Goodness Danish Me!

Copenhagen in 2 days and 1 night – a flying visit to say the least but its amazing how much you can cram into such a short period, and in fact meant we had no time to waste! Arriving by a delightfully on time Easyjet flight we took the metro into Copenhagen’s centre.

Our hostel ‘DanHostel Copenhagen’ http://www.danhostel.dk/copenhagencity  was great. The rooms were a great size, really nice en-suites and friendly staff, by far one of the better hostels I have stayed in before and would recommended it and use it again!  The location of the hostel is great ( its nearest metro is Christianshavn), its overlooking the river, and is a 10 minute walk to Tivoli Gardens. There is a bar/cafe in the reception which acts as a great place to congregate when you are in a group, but to have a pre dinner tipple!

Due to our limited time we decided to try to fit in as much as possible and because we were supposed to be bonding as a team ( this was a work trip for mine and a couple of other departments) activities were necessary. After wandering and finding a lunch stop in the streets opposite Tivoli Gardens, we set off to do an Urban Adventure – Kayaking!

For most people they had not been in a kayak, for some of us it was many years go ( in my case over 12 years! ) With the weather against us, cold winds, rain and choppy waters we donned our fisherman’s pants, waterproof, and climbed into our kayaks ready to take on the canals of Christianshavn. We paddled past a few of the cities sites including the Black Diamond, under Knippelsbro (Knipple Bridge) connecting Børsgade (Stock Exchange Street) to Torvegade (Market Street), one of only two bridges to allow motor vehicles to pass.

Although the conditions were wet and cold, we didn’t stop laughing, I think the being blown into shipping lanes only added to the fun we all had. I think had it been sunny it wouldn’t have been quite so much fun. Having lost feeling in my bare feet I some what ungracefully clambered out of the kayak and saying good bye to our very Danish guides we sought warmth in the form of a pub!

That evening we dined at Riz Raz a vegetarian restaurant (that also serves meat!). They do a great buffet of hot and cold food, and you can add meat skewers to your meal as well for those looking for a meat fix. The food was very nice and cheap which is what we wanted. A few jugs of beer were ordered and dinner enjoyed.

One thing that struck me about Copenhagen coming from London was how quiet the streets were on a Saturday night. There was hardly anyone around, which for  Londoner was odd. The restaurants all looked fairly busy. Heading down to Nyhaven for a post dinner drink, most of the pubs were busy and a much-needed escape from the cold outside. Evenings in Copenhagen are spent very differently than those in London!

Our second day was just as packed with activities as the first, with some of us taking part in a walking tour of downtown Copenhagen, which took in Christianshavn, Christiana, the Island Brygge, the Meat district which is being developed, and other stops along the way. This was again booked through Urban Adventures but certainly had less charm than the kayaking.

Our guide, incidentally was the guy who took us kayaking. He seemed to struggle having more than two people ( he said he has never done a walking tour with more than 2 people) which seemed odd. I felt as if he should have taken more control of us ( there were only 6 of us!) and told us more than he did.

We were lucky that the weather had changed and the sun was out so we could do regular stops for coffee and sit and enjoy the views. It may have been our guide but I would hesitate booking another Urban Adventure walking tour if there were more than 2 of us. The guide seemed aloof and not trained to a professional guiding level, it was almost like he did it to earn a bit of cash, which when in a city for the first time you want to see and learn as much as possible. However, the walking tour did allow us to see lots of the city, and it’s always nice to be with someone who knows where they are going instead of looking like a tourist with your map out!

The tour ended outside Tivoli gardens which is where we met the rest of our group, and headed on inside. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tivoli, but it was great fun. With the sun out we headed for the nearest green spot and relaxed. The attraction of Tivoli is that it has so much within its grounds.

You can simply pay entrance and enjoy the green spaces, the restaurants and bars, or head to the theme park rides and attractions. The rides are expensive with the larger rides costing 75DKK, which is £7.50. You can buy multi ride wrist bands for 199DKK which if you intended to spend the day would have been worth it. One bonus was that most of the rides had short queues which is always great! Spending the afternoon in Tivoli was a great end to the weekend.

Copenhagen surprised me, I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as a city so much. It is so relaxed, beautiful and everyone is so nice. Yes its an expensive city, there is no denying that, but if you are sensible you can still have a great time without spending lots of money. This is definitely a destination to explore again, if only to fill my pockets with all those amazing Danish pastries!!!

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