An avid adventurer at heart, when one of my best friends Shona asked if I wanted to join her and some other friends of ours to visit København for her 22nd birthday come January time I jumped at the chance. It had been a dry 2014 in terms of traveling and holidays & with the cold british months creeping in where people seem to go into hibernation at the thought of doing anything in the cold, having a trip planned to a colder country were it doesn't seem to both them one bit excited me to no end. A virgin when it comes to winter holidays and having never been to København before I was clueless as to what to pack. Very much someone who wears clothes for style other practicability, and with only taking hand luggage on our 4 day trip, I decided to try meet somewhere in the middle, only soon to realise upon arrival I had packed very much the wrong garments for the brisk København winters, stylish & semi-warm.... Yes! Warm enough to keep my nipples from falling off.... NO!
Our flight out to Denmark and the capital was not too bad considering that Scotland had suffered from very high winds a day or two prior. But non the less our easy-jet flight was ready for take off & rest assure nothing was going to stop us from enjoying out four day scandinavian adventure. With the odd bit of turbulence mid flight we landed promptly and off we ventured, luggage in tow, through what I think might be one of the biggest airports, I personally, have ever been in. But eventually we found out way to the metro and eventually understood how & what ticket to get to take us to beautiful København. The metro system in seamlessly divine and slick as anything! With sparkly, new, shiny, white, driverless trains my friends & I were in awe as we hurtled along to our final destination.
Embarking from out little metro train we scaled up from the underground to be greeted by my beautiful and dear friend Laura.... who, be the way, does not live in København. She just got her flights mixed up and ended up there a day early. So with Laura already acquainted with the city and settled down in our accommodation for the weekend we trotted along the cobbled streets of København, giddy with excitement.
Only a short walk from metro station to our hostel we dumped our stuff only taking essentials with us for a quick excursion out & about! Camera in tow we ventured out into the city centre. Now alight with the warm and inviting city lights we roamed around a surprising distance taking the beautiful architecture, both old and new. By this point we began to get hungry and the hunt was on to find some good food. And a hunt it was indeed, not that the Danish capital has a lack of food or anything, we were just an indecisive bunch and did not understand any menu we could find (the danish language is very hard to understand with its vowels pronounced as eew's and ehh's and funny lines through letters). But non the less we stumbled across a persian restaurant in the north of the city called Zåfran and had a superb meal and discovered a new fruit, Berberis, which go fantastic with butter chicken *drools at though of amazing meal*. But the meal was over and the night only young and with it being Shona's 22nd that very day so we headed back to the hostel to get changed into our glad rags and head back out to the same area of the city we had dinner & off to find a bar we were told was good..... And it did not disappoint. A little gem called Kassen, we eventually found a table and the cocktails were flowing. A great night with great friends and my new favourite cocktail, The Bramble (basically Gin, Créme de Mure and a lot of sweet and sour fruit) the night was one to remember. But alas we departed only to relies Laura had left her jumper and sadly it was never seen again. Shame... it was cute!
Day two rolls around the it's up and ready asap as we venture out for a lovely little breakfast prior to our 11am walking tour around the city. For breakfast we stroll down the a side street to Riccos. A beautiful little cafe. With its chilled atmosphere and beaut interior design we're coffee'd up and off we go to explore, granola to go in had we head back to the hostel where we met up with other fellow travellers who were going on the same tour. Soon to make friends, a very friendly Australian man (name I can't remember, lets just call him Mr. Adelaide – as that is where he's from) introduced himself and we made a little friend for the journey. The walking tour was excellent and we soon became antiquated with the city and all the local history contained within. From the city hall to historic side streets and fantastic new builds such as the Black Diamond and the Opera House we saw all and everything in between. Impressed with the level of enjoyment we gained from the tour, it was not long before we were queuing up to buy tickets for their Pub Crawl.... but more on that later. Tour finished and bellies empty we spy a funky restaurant called Hot Buns, and hot buns indeed. A fantastic little burger bar we order up and I venture for the vegetarian option. Not usually one to go vegetarian I was intrigued to try as it sounded amazing, and yet again, like all things Danish, it did not disappoint. Affordable yet filling and at a high quality I say Hot Buns is a must visit if you ever go to the capital.
