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Trip Report Copenhagen, Denmark May Trip Report

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We arrived in Copenhagen via SAS Airlines after a glorious visit to Stockholm.

We had enjoyed magnificent sunny days in Sweden, even as weather.com continually declared we would have rain, rain and more rain - and unfortunately the rain did come as we landed in Copenhagen, but kept to a minimal sporadic drizzle for most of our stay, with sunshine in between and one half day of pouring rain.

We easily found a taxi to our hotel, which had been recommended by a fodorite during my planning - the Nyhavn 71 I(according to Fodors book) and the 71Nyhavn according to their confirmation letter :) -
71nyhavnhotel.com/

Info about the hotel I will put at the end for those interested.

ARRIVAL DAY:
By the time we arrive from airport, check in, quick get settled, we hit the streets about 3pm. We walk up the pier, and notice a few buildings down from us is one of the buildings Hans Christian Andersen used to live in for a time, take the obligatory photo of me in front of it, and move on to the next store for a delicious ice cream for one and a scrumptious warm waffle with ice cream and strawberry sauce on top - and I will have the latter at least once a day for the rest of the time I am here !

We continue on to Kongens Nytorv Square , that is surrounded by the D’Angleterre Hotel, Kongelige Teater, etc. - and they are installing a magnificent outdoor photographic exhibit “Spirit of the Wild” which will be there until August 15 - so be sure to walk through it if you visit.

The photos are all enlarged on outdoor panels, and there is a tent with, of course, the mandatory gift shop items of books, postcards, posters of the exhibit - but there are some fabulous outdoor wildlife photos in this outdoor installation.

Info on it is at earthmatters.dk and stevebloom.com

We then walk to the Marmorkirken (Marble Church) since it is open until 5 and we figure we’ll see a few things we can before everything closes.
The church was beautiful inside and we enjoy all the sculptures and statues that surround the building.

We begin walking back since it is starting to rain, and we stop in at a design and antique stores along the road that had all those fabulous Danish design concepts for streamline kitchens, etc and stop at a photo shop and drop off my camera card to have my Stockholm photos put on CD b/c I am neurotic about if I lose them or my camera....they are closing soon, but will have them by 9am for me tomorrow.

We head through the square again to Magasin - Scandinavia's largest department store - to get out of the rain - what a treat ! We go from top to bottom, doing a quick cruise through each floor beginning with a great dining restaurant area on the top floor where what people were eating looked fabulous right down to the basement level grocery which was a treat.

Next we visit the adjacent Bang & Olufsen store so hubby will also be happy.

Head back to hotel, having a beer on the way - all along Nyhavn pier on the left is just cafe after cafe after bar - all with lovely tables and chairs (with heat lamps and those lovely blankets over each chair that I loved in Stockholm). Enjoy a nice beer and continue on reading menus to pick where we will eat tonight.

We end up at a small cafe, which I can not remember the name of and can’t find the card anywhere - but there are plenty to choose from if you are in this area - we opt to eat inside b/c of the intermittent rain, and head back for a good night’s sleep since last nights was a bit noisy.

FULL DAY ONE:
HOTEL BREAKFAST: Which was included, was all we needed and more. A delightful dining room area, and they served some hot (eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal) and cold (cereals, grains, fruits, raisins, breads and croissants, ham, cheeses, salami’s, etc) and an array of juices and a pot of coffee on each table.

While it looks to be threatening rain, we bring our rain jackets and umbrellas, but within a few hours the sun breaks through adn we are blessed with a warm and sunny day for the most part.

We pick up my camera card and CD, and head down to The Danish Museum of Art and Design and the Museum of Decorative Art, different opening hours but connected.

Fabulous exhibits of Arne Jacobsen, Erik Magnussen “shortcuts”, Tracy Rowledge, Dagmar hoss, absolutely excellent design of chairs, everyday pieces, textiles, glass, - and a great gift store with marvelous scarves, jewelry by local designers.

