travel tips:
Public transport is the only affordable and smart way of getting around in Copenhagen. Nevertheless it can add up when you have to buy a ticket for every single ride. If you stay a bit longer and use public transport frequently do yourself a favor and get yourself a Rejsekort as soon as possible. Your rides will be a lot cheaper compared to normal tickets. The blue Rejsekorts are available at the airport or at almost any 7Eleven near major train-stations for the price of 80 Kronen (around 11€). Make sure to always check in when boarding a new train/bus (also when changing trains) and don’t forget to check out after your last ride.
If traveling together (!) in a small group: it is also possible that more people are traveling with one Rejsekort, but therefore it must be at least 70DKK on the card per person. Just use the check-in machines marked with at +.
For train connections and infos I downloaded the free app Rejseplanen from the app-store that helps me finding my way from A to B.
Don’t rely too much on the train-schedule
Or don’t go to the airport or an important meeting super last-minute. Always check your public transport app before going on a longer ride. Maybe I am super spoiled after having lived in Switzerland for so long or I was simply unlucky, but there have been quite a few incidents, such as cancellations and delays.
Tårnet – best free view
They say, the best things in life are free. Same goes for the best view over Copenhagen. 🙂
From the Tårnet (also known as the tower) of Christiansborg Palace you will have the most panoramic and unique view over the city. No wonder, it is the highest tower in Copenhagen. And the best thing: the viewing platform is free of charge. You might have to wait a bit before talking the elevator up. The clearer the sky or the sunnier the weather, the more time you might have to wait. One time I went up shortly before sunset and the view was just mesmerising, seeing beautiful Copenhagen with all it’s colourful roofs, steeples and towers. I saw a lot of things I didn’t pay attention and got a nice overview of how the different districts. On a clear day you are able to catch a glimpse of the Øresund bridge and Sweden.
Free State Christiania
There is no such place as Christiania, a former military base in Copenhagen. Nowadays it is a hippie-commune with around 900 inhabitants, cafés and small stores. Free-spirit and colorful, but also a bit came down and quite controversial. The special thing about Christiania is the Green Light District where “soft” drugs, such as hash and weed are sold and consumed on the street in broad daylight in between colorful garlands and graffiti art. Like it was the most normal thing in the world. On the main street, Pushers Street, photos are prohibited, as well as shouting or running, as it can look like a police raid and will scare the dealers. For someone not being familiar with that kind of “scene”, Christiania looks weird and fascinating at the same time. Recently there was a shooting. Since then it has become a bit more cleaned up, but the hippie-atmosphere stayed.
Metro: Christianshavn Station
approximately 5-10 minutes walking distance from there
Nørrebro is probably the hippest and most diverse neighbourhood in Copenhagen. My favourite place in Nørrebro is Superkilen, an urban public space. Rather on the edgy and alternative side, but yet super photogenic and really “instagrammable”. The whole Superkilen area is divided into three different zones and colors: green, black and red. Those three areas have a lot to offer: from an urban market space near Nørrebrohallen to fountains, playgrounds and chess tables. The whole Superkilen-Area looks like a world-exhibition: You will find oversized, pop-art inspired neon signs from Russia. Red swinging benches to channel your inner child (my absolute favorites!), a muscle beach inspired gym and a boxing ring. A Moroccan fountain and ping pong-tables from Spain. They gathered furniture from over 50 countries, every piece with from a different place with a different history.
Nørrebrogade 210, 2200 København
Bus 5A to Nørrebrohallen
The Happiest People in the World *
This one is not really a Copenhagen travel tip, but I’s something that has to be said. Danish people are the friendliest and most helpful people ever. I experienced a lot of support in every day life situations. Especially if you are a tourist and overwhelmed with normal situations in Denmark (taking a number when waiting at the pharmacy, how to check in two people with your Rejsekort, a change of tracks..), there is usually somebody who will help you. And Danes generally speak a very good level of English, if not to say nearly everybody in Denmark is fluent in English. Tak for det (danish for “thanks for that”)! 🙂
*according to the UN’s World Happiness Report
(An installation at the KMS – Kopenhagen Museum of Art)
“Hygge” has become my favorite Danish word, as it is something unique that did not yet exist in my vocabulary. The colder and shorter the days, the more important “hygge” becomes. But what does it mean? You cannot really translate it with just one word. But from what I’ve been told*, hygge means “creating a warm atmosphere, enjoying and sharing the good things in life with good people”. It comes in different layers and forms. From a hot cup of coffee on a grey and cold day (or a Carlsberg beer), to a cozy evening on the couch, to having friends over for a home-made meal, to lighting some candles. “Hygge” is everywhere. It is a warm and cozy situation or place, a state of mind. In a way it is similar to the English word “coziness” or the German word “Gemütlichkeit”, but expresses so much more.
*dear danish friends, please correct me if I’m wrong!
I want to ride my bicycle…
Did you know that Copenhagen plans to be the world’s first CO2-neutral capital by 2025? Achieving that goal requires of course synergy-effects, but the overall use of bicycles in Denmark contribute a lot. Exploring Copenhagen or any other city in Denmark by bike is super convenient and combines sightseeing with moderate exercise. I feel like I’m truly integrated since I rented a bike for the semester (and got my CPR number, for those of you who lived in Denmark). 🙂 It is so convenient, no matter where to go. Even just for going to class and sleep a bit more in the morning. Denmark is bikers-paradise and bike lanes are truly holy in Denmark. That’s why it is super safe to get around in the city by bike. Copenhagen is so bike-friendly, there can be a real traffic jam sometimes due to too many bikes.
Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I never saw so many candy stores in one place before coming to Copenhagen. You all might know these open candies in transparent boxes that are often found on fairs between rollercoaster and shooting stands. Where you put whatever you like in a paper bag and pay a fixed price per 100grams. I found those candy stores on nearly every corner in Copenhagen and even in many supermarkets. They offer countless sweets, all your heart desires. A huge thing is obviously licorice, but when it comes to licorice opinions tend to differ sharply. 😉 Oh and if you don’t eat gelatin, you’ll find tons of options marked with “gelatin free”.
Do you have any other ultimate Copenhagen travel tips? If yes, please share them with me. I would be more than happy to try them out the rest of the time I will stay here.