Copenhagen – Love at first sight | Travel Diary
As part of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s theses for the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, the German government spoke out in favor of celebrating Reformation Day 2017 nationwide as a public holiday. This was especially great for us as Berliners, because unlike many other German states, we do not normally celebrate this holiday. Thanks to the additional holiday, the holiday planning for 2017 is particularly attractive and we spontaneously considered where we should go over four days, i.e. the weekend, 31 October, and the bridge day.
Flights were no option, they were simply too expensive. So I thought about where to go by car. I looked at Berlin on Google Maps and zoomed something out. About so that a radius of 6 hours was revealed with the car. I wouldn’t want to drive more. And there it was: Somewhat hidden at the upper edge, separated from water, but clearly, within the radius I had set: Copenhagen.
Copenhagen? I had heard a lot about it, though I had never considered going there for some reason. I wasn’t even aware until then that Copenhagen was THAT NEAR to Germany (shame on me). I quickly looked for hotels… and surprisingly found a good and affordable hotel on Expedia.de. Knowing that the first call to Expedia is always crucial, I called Daniel and asked, „What do you think of Copenhagen? I would book now.
Said done. Now we only had to think about how we would get to Copenhagen, because as I said there was a lot of water in between. To cut a long story short: there are two ferries that cross from Germany to Denmark. One leaves Rostock (about 2-2.5 hours by car) and lands in Gedser (crossing about 1.5 hours) and one from Fehmarn (about 4 hours by car) and lands in Rødby (about 45 minutes). From both ports, it takes about 1.5 hours to Copenhagen. Since Rostock was closer to us, we decided to cross Rostock <> Rødby and booked the ferry via the internet. Unfortunately, on the same day, we got an SMS that the ferry was canceled because of a storm. As mentioned, luckily there was the second one and we were able to make an easy rebooking. The way back we drove via Rødby <> Rostock. I can’t tell which connection is the „better“ one, both were about the same speed, one of them you sit longer in the car, the other one you sit longer on the ferry.
Taking the ferry
The crossing with the ferry went well, even if it got very funny below deck. The swell was very strong (the other ferry had obviously been canceled for a good reason). After translating, we drove another 1.5 hours by car, and then we arrived:
Copenhagen, Denmark. As I said, I had no idea about the country at all, but at least I knew one thing: They are supposed to have good coffee. That’s why the first thing we did was to go to a cafe to try it ourselves… and boy was the coffee delicious! Afterward, we went to TOMMYI’S BURGER JOINT (actually from Iceland) which my absolute favorite in Berlin. The burger was ok, all right, but I like it better in Berlin, for whatever reason.
Afterward, it should go to one of the landmarks of Copenhagen: The Tivoli Gardens, a theme park. Located in the middle of the city, the Tivoli is more like a recreation park than a real theme park though. Nevertheless, there are some rides, even a roller coaster, besides many small boutiques and vendors. My fingers itched to buy a sheepskin.
As we drove by car, we had, of course, no regulations in our luggage. But I left it at that (what should I do with a sheepskin), instead I allowed myself „Lakrids“-balls by J. Bülow, which come from Denmark and, a pink cotton candy <3.
Unfortunately, it got dark early in Copenhagen – no wonder, given the latitude at the end of October – and so we went to the hotel early. We were accommodated in the ISLAND HOTEL COPENHAGEN. A really nice hotel, very stylish, with a great view of the water and the harbor. Situated a little off I’d say. Fortunately, we had our own car and were, therefore, more flexible. We could easily walk to Vesterbro and in particular to the Meatpacking District, but everything else we rather drove to by car and from there explored on foot.
“Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen is a must for all visitors to the city, young and old.”
Breakfast in Copenhagen
The next morning we wanted to go for breakfast in THE UNION KITCHEN in the Store Strandstræde. Unfortunately, a long queue was waiting for us at the door. We still wanted to try and stood in the cold, hoping to quickly get a table. While we were waiting, I wanted to get a café and a hot chocolate to warm us up and pass the time and looked on my mobile phone for good cafés nearby.
And indeed: There was an EMMERYS right next door, which seemed more like a bakery than a proper breakfast restaurant People went in and out, bags full of baked goods. But through the shop window, I could see people sitting with not only a coffee but also with delicious looking avocado bread, eggs and cinnamon rolls on their plates. Cinnamon rolls! Wow. Spontaneously, we decided to go for breakfast at EMMERYS. And we wouldn’t regret it. From that day on, we went to EMMERYS every day with one exception. The cinnamon rolls and the coffee (with oat milk!) are both the best I’ve ever had in my life, and when I think about it I still have water in my mouth.
