In this post you’ll find my travel diary/guide to Copenhagen. We went in mid-April on a trip that consisted of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and three destinations in Norway (Oslo, Balestrand, and Bergen). Our full trip itinerary is below:
Day 1- Fly into Amsterdam // Day 2- Amsterdam // Day 3- Amsterdam/fly to Copenhagen // Day 4- Copenhagen // Day 5- Copenhagen // Day 6- Copenhagen/fly to Oslo, Norway // Day 7- Train from Oslo to Myrdal, train to Flam, ferry to Balestrand // Day 8- Balestrand, Norway // Day 9- Ferry to Flam, train to Myrdal, train to Bergen // Day 10- Bergen, Norway // Day 11- Fly to Oslo, fly to United States
In my opinion, it was the best of Amsterdam/Scandinavia and a once-in-a-lifetime trip. My mom planned it (I take ZERO credit this one!) and brought along this guide book during the trip. We would highly recommend our travel itinerary, but note that we planned it according to my little sister’s school schedule, as she was studying abroad in Copenhagen, so you could definitely switch it up! Our ONLY regret is not packing less, ha! I would recommend bringing a backpack, a crossbody bag, and a medium sized suitcase. You can find everything I packed for the trip here. The weather we experienced ranged from the low 40s to low 60s and we had blue skies and sunshine every single day, except for the last day in Bergen it drizzled!
This post includes all of the details from our stay in Copenhagen, but you can also find our Amsterdam Travel Diary and Norway Travel Diary as well. I only included restaurants/excursions that provided the best experiences, and that I would recommend to a friend. 🙂 I also only provide our personal opinion and candid photos, because the facts on everything, as well as the professional photos, are already available online through the links I include. At the start of the post, you’ll find my overall description and thoughts on the place, so definitely make sure to read that!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all! I’m here to share our photos and tips, in hopes that it can inspire a trip or help you find the best spots if life takes you to any of these places!
Overall Thoughts on Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the best of European history and charm, with all of the modern luxuries that make it such an elevated (and expensive) city. My sister was studying abroad there, so we definitely got to see it through a unique and personal lens, as she was our built-in tour guide! It was definitely the coziest, most “hygge,” place we visited, and I loved that about it. It is THE city to put on your fleece turtleneck and curl up under a cozy blanket under a warm heater at an outdoor restaurant, glass of wine in hand. It’s impeccably clean and pristine, but not as walkable as Amsterdam per say. It wasn’t on my initial list of cities to visit when I was studying abroad, and it 100% should have been. I think it’s an often overlooked gem that cannot be missed! I’d recommend reading her travel blog, The Blonde Voyage, for more photos and finds!
Where We Stayed
71 Nyhavn— This hotel is the definition of “hygge,” the Danish word for “cozy” :). My mom had been to Copenhagen two months before, to visit my sister for the first time, and she stayed at the D’angleterre, which she also loved. But she wanted us to have the best views of the little harbor town/water, so we decided on 71 Nyhavn. Tip: Ask to see multiple rooms when you check-in, so you can make sure you get one with a view. Some of them just have little skylights in them which we did not want. ALSO, You have to push the black button on the shower knob and then turn it in order to get hotter water. This secret piece of info caused some raucous among our family. 😂
The service was great and they do cute things like put little lanterns next to your bed when they do the turn down service. It was situated literally at the end of the best street in Copenhagen, with all of the cozy restaurants that line the canal, so it was very convenient to walk from and have as a home base. They also had a delicious breakfast buffet, with all local foods, that was included with our stay (always a plus!). The only downfall was that I spontaneously got the urge to go to the gym (like what?) and they didn’t have a gym on site, but they have a sister hotel located about a ten minute walk away, so I walked over to that hotel and used their nice little gym with no issue!
What We Did
Hay Captain Boat Tour— On our first full day there, we walked down the street from 71 Nyhavn (a one minute walk!) and hopped on a boat tour that we had reserved online prior. It ended up only being us on the boat, and it was equipped with a covered canopy, blankets, and rosé to keep warm (my kind of boat ride!). We had the nicest captain, who gave us an hour and a half tour of the city by water. He was very knowledgeable and answered all of our (many) questions about the city and its history. Highly recommend this to get an overview of Copenhagen!
