Twenty-Four Hours in Copenhagen
Orderly, beautiful, blonde, and cold. These are the four words that popped into my mind before I traveled to Denmark. I packed the UGG boots, scarves, and gloves as my quick stopover in Denmark was going to be action packed at the start of winter.
Many people like to travel to Europe’s most popular cities during summer months, but I’m the complete opposite. I think winter is the perfect time to visit Europe’s bustling cities, especially the capitals, since you can feel a city more when it’s not jam-packed with tourists. Since I live in Southern California, I enjoy finally feeling a winter and seeing what Christmas or the holidays is “supposed” to be like. Typically you can find Christmas markets, hot wine, and cities sparkling with lights, even some snow! Copenhagen was exactly this in November.
I would highly encourage those visiting Copenhagen to stay for more than 24 hours. However, if you are like me and prefer to constantly be moving while traveling, I think you can manage to see a lot in just one day. Upon arrival, you can take the train at Terminal 3 to Central Station in the heart of the city. The trains come every 10 minutes, so the journey to the city is easy and seamless.
When it comes to places to stay, like many cities there is just about every option you can imagine. I think I hit the jackpot with my selection of Hotel Kong Arthur. Perfectly located by Copenhagen Lakes, the hotel is tucked in between buildings far enough away from the crowds but still within walking distance to the city’s highlights. Start the morning walking just a few blocks to the Torvehallerne Marketplace, off Norreport Station. Grab a coffee and a Danish pastry and enjoy watching trendy locals get their fresh cheese, fish, and meat and seeing how the hipsters spend their time.
Immediately when you start walking through the city, you will notice the amount of bikers; this is because almost a third of the workforce travels by bicycle. If you enjoy biking you could rent one to get around the city from the hotel, but I only suggest this if you are an avid biker. Non-experienced bikers are probably safer sticking to their own two feet.
Take a stroll down the shopping street Strøget as you make your way to the center of town. I would suggest avoiding the crowds and first making your way to Nyhavn, the 17th century waterfront. You can take a boat ride to see top attractions such as the Little Mermaid statue, the Royal Danish Playhouse, and the Opera House and take in the views of Kristiansand. After a boat ride, enjoy a local’s lunch at Sankt Annæ Restaurant. Reservations must be made, and it is only open for lunch. I suggest trying the lobster salad, but portions are small so go ahead and taste a few plates.
After a delightful lunch, I suggest taking a walk to Amalienborg, which is the official home of the Danish Royal Family. The facades are beautiful, and it’s worth it to take a few pictures with the statues of King Frederik V in the center of the square. Then, if you are looking for a great souvenir, you shouldn’t miss the LEGO store. The LEGO family lives in Copenhagen, and this worldwide sensation is something the country is very proud of.
If your trip to Copenhagen is during November or December like mine, make sure you visit Tivoli Gardens to see the world famous Christmas Market. The lights, hot wine, and overall Christmas spirit will rebut any doubts you may have had about traveling to Europe in the winter.
One last thing, make sure to head back to Hotel Kong Arthur between 5 and 6 p.m. for “COZY HOUR”—free wine in the lobby. The hotel wants to get to know its guests and wants you to meet other travelers, which is a concept that I adore. When you arrive to Hotel Kong Arthur you are a guest and by the time you leave, you’ve become family.