A friend invited me to join her and two of her friends for a weekend in Copenhagen. They had already bought their tickets and made hotel reservations. After a little deliberation, I agreed, bought my tickets (same flight, for 115€) and reserved a room at a nearby hotel for 95.89€.
As the flight was from Düsseldorf, I spent the night at a friend’s place in D-Town. One of the girl’s boyfriend dropped us at the airport at 5am (perks of travelling in a group), and we were all set to board in 15 minutes.
Surprisingly, the flight (RyanAir/Lauda) was almost full. An uneventful hour later, we landed in Copenhagen. Getting out of the airport was painless, and took merely 10 minutes. We had already Googled commuting options and had decided to get a 48-hour city pass for Greater Copenhagen. It costed 150DKK (≈17€) and could be bought from any of the many ticket machines at the airport.
Our hotels, Tivoli Hotel and Wakeup Copenhagen, were in the centre of the city, and close to the harbour. We got on to Bus 5C, which took us directly to the closest station to our hotels. Upon arrival, I was informed that I could not check in until 3PM, and can get prioritised by housekeeping staff for a fee of 20€. I decided to cut my loss and opt for paid luggage facility. 20DKK for a locker. Other girls were not only able to check in early, but were also offered free and secure luggage storing facility for a couple of hours after they had checked out. Tivoli – 1, Wakeup Copenhagen – 0.
Breakfast at Cafe Le Perr
We started our adventure and headed to our first stop – breakfast at Lahore Kebab. Pictures and reviews of the said restaurant were promising, and we had been looking forward to Halwa Puri, Nihari and Paaye for a week. Google said that the restaurant opens doors at 10am, but they were firmly closed when we arrived at 10:15. Majorly disappointed, we went across to Cafe Le Perr. Cute and cozy bistro, where we ordered scrambled eggs, open sandwiches, fries and coffee. Everything was delicious, and the fries were to die for.
The Little Mermaid
Fed and ready to rumble, we got on our way to see the first landmark – The Little Mermaid. Bus and Metro systems in Copenhagen are similar to that in Germany, so navigation was not a problem. However, there is a whole lot of walking as stations are not always close to major attractions. I am glad I was wearing comfortable shoes. Bus 1A dropped us at Esplanaden, and we walked a kilometre along the harbour to see the 100-year old brass statue. It was crowded, and people were busy taking pictures. We sat on nearby rocks to rest and soak some sun, then did the touristy thing (pictures) and got on our way to Colourful Houses of Copenhagen.
Nyhavn – Colourful Houses
Nyhavn, or colourful houses, are 1.7km away from the mermaid. We walked the distance, and saw ferries, royal pavilions, Amalienborg (Queen’s winter residence), 18th century Frederik’s Church, Opera House from across the river and a number of classical sculptures dating from 600 B.C. We also made a quick stop at Cafe Fremtiden for a drink. It was a beautifully warm day, and we had been walking a little more than usual.
Colourful houses are lined up on both sides of Nyhavn, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping venues around. It is a good photo spot, and perfect starting point for exploring the city.
Next, we went for some souvenir shopping. This whole district is populated with luxe as well as high-street brands. We were tired by then, and went in to only a few selected shops – namely Victoria’s Secret, Disney Toy Store, Lego Store and Welcome Giftshop and Souvenirs. We also bought caramelised almonds from Copenhagen Nuts as pick-me-up food. Didn’t really work. Oh, and Magasin du Nord. It is part of the Debenhams group, and is a massive multi-brand store.
Good to Know
At this point, you should know that none of us had any local currency. We had a few euros but everyone in the city accepted cards – both credit and debit. I felt like I were in an episode of Black Mirror when I paid 30DKK for a small bag of nuts with contactless pay. Another thing you should remember that scammers are everywhere. Copenhagen is a safe city but there will be an odd old man, trying to pick pocket or sell you shady something. It always helps to be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your belongings, and maintain distance from dodgy people.
The Little Yellow Coffee Bar
Anyway. Back to our journey. We picked a magnet, lip gloss, and luggage tags from lego, and started walking towards Tivoli Gardens. We made a pit stop at The Little Yellow Coffee Bar for cappuccinos, and ended up staying close to an hour. The café is cosy and homely, and we just did not want to leave. They have an outdoor seating, as well as couches and tables on the first floor. Good coffee and service, and the place is so welcoming that I am sure most people out-stay their orders. Definitely worth a visit. Even more so if you like yellow.
Tivoli Gardens and Food Hall
After getting out caffeine fix, we continued walking towards Tivoli Gardens. It is an amusement park and looked great in pictures. Upon arrival, we found out that there is an entrance fee of 20€, and rides were individually ticketed. We were knackered and 20€ seemed a little too much to just walk around. So we decided to skip it and went to Tivoli Food Hall instead.
Food halls work best when travelling in groups. Everyone can get what they like, you can hang out and people watch, and experience some culture as well. Tivoli Food Hall is good for proper meals, and we could get everything from sushi to burgers, pizza, vegan meals and cocktails.
The Ultimate Check-in at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel
Post early dinner, we returned to my hotel to check-in. I was already unhappy with Wakeup Copenhagen for 3PM check-in and 20DKK fee for keeping my luggage. I got my keycard and we all marched up to my room. The plan was to check-in, rest our feet, and potentially go out to see the city at night. This was our only window to sight see after sunset as our return flight was at 8PM the next day.
I had booked in a sky view room, which turned out to be a normal room with a window on the 7th floor. There was no minibar, toiletries or phone. We went to clarify it with the check-in staff and returned infuriated. I know that it was not his fault but I was still upset with the hotel. Bless the girls for cheering me up with morbid hospital stories. We laughed out loud for almost an hour, and then decided to go out to see Christiansborg Palace. We wanted to take the bus but the next one was in 15 minutes. We decided to walk to the next station, missed the bus, and ended up walking the entire way.
We did not know about the walk to Christiansborg Palace was that the last leg of the walk would be through a dark courtyard of Danish War Museum. It was slightly spooky and we tried to get through as fast as possible. The Palace was closed (of course), so we only saw the majestic exterior, marvelled the craftsmanship and got on to the closest bus nearby to return to our respective hotels.
Without much fanfare, we waved each other goodbye. We had just walked 28,000 steps today, covered 20km by foot, and had swollen feet. I slept even before my head hit the pillow, and was out for straight 8 hours (or so my Fitbit said).
All in all, a great day. And no one could tell that I had met two of the girls for the first time less than 24 hours ago.
Next – Day 2 in Copenhagen. Coming Soon…