Oh I can’t wait to explore the Magical Kingdom of Denmark’s Capital City- Copenhagen. I know Copenhagen is regarded as expensive place to go for holidays. But I got things to do whatever your budget scale. Come with me and let’s explore in a whirlwind of fun!
What comes to mind when visiting Copenhagen. The Little Mermaid? What about the Danish Royals? Hans Christian Andersen-the famous Danish writer. Danish Cuisine -Michelin star restaurants. Hmmm what about Carlsberg? Yes that famous beer around the globe! These are just the few things that sprung to my mind, when me and my friend was organising our trip. No wonder Copenhagen is regarded as the happiest city. Imagine living along side with the Royalties? Or living in a fairytale world inspired city?
I Arrived at the hotel and the room wasn’t ready yet, but the receptionist told me they upgraded our room. While waiting for the room, I didn’t waste no time. I left my luggage at the hotels luggage room. Then I grab a map, I’m ready to explore Copenhagen.
Looking at the map, the hotel is near the famous Nyhavn Street. Only 5 minutes walk away, and the colourful rows of houses/establishment was right in front of my eyes. Admiringly meandering along the canal side, taking lots of photos. Nyhavn lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses. Used to be the red light district in the city, but now a days the harbor serves as a hub of canal tours. With continuous lined of restaurants and bars facing the harbour, it’s a good place to meet up with friends for meal out or just a couple of tipples to end a lovely day.
As I continue my wandering I ended up in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. An art museum for personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. The antique sculptures from the ancient cultures of Egypt, Rome and Greece. Famous artists art display includes as Jacques-Louis David, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Degas to mention a few. And the great thing about this place it’s free entry on Tuesdays.
On the second day, my friend Kassie arrived and we decided to experience the Danish hospitality and their cool life perspective . I have read it somewhere that you haven´t experienced Denmark, till you have experienced “hygge”. Ever heard about “Hygge”. It means a quiet happy cosy atmosphere of people having a good time. They strive to have this atmosphere everywhere they go – at work, at home, with friends and relatives. So we started our day lounging in this quirky coffee book shop. The cool vibe of Bøger café is so relaxing. A good place to hang out with friends to chat or just browse the book display. Or have a quiet morning with cappuccino and just listen to the soft music at the background.
After our cappuccino and long chat about our itinerary, it was time for lunch. Oh yes! It’s time to try the Danish local cuisine. Not just ordinary restaurant, we headed to a Michelin star. We choose the Koefoed restaurant in Landgreven street. They serve the famous Smørrebrød and they even brew their own Koefoeds lager in Svaneke brewery. We were first offered an Aquavit shot, Seabuckthorn fruit flavour. It was nice and sweet according to the manager it’s their newest concoction. Then I ordered Smørrebrød Sol over Gudjem- smoked herring, with fresh egg yolk, garnish with radish & chives. And the second was Bornholm sausage with mustard beech brown and beet root. They were both served with Rye bread ,butter and buttermilk. Washed down with their local brewed beer and followed by another shot of aquavit with honey flavour. The first shot was free and oh boy this is a lethal shot, it felt it went straight to my brain- that strong! So the last shot I just had sipped each time.
Afterwards we decided to go for a stroll towards the harbour. Along the way we passed by a beautiful rows of brightly yellow coloured painted houses. Which I then found out, it was a film location of The Danish Girl movie. Then we took a short cut towards a park with a frozen lake, the place was so picturesque. As usual I took lots of photos in every angle.
We then continued our walk heading towards the Little Mermaid. In Danish it’s called Den lille Havfrue. Based on the fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen. The bronze statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen. Located on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade. It’s the most iconic statue in Copenhagen and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913 up to these days. The sculpture has been vandalised numerous times but has been restored each time.
Subsequently as the sun sets in and the temperature drops down a little bit colder, we decided to grab some coffee. There are few café restaurants on the way to our hotel, but we ended up to Nyhavn Street. Instead of just ordering coffee, the menu was enticing so we decided to have an early dinner.
The next morning on our way to the castle, we bump into a hotdog stand. In Danish it’s called Pølsevogn, which can be found in most major streets of Denmark. The sausage served in a bun, and a choice of ketchup or mustard sauce with pickled cucumber and crispy onion toppings. It was delicious and I had couple more during our stay in Copenhagen.
We were scheduled to visit the Rosenborg Castle at 11:30 am, to witness the marching of guards. We watched it by the distance and after the marching routine, we headed to the castle information office to collect our tickets. After ticket collection, we were advised to put our bag to a designated locker room. With ticket at hand and castle map, we are eager to discover the Danish National Treasure.
