Copenhagen, your in and out guide
In the last 3 years i've visited four of the five Scandinavian countries - for those readers who might be thinking "what in the heck is Scandinavia? and where is it?" - don't worry you're not alone, I was left thinking the same thing when i first heard the term. In a nutshell Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe made up of the nordic countries - those countries being Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Norway. They're like a little gang. You know how at school even though you were part of a whole year group you had your own gang that you hung out with because you all liked Harry Potter and none of you were good at sport? - that's what the Scandinavian countries have going on, their very own clique. I've found them to be very similar in alot of ways, but at the same time each one is spectacular for it's own reasons. If i was to choose a favourite of the four which i've visited so far (i've not yet been to Finland) it would be Denmark without a second thought. Copenhagen is one of the coolest, funkiest places that i've ever seen. Why you ask? well i'll tell you...
Since my time in Copenhagen i am yet to find such tasty and wonderful food as smorrebrod. Simply put smorrebord is a selection of open sandwiches, what's on the sandwhiches ranges from shrimp and eggs to smoked eel, beef and pickles, and blue cheese with apples and bacon - they might not sound all that appealing but take my word for it the Danish know what they're doing when it comes to taste. And anyway, how will you ever get to experience new and delicious foods if you order the typical western burger and fries all the time? we don't travel to keep our minds closed people! so make that when you're packing, to pack an open mind. I found that even though i may not have had full confidence in every meal that i ordered based on what it sounded like, each meal was beautifully presented like a piece of art on a plate and not once was i left feeling dissapointed. In fact i was gobsmacked everytime at how yummy and enjoyable it was.
Tivoli Gardens/amusement park
Tivoli Gardens is one of the coolest and most stunning places that i've ever seen. It's a little difficult to describe... i'd say it's a mini village not so dissimilar from how disney land is a small city in it's own rights - in fact here's an interesting nugget of knowledge for you, Walt Disney himself has visitied Tivoli Gardens many times - apparently he loves it! and i know why. The atmosphere is nostalgic and inviting and the scenery is just beautiful. It's got epic rides, gorgeous gardens, a lake, a castle, a festival ground, a concert hall, a
promenade with resturants and shops, an oktoberfest themed beer hall and even a pirate ship in the lake which you can dine on - awesome. My partner and i spent an entire day and night in Tivoli! it remains one of the most memorable days of my life. It's not free to go in, like disneyland there is an entry fee. Admission is 99 danish krona which is approximately £10. Totally worth it if you ask me! it's located right near Copenhagen central station too so it isn't hard to find.
I'm not a huge fan of zoos if i'm honest... i stand by animal rights and the majority of zoos that i have visited in the past i've found to be a little bit sad and cruel. I don't believe any animal should be kept caged and chained up and so for that reason i wouldn't normally reccomend visiting a zoo - see my post on animal cruelty; Be aware on your travels, you could be saying yes to animal abuse BUT in this instance i'm going to do just that, because Copenhagen zoo didn't make me feel like that at all. I'm always hesitant paying into these kinds of things, thinking in the back of my mind that after seeing inside i may well regret supporting whatever cruelty i might come across once I'm in there. It's happened before where i've left a zoo in tears. But i'd been told by a friend that it was a fantastic zoo and so i gave it a try - i'm glad that i did because it restored my faith in zoos. My partner and i took the underground to the zoo, we had a vague idea of the direction that we needed to head in once we exited the station, we knew that the zoo was next to a big park so we thought 'how hard can it be to find?' we walked for a while until we found a big park and in we went. Upon entering said big park we had no idea of how big it acually was... it was huge! and so ensued a scene not so dissimilar from that one out of bear grylls born survivor where the women get lost for days. We kept going past the same thing and realised we were just going around in circles - no zoo in sight. About 30 minutes and 3 arguments later we rounded a corner and BAM! we can see an elephant - in the park... i had to rub my eyes and pinch myself for a moment. As we got closer we realised that we'd finally found the zoo, part of which (the elephant enclosure) is totally free for the public to view from inside the park. The fence was small enough that you could jump over it if you wanted to (and had zero sense)safety precautions in place, those being an electric fence and a deep three or four metre wide moat between the jumpable fence and the elephants, but still! i found it so incredible that you could be casually going for your morning jog only to pass a herd of elephants! i was in awe. The enclosure was big and magnifienct too, no chains or concrete in sight. I was immediately uplifted about entering the zoo and i wasn't let down once i was inside. All of the enclosures are well designed to suit the animals comfort and natural habitats. The polar bear particularly stood out for me, i'd never seen one so close up in the flesh before! i was very impressed with the expansive safari enclosures too. I even saw a red panda for the first time ever! it took us an entire day to walk around the zoo, it's a big place and to me that's great value for money. I had a really great experience at Copenhagen zoo it easily takes the cake as the best zoo i've ever visited, i highly reccomend it to anyone. Entrance fee is 170.00 danish krona, approx £18.00. The closest metro stations are Frederiksberg and Fasanvej, both being a 15 minute walk to the zoo.
