Copenhagen Guest Post
Today we have a guest post on the site by Anders Jensen. Anders his wife Alexandra and son Anton are the creators of the website 3 on the Go. Anders and his family live in Munich, Germany. Anders originally hails from Denmark. The Jensen’s have travelled extensively. Make sure to stop by their website or become one of the 50,000 plus people who follow them on Twitter. Please take the Time to read Anders article, insiders guide to Copenhagen.
When we visited Copenhagen we stayed at the Generator Hostel in the city centre.
Find more great places to stay in Copenhagen with Agoda
Insiders guide to Copenhagen
Copenhagen has been my hometown for most of my adult life. Well, most of my entire life, actually. I
was born in Denmark and although I have lived in a few other places in the little country, perceived by
people around the world as being one of the happiest on the planet, I do consider Copenhagen to
be my “hometown”. Here is my insiders guide to Copenhagen
And there is a certain truth to the common notion that Danes are the happiest people in the world.
Denmark has THE highest income tax in the world. And 25% sales tax on everything. Plus 180% tax
on cars. Yet, we – the Danes – still walk around feeling happy most of the time.
Sure, we like to complain. And we do complain! It’s like a national sport. We complain about the
decreasing service level in the public healthcare system. We complain about roads not always being
in tip-top condition. We complain about our education system not always being fully up to date (old
books, crowded classrooms and buildings in need of repair) – but hey, all these things are free! Paid for
by taxes… We never worry about a doctor’s bill, or how we are going to afford to send our kids to
college. Thinking about stuff like that is simply not a factor for us!
So yes, there are many things for the Danes to feel happy about., I believe we are just as
Copenhagen Guide – The facts
Back to Copenhagen. With its 1.3 million inhabitants in Copenhagen city centre, it is actually a fairly large city, considering the
fact that there are “only” around 5.5 million people living in Denmark. In fact, almost 2 million people
live in the “greater Copenhagen” area. That is more than one-third of the population.
So there is a lot going on here. Almost 100.000 students are enroled at the University of
Copenhagen, adding a rather vibrant and youthful flair to the city. The university has a good
international reputation, so many students from abroad are seen throughout the city as well.
Copenhagen was founded sometime during the 10th century. The name originally means “The
Merchants Harbour” and still to this day trading and shipping is a huge part of local business. In fact,
Maersk Line – the world’s largest shipping company – has its headquarters in Copenhagen.
Up through history, the Danes have always remained fairly neutral in terms of international affairs.
And during WWII, although occupied by the Germans, only very little of the historic city was
destroyed. Hence, you are able to see an overflow of historic buildings – many of which date back to
the 14th and 15th century – just on a one-hour stroll through the city centre. And strolling is the best
way to experience the places to see in Copenhagen. You can literally see most of the city, and experience what it has to
offer, within 2 days of strolling around.
One thing most people notice almost immediately when they first enter the streets of Copenhagen is that almost
EVERYONE rides a bike! In Copenhagen, this is by far the easiest way to get around.
Sure, car traffic is pretty intense, but that is mostly commuters and other visitors, who really don’t
know better. The residents of the city prefer to go by bicycle because it is much faster and parking fees
are ridiculous. Up to 5 dollars per hour – depending on the specific parking zone. No locals are prepared
to pay for that. Sure, free parking is standard for people actually living and paying taxes in
the city, but as space is very limited in the old streets, it is always a tiresome task to find a spot
conveniently near one’s own front door (another subject for complaining!). Hence, many people
simply don’t use their car more than absolutely necessary, because they can’t be sure to get just as
good a parking spot again!
Get the Copenhagen City Card for free entries and public transport, plus discounts citywide
So as a tourist you must be aware of the bike lanes that are found ALL over the city. And the cyclists come fast – so don’t get in the way! I have seen quite a few accidents and broken cameras because people collided with cyclists. This will wreck your Copenhagen holiday.
Another great way to see the city is by boat. From the historic “Nyhavn” – “New Harbour” which dates back more than 500 years – cruise boats are leaving several times per hour all day long. They
offer short and longer cruises. It depends on how much time you have set aside, but I recommend
the one-hour cruise that will take you through the canals and give you a very fine overview of the
most important historic points of interest.
The Crown Jewels of Denmark at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen
Places to visit in Copenhagen
Amalienborg Slot – The Royal Castle
Every day at noon you can watch the changing of the guard. This is a rather funny that although the guards do look like they are only there for show, don’t be fooled! They are in fact protecting the Royal Family that actually lives in two of the four palaces. Every year on the Queens
birthday – 16th of April – thousands of people gather in the Royal Square to watch the Queen come
out and greet the audience.
