Denmark is one of the three Scandinavian countries along with Norway and Sweden. Centuries ago this was the land of the Vikings and now it is actually ranked as no 1 most happiest country in the world. They even have a word to describe the cozy feeling of togetherness which is called Hygge. Hygge is about creating cozy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends. It’s the feeling of wellbeing and warm atmospheres. You can also feel the notion of hygge in the streets of Copenhagen as you walk down some of the old narrow, cobbled streets, dating back several hundred years. These streets invite you to intimate walks next to colorful houses, small coffee shops and vintage boutiques.
With our tight schedule as Fabio only gets a week of mid term break plus few days I am going to take request absence we really only have one day to see the Copenhagen.
How to get to the city center from Copenhagen Airport
With only 8 km to the center of Copenhagen, it’s easy to get to and from the airport. It takes less than 15 minutes to go from Copenhagen Airport to the city centre and the top attractions by train or metro. When arriving at Terminal 3 you’ll have easy access to both trains and metro – you just have to walk straight ahead to get there. The busses too are close by, just outside of Terminal 3.
The trains depart every 10 minute from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station during the day. In evening hours it will be every 20 minute, and during the night just once an hour. To get to the central station by train will only take 15 minutes. At Copenhagen Central Station you will find connections to the rest of the country by train, S-train or bus. Copenhagen Central Station is located right in the city center, within walking distance of attractions like Tivoli Gardens, Glyptoteket and Strøget, and it is surrounded by shops, restaurants and hotels.
If you want to travel by the Metro, it’s an easy ride of only 13 minutes to Kongens Nytorv. Here you can change to metro line M3, which opened in 2019. It’s a line with 17 stops around the city, all connected by the metro, forming a circle. One trip around the circle takes 28 minutes, and even if you are “going in the wrong direction” you’ll end up at your destination in a short time.
– If you are arriving heading to the cruise terminals in Nordhavn: Change metro at Kongens Nytorv and take the M4 towards Orientkaj.
– If you are going to Kongens Nytorv, Nørreport or Frederiksberg/Vanløse, take the metro. It departs frequently, and tickets can be bought at the station in the airport.
You can find Taxi stand outside both Terminal 1 and 3. It will take around 20-30 minutes and cost around 250-350 DKK. Many hotels in Copenhagen cooperates with the taxi companies offering fixed prices to the airport. This can be an advantage for you if you are taking a taxi within rush-hours.
From the airport you can travel to Copenhagen Central Station by bus as well. You’ll go by bus 5c and it takes around 35 minutes. The bus stop is just outside of Terminal 3. You can also find other bus companies at the airport:
– Bus 888 drives from the airport to the northern part of Jutland. Their bus stop is outside of Terminal 2.
– Greyhound-bus 999 drives between Malmø (Sweden) and Copenhagen, stopping at Terminal 3 of Copenhagen airport, as well as Sydhavnen and Copenhagen Central Station.
Our flight landed on time at 6am and after sorting out immigration and baggage we changed our clothes into winter gear. Temperature is going to hover around 5 Celsius and it is going to be windy so we have to dress our warmest. The train from airport to Nyhavn where we are going to stay is only 20 minutes and our hotel is walking distant to Kongens Nytorv Station.
What to do in Copenhagen
The chilly weather hits us as we get off from the station and it takes a while to get used to.
We opted to stay in Maritime Hotel in Nyhavn area because we only have one day and I would like to stay in the area with the iconic view of Copenhagen. Our rooms are not ready as we arrived far too early but the grumpy receptionist allowed us to leave our luggage in the storage area so we can start exploring the city.
Walk around Nyhavn
We started our walk from Nyhavn around 9 am and going to the direction of the little mermaid, passing thru the canal, castles and palace along the way.
Nyhavn was originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock. Back then the areas was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and ale houses.
Today, the beautiful old houses have been renovated and restaurants dominated the old port. And Nyhavn is now filled with people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere by the canal, jazz music and great food. The restaurants are still closed when we passed thru so we will visit them later on our way back.