A visit to the Treasure Chamber of Rosenborg Palace was fascinating . We started the tour at the basement where you can see the magnifient collections of Christian V weapons from the Scanian War. On the next chamber are displays of precious stone collections from Ivory, amber and ebony. There’s this corner that they store the royal vintage wine. Yes its fascinating that Rosenborg wine is still served on special occasions. It’s even said that there’s enough wine supply for another hundred years. Imagine sipping a vintage wine? So enough with the wine. We continued our tour towards the Treasury. As we entered to the room the first thing that caught my eyes was the Sceptre and the sword , which symbolises the authority and power to judge. These very masterpieces were carried by the Royal Danish kings during their anointing ceremonies, from the anointment of Christian V in 1671 to Christian VIII in 1840.
Then to the next chamber display was the crown of Christian V, regarded as the Crown of Absolute along side with the Queens crown. There’s a controversy regarding the Queens crown. That Queen Sophie Magdalene refused to wear the crown,so they made a new crown. But the gems from the old crown was transfered to the new one.
We then headed through the ground floor, regarded as the intimate room. The highlights are Christian IV’s Winter Room, a display of his gold trophy from his knightly tournament of Ring-riding. As well as it served as the entertainment music room to his guest. He usually invites great conductors, composer and Danish Royal orchestra to play while they are in the cellar. And his guest will enjoy the music while in the winter room, but the musicians where nowhere to be seen. And it was only discovered until 2005 during restoration work were they found the sound channels. As we climbed up to the second floor, the grandeur of the Great Hall is overwhelming. The vastness of the banquet hall and the sumptuous art décor, and those fine tapestry suspended on the wall. Admiringly examining the carvings perfectly laid on the ceiling. The masterpiece display are the Danish Absolute Monarch Throne, which are made from narwhal tusk and silver lions sourounding like a guard.
On that afternoon we decided to see the cityscapes. And the best place to go is a visit to the Rundetarn. The round Tower is located centrally in Copenhagen City. The 17th century tower is architectural project of Christian V. It has interesting features of equestrian stairs and an old toilet which has been claimed the largest a earliest septic tank. Now a days the tower served as observatory. It has also a Library Hall that displays art exhibits.
The following day, it’s time to visit Carlsberg Brewery House. With the help of the hotel receptionist, she kindly printed how to get to the brewery. We went to catch the bus at Kogens Nytrov, we were advise to get Bus 1A. But the bus driver has suggested Bus 26, which you can buy a ticket at the driver for DKK 24.00. And directly will stopped infront of the brewery. From the bus stop just cross the road and head towards Gamle Carlsberg Vej. The place is well sign posted, just follow the Visit Carlsberg Experience poster and it will lead you to the Brand store. You can buy your ticket for self guidedtour or with guide, which includes 2 free draft beer or soft drinks. You can either redeem your ticket tab at the old Brewhouse or Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar, which we opted for the later. We collected our ticket at the brand store and they also provided another ticket for a guided tour. With the brewery map at hand we were headed towards the Old Brewery House. At the time of our visit they were conducting a survey with their new drink flavour. We had a chance to do a tester taste survey.
After that we took our own time to wander around the Old Brewery. There were displays of the highlights and years achievements of the brewery. And the extraodinary accomplishments of J.C. Jacobsen and his son Carl Jacobsen. It was so interesting to read the history of Carlsberg to becoming one of the biggest brewers in the world. We then ended up at the sculpture garden. A collection of Carlsberg magnificent sculptures that includes the copy of the Little Mermaid. There’s even a barn where they keep the Danish breed horses.
Shortly after wandering around the brewery, just before the guided tour to start. We decided to go for a lunch at the Brewhouse and have our free drinks.
The guided tour started just outside the Old Brewery House. Hearing the history of Carlsberg was fascinating. It all begun in 1847 when J.C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg. Established his state-of-the-art brewery on a hill, overlooking the city of Copenhagen. The brewery was named after his son Carl and Berg means mountain. Carlsberg became a monumental success and the most famous Danish beer brand. Behind the success of the family is a gloomy conflict between the Jacobsen father and son. The story of the family feud has led to competition between the two, Old Carlsberg versus New Carlsberg. Carl being ambitious he decide to expand and started exporting. Until it became one of the largest international brewery group in the world. Carlsbergs now a days is run by a foundation in behalf of the Jacobsen’s. The foundation is currently expanding the area in building a Carlsberg community, with housings and schools for the locals.
On our last day we spend it for a day photography. Copenhagen can be easily explored on foot. We leisurely strolled around and found these beautiful places and buildings.
From Copenhagen Airport buy a metro ticket at the ticket office worth 36.00 DKK next to Terminal 3. Most importantly make sure you have change/ coins when purchasing at the ticket machines or use your bank card.
If you like to visit museums Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket is free of charge every Tuesday.
Best panoramic view of the city, go and visit Rundetarn or Round Tower.
Everyday at 11:30 Marching of Guards display in Rosenborg Castle. And 12:00 is Changing of Guards in Amalienborg Palace. You can buy combined ticket of the Castle and Palace.
DISCLOSURE: We enjoyed our experience as a guest in Carlsberg Brewery, Rundetårn and Rosenborg Castle. Even though we received complimentary tickets during our visits, I retained full editorial control and all opinions are my own.