Stomachs full we venture off down to the picturesque harbour, made famous by postcards. It seems to be one of the most recognisable points of the city. From there we made the trek to the Mermaid statue which was probably the only thing to disappoint me as she is very small and far from the city and not very exciting, but non the less we made the tourist voyage to go see her and take our photo opportunities. By this point the sun began to set and we made a quick trip to the design museum before it shut. A great place, wish we had spent more time there. From there we trekked down to the Opera house to see if we could get a look in but there was an event on so we were turned away but not a lost opportunity, we did sight some HOT danish men floating by in the canal in a floating yet motorised hot tub. An interesting sight to say the least. From here we fell hungry again and found Street Food. An amazing and bustling indoor street market full of foods from around the world. Be it Vietnamese or falafel food you are after, they've got it. A superb place to visit and down by the river side it has a lovely view.
By this point time had escaped us and the rush back to the hostel was on as we had a pub crawl to make, and knowing us Scot's... we do not miss a chance to drink and party the night away. And what a night it was. With a large group of people out in force the drinks and shots were flowing as we hopped bar to bar, club to club, making friends as we went. Especially a little group of Danish guys, Phong, Phi, Kaspar and Jonathan. New to København we all embraced the city and what it had to offer and tore up the dance floor all night long before dragging our tired and hungry asses out of the heated club into the frosty air of the nights streets, but Phong being lovely as he is, bought us all pizza and the boys walked us back to our hostel. Danish people really are the nicest/friendliest/happiest folk you will ever meet. Fact!
So day three, and we are surprising not too hungover so off we venture! From the friends we made on the Friday night in Kassen, they gave a list of great places local to the hostel for brunch. La Glacé is the place of choice and the idea of a healthy breakfast soon goes flying out of the window upon seeing all of the danish pastries they have to offer. I mean, come on, you're in Denmark.... you need to try an authentic pastries. With pastries and coffee to go we head to the National Museum for a look about and to get cultured. From here we head to the Chistiansborg Palace for a beaut 360 degree tour of the city up top of the tower and the sights are beautiful. We then decide to take a tour of Chistiania, a local hippy commune, not too friendly to tourists it has it own lifestyle and take on what can and can't be done, known for it relaxed attitude towards weed to welcomes a particular crowd of people but definitely a place to visit, with it's pop up shops and funky housing and hippy attitude it is a sight to be seen, but be wary. Cameras and running are prohibited due to people openly selling drugs in areas but all that aside it is a lovely place to see and look around. All are literally welcome but.....just be carful.
By this time dinner time had struck but we were not aware of the 'Sunday – everything closes early policy' so we ran around the city and eventually found another indoor street market, the Danes sure like there markets inside, and dinned at a lovely Tapas style spanish restaurant which was a great place to end the trip as my dear friend Laura was about to leave us and catch her flight home to bonny Scotland, while Shona, Ruth & I were catching out flights out the next day.
So last day and the schedule is packed! We head off to the west end of the the city to find Granola, a stunning 1930's cafe known for their breakfast food and milkshakes. We grub up and head out for a new day of adventure. Strolling back into the city we pass Tivoli Gardens which sadly happens to be shut this time of year so we press on and find the Architectural Museum. A must visit it is a great place to get educated on all things architecture. It also boasts a fantastic bookshop that sells an abundance of design knick-knacks and books a plenty. I pick a beautiful Martin Schwartz illustration of the city. A great memento of the trip. By the time we are finished there it's a quick stop at the Black Diamond but time is short and we are desperate to try some authentic danish food so we grab a quick lunch down at Pilekælderen and all try Smørrebrød (Herring) and it is amazing! So glad I got to try some before I left. From here we trek, luggage in tow, to the metro station and it is time to say good bye to the beautiful city that is København. We arrive at the airport and reluctantly board out flight back to the homeland.
What a great taster of Scandinavia! I can definitely say I'll be back very soon to explore more. Only just scratched the surface! Overall a bloody good trip that went past far too fast. My advice, it you like what you've read here go explore for yourself! You wont be disappointed, trust me!