Of the 72 hours we spent “in” Copenhagen a surprisingly large amount was actually spent in the surrounding towns, not the city itself. That is certainly a shame in many ways as the city has a ton to offer for visitors. Plus, it is reasonably compact, easy to navigate and ridiculously well served by mass transit options, making exploration both simple and rewarding. Among the highlights that we got to experience…
- Climbing to the top of Vor Freslers Kirke: The spire extending up from the top of the church has an external staircase wrapping around it. Walking up on the outside that high above the ground was certainly exhilarating. And the views of Copenhagen were hard to beat; the top of the spire is the second highest point in town. It is a lot of stairs, some inside and some out, with low overheads and generally an all around “exciting” climb. But absolutely worth it. They also play music from the church bells on the hour through most of the day so you can try to time your climb to match that if you want.
- Drink on the Nyhavn: The Nyhavn is the new canal, built in the 1670s to provide access to the central part of town for ships. Then it was a red-light district, complete with rundown bars, tattoo parlors, flop houses and brothels. Now it has been gentrified and is filled with overpriced restaurants and bars as well as a few hotels. So while I wouldn’t recommend spending a ton of time there, the people watching does make for an enjoyable couple hours. Head to the Magasin du Nord around the corner and take a BYOB approach to save a few bucks on the drinking part of the afternoon.
- Wander Tivoli Gardens: This one is somewhat hard to recommend because the admission price (DKK120, ~USD$25) is rather high. Still, the gardens are quite amazing to meander through. Apparently the climate in Scandinavia is perfect for growing roses – they were pretty much everywhere we turned – and Tivoli Gardens is no exception. They had huge displays throughout the park, mixed in between rides and restaurants. I have no idea if the restaurants were any good. A few were recommended but the price point was above my comfort zone. And I’m pretty sure you had to pay for admission to the park first to even get to the restaurants which adds to the crazy costs. But wandering the grounds and enjoying the gardens is definitely a beautiful way to spend some time.
There are plenty of other things to do in Copenhagen, too. There are a ton of museums and enough to see that one could easily spend a full 3-4 days and not cover it all. Pretty much any direction you wander you’re bound to run into something beautiful (and I’m not just talking about the locals).
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