As we spend most our time either working or renovating, a few months ago we decided to make more time to travel. Not only do I love to travel anyway, but it's also a great way to actually take a break from the work.
I love Christmas markets and after having visited the one in Nottingham for oh, only ten years in a row, I was determined to go somewhere new this year. Somewhere abroad. Obviously Germany was my top choice, but money rules here and flights to Germany weren't cheap. Copenhagen was cheap! Plus, it's only an hour away (AN HOUR!) with quick links to the city from the airport and several flights throughout the day. It was the perfect day-trip getaway material.
We spent just £40 on flights for the both of us; that's just £10 a ticket each way, can you get more bargain than that?!
So here's how we spent 8 hours in Copenhagen...
Nyhavn (New Square)
We arrived in Copenhagen city centre around 11.30am and of course, our first port-of-call was Nyhavn, which hosts the most iconic imagery of Copenhagen - colourful buildings and a waterfront canal. It's stunning! I knew I needed a photo of this whilst the sun was still up and I'm so glad we went here first as my nighttime images just did not do it justice! This area also had the most stunning restaurant fronts and despite Denmark generally being a colder climate than the UK, there was the most lovely outdoor seating areas, complete with patio heaters and blankets draped over every chair for you to wrap up in! It was super cute and cosy and I think we desperately need this kind of lifestyle in the UK!
Kongens Nytorv (Kings Square)
This is where I was led to believe the Christmas market would be located. However the square was under some kind of construction and definitely didn't resemble a "square" as it been completely bordered off. It was a bit of a shame, however this did mean that the market was much more spread out across the whole city. We followed the Christmas lights and came across several clumps of stalls in different locations. There were many similar stalls to what we have in the UK, but also some unique different ones too! Of course you can't visit a Christmas market without sampling some Mulled Wine - In Copenhagen they actually add a shot of rum and call it glogg, but we opted for the non-alcoholic version ;)
Rundetarn (Round Tower)
This is the oldest observatory tower in Europe. It has the most beautiful spiralling sloped floor that circles to the top (which stupidly I didn't photograph, dammit!). Despite the tower only being around 30m tall, you actually walk something around 200m due to the spiral, crazy! Upon reaching the top, there's a glass floor through the centre of the building allowing you to see the 30m down drop. Maybe not great for someone with vertigo, but totally cool otherwise!! And of course, there are the fabulous views over Copenhagen, for just 25DKK per person (£2.50) this definitely shouldn't be missed!
Rosenborg Castle & Gardens
We only had a quick walk around the Castle and Gardens, but from what we did see, twas beautiful. I love massive open spaces inside cities and this one did not disappoint. We didn't go inside the castle as it was quite pricey at 90DKK (£9.00) per person, but walking around the outside was totally free and great for a lovely little stroll with our mulled wines!
It wouldn't be a trip to Denmark without eating lots of danishes! We made sure to try as many as we could possibly fit in our bellies. Danish shops are a plenty and they're packed with locals collecting orders. The danishes are all quite large in size and ridiculously filling so I didn't get to eat as much as I had hoped, but oh my goodness were they amazing!! I wish I had bought a bazillion home with me. My mouth is drooling at the thought. They were also pretty cheap too, at just around 10-20DKK per piece (£1-£2). Don't they look delicious?!
Shopping in Copenhagen certainly isn't limited, and oh-my-goodness do they have the most incredible interior shops I've ever seen! And there was so so many of them! If I ever win the lottery, this would be must top go-to destination to shop for interiors. There was lot of scandi interior pieces as well... just so much amazingness! Sadly we didn't buy anything (not a single thing, boo!) since this trip was on a mega budget, but I so damn wish I could have bought everything. And I mean everything. These shops were CRAZY busy, it was how I imagine Christmas shopping in NYC.
We left the city of Copenhagen around 7.30pm ready for our flight back to the UK. It was a pretty long day, but so so worth it! One thing that stood out about Copenhagen was that it really isn't a major touristy city. The tower we went up was virtually deserted and even at Nyhavn there was only a few small groups taking photographs along the canal, as opposed to the hundreds we've experienced at other European Cities. I think this made it feel like a very genuine city without too much of the gimmicky-ness.
The one place we didn't visit, which I wish we had done - was Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park and garden. Sadly it costs 90DKK (£9.00) per person just to enter and then rides and other attractions are additional costs inside. At Christmas time the gardens are decorated to the max, which was the main thing I wanted to see there. We actually saw a little peak through the gates and it truly did look stunning, but we couldn't really justify the price. Maybe next time!