New cities are so much fun to explore. It’s one of the many reasons that I just love to travel around. Near or far it doesn’t really matter to this little gypsy. During my recent Euro trip I decided it was time to explore an old city- London. Discover a new- Copenhagen and reconnect with an old friend in another-Helsinki. To help keep costs down I flew for the first time with Ryanair from Luton (London) to Copenhagen. You really do seem to get what you pay for with Ryanair. A seat on a plane. One of the fun things I learnt this time around was how far away Luton airport is from central London. For peace of mind next time I’ll pay the extra and just fly in and out of Heathrow. My first impressions of Denmark and indeed Copenhagen came from the cleanliness and efficiency of the airport. And the super friendly people. Always with the friendly and stylish people. After grabbing my turtle inspired bag and heading through the airport I was easily able to book the next day’s train ride from Copenhagen to Aarhus in the airport as well as grab my ticket to catch the train into the city center. Once again I’d forgotten that I was in the northern hemisphere and that night time rushes upon you like a steam train. I always find it daunting arriving in a new city after dark and on my own. I have to admit that I was really surprised by the simple beauty and simplicity of Copenhagen at night. Danish design at it’s best perhaps? It was amazingly easy to catch the train from the airport and find my accommodation. The Downtown Hostel provided really simple and clear directions from the airport to their building. Which I highly commend them on. Too often I find that hostel directions are loose guides to new cities at best. Copenhagen The Downtown Hostel is set in a hip area in the city center. This vibrant, retro-style hostel is 4 minutes’ walk from the Strøget (the longest shopping street in the world ) shopping district, and less than 5 minutes’ walk from both Tivoli Gardens, restaurants, bars, theaters, the harbor, museums and general tourist attractions. As you walk into the hostel the first thing you notice at reception is a little sign guaranteeing a smile. The staff really do rise to the challenge, checking me in swiftly and filling my head with fast facts on the hostel, the surrounding area and giving me an update on the free wifi, free walking tours, free family dinner and the cheap drinks during happy hour. Don’t be swayed by my one visit ther are loads of places to stay in Copenhagen. With an 08:00am train to catch the next day I took the time to go on an evening stroll, buy a sim card for  family communication ease and grab some train travel snacks. Thanks to Mum for warning me that there is no food available during the four hour train ride to Aarhus. Also the price of breakfast at the hostel was on the steep side of Danish life. Strolling around the city center I watched as the Christmas market stalls were being erected in preparation for the upcoming markets. It may sound silly but I just feel in love with the city, despite the drizzle of rain fizzing up my hair, the freezing cold wind chilling my behind and much like a stripper I hadn’t seen her in the full light of day. Traveling from Copenhagen to Aarhus is super simple and is a really pleasant trip. The total cost is DKR 388 and takes just on four hours. I was a little bit fancy and paid the extra 30DKR to reserve a seat. Here’s a sneak peak of the silliness that happened in Aarhus.

After an interesting 24 hours in Aarhus and my first Air BnB experience, I returned to Copenhagen for a chance to meet this fine lady in the full light of day. I had an entire 21 hours left to dance my way around Copenhagen, eat myself silly on the baked goods and drink all the 7-11 coffee. If I had more time I would have loved to have gone over to Malmo. It’s so easy to get there from Copenhagen! I returned to the Downtown Hostel to drop the turtle bag off and walk around town while it was still the light of day. You know a hostel is good when you opt to return for a second night. Now it’s time for a little traveler confession. This could almost go in my #dontbeadick file but I’ll let you be the judge of this. I decided after a walk around town that I could use some company and a decent pint of cider. Just one cider before grabbing dinner and some sleep. And then I found the SouthernCross with it’s free wifi, friendly staff (again the people in this country are amazingly friendly) good cider and funny patrons. Started by an Australian gentleman who wanted to bring Australia one step closer to the cold Nordic region. The establishment itself has been around for over a hundred years trading under different names and proprietors with historic backgrounds to Copenhagen from the Tequila Bar, Nezer’s Piano Bar and Hos Simon (Nezer was a popular Danish Jazz musician and Simon Rosenbaum was the brother of the late Danish comedian pianist Victor Borge). Then it finally ended up being the Southern Cross. End of history lesson- the staff here are amazingly friendly and fun. It’s well worth pushing past the tacky exterior decor. One pint of cider turned into a night of frivolity with some hilarious people and a 2am stumble back to the Downtown Hostel to complete my check-in, get some much-needed sleep and remember that I forgot to have dinner. A few things I loved about The Downtown Hostel-

  • Location- Amazingly simple to find.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness- Even at night staff were walking about the hallways replacing blown globes, ensuring that showers were clean and tidy for the next day and generally taking care of the common areas.
  • Free and consistently good connection WIFI
  • The reception and bar area really encourages guests to mingle. There’s a huge day bed to read a book at, tables to talk with new friends and a simple bar offering reasonable beverage prices.

Downtown Hostel's friendly area

Downtown Hostel’s friendly area

After a good nights sleep in a private room I was ready to fall out of bed and explore this magnificent city.

Highlights from Copenhagen-

The coffee! The huge and affordable coffee. I loved the huge size of the coffees. From stopping by a café to a sneaky early morning 7-Eleven coffee the sizes are huge. They are the perfect size for walking around with. People complain about the cost of things in Copenhagen but I disagree. It’s a city where you really do get what you paid for. Yes I did really drink 7-Eleven coffee. For someone on the run it was reasonably drinkable and affordable. The baked goods- Move over France you’ve got a lotta delicious competition over here. Ignore the calories and just enjoy all the pastries. The sheer beauty of the city. Even the doors to the buildings are stunning. On the note of prices and well how expensive it is I didn’t really think it was if you were just a little smart about it all. If you’re after some casual dining options check out our great friends from Sharking for Chips & Drinks Christmas Markets– There are quite a few scattered around town and both nights I was able to walk to a couple for some urban exploration. They are super kitsch and pretty much have the same thing. The food is good and the fake snow adorable.

Even if you only have one day in Copenhagen here’s a really easy 1 day walking itinerary that even with an exceptionally sore head you’ll be able to enjoy the city. Most of these are on the same strip so it really is a simple and pleasant walk. Grab a coffee and enjoy!

Tivoli Gardens – Strøget – Storke Springvandet  – Georg Jensen  –  Nyhavn- Little Mermaid.

Tivoli Gardens are best enjoyed at night. I didn’t have time to go in and have a good play around, but walking past on two nights I enjoyed the Christmas lights. The scenery is beautiful with exotic architecture, historic buildings and lush gardens. At night, thousands of coloured lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that is completely unique and mesmerizing.

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Strøget– Even if you don’t like shopping it’s near impossible to not walk along here at some point. The 1,1-kilometre stretch covers the streets Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet and Østergade and runs from City Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv square. Night or day it’s a dazzlingly beautiful street to walk along. Half the fun is exploring the side streets along here and looping back around to Strøget. img_3306 Storke Springvandet– The Stork Fountain was a present to Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Louise in connection with their silver wedding anniversary in 1894. The area surrounding the fountain has quite a few fancy cafes. Think 50DKR for a latte and a nice view. Being on a budget myself I opted for the chain store latte and croissant deal just across the street. Georg Jensen purveyor to the royal Danish court. Maker of immaculately designed Danish wear. Jewellery, home ware, Christmas tree decorations. To put it simple Georg Jensen is a stylish, Danish version of Tiffany’s! Just a sneaky note- if you’re flying out of the Copenhagen international airport there is a very well stocked Georg Jensen store in the duty free area. Great place if you need to pick up a nice gift for the parents or grandparents back home. Nyhavn- Originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock for some much needed R&R. The area was packed with sailors, ladies of pleasure, pubs and alehouses. Which can still be clearly seen in the buildings today. Embrace your inner tourist and enjoy the beautifully painted buildings and wonder where all the ladies of the night have gone to. Nyhavn The Little Mermaid– Ok so this is a REALLY big tourist attraction. But it’s worth the walk to. There’s coffee, a great view and a lot of other friendly people to take your photo. This lonely broken hearted mermaid is a Copenhagen icon, and receives more than a million visitors a year. She’s also the most photographed statue in Denmark, with more than 5m snaps taken each year. So go on, join in and Instagram away. Little Mermaid

Don’t trust a hung over solo female traveller? That’s ok I wouldn’t either. Why not check out the Wyld Family’s Guide of Things To Do In Copenhagen in Winter

Getting from the Airport to the City-

There is a direct train and metro line that’s super simple to use. I used the train both times and had no issues. The train departs every 5 minutes or so. The train costs just 36DKK each way which is really cheap.

Buy or BYO SIM Card?

The best idea when you arrive in Copenhagen is to ensure that your phone is unlocked and get a Lebara Mobile prepaid sim card. WARNING: there are machines as you go through the airport trying to sell you a Lebara Simard for is 200DKK (£20) for 2Gig of data – But wait until you get into town and visit one of the many 7/11’s and you can get a Lebara Mobile prepaid sim card for 49DKK then only 999DKK for 20Gig of data. This is fantastic if you need all the data and are planning on more than a few days in Denmark or need to work remotely. Little extra warning- These sim cards are ONLY  valid in Denmark. I found myself in Finland with no wifi and three sim cards that didn’t work.

In total I had three nights in Denmark before flying off to Finland. Copenhagen-Aarhus-Copenhagen. As my main reason for visiting Denmark was to visit my sister in Aarhus, not just the eating of waffles. I ate a whole lot of waffles. Do yourself a favour, visit the store Tiger and buy all the strooplewaffles. You can thank me later.
Jeanette

Jeanette

Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.

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