Frederiksberg have park
This is the park that i was talking about above, the one we got lost in for about an hour... but it certainly wasnt a wasted hour because the park is an attraction in its own right. It's beautiful and definately worth a walk around. The zoo is attatched to it so you can do what we did and kill two birds with one stone. We did it unintentionally of course but you can plan to go for a walk around the park in the morning and then hit the zoo or maybe even better would be to hit the zoo in the morning when it's not so busy and stroll around the park afterwards. Frederiksberg station is the closest metro station to the park.
if you type 'Copenhagen' into google images this is the picturesque promenade that you'll see in most of the photos, and it's as gorgeous in real life as it is in the pictures. Along the promenade theres an abundance of resturants, cafes and bars right on the water all of them as cute and inviting as the next. We stayed just around the corner from Stroget (more on that further on) so we enjoyed having breakfast along the promenade every morning, trying somewhere different each day. Atone of the places along there i had one of the best coffees that i've ever had, and i drink alot of coffee! i wish i could remember the name of it... you'll just have to try them all 😉 if you're not staying near here it's definately a must to visit for lunch or dinner one day. There's often live bands busking along the promenade too making it all the more enjoyable.
I've visited many places across Europe in my time abroad and in all honesty not everywhere has the most friendly of people. I find that when i'm visiting somewhere new if i experience several negative encounters with rude and ignorant locals it really puts a damper on the trip. In Denmark i didn't experience that at all. The Danish are so warm happy and friendly, every single encounter that i had with a local was a positive one. It's not a myth that Denmark is the happiest country in the world!
The atmosphere and vibe
When you think of the 'vibe' you get from somewhere i think that the people you encounter and their attitudes plays a big role in the perception of it that you leave with. But it does all tie in together, each aspect of a new place playing a part; the food, the culture, the people, the weather, the attractions. The overall vibe i felt during my time in Copenhagen was a happy, warm, animated - hip but relaxed at the same time kind of vibe. It's a cool place and i really enjoyed my time there. I'd go as far as saying that it's the perfect holiday... laid back enough that you can relax and chill out, but has enough going on and things to explore that you won't get bored. It's another place that makes my top five and which i'd love to go back to.
Where to stay: We stayed at 'the admiral hotel' it was epic. It's this enormous centuries old, hamlet looking building right on the water. A converted 18th century warehouse to be precise... just around the corner from the breathtaking stroget promenade. It was magnificent and felt very prestigious. The location couldn't have been better too, I've said it before in previous posts but i'll say it again - when booking your accomodation location is key! i wouldnt say it was cheap... but nothing in Copenhagen is cheap. The nordics are expensive places to visit and Copenhagen is no excepetion, which brings me to my next point...
Spending money: You'll need alot of it... depending of course on how long you're going for. We spent four nights in Copenhagen and £500 dissapeared between the two of us. And that was just spemding money! flights and accom on top of that, well let's just say that it wasn't a budget holiday. Ways to cut cost: Stay somewhere where your breakfast is included in the cost of your stay. We ate out for every meal, including breakfast and i think that'S where most of our spending money went - totes worth it. Smorrebrod mmmm.