Den Lille Havfrue – The Little Mermaid
For some reason one of the most popular attractions. The small statue by artist Edvard Eriksen, has
had its head chopped off twice, once by artists, as a sort of happening, and once by a criminal in
an act of vandalism. Hence, the neck is now filled with concrete. The statue os rather small, and
nothing really happens there. But you will see a LOT of tourists eating to see the main character from
the H.C. Andersen fairy tale.
Copenhagen Canal Tour & Skip-the-Line Tivoli Ticket
Join a canal tour around the city centre of Copenhagen and get a ticket to Tivoli Gardens. Take a guided tour around the harbour and through the idyllic canals where your guide will tell you about Copenhagen’s beautiful churches, castles, old listed houses, new buildings and other sights of interest. After the canal tour, enjoy the world-famous Tivoli Gardens. With your ticket, you can skip the line at and get a discount on the entrance cost. Many people come on holidays to Copenhagen just to visit the Tivoli Gardens.
Get the latest prices and book your tickets today
Christiansborg – The Parliament
If you can get tickets to get inside, this is actually rather interesting. The Danish Parliament consists
of 179 members, but with full staff more than 600 people work here, plus journalists from most TV-
and radio stations in Scandinavia.
Tivoli – The world’s oldest amusement park of its kind
Enchanting and marvellous does not really cover! This IS a must see. When we lived in Copenhagen
this was our “garden” as we had season tickets, and oftentimes we would simply just stroll through,
enjoying the surroundings. Many world-class rides, restaurants and cafés. On Friday evenings
throughout the summer, Open Air concerts are held with world famous artists within pop, rock and
Nyhavn – The “old harbour”
This is the former “red light district” – but for the past hundred years, it has mostly been a place for
people to meet and drink a few beers. Especially during the summer, it is packed! You will instantly
recognise the scenery in Nyhavn, as it has become the trademark picture on most postcards from
Copenhagen. Beware: The bars and restaurants in Nyhavn are a bit on the pricey side! Around Nyhavn is one of the best places to stay in Copenhagen. Its a very central location with public transport access.
One thing you cannot miss when in Denmark is the traditional open sandwiches on rye bread. That is
REAL rye bread. Not just coloured wheat bread or “dark rye toast”… The Danes have a particularly
high standard when it comes to bread, and this is, in fact, one thing all Danes abroad talk about when
we meet – we miss our rye-bread!
The open sandwiches are freshly made in thousands of combinations and are best eaten with a
Carlsberg Pilsner or – if you are into one of the fresh shrimp combinations – a chilled glass of white
In general, I will recommend any visitor of Copenhagen to simply just walk around and “take in” the
surroundings. During the past decade or so, a lot of things have happened. Currently (2016) you will
see many, many construction sites throughout the city. A brand new subway system is being built,
and the local government is constantly trying to keep up with the ever-growing traffic problems. But if
you are quick to learn how to use public transportation and if you are not afraid of using those
walking shoes of yours, you are certainly in for a treat! Even on a rainy day…
We hope our guest post insiders Copenhagen travellers guide was helpful in your future plans to visit Copenhagen. I would like to thank Anders for his contribution. Anders was one of the first people to reach out to me when we first appeared on the blogging scene. Anders and his family now live in Munich Germany we had a chance to catch up with Anders, Alexandra and their son Anton for an afternoon of sightseeing and dinner. We can’t wait to meet up again. Thanks mate!
Our girls in Copenhagen in January of 2017
Wyld Family Travel notes: We visited Copenhagen in January of 2017. We loved the 3 days we spent in the city. There were many great sights to see. We can highly recommend a hop on hop off bus tour. We loved visiting Rosenborg Palace and the parklands that surround it.Our kids loved the Copenhagen canal tour. We found Copenhagen with kids to be friendly with plenty of things to keep the girls entertained. Copenhagen is an expensive city to visit so bring plenty of money.
How to get to Copenhagen
The Copenhagen airport is located 8km from the City Centre. Copenhagen Airport is serviced by over 60 different airlines. Plan your flights to Copenhagen with Momondo
Copenhagen is serviced by international trains. Generally, you will need to transfer trains in Hamburg or Cologne. Trains from Paris or Brussels will take around 12 hours. You can check the latest ticket prices here!
You can pick up a hire car at Copenhagen Airport. It is easy to explore Denmark and Sweden from Copenhagen Airport. Malmo Sweden is just 25 kilometres away.
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