So, what did we do in the great city of Copenhagen? In the 3ish days we were in town, we went on a canal cruise, a bus tour, saw the Botanical Gardens, ate at Tivoli Gardens, saw The Mermaid from afar, walked a LOT, and enjoyed taking it all in.
For our first real day in Copenhagen, we slept in, but only because we had not slept during the previous 36 hours due to our awesome layover in Iceland! Once we checked-in into our AirBnB, we had a good chunk of our afternoon and evening left! What’s the first thing you should do when you are in a place with canals? Take a canal cruise! We found one and enjoyed a nice, smooth ride through Copenhagen. I just love the history lesson you get from these types of tour. We saw some amazing buildings and it was a great day to be on the water!
That kind of thing makes a girl and guy hungry, so we found a great little cafe. The staff saw us looking at the menu and came out to greet us. It was a very small place with only a few tables inside and a few outside. The staff was incredibly friendly and the food was excellent! This is where I (Jess) have to get out of my comfort zone. I (A) don’t like being the only people in a restaurant (but we were eating at a strange time) and I (B) didn’t know want kind of food/price to expect. Aside from the awkward situation of getting the check, it was a lovely experience. It was Cafe Optimisten, and luckily, they did have an English menu.
Once we were sufficiently full, we started walking to nowhere in particular. But we saw a lot! We saw: a bridge being built, lots of tourists acting touristy, young men jumping into a canal following a pick-up soccer game, kayaking, boats, jet skis, and sandcastles. A quick stop by the tourist office helped us semi-plan out the next day! By the time we left, we knew it would involve a bus tour, hot dogs, and Tivoli Gardens. And we did just that!
The 24-hour pass for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour was not worth the money, so we do not recommend it. But we did use it to get around a bit and it dropped us off near the shopping street. It’s a mini-Beverly Hills there! It was still kind of fun to window shop. With the help of Google Maps, we found the organic hot dog stand, DØP, near the Round Tower (or, Rundetårn). Though it was obvious that many tourists go there, it was equally obvious that the locals love the place as well. It’s really a hot dog stand/trailer, not a built-in restaurant. This is important to know if you are like us and are blindly following walking directions from a phone.
After we got some energy from much-needed food and drink, we headed to the Botanical Gardens and then the Rosenborg Castle. It should be noted that entrance into the palace grounds is free, entrance into the castle costs about $15, and entrance into the Royal Treasury area is NOT included in the entrance fee, so if you want to see the Crown Jewels, you’ll need to spend a bit more. What is nice is there are small lockers to leave your things since you can’t take large bags into the palace. The room where you pay is rather small, so try to get in and out as quickly as you can. The grounds are beautiful in themselves, so if you want a little time to just wander around and enjoy the green manicured area, this is perfect (and FREE!).
Afternoon naps are incredibly helpful so your evenings aren’t miserable. It was great because our time in Tivoli Gardens was much more enjoyable after a short rest. We had a great time people-watching, meeting other Americans, eating the best pizza we’ve ever had at Mazzoli’s, and a very yummy dessert. Definitely worth a trip even if you don’t ride the rides. Though, we would recommend trying to catch some sort of show when you are there. This amusement park is right in the middle of Copenhagen. As an American, that is so hard to believe. Also, a fun little fact is that Disney got his idea for his parks from here and Michael Jackson tried to buy the place!
Our last day was spent in the Christiansburg (Christianshavn) part of Copenhagen. We dropped our luggage off at Copenhagen Central Station (Köbenhavn H) in lockers and caught the metro out to Christiansburg. The icon of that area is the Church of Our Savior which we climbed…all the way up, including the outside steps you see.
Afterwards we treated ourselves to some amazing ice cream and a great conversation about culture with the shop keeper.