Also great Chinese ceramics, furniture, porcelain. We actually ask about half way through at noon if we can head out to the corner to see the Royal Guard come down the street from Rosenborg Slot for the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg (Amalia’s Castle) and see the Changing of the Guard - no problem, so we enjoy that and head back to the museum to finish up.

We then head up to Churchill’s Park, and make our way to Kastellet (Citadel) and spend some time strolling through enjoying the buildings, the windmill, and head across to St. Albans Church which looked amazing with it’s spire reflected in the water below through the trees. Charming church even on the outside as it looks mosaic.

From there we reach the Frihedsmuseet - Resistance Museum - and first grab a quick sandwich on their back terrace and head in to the exhibit.
Fabulous. I thought it was set up very interesting with actual letters from various people to their families during the danish resistance movement, the story of the thousands of Jews the Danish people hid and helped escape, the video montages and recordings - even though we have been to the Holocaust Museum in DC and Terezin in Prague, as well as some others, each one in a different country has different perspectives and I felt it was well worth the visit.

We continue on to the Gefion Fountain - which I thought lovely -
the tale is that Gefion was told she could own as much of Sweden as she could plough in one night, and after turning her children into oxen, managed to obtain this section of the island of Zealand....nice mother....
I just can’t seem to find out if the poor kids got turned back into children or not after their evening of labor !

We continue walking to reach the Little Mermaid Statue -
in my opinion nothing that is going to blow your mind, looks exactly like it does in all the photos, was a tad smaller than Ithought it would be, but if you were ever a fan of Hans Christian Andersen it’s not that far from many of these other sites you might see and along the waterfront is pretty. So we take more of the touristy obligatory photos of me beside the statue and in front of the statue in my best mermaid pose.

Then we walk back along Esplanaden and cut over making our way to Nyboder - we did not go thru the exhibit or tour, just strolled thru on our own while making out way to the National Art Gallery - in a beautiful setting - we strolled through the park a bit first, and then went in to to see the exhibit of French Master Drawings of Picasso, Gauguin, Degas, Matisse, Manet, Rodin and Cezanne - unfortunately the only section open while they are doing some renovations, but it was a lovely exhibit.

We then headed down to the Botanical Gardens - absolutely amazing !
The greenhouse itself is huge and the outdoor plantings fabulous - but I am an avid gardener , but still it is worth the stroll through the different lanes and nooks and crannies to see all the magnificent flowers and all the birds going in and out.

We head out the exit that takes us to Gothersg straight away back to Nyhavn Canal as it starts to drizzle and of course, stop for beer at one of the outdoor spots along the canal, Hyttefadet at 25 Nyhavn, before we reach our hotel.

Now, my husband is in heaven not only because he has a great beer, but because a man has pulled up in a truck, stopped across from us, and unwinds a long hose into the cafe - and then stands by his truck. Naturally, my husband is curious, this looks like one of our gas trucks from back home, but isn’t - and he soon is chatting with driver and finding out it is a beer truck, quickly nicknamed the ‘beer mobile’ - and he and the driver chat about beer, delivery, how it works, and on and on until he is finished. They are fast friends and posing for photos.

Soon I must order another beer, because now my husband is learning all about these small black ‘trash bins’ along the canal - and chatting with a cafe owner about how it is a test project for containing trash, as the cafes dump their trash into them, and voom, they travel down to the end of the canal all to one container that is then emptied at the end of each day, as a test to better control trash and not have dumpsters all along the canal. Reminds husband of the pneumatic tubes we saw moving things during our ‘under the street sewer tour’ of Paris....

Amazing how the side of the canal opposite the cafes fills with kids just sitting on the wall drinking from their bags of beer and store bought snacks....and can stroll around drinking too - just so unusual compared to the U.S. - although they were not rowdy or particularly bothersome, it was just different.

during this time I also need a snack, so I leave my table for a moment to snag yet another tiny warm waffle with ice cream and strawberry sauce. I don’t care, I am on vacation and they are too delicious. Hubby finally finishes his investigating of everything on the canal and we do a
quick trip to room to shower and change and we are off to Tivoli for dinner and music. The owner of the outdoor bar suggests we eat at Grotens in Tivoli which is quite popular with local business people and residents, with good traditional food choices.

