5 Reasons to Visit Copenhagen
After a rather uninspiring time in Stockholm, Copenhagen was everything we hoped it would be and more. Our hostel was full of life and the sights were bursting with color and creativity. We enjoyed steaming cups of hot cocoa while listening to an accordion player at Nyhavn and we stripped to our underclothes at night to bravely (or stupidly) jump into the freezing, salt-water canal before running back into a floating houseboat-style sauna to warm our shivering limbs. Along the way, a few locals even smiled at us (they didn't get the "social suicide" memo from Stockholm apparently). The only regret we had with this city is not staying longer.
1 - Nyhavn
This charming, 17th-century street is full of life and nestled within the entertainment district. The alluring smells of chocolate, fresh bread, and coffee, coupled with the friendly chatter of locals and tourists are enough temptation to make you want to spend your afternoon in this magical spot. Take a seat and tuck yourself in with a cozy blanket. Sip on a warm cup of hot cocoa served with a cup of whip cream on the side or order up whatever beer is on tap. Don't forget to have a waffle-on-a-stick for dessert!
2 - Christiania
Just outside of the central part of the city is an odd little neighborhood that lies--mostly--outside of the law. Drugs are not legal in Denmark, but this one area openly deals soft drugs. Hard drugs are strictly off limits here and the powers that be within the community try to keep out as much of the harder stuff as they can to keep the police off their back (You can see how they promote this in the image below).
Photography isn't allowed as you walk through--keyword here is walk because running makes everyone spring into "raid mentality and things can get dangerous quickly. We visited in broad daylight as a part of a free guided tour, but you can venture here alone, just don't go at night. I have no interest in drugs whatsoever, but still found this area to be very interesting as a cultural experience.
3 - Copenhagen Street Food
Living in the Pacific Northwest, I'm constantly exposed to food trucks, but I've never seen something to the creative level of the Copenhagen Street Food market. Picture an enormous warehouse filled with quirky stalls that feature food from 30+ nationalities. Order some hearty chicken tikka masala, savory adobada tacos, or skip straight to dessert with a slice of melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake.
4 - Free Guided Tours
We did two different free tours in Copenhagen and both were very informative and fun. Free tours are generally pretty hit and miss and the guides make all the difference. Our daytime guide had an incredible sense of humor and sharp wit as well as the most expressive facial features I've ever witnessed. I don't know how much she collected in tips that day, but she earned every krone. The evening tour was just as good and our Australian guide made us feel very comfortable walking through Christiania.
5 - Tivoli Gardens
One of the first sights we took in as we walked from the train station to our hostel was Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world. This park is seasonal, so be sure to check if it'll be open during your stay. "When the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics" is the creed it was built upon and the general feeling we had in Copenhagen as a whole. Typically, I'm a one-and-done sort of traveler (at least until I've been most everywhere I want to go once), but I'd go back to Copenhagen in an instant.