If you like historic places, Denmark’s the place to be, as Vera and I found out on our weekend trip to Copenhagen. We jumped on a plane straight after work on Friday and even managed to squeeze in a visit to a Danish club, in order to experience the nightlife in the capital.
We had a pretty ambitious plan for the weekend, so we got up early on Saturday. The friend we were staying with took us to an amazing brunch place where we had two plates of food each to boost our energy for the busy day of sightseeing ahead.
On top of having an exceptionally aristocratic feel, Copenhagen is also very scenic. We started our tour at the Botanical garden, where the autumn colours looked incredibly bright and beautiful under the clear blue sky.
‘Follow me’, Vera said…
I actually felt a bit of an adrenaline rush doing this, as there was a steep drop and a waterfall behind me!
We carried on towards the first stop on our Royal tour – Rosenborg Castle, originally built as a country summerhouse for the Royal Family.
The Castle is also the home of the Crown Jewels, which quite frankly are impressive in their number and variety.
After we finished the Castle tour, we strolled through the King’s garden and made our way towards Frederik’s Marble Church which opened its doors to the public in 1894.
We had a stroke of luck and arrived just in time for the guided tour of the dome, which turned out to be the largest one in Scandinavia. I felt a bit of a ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ vibe from the gargoyles arranged on one of the landings on our way up.
After climbing about 150 unnaturally narrow, winding steps, we arrived at this view… and it was absolutely worth the climb.
We spent about half an hour there, just listening to the Danish lady telling us about the history of Copenhagen and taking pictures of the panorama from every single angle possible.
We left the Church as we were worried it might get dark soon, and we took a random street which we believed led to the city centre. You could say that the Dutch like cycling.
Following an unplanned detour (i.e. we got slightly lost) we managed to find our way to the Nyhavn area, where there are a number of lovely places to grab a bite along the canal.
Me wearing a sailing-themed t-shirt and looking exceedingly happy in view of the waffle with red berry sorbet that I’m about to have. We simply couldn’t resist the delicious scent wafting through the door of the old-fashioned Danish bakery called Vaffelbageren.
Our walk continued down the canal and as it got darker we felt a bit cold. Vera had a good plan for warming ourselves up – sitting down for wine in Cap Horn which offers Nordic cuisine prepared with organic ingredients.
Wine, olives, cheese and fresh bread – yum!
I’d like to point out that we didn’t have dinner straight after but I didn’t really take many other photos prior to that. We walked around the city centre and shopped for souvenirs before finally deciding on trying out the food in Kultorvet, a traditional Danish restaurant.
Copenhagen City Hall and Hard Rock Cafe just by Tivoli Park.
I had grilled salmon with new potatoes and bechamel sauce, which I’d never tried before, and I loved it!
Even though we felt full the previous evening, Sunday morning meant a newly acquired appetite for pastry. Let’s pass on the genuine Danish pastry and nougat-filled croissants just next door from where we’re staying… said no one ever.
We picked up on our tour of Royal Copenhagen from the previous day, which took us to Amalienborg Palace, the current residence of the Royal Family.
The square was buzzing with people when we arrived, and then we realised they were all gathered to witness the ceremony of changing the Guard.
This wasn’t the only reminder of the UK that we got – in the entrance to the Palace there was a personal letter from the Queen to the Danish King, appointing him as Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.
We then saw some of the rooms in the Palace which were kept in the same state that the Kings and Queens that resided there left them. The current monarchs live in another area of the Palace, just across the square.
The wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark attended by various monarchs.
After we left Amalienborg, we headed to the next (and last!) palace on our list – Christiansborg. It is located in the south side of the city centre, so we crossed another canal and we found ourselves on Castle island.
Christiansborg houses the Royal Stables, and this was the main reason for making a stop. I was ecstatic about being able to get up close and personal with the horses!
The Royal Ceremonial Carriages are still used for events such as weddings, christenings, and crowning a new monarch to name but a few.
All this walking around made us hungry again (surprise, surprise!) and so we decided to try something different – we went to Max Burgers, a Swedish fast food chain which I would recommend trying if you get the chance. I would normally avoid fast food, but these fries were simply irresistible:
After recharging our batteries with cheesy goodness we went to the Nationalmuseet (National Museum) and got a bit carried away with history…
The Museum is really a must for history enthusiasts – it takes you through all the distinctive periods of development that Denmark went through, and exhibits the life and culture of the Danish society over the ages.
Copenhagen was founded as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century
Inside the house of a wealthier family back in the Renaissance
State rooms dating from the 17th century
And back to the modern times.. paradoxically, the magical doll house collection had the opposite effect on me and took me back to my childhood, which was a welcome feeling!