POPCORN AND GLITTER

A film, food & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

6 November 2019

Travel Diary: A First-Timer's Guide To Copenhagen, Denmark

With it being Stevie's birthday and our one year anniversary, we decided to celebrate with a much needed city break to Copenhagen, Denmark. But with just four days to the see as much of the capital as possible, an itinerary was much needed.

I had wanted to visit Copenhagen for a really long time. Copenhagen is one of Europe's most visited destinations. Whether you're looking for thrills from rollercoaster rides, to embrace some history or just to relax there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. With plenty excuses to visit over the October half term break, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to jet away for a few days. Here's a look at our daily itinerary and some recommendations that'll hopefully help you out when visiting Copenhagen. 

Arrival, Day 1 - Copenhagen City Centre and Nyhavn

Having arrived in Copenhagen and dropped off our bags at the hotel, it was time to explore our surroundings. Thankfully, we were just a 6 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the city centre so there was plenty to see, right on our doorstep. Having walked to the centre (which is mostly made up of designer and high-end stores), we found ourselves at the harbour and Copenhagen's picturesque Nyhavn. Here, there are countless restaurants - serving some of the top rated Danish cuisine in the city; as well as boat trips and kayak trips for a unique way to see the city. 

Day 2 - Tivoli Gardens, KĂžbenhavn 

Our second day was easily my most anticipated. Right in the heart of the city is one of Europe's most loved and oldest amusement parks - Tivoli, also known as Tivoli Gardens. For me, this is an absolute must-see when visiting Copenhagen and easily the city's most magical attraction. Founded in 1843, Tivoli's detailed themeing and stunning design made it the inspiration behind Disneyland. With 4 rollercoasters, including its famous wooden roller coaster (Rutschebanen), and dozens of other attractions and rides suitable for all ages, there really is something for everybody. However, if rides aren't your thing, visitors are welcomed to purchase an entrance-only ticket which allows you to visit the gardens, shops and Tivoli's many restaurants - some of which have been awarded Michelin stars. 

Tivoli Gardens is open from 11am until 11pm (and open until midnight on weekends) so it allows for a whole day of fun. During the Halloween and Christmas seasons though, it really does come to life at night and so I would recommend staying at least until dark for a full experience. You can learn more about my visit to Tivoli Gardens here.

Having spent the night before and full day exploring the park and taking full advantage of our unlimited ride passes, we said goodbye to the park with a delicious anniversary dinner at A Hereford Beefstouw. Located in Tivoli's entrance, the bistro offers an array of steak dishes, lobster and more, alongside a beautiful view of the Tivoli gardens. The food and service here was absolutely fantastic and it also allowed for you to revisit the park after your meal if you fancy a picturesque stroll to help your food go down.

Day 3 - Copenhagen Foodie Walking Tour and Freetown Christiania 

For our next full day, we were kindly gifted a Copenhagen Culinary Experience for two from Tinggly*. Led by a professional local guide, we were taken for a tour of the city whilst stopping off at some of its most famous and historic foodie spots. Starting at Copenhagen's renowned food market, Torvehallerne, and stopping off at the likes of the BRAW Brewery and the famous Aamanns Deli, the tour includes a range of tastings and unique Danish foods. Our tour guide was Maria who was absolutely brilliant, witty and very interesting to listen to.

This culinary walking tour is an excellent way to see a different view point of the city but it's worth noting that it doesn't really cover your typical landmarks or sightseeing hotspots. So if you're hoping to see Copenhagen's more obvious locations such as Nyhavn or The Little Mermaid statue along the way, this probably isn't the tour for you. It will, however, give you a local's guide to the city with some great food and history. It also takes you through Copenhagen's Botanical Gardens - which are particularly beautiful in Autumn. 

After our 3.5 hour walking tour you'd think we'd be all walked out but we couldn't pass up the chance to see Freetown Christiania. Freetown Christiania, also known as Christiania, is a commune made up of around 1,000 residents, living outside of traditional Danish law.

Once a military base, turned hippy commune in the 1970's, Christiania is community where residents live by their own society's rules, have built housing, run various shops and a school. As one of Copenhagen's most popular tourist attractions, outsiders are welcome to visit the community but be warned that visitors are not to take photos - primarily due to the drug use. Cars and running are also not permitted. You can find out more about the rules inside Christiania here.  Christiania is easily one of the most surreal places I've ever been to and whilst I'm glad we got to see it, we didn't make a point to stay too long. 

Day 4 - The Round Tower and The Little Mermaid Statue

Thankfully our flight home wasn't until the early evening and so we had plenty of time to get in some last minute sightseeing. Starting the day with a hearty breakfast at Cafe Flottenheimer, known for their incredible brunch platters (pictured above), we made our way in to the town centre and towards The Round Tower (Rundetaarn).

The Round Tower is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen amongst the many shops and restaurants. The historical building was created as an astronomical observatory and in recent years has also been used as a library. Inside is a wide spiral slope corridor leading to the top of the tower which stands at 34.8 meters tall. This was purposefully constructed in such a manner to allow the King of Denmark to ride his horse to the top of the tower which offers some of the best views of Copenhagen. 

Finally, we stopped by the water front for a final time to revisit Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid Statue. As I'm sure many of you will know already, the bronze statue is a monument celebrating the works of Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. Created by Edvard Eriksen, the statue depicts the transition of the mermaid to human form. Naturally, it is Copenhagen's busiest tourist spot so if you don't mind a queue to take a quick snap, I'd recommend popping by before your trip has finished, though the overly keen tourists can take some of the fun out of it. You can alternatively view the Little Mermaid Statue from one of many Copenhagen boat tours but the view is quite different and arguably far better on foot.  
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Well, that's it for my guide to Copenhagen, Denmark. I hope it can serve you well on your travels. We really had such a wonderful time exploring the city and I absolutely would recommend visiting during the Autumn months if you can. A huge thanks to Tinggly* for providing us with a great day out during our visit. They offer a whole host of experience packages and gift boxes for hundreds of destinations so they're definitely worth checking out when booking your next adventure. But tell me, have you visited Copenhagen before? What were some of your highlights? Which of the above would you like to see the most? As always, I love reading your comments so please do share your thoughts with me below. 

Until next time fellow explorers, 
*Disclaimer - Some experiences featured in this post were gifted to me during our time visiting Copenhagen for the purpose of review. As always, any views or opinions expressed in my post are my own and do not reflect that of the brand. 
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