We’ve just got back from a very enjoyable 4 day break in Copenhagen. A city we’ve never been to before. After some fairly miserable weather for most of the summer so far in Britain (and I believe it’s been much the same in Denmark) we were very lucky to have more or less wall to wall sunshine during our stay which made the city look particularly attractive. These are my impressions of the city from our relatively brief visit.
- A small, compact city centre. Fairly flat and very walkable.
- An attractive, maritime city. Not too touristy either with a distinct lack of shops and stalls selling tacky gifts and souvenirs.
- Plenty going on, including free concerts and performances.
- Really relaxed atmosphere.
- A lot on construction works going on for the metro and some new bridges. This had an impact on some of the sights with some of the major squares fenced off.
- Accommodation expensive – but probably still cheaper than London.
- It’s worth taking a boat tour – a good way to orientate yourself and get a different view of the main sites. Only just over £4 for a one hour guided tour from Nyhaven or about £7 for a 24 hour “hop on hop off”.
- I was amazed at the lack of oppressive security at Government buildings and the Royal palaces. Anyone can just walk right through the Danish equivalent of Buckingham palace and there were people walking their dogs and cars and taxis driving through the courtyard.
- In many ways, the city reminded me of Liverpool.
- Everybody seemed to ride a bike! They were everywhere with special bike lanes on almost every road. They were proper bike lanes too. Apparently almost 40% of Copenhagen residents cycle into work.
- We took the metro into the city from the airport. it was fast and efficient and not expensive. The network is very limited so not particularly useful for getting around, but it’s being expanded and this was responsible for some of the construction works.
- Buses were plentiful and regular
- We went out on the train to Hubelbaek, about 30 miles north of Copenhagen, to visit the Louisiana art gallery. The service ran from Malmo (in Sweden) to Helsingør with trains 3 times an hour until about 11:30 p.m with one an hour during the night. The trains were clean and spacious. Mush better than our poor quality and expensive railway system in the UK
- Everyone spoke very fluent English.
- Everyone seemed friendly enough.
- VERY expensive. At least £25 to £30 per person for a modest meal. £50 to £60 per head for something a bit fancier . A coffee in a café cost about £4 to £5.
- All the restaurants we ate in charged for using a credit card.
- Danes seemed to eat quite early compared to other European countries.
- Bottled water in the shops was very expensive – at least £2 for half a litre. It was actually cheaper to purchase iced water from street vendors at just over £1.
- A relatively low rise city with very few high rise buildings – a little like Paris in that respect.
- The buildings were generally round about the same height, but in a mix of styles. there were no long rows of uniform buildings
- A real mixture of styles – some neoclassical, a few neo-gothic and a few at nouveau. The majority were what I’d describe as Danish vernacular.
- A lot of the old warehouses on the harbour side have been renovated and converted to new uses. They were quite distinctive with their massive roofs.
- Some very attractive modern public buildings
Museums and Galleries
- Plenty of museums and galleries dotted around the city and also nearby.
- Most charge an entry fee but it was generally quite reasonable.
- The galleries tended to open late in the morning, around 11 a.m.
- Photographs were allowed in the galleries we visited.
- The staff in the Museums were friendly and helpful and not overbearing – quite the opposite of Budapest which we visited last year.