I saw the New Year in in Copenhagen and it was pretty special. Copenhagen has been on my travel bucket list for so long. The last time I’d been to Copenhagen airport was when I was on a stopover from Finland and I had a mini life break down after losing my connecting flight ticket.
But it hadn’t all been bad. The airport actually had a Starbucks (Finland didn’t) and a Whsmiths, so there’s that.
This trip was probably the least I had ever been prepared for any holiday. I usually meticulously write a minute by minute itinerary to make as much of the trip as possible. But spontaneity seemed to work on this trip, and for once it was nice to just go with the flow.
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be. I finished the trip with 800 DK left, so I naturally spent the rest in Sephora.
Copenhagen was an absolute blast, where there’s no such thing as a cinnamon roll too many, and you’re more likely to see people cycling than walking (except me, because I can’t ride a bike *sobs*).
So, if you fancy a cute getaway to the Hygge capital, here’s 5 things that you just gotta see in Copenhagen.
#1. Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is a must if you’re in Copenhagen. During Christmas and New Year it celebrates the festival of light where you guessed it, everything is lit up. Walking in is the most magical thing, as you’re met by twinkly lights adorned on pretty much every Christmas related thing you can think of. It is joined by a wonderful Christmas market, plenty of food places to eat and of course rides!
It couldn’t be in a more central location, it’s opposite the train station and a stones throw away from the main square and shopping street.
It’s also incredibly cheap for entry at only 120 DK (roughly £12) on a weekend which I thought was really reasonable. It remained at this price even on NYE which I thought was great, as everywhere else in the city seemed to have stumped their prices up a 100 or 200 just for the evening.
Once you’ve entered you can stay for as long as you like. You don’t need to budget for anything else if you just plan on looking around, there is plenty to see. I loved seeing in the new year in Tivoli as they had the most spectacular firework show which created a great atmosphere. It’s worth arriving slightly earlier at about 9pm if you’re there for NYE though as it does get very busy!
#2. Freetown Christiania
Well, where do I start with this place? If you hadn’t guessed from the pictures, Freetown Christiania is a hippie commune of about 850 residents which was founded in 1971, they are an autonomous free town in Copenhagen who don’t abide by Danish laws.
I had heard about this ‘town’ briefly before I visited, but didn’t realise to the extent what the place actually was. If you hadn’t spotted it in the picture, photos aren’t allowed in this place (soz) for obvious reasons…
This place is not for you if you don’t like the smell of weed (who does really?), you will spot a different person on every corner rolling a joint and perhaps even throwing a firework, what is up with that? The town is a lot bigger than I thought, and we walked around for a good hour. All in all it’s very run down, and it looks like a place that is stuck in the past and still hasn’t moved on.
I didn’t feel very safe walking around because of some of the things that were going on, but if you’re feeling up for it I would strongly recommend taking a look, it really is something you won’t have seen before.
You really cannot comprehend the difference of this place to the centre of Copenhagen, you just can’t. Again, this took us about an hour to walk from the centre, but DO cycle or get a bus because again it won’t take up your whole morning. It also means you can make a quick getaway if you need to…
#3. Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid bronze sculpture makes it in as one of the top 5 things to see in Copenhagen.
I wasn’t overly fussed about visiting, but it’s not everyday you’re in Copenhagen so I thought I’d make like a tourist and see what the fuss was about. I can’t for the life for me remember how we even got there, but it was a few miles walk from the city centre. What’s another few miles walk after we’d already pretty much walked the whole circumference of the city. But if you’re sensible you will ride your bike there or catch the bus which will save you a lot of time.
The mermaid sculpture is situated in a park area so there is other things to see whilst you’re there. Not too sure it was worth the one hour walk in my opinion, to not even be able to get close enough for a picture, BUT it is an iconic landmark for Copenhagen and is taken from a character in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, it’s also free to see so it is worth a visit if you’re in the area.
#4. Nyhaven Harbour
Okay, so I came to Copenhagen purely for the pretty, pastel coloured houses and who could blame me? Nyhaven Harbour is one of the hot spots to visit in the capital, and it’s only around 10 minutes walk from the start of the busy shopping street, you really can’t miss it.
There are various canal trips that you can take from here, but apart from that, the experience is completely free. There’s plenty to do and see in this area, with lots of lovely restaurants and cosy cafes to choose from.
The view really is spectacular and it’s a must have visit for that Instagram shot. If you walk around the corner a little further you’ll find some free trampolines on the floor that you can use. It’s quite random, but so fun, why don’t we have anything like that in the UK?
It’s also not far to go to Freetown Christiania from here either, so you can kill two birds with one stone if you’re planning on doing the 2 in one day.
#5. Hygge Cafes
One of the things that I was most looking forward to about the trip was the ‘hygge’. It came to no surprise that literally every cafe in Copenhagen was hygge. There were even signs outside declaring that hyggeligt times were waiting to be had inside.
But it wasn’t that that caught my eye. I don’t think there was one cafe (maybe except Starbucks, SO mainstream eh?) that wasn’t lit by candles. Candles and fairy lights instantly open the floodgates to Hygge. Paired with the fact that it was freezing outside, there wasn’t anything more inviting than getting cosy inside and defrosting with a delicious hot chocolate. Boy, were they good.
There is so many coffee shops to try, and don’t get me started on their bakeries. I definitely came home 110% cinnamon roll body and I am A-OK with that. Sweet lord have mercy, the above bakery was one of the best I have ever visited, and there ain’t nothing more hygge than grabbing a sweet, sugary pastry and bringing it back to your warm bed. I feel this is something I’m going to have to continue now I’m home.
Copenhagen was a super fun city break, we were there for 4 days and managed to cover pretty much everything on our list, but as usual, I’m sure there is so much we missed and could do another time. With flights starting at around £20 from London airports, who could really resist. City breaks can 100% be done on a budget these days, so there’s never been a better excuse to explore the world bit by bit.
Have you been to Copenhagen before? Is the capital of Denmark on your travel bucket list?