After breakfast, we strolled along the picturesque streets and finally landed at Amalienborg Palace, where the changing of the royal guard should take place at 11:30 am. In contrast to a similar tradition in London, the one in Copenhagen almost seemed familiar. There are comparatively few tourists and the National Guard simply steps its way, one can walk along with them and is virtually in the middle of it. Nevertheless, I felt a little sorry for the boys: I can only imagine that standing in the cold all day long without any talking requires the highest physical performance. All the more reason for me to appreciate the warm restaurants and cafés, we could always sneak in whenever we felt cold in Copenhagen, being welcomed with the most delicious baking goods.
From Amalienborg Palace, we went to the Nyhavn that happened to be located almost around the corner. The Nyhavn probably stands for Copenhagen like nothing else. The colorful little houses directly at the water are definitely nice to look at and are great for a photo, but otherwise, we didn’t spend much more time there. It is very touristy, full and loud, and not quite as idyllic as one would like it to be.
We spent the afternoon with a little shopping tour in the city and of course we did not miss the famous department store ILLUM. I have to say that I have seen many department stores all over the world, but I still remember the ILLUM very positively. It was simply a bit more stylish, modern, contemporary, and at the same time more comfortable than other department stores. Danish, that is.
Papirøen – Copenhagen „Street Food“
After a less successful shopping day (Copenhagen is also really expensive), we wanted to go to the PAPIRØEN, a big hall, filled with many small stands and trucks that sell street food. It was really tasty and a funny atmosphere. Towards evening the hall seemed to be full of young people who met there to drink and relaxed on high chairs or pillows. Unfortunately the PAPIRØEN was apparently closed at the end of 2017.
The hall located at PAPER ISLAND (PAPIRØEN, hence the name) and accordingly there was a lot of water around us; and an incredible sunset to see.
The next morning we had breakfast at MAD & KAFFE. A funny concept, because you order breakfast there like tapas. Also here we had to wait, but this time it was not so bad, because the sun was shining and we spent our time looking at the beautiful neighborhood of Vesterbro. Some very tough Danes were honestly sitting outside. Well, they certainly have to take advantage of the few hours of sunshine, I can understand that. But 8 degrees were too cold for me.
The card was really lovingly designed, you could tick the „tapas“ and depend on how many were ticked, the price was calculated. 3 items cost 89 DKK (~12 EUR), 5 items 129 DKK (~17 EUR), and so on. All in all, it was delicious and really a great experience. Especially for people like me who like to eat several things at breakfast and can’t decide a great idea.
Kongens Have & Botanical Gardens
After breakfast we drove by car to the Königsgarten KONGENS HAVE for a walk in the sun. Although it was midday, the sun was really low and put the garden in an almost mystical mood. But it’s great that the Danes have so much green space in their capital.
Shopping at Læderstræde
From there we walked into the city, again past all the big brands in the direction of LÆDERSTRÆDE – I had read in advance that there should be great little boutiques and cafés here. And indeed. The small alleys looked beautiful, there was something to discover everywhere and we quickly found the one shop I was particularly excited about:
MANT. Located at Lœderstrœdet 30, you will find mainly succulents and smaller decorative objects. We bought six succulents (the decision was difficult), thanks to the car no problem, and were even able to talk the seller away from the storage pallet on which the succulents were exhibited for sale. Lovely! Together with two beautiful candleholders made out of glass, we happily left the shop.
That was successful. And anyway, the stroll through the streets was one of the most beautiful moments in Copenhagen. Very relaxed and picture-perfect! We continued walking in a very relaxed way, let ourselves drift by the many nice and colorful tinted exterior facades, and finally got a bag of steaming fresh churros for the day. A city can hardly show itself from a better side.
The next day we took the ferry back in the afternoon and started the day with a tasty cinnamon snail from EMMERYS and let ourselves be carried by the many small streets, especially in the Meatpacking district. Originally we wanted to try the typical Danish SMØRREBRØD, but to be honest the Danes have strange opening hours, at least as far as the restaurants are concerned. So we didn’t manage to try a real Smørrebrød – but at least we have a reason to come back soon!
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