Take a walk from Nyhavn to Little Mermaid
This walk will get you to see Copenhagen places of interest such as below:
- Amalienborg Palace and Garden: The home of the Danish royal family, Amalienborg Palace complex consists of four different palaces, two of which are open to the public. One is the Levetzau Palace which houses the Amalienborg Museum. The Moltke Palace is open occasionally for guided tours when the royal family is not present.
The changing of the royal guard takes place Every day at 12:00. The ceremony will be accompanied by a full marching band only if Queen Margrethe II is present herself while a simple ceremony takes place when no (important) member of the royal family is at home. You can also tell by which flag is hoisted at the palace
Opening time of the Palace:
January 22 – October 23: Everyday 10am-17pm
October 24 – December 30: Tuesday – Sunday 11am-16pm, Monday: Closed
Ticket cost 125DKK for adult, 80 DKK for student and free for below 18.
- Frederiks Kirke Church: also known as the Marble Church and is probably one of the most recognizable buildings in all of Copenhagen, thanks to its massive copper green dome. Measuring 31 meters in diameter, this is one of the largest church domes in Europe. It’s well worth sticking your head in and marveling at the Baroque interiors. The interior of the dome is smothered with rich frescoes in blue, gold, and green of the prophets and cherubim. Frederik’s Church is open from 10:00–17:00 (Monday–Thursday & Saturday), 12:00–17:00 (Friday), and 12:30–17:00 (Sunday). The entrance is free. You can also climb the dome (260 steps) of Frederik’s Church and enjoy some of the best views of Copenhagen harbor.
- Toldboden: from Amalienborg Palace, continue on foot towards the waterfront. You’ll pass through Amaliehaven before you reach a pier. Technically, this area is known as Larsens Plads, although it is an extension of the historic Toldbod. Historically, Toldboden was the home of the Danish tax and customs office, conveniently located at the entrance to Copenhagen harbor.
- Kastellet: This star-shaped fortress was once an integral part of the city’s defenses. It is home to numerous military activities today and the red barracks serve as accommodation for military cadets. The Citadel is also popular with locals. You will often see people jogging on the ramparts.
- Nyboder: These bright yellow buildings were once barracks for sailors and their families, built by no other than King Christian IV.
See the iconic little mermaid
It is starting to train as we come to Kobenhavn where the little mermaid resides and we finally get to see her
Despite its impressive fame, little mermaid statue is pretty small at only 1.25 meters high. Unveiled on 23 Aug 1913, the little mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the city of Copenhagen. The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young handsome prince on land. The story has a sad ending unlike Disney version of Ariel. Throughout the years, the statue has become the victim of many vandalism acts. her head was stolen in 1964 and 1998; one of the arms was taken off in 1984 and in 2003 she was knocked off with explosives and then recovered from the harbor’s water. This lady is indeed a survivor.
Enjoy your lunch in one of the cafe
We quickly made our way back to Nyhavn area for lunch and find warm inside before checking in to our Hotel.
Visit the free town of Christiania
In the afternoon after some resting in our room we walked to see the Free town Christiania. Christiania is a self proclaimed autonomous district in the Christianshavn neighbourhood. It is an anarchist community on the site of a former military barracks and established as a free town in 1971.
We didn’t spend a long time in Christiania as I am not too comfortable with the atmosphere and we couldn’t take many pictures. There are some areas where we are not allowed to take pictures. In the past I learned that even all pictures are forbidden.
Stroll around Stroget
We had a take away in Asian restaurant near hotel instead of dining in. Hubbie and I still had energy to walk so we decided to see Stroget, one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe at 1.1 km long. Stroget has long been one of the most high-profile streets in the city. The pedestrianization of Strøget in 1962 marked the beginning of a major change in the approach of Copenhagen to urban life; following the success of the initiative the city moved to place a much greater emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle access to the city at the expense of cars. This approach has in turn become internationally influential.
We walked back to our hotel around 9 pm and called it a day as we have to pack and leave for Iceland tomorrow.
A snippet of our day in Copenhagen