Cherry Blossoms— We had heard that there were a ton of blooming cherry blossom trees at the Bispebjerg Cemetery about a half hour outside of Copenhagen that were a must-see. With my sister as our tour guide, we were able to take a series of buses/trains to the cemetery. It was so worth the view! If you are a cherry blossom fanatic, or just love the beauty that comes along with spring, then I’d recommend you check it out if you’re in the area in mid-April.
Viking Ship Museum— From the cemetery we took another train to get to the Viking Ship Museum, which was in an adorable little town called Roskilde. It entails five VERY old viking ships, that were resurrected from the bottom of the ocean along some fjords and restored to the best of their ability. It’s amazing that they were able to find and preserve boats that are that old, and if you’re into viking history at all, it’s worth seeing. The vikings played a large part in every place we visited throughout this trip (besides Amsterdam), so it was important to see their history in real life!
Church of our Savior— You can climb to the top of this church through an internal staircase, and the climb had gained some infamy in my family, because my mom did it alone, the first time she visited my sister in Copenhagen in February, and had a panic attack and was completely traumatized by the experience! So note that this is not for anyone who is claustrophobic or afraid of heights. She decided that she wanted to give it a second try, so we all climbed to the top together. The steps are old, steep, and rickety, and when you get to the top you can walk outside, alongside the bell tower. I peeked my head up the ladder to see the outside and that was about enough for me. 😂 My sister and dad loved it though, but it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart!
Christiania— Located basically across the street from the church, Christiania is a community, or town, like no other. It’s a community of free spirits, artists, etc., who have opted not to live in common society. They abide by their own rules, and there’s one area, just past the entrance, where there are people selling just about every type of soft drug, all on display for you to try and buy. Definitely not for us per say, but worth seeing! Tip: we were told to not take photos or run at all while inside. We were respectful and just took it all in for all its colorful chaos! This article shares seven things not to do when you’re visiting the town.
Rosenborg Slot (Castle) — My mom and I toured Rosenberg Slot while my sister was in class and my dad caught up on things in the hotel. It’s one of my mom’s favorite castles she’s ever toured, and I have to agree! King Christian IV, who built and lived in the castle, is a fascinating character, who collected the most interesting and intricate pottery, art, weaponry, jewelry, etc. It’s all restored so well and you can even see the blood-stained shirt he wore when he died in 1648 (like what!!). Tip: buy your tickets online ahead of time so you don’t have to wait in the line. Then, make sure you have 25 kroner in exact change to put into the locker in the welcome center because you have to put any bags you have in there. Also, make sure you go into the basement after touring the castle because that’s where the crown jewels are, and I KNOW you don’t want to miss them.
Shopping— I really loved the shopping in Copenhagen! They have all of the high end stores, from Chanel to gorgeous boutique jewelry stores, but I particularly loved an inexpensive boutique called NORR that my little sister introduced me to. There were so many trendy, cool styles in the store, and I walked out with this new faux pearl bag. I’m obsessed.
Where We Ate
Bridge Street Kitchen Food Market— We walked here after our boat tour and it worked out perfectly because there were a whole bunch of food truck-type stands, with a variety of different types of food, so there was something for everyone. I got a taco salad bowl (weird thing to get in Copenhagen, I know), my sister got a cheeseburger, and we all got something to drink! It’s a fun spot to sit on a picnic table by the water and have a quick bite to eat.
Ruby’s Cocktail Salon— My sister loves Ruby’s and their downstairs speakeasy-type bar, but we went for cocktails around 5:30 PM and it wasn’t opened so we had drinks in at their bar upstairs. It’s elegant and swanky— perfect for a fancy craft cocktail before dinner!
The Olive Kitchen & Bar— We had dinner here after having a cocktail at Ruby’s and would highly recommend it. It’s a quaint, cozy little restaurant with homey type of meals. Jacqueline got the steak and I had the mushroom soup. Both of which were unbelievable.
Torvehallerne Glass Market— We got a bite to eat and a drink right outside of the Glass Market in Copenhagen, which is a lively marketplace with everything you could imagine— from gorgeous bouquets of local flowers to fresh fish to local cheeses… so many colorful and delicious options. It’s fun to walk through and grab a snack and a drink! We opted to sit outside because it was sunny and in the high 50s.
I hope you found this post to be helpful, inspiring, or at least fun to scroll through. 🙂 Definitely let me know if you end up visiting any of these spots due to my recommendations, I would absolutely love to hear what you think! xx