Hubby has never seen or explored Copenhagen, so a few days ago we decided to spend a day in the capital. Copenhagen is only a two-hour train ride from my parent’s house in Jutland. DSB – the Danish railway company has discount tickets called Orange tickets. If possible, book in advance and you can save a lot of money. We were lucky and found return tickets for only 198 kroner. A bargain compared to the normal price.
We visited on a cold and wet winter day in January. Not ideal, but we didn’t let the weather discourage us from having a great day. Just be aware of temperature and dress accordingly!
It was a short visit to the capital, but since Copenhagen is relatively small it is walkable and can be done in a day. That being said, we are definitely going back. There are many more things to see and do besides what’s on my list below.
Our train arrived at the main train station at 11am. From the station, we walked through Strøget (the main walking street).
Amalienborg is the Winter home of the Danish royal family. It is located in the center of Copenhagen and surrounds a huge cobbled square. We wanted to be at Amalienborg at noon for the change of guards. It was quite the ceremony; the new set of guards entered the square together with a marching band. It was quite the experience and attracted a huge crowd of spectators.
- LITTLE MERMAID AND KASTELLET
Afterwards, we walked north of the castle to see the Little Mermaid and Kastellet (an old fortress). The Little Mermaid is exactly that – little! She is a bronze statue, and is of course inspired by the fairy tale of the same name by Han Christian Andersen. The statue was a gift to the city in 1913, and today serves as an iconic statue in Copenhagen.
We walked through Kastellet, a man made fortress. It is an impressive island shaped as a star. Today it is a public park and many locals use it for running, as there is a path circling Kastellet. The buildings on the fortress were once used by the military. Today, they are used as offices.
From there, we walked down to Nyhavn. Nyhavn is a small harbor lined with old and colorful townhouses. In the canal houses many historical wooden ships. Most of the townhouses on Nyhavn are either bars, cafes or restaurants.
- LUNCH AT NYHAVN FÆRGEKRO
We decided to try a true Danish lunch. At Nyhavn Færgekro they have a herring buffet for lunch. It is a cozy space with friendly staff. The buffet has 12 or so different types of herring with sides of roasted mini potatoes and rye bread.
First, we tried the different cold and pickled herrings, and then we tried the smoked and warm herrings. It was a fun experience and amazing to see herring prepared in so many different ways.
The Danes would traditionally have a shot or two of schnapps with their herring and the restaurant also has a good selection, however, since we only had one day in Copenhagen we decided to save it for next time. After lunch we were completely stuffed!
- CHRISTIANSHAVN AND CHRISTIANIA
After lunch we braved the cold and walked across the new walking bridge to Christianshavn. Christianshavn is a nautical district with canals and its own unique atmosphere. Christianshavn is home the famous restaurant NOMA. Unfortunately, they don’t accept walk-ins, so we will have to save that experience for some other day.
Christianshavn is also home to Christiania a small Freetown, where you can find a variety of eco-restaurant, bars and galleries.
Torvehallerne is a buzzing and beautiful food hall – a heaven for foodie lovers. It is a stunning food hall where you can find many Danish treats as well as international culinary delights. A perfect place to try a few things without having a full meal. If it wasn’t because our dear friends had invited us over for dinner at their place, we would have definitely eaten dinner here.