Copenhagen has always been a city on my ‘to do’ list, so naturally, when it came time to book my flights back to Greenland, it made sense for me to fly via Copenhagen instead of Reykjavik – as I had done in the past.
After a gruelling 33 hours of flights and layovers, I landed into Copenhagen Kastrup airport feeling completely exhausted, but not so exhausted that it would keep me from exploring! I had a few free hours in the afternoon with which to see a glimpse of what Copenhagen had to offer, before my early morning flight to Kangerlussuaq the following day. I had only a few hours of daylight and a very strict budget, so I set out to do a bit of budget friendly wandering.
Not too far from my hostel was possibly the most famous place in all of Copenhagen – Nyhavn Harbour.
Nyhavn is a 17th century canal; a waterway stretching for several hundred metres from Kongens Nytorv to the Royal Playhouse. While that may not sound all that thrilling, this waterway happens to be lined with brightly painted 17th century townhouses, and these houses are more than a little bit photogenic.
Even on a grey and foggy winters day, this harbour still shines brightly, and depending on your level of interest, you could spend anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour visually devouring all the architectural features. There are restaurants and pubs that call home Nyhavn too – but if you want your drink with a view, prepare to pay seriously jacked up prices to get it.
After around 30 minutes I was done getting my fill of the pretty houses and boats, so with the little bit of daylight rapidly fading, it was time for me to keep on moving and see what else I could find.
A little bit of aimless strolling eventually led me to notice a few signs pointing me towards Freetown Christiania, so in the end, that was where I decided to go.
Freetown Christiania – also known simply as Christiania – is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood in the Danish borough of Christianshavn. Home to approximately 850 residents, Freetown Christiania is the hippie community of Copenhagen.
The neighbourhood is full spellbinding street art, quaint houses and little shops. Taking pictures within Christiania is subtly discouraged – there are no signs advising as such, but various public murals make it clear that photography is frowned upon – and as such, I didn’t get to get quite as snap happy as I would’ve liked.
It is easy to discern whether people are visitors or residents, and residents make it very clear that they know you are a foreigner to their little village. There is no hostility, I just felt an undeniable ‘vibe’ about it. However, there is a small possibility that I was just imagining such a vibe. Within an hour I must have walked through at least 50 clouds of smoke that was most definitely not tobacco! Who knows where my head was at after all that!
By around 4.30pm it was getting dark and my jetlag was starting to kick in. I said goodbye to lovely Christiania before heading back to my hostel and getting a good nights sleep. The next morning I would be flying to the freezing cold Kangerlussuaq (seriously, -39°C degrees anyone?) and as much as I was enjoying Copenhagen, on this trip, it was merely the jumping off point for the real adventure. The sooner I fell asleep, the sooner it would be time to fly to Greenland.
Getting to Copenhagen: Copenhagen Kastrup is the most well connected airport in Denmark – flights arrive into Copenhagen from all major airport hubs
Getting out of the Airport: Copenhagen airport is possibly one of the most well connected airports in Europe. The cheapest and quickest way into the city is to catch the metro directly from Terminal 3 to Kongens Nytorv station. A one way ticket will set you back 36DKK ($7) or alternatively, a 24 hour pass costs 80DKK ($15)
Generator Hostel Copenhagen: Definitely not the most memorable or special hostel you’ll find, but it’s the cheapest place you’ll find in Copenhagen. A bed in an 8 bed dorm will set you back approx $40/night. Click here for more info and to book
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens and M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2/8 lens
Remember: A lot of Copenhagen traffic is made up of cyclists – make sure to check the bike lanes before crossing roads
37 thoughts on “A Few Hours in Copenhagen”
Ah this is where I’m studying abroad this semester! It’s so beautiful right?!
It really is! How long have you been there?
That’s the thing about Copenhagen. It’s so accessible! Even for a few hours you will be able to feel the city and it makes you want to come back for more!
Definitely! And I love how easy it is to get from the airport to the city – makes it perfect for short layovers!
We spent 3 days there. Loved it ☺.
I have the same photo with the red boat! Is wonderful!
The colorful homes and boats were my favorite part about Copenhagen! I wonder if they decided to brighten up their homes to combat the dreary winters?
Hmmm, that is certainly an interesting thought! I sure hope that is why!
Copenhagen is magical. My memories of it are quite faint but they are fond memories none the less. Would love to get back there as an adult. Enjoy Greenland.
Any plans to go back?
No immediate plans. Unfortunately my list of places to go to grows ever longer and with Europe now being so far away it takes a bit of advance planning. Norway is next on my radar for that part of the world and even that is going to be a few years away.
I hear it’s beautiful! Though debating whether to do it in the winter (very ‘hygge’) or in the summer!
Maybe autumn? Get the best of both worlds?
I love the mixture of photos you present in your blogs – they portray a very real experience, like I’m walking around, exploring with you.
That is the kind of comment I love to hear! Thank you so much, I hope I can continue to curate this kinda experience for you 🙂
I would imagine much of the “discouragement’ of taking photos has to do with apprehension about the free use of cannabis, and people wanting that to remain a private matter.
Hmm, that hadn’t occurred to me! But I think you may be right!
One of your best posts, in my opinion. Or is it because Copenhagen also is on my to do list too? Your pics look fab, I especially love those shiny red boats with nice clean buildings in the background, I’m sure you had a great time wandering around, as much as you described it well!
Thanks so much Sophie! Any plans to visit Copenhagen soon?
Not soon, but definitely someday!
I so enjoy Copenhagen and I collected a number of mermaid statues when I was there. I just couldn’t help it.
Great post, I love the coloured houses and the red boat 🙂
The homes are beautiful! Maybe it’s kind of a blessing that you weren’t able to take as many pictures in Freetown…I’ve heard that when you focus on taking a lot of pictures, a lot of time you miss the beauty around you while you’re taking things in through the lens. As fun as pictures can be, at least now you have real long lasting memories!
I have actually heard the same thing, but I am not sure how much I agree with it… I don’t think my memories are particularly different either way- who knows though?
When I was in Copenhagen, it was also just for hours, not days. I was there about 12 hours but I enjoyed the city as much I could and it was really worthy. I saw Copenhagen from early morning (6am) till the spring evening. I went on foot a lot , for example aslo to the beach and I saw a lot of places which are out of tourist area. And I am happy because I feel like a saw so much in Copenhagen that I must be there for days 🙂 I really liked the city and everytime when it is rainy I just imagine myself sitting in one of its house, by the window, how I read in huge sweater. I have to put some pictures from Cope aslo on my blog 🙂
That is a lovely thing to think about every time that it’s rainy! Glad my writing could remind you of such a nice trip 🙂
Copenhagen was amazing! We were there for 2 days but such an unique city and the people are lovely! I blogged about the brunch places there..Definitely check them out when you get go 🙂 https://lycheelove.com/2017/02/11/top-5-brunch-places-in-copenhagen/
I was there last year and loved it! The people were so friendly, the food was delicious, and Tivoli was awesome!
I must admit that I didn’t get a chance to sample much of the food – hopefully I get there again for a return visit soon!
So fun to read about the city I live in from the eyes of others. You should definitely stick around a bit more next time 😉 Just wrote a bunch of places to go (from a local point) you can check them out here: https://travelatorium.wordpress.com
Yes I definitely should! I am headed back to Greenland next year, so I think I will have to stop by Copenhagen again, and this time I will definitely try to stay a bit longer 🙂
Love the post! 🙂 I came to Copenhagen for an internship two years ago and now I am living here! Love this place so much! Great pictures – they really capture the weