This weekend, I went to Copenhagen. A girl friend of mine wanted to go to a European Christmas Market, and so with my new moto of “life is too short, so get on and say yes to things” I decided it would be a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, and have a weekend away too. We looked into a few locations, and finally decided Copenhagen looked a good option as the price was reasonable, and a friend recommended a hotel and some restaurants, so we were decided! Shopping (I mean touring) here we come!
I have been to Copenhagen before, on business, and seen the airport, hotel, office, hotel, office and airport. So it seemed a good chance to go and have an explore around the beautiful City of Copenhagen. It’s so easy to get there – a short 2 hour flight – and then jump on the metro which is very simple to figure out. You can get a train so easily in to the City from the airport, and in less than an hour from touching down on the runway, we were at our hotel dropping off our bags ready to go exploring!
First on the agenda was a boat trip to get a view of Copenhagen from the water. Why we thought this was a good idea in temperatures of -3 I have no idea! But it was fun until our teeth started chattering!! We went along some of the canals and out into the river. We saw Nyhavn with it’s Christmassy decorations and little stalls.
We then headed along towards Christianshavn which is a popular residential area – according to our tour guide this is mainly because the King said that if people moved there, they wouldn’t need to pay income tax for 12 years!
After that, there was the main attraction … the little Mermaid, who has just returned from a trip to Shanghai. She’s very clever to get there and back I can tell you! Over her history, she has lost 2 arms and a head. But luckily for us, she was in one piece on the weekend!
Getting the traditional shot was challenging as EVERYONE wanted their photo in front of her.
After that, we headed back along the canals, and once we’d got off the boat, we headed for a traditional warming drink of Glogg … which is along similar lines to Mulled wine, Vin Chaud, and Gluvein depending on which flavour of European you are used to!
Next on the whistle-stop tour was the Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market. All the reviews were positive and gushing, and my expectations were so high! Everyone at the hotel told us we’d need at least a day there, and we were very excited to visit. Maybe that was my problem. My expectations were already set. It was NOTHING like I imagined! I had thought there’d be plenty of craft type stalls selling little presents ideal as stocking fillas. If I’d been in the market for a hat, or a pair of gloves, I would have had so much choice I’d probably still be weighing up the options even now. However, as I was expecting a “Winter Wonderland” of stalls selling many different craft items, including jewellery, decorations, gifts, and edibles, and as a result was pretty disappointed.
However, not letting a simple thing like NO SHOPPING disappoint me too long, we cracked on with our second pleasure … eating and drinking! Our late lunch was a very large pancake filled with roasted veg, cheese and salad! Then after a bit of a walk around we tried a waffle … and finally before we left the park, we had a hot chocolate (wait for it) DANISH pastry … which we both decided was the highlight of our trip!!
We also enjoyed the challenge of taking some lovely night shots of the park as the lights came into force, and that helped us get into the Christmas spirit (well, the glogg definitely helped too)
There are other interesting things in the park, including some people creating ice sculptures!
If you are expecting a European “Christmas Market” … then this isn’t the place for you! It’s a lovely City to explore and I’d fully recommend it – just don’t expect to sort out all your Christmas shopping here!
Still, not to be put off, and having Sunday to fill as well, we opted to take a bus tour to see more of the City. We went past the Royal Palaces (yes, in the plural – there are 4 in a square), out to see the Mermaid again, and around the main parts of the City. It was a good tour, and happily it dropped us off back at Nyhavn, our new favourite destination in Copenhagen! Here were a handful of what we considered to be Christmas Stalls, and we were able to do a little bit of the shopping we had dreamed of!
This is an area that is quite touristy, with stalls, and restaurants in abundance. Each restaurant maintains an outside area even in the -7 degrees as was on Sunday, but they kindly provide blankets for people to sit underneath!
It’s a very pretty part of town, with lovely boats moored up, and very colourful buildings lining either side of the canal.
Before we knew it, our time had come to an end, and it was time to jump on the train for our short trip back to the airport. A fun, chilly and exhausting weekend, but definitely something I’d recommend to others!
God Jul everyone … Happy Christmas.