6 minutes reading time Denmark
When you arrive in Copenhagen, you will most likely feel its magical cosmopolitan atmosphere from the get-go, and be absolutely certain that this is a city that deserves an exciting “Uitstekend!,” which in Dutch means “Excellent!” Being one of the oldest European capitals, now it is a busy port city (in fact, the largest Baltic Sea port city out of all the other European countries), as well as a little designer paradise in this busy fashion-forward city. It is sometimes referred to as the “Northern Paris” by Europeans and serves as the primary residence of the Danish royal family.
And with Danish high-fashion comes the very high price tag as well. However, the fashion part is not the only one that’s expensive. Copenhagen is actually believed to be one of the most expensive European capitals, so don’t feel guilty if you see a price tag and involuntary exclaim “Ouch!” Yes, prices can bite. Dinner at a local restaurant can cost you a whopping $60-70 (it’s true, I confirm), therefore it is best to do your research in advance before the trip, so you can find more budget-friendly alternatives to various high-end eateries.
So how did Copenhagen appear on the map? It started as a small fishing village and grew into a buzzing, colorful and astonishing city. According to various archaeological finds, it is believed that Copenhagen was established in 1167 by Bishop Absalon: first as a small fortress on the island (that’s where the present-day Christiansborg Palace stands), and it grew bigger and bigger over the years. The reasoning behind the bishop’s need for a fortress was that the village was constantly attacked by pirates and something needed to be built to protect the valuable assets, as well as the people inhabiting the village.
It has become the royal family’s home for years to come: members of the family were being born, raised, gotten married, and found their final resting place here. If you are a true royalist like me, you won’t be able to pass the Royal Jewels collection at the Rosenborg Castle. Let’s make it our first virtual tour stop.
Rosenborg Castle: an Astonishing Crown Jewels Collection
Be ready for your jaw to drop when you step into this royal jewels paradise! You will experience a gemstone nirvana as you observe the countless precious, and oh-so-delicate necklaces, earrings, rings, brooches, tiaras, and, of course, the crowns themselves. If you are somebody’s boyfriend/fiance/husband and you are reading this, trust me, it is best to just let your woman enjoy this moment and patiently wait until she looks at every piece, one by one, like a little girl who just got her first Barbie doll as a gift (I can relate as I remember that for me it was a sort of “historic” event).
She will never forget this moment and will be grateful if you just let her enjoy it even though you are just out-of-your-mind bored and feel like you need a drink after this trip. Every girl loves fairy tales, let this be hers. And speaking of, my favorite one is the Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Therefore, I knew that my next stop had to be the Little Mermaid Statue.
The Little Mermaid Statue: a Magical Princess Story
It could be considered a crime to visit Copenhagen and not to take a picture with the legendary Mermaid Statue. It is one of the main city’s attractions and you will be in luck to take a selfie with nobody in the background as there are always people buzzing around it like bees around honey. It is unknown whether this fairytale was written here in Copenhagen, historians found no evidence to prove it right or wrong. I like to think that it is true.
After visiting the royal jewels collection and taking a picture of the Mermaid, you can exhale and consider half of your Copenhagen agenda successfully accomplished. Now it is time to eat and rest a little bit before your next adventure begins.
Nyhavn: a Culinary Paradise
Like I mentioned above, it is quite expensive to do anything in Copenhagen, including food. But if you wanted to enjoy the beautiful view of the harbor while tasting the best culinary creations the city has to offer, look no further. Browse the menus while strolling down the harbor with various colorful boats docked right there in front of you.
Nyhavn has a huge variety of cozy cafes, posh, and relatively low-cost restaurants. Watch pedestrians pass by as you are enjoying your dinner, some may smile and say “Smakelijk eten!” which means the same as the English version “Enjoy your meal!” When you leave the restaurant feeling completely satisfied and well-rested, you might want to check out one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe and go indulge in a little shopping experience.
Stroget: a High-Fashion Escape
Fashionistas, rejoice! And yet again, I’m addressing all the gentlemen out there: brace yourselves, your girl goes shopping! She might find you a cute tie to go with that white dressy shirt you packed for this trip, so you can wear it out and about, while not feeling like you are being left out.
The Stroget boulevard has many high-end and well as more budget-friendly shopping options, so anybody will find something to suit their taste and wallet. Actually, you don’t even have to spend a dime at all if you opt for window-shopping instead, which is completely cool!
If you are up for a little change of scenery and want to visit two countries in one shot, then hop on a train going across the Oresund Strait, connecting Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden. The bridge linking the two cities is a sight to see by itself.
Oresund Bridge: Enjoy the Ride
It is the longest railway as well as a roadway in the whole European continent, and a true engineering wonder. If you are traveling by car, it will take you no more than 45 minutes to arrive in Malmo. However, if you want to give yourself a break and truly enjoy your vacation time, then opt for a train ride, which will take you a little more than an hour to get to the Malmo train station.
Once you arrive, I recommend going clog shopping: some of them are more of a work of art than a pair of shoes! If you feel like the price is too high to purchase a pair, then get a little souvenir one to remind you of your time in Sweden.
Being that Copenhagen is so diverse and cosmopolitan, it offers many leisure options for various budgets, as well as interests, so don’t wait, pack your bags and go for it! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to remind yourselves of a wonderful time you had here, and maybe after reviewing your happy, smiley Dutch shots, your friends would want to experience it for themselves. Happy trips are contagious!
I hope you enjoy your time here!