DINNER/TIVOLI:
We arrive just before sunset and no more rain ! Husband pops into Groften and makes a rezzie for in about 30 minutes. I realize this might be a touristy thing to do, but the gardens are beautiful, and the lights and we enjoy walking around for the 30 minutes before our dinner. Part of Tivoli reminds me of a mini Epcot/Disney with the rides, and if our kids were with us I know where they would be, and if you have toddlers or younger kids they would love the little cars they can drive between spurting fountains of water (another Epcot reminiscent).

We eat at GROFTEN which was fabulous !! We eat in the section that is partially outside, with the sides and tops open and have a delightful waitress and excellent traditional Danish food, veals, great potato dishes, wonderful white asparagus appetizers, and great wine.
Delightful atmosphere and food.

We stroll around afterwards, listening to some bands playing in the gazebos, walk off dinner a bit and head out. We walk around the area for a bit, settling on an after dinner drink at the Radisson SAS Royal b/c of the Arne jacobsen design and to see the hotel bar, which was written up somewhere. It was nice, but too dark and smokey for us so we grab a cab and head back to Nyhavn area and have our after dinner drinks along the canal just as the rain returns.

FULL DAY TWO:
Raining. Oh well, whip out the rain jackets and umbrellas and head out.
We begin by walking down Stroget, the pedestrian only shopping area and hit the Bodum Hus, which I love and get some cute things for an upcoming bridal shower back home - colorful, clean danish line things the girl will love, which they will hold for me until I make my way back.
We go in and out of stores, Royal Copenhagen (buy some cute porcelain eggs for gifts) George Jensen, and veering of on some side streets, I find a jewelry store I love - P. Hertz on Kobmagergade 34 and find a wonderful unusual silver necklace by a Danish designer, woman directs me to a store a few down that has hip young Danish jewelry and I pick up something for my daughter, into a tv/video/cd store and they help me pick up the hottest CD’s over there for my son

and now it is a downpour so we jump into a restaurant for lunch. - again can’t remember the name for the life of me and can’t find it in my notes - but it was diagonally across from George Jensen store and we ate on the second floor and had a scrumptious order of , yes, nachos of all things and a nice glass of wine, dried off b/c at this point my feet are soaking.
I actually removed my socks and shoes under the table and hung them over the edge of the under table legs to dry out !

The rain lets up a bit and we follow Stroget down to Radhus (City Hall)
for the 2pm tour. This building was more delightful than I anticipated and we had a wonderful guide. They were setting up for session which was interesting, some lovely murals, and the library was a treat and the courtyard was delightful.

We make our way back down Stroget and what before my wandering eyes should appear but a tiny alcove selling small warm waffles with ice cream and yes please put a little strawberry sauce on mine, thank you.

When we reach the square across from Nyhavn canal, we walk through the outdoor exhibition of the wildlife photos one more time and head down to our hotel.

It is drizzling again, but we still stop for a late afternoon beer and then head back to the hotel for a warm shower.

We are tiring now, after the long days in Stockholm and now here, so we opt for a dinner in the first Italian cafe as we walk up the canal from our hotel. Don’t eat here.

All I can tell you is if you are walking down the canal from the square, it is the last restaurant before the Nyhavn Hotel. It looked charming, the menu looked great, we were seated and there was only one other couple there who were finishing their meal,, but no one came back out to the dining area for 15 minutes. Another couple actually came in, sat down and left. When the waiter appeared he dropped off menus and disappeared. Ten minutes or so later he came to ask what we wanted, we should have known then but we were too tired and didn’t care, so we said we would like to order wine first and did. About 20 minutes later we ordered dinner.

I didn’t get what I ordered, but I didn’t care I ate it anyway and it was just ok. My husbands meal was actually delicious, but no one came out again the entire time we ate. We actually had to call for him to pay our bill. There was a lot of banging and clanging going on in the kitchen which we couldn’t figure out.

Oh well, a late night waffle and ice cream cured all ills. I am very bad.

Back to the room we check in with our kids via the internet, which isn’t complimentary like it was in Stockholm, but that’s ok, money well spent. We also had our international cell phone with us, so we were speaking to them every few days, not that they are babies at 20 and 24, but still nice to connect. We pack up and prepare for our last morning before catching our plane for Iceland.

DAY THREE:
Up early, big breakfast and head out to Rosenborg Slot and the Kongens Have (Kings Gardens). I thoroughly enjoyed this castle. Amazing murals, great rooms, they give you a self guided tour sheet and the guides in various rooms are most knowledgeable. Wonderful old ivory carving station, and the treasury with the jewels is a treat. The grounds are gorgeous as are the Kings Gardens and we walk through those and head back to our hotel, snag a taxi and head out to the airport to leave for Iceland.

I LOVED Stockholm, where we were before Copenhagen, -
I enjoyed Copenhagen very much, but while I am dying to return to Stockholm because there was so much more there I wanted to see that I didn't fit in during my 5 days there, I felt content enough with my shorter time in Copenhagen - but I am thinking that might have had something to do with the off and on dreary weather we had in Copenhagen vs. the gorgeous sunny days we were lucky to have in Stockholm.

Plus, I hadn't the time to plan this trip the way I usually do (ad nauseum for months) b/c it started as a business trip to Stockholm,, and if I was going to meet my husband there, I was close enough to hit Copenhagen which I always wanted to see, so it was a last minute add on as was Iceland as a stopver on the way back to Boston.

Hope to get the Iceland trip report up tomorrow (but did love it)
For anyone interested if going to Stockholm also, that trip report is up and the tiny url link to the Fodors report is http://tinyurl.com/ptpvx

Now, for the detailed report on the hotel:
We loved the location, at the end of the pier - and had requested a water view.
Unfortunately, the first room they put us in had a water view, but was also on the first floor, meaning if you sat on your bed or stood in your room, you were also looking directly into the eyes of any truck driver going by, of which there were too many in just the first hour or so we were there, and there was some major construction going on directly across from the hotel, so basically our view was the small canal and a bunch of trucks and front loaders - so having to keep the drapes closed made it quite dark.

Also, it was an incredibly small room. There was literally no room for our suitcases, without using the 2 chairs they’d jammed in the room for seating - and it was a smoking room although we’d requested nonsmoking and the smell was in all the fabric, bed cover, pillows, etc.

It was also a tad noisy at night: a tourist boat docked at the end late at night and all the people were noisy walking by our room, b/c their heads were basically at our window -

We asked the cleaning crew in the hall for something the next morning and the women said to me that I should ask for a room in the renovated building on the other side of the front desk, no views, but much larger and newer. So, we called the desk and requested if something else was available - they were very accommodating and apologized for the construction noise and general street/people noise, and found us something on the other side- no view, but we didn’t consider what we had a great view, so while we went off for our first full day in Copenhagen, they moved our suitcases from one room to the other for us while we were gone.

Although this room was actually 40 US Dollars more per night, they didn’t charge us the difference. Much larger bathroom, we could walk around the bed, there was plenty of room to spread out,, and I didn’t mind being a few floors higher and looking across the street at a brick building - and we slept like logs.

Both rooms have the funky showers with no doors, but in the first room if you even showered for 3 minutes the water ran directly across the bathroom floor to the sink and toilet area and made for a very slippery exit and lots of wet towels. The second room had a much larger bathroom and the tiles dipped enough where the shower was so you could shower without flooding the room. Well, at least this set up conserves water !

Only problem with our second room was the headboard, suede, and on one side it was so darkly dirty/stained I didn’t want to lean my pillow against it to sit up and read but the room was large enough there was a small couch I could do that on.

If you don’t mind a small room (and it was small) and people walking by on the canal, the water view is fine, but it was a side view and of the canal only and looking across to a lot of construction, so not worth it in my opinion, you see plenty of the canal walking it every day, so if anyone stays here, I would stay on the other side where our second room was and have more space, quiet, a larger bathroom and a good nights sleep.

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