Another quick Norwegian Airlines flight took us from Oslo to Copenhagen. While I’ve mentioned the airline once before, it’s worth repeating how hassle free and affordable it was! I also really recommend Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the airline we used for travel between Scandinavia and the U.S. Although we traveled during the off-season, ticket prices were much lower than we anticipated and the entire experience was much more enjoyable than our experiences with various U.S.-based airlines.
Our first stop was at a restaurant along Nyhavn, a charming stretch of shops along a canal, for a traditional smørrebrød lunch. A smørrebrød is an open-faced sandwich on rye bread, with toppings that vary based on whatever is available. Ours had roast beef, liver pate, eggs and prawns, and pork, plus their respective and somewhat random toppings (think some sort of blood gelatin). We washed this flavorful array down with some delicious Danish beers.
While I was concerned that our hotel, the Copenhagen Admiral, would be a little out of the way, it ended up being extremely conveniently located, a few blocks down from Nyhavn in one direction, a few blocks from the Amalienborg Palace in the other, and right in front of the harbor.
Although our hotel room was a little narrow, it had a pretty fabulous view of the harbor’s ships.
Right outside the hotel was a great walking path that takes visitors through a park to the famous Little Mermaid statue.
On our way back, we wandered around the palace grounds and overheard a tour guide explaining that the prince met his wife while visiting Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Apparently he was at a bar when he met his now-wife; they hit it off and began to date. Not until they had dated for a year did he tell her that he was the prince of Denmark. Can you even imagine? The guide also said that the family actually lives in the palace.
The path home also took us past the opera house. While we weren’t able to walk all over the building, it was still a beautiful structure.
We had a perfect, sunny day, so we took advantage by (surprise, surprise) walking all over and taking in Danish life.
We made sure to walk through Strøget, a very long pedestrian shopping area. While busy on the major boulevards, we enjoyed wandering off to the side streets.
I was very excited when we stopped for real Danishes and coffee.
Tivoli Gardens was high on my list of to-dos, but when we arrived, we found it closed as they were renovating the park for Halloween.
The next morning, we took a short train ride to Elsinore, the small town that’s home to Kronborg Castle. Built in the 1500s, this castle was renowned for its extravagant parties. While historians say it’s unlikely Shakespeare ever actually visited the castle, he apparently decided that, given its reputation, it would make a perfect setting for his play about a Danish prince, Hamlet.
While I can’t say I saw anything supernatural while walking through the castle’s corridors, I will say that I had goosebumps the whole time, and not because I was cold. It just felt haunted.
To shake off the feeling of ghosts, we stopped at San Remo, a local restaurant, and had more traditional Danish fare. This included frikadeller, kind of a Danish meatball, and delicious fried pork. The red cabbage was a great addition to the gravy.
Once back in Copenhagen, we had just enough time to venture over to the gorgeous botanical gardens.
Across the way was Rosenborg Castle. Though the museum was closing when we arrived, we were able to enjoy the gardens all the same.
Ashamedly, I think one of my favorite things about Copenhagen was the homemade ice cream shop, Rajissimo.
During our two full days in Denmark, we stopped at this shop four times: twice for ice cream (and homemade waffle cones), once for a chocolate dipped waffle cone stick, and once for homemade churros. Yum.
All in all, we had a fantastic and very memorable vacation. It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, of city and countryside. Thank you for following along; I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I did reliving it through these pictures. Thanks also to Sara & Ashley for letting me share my story. Here’s to many more adventures around this beautiful earth.
As my parting gift, here’s a glimpse into the easy-to-understand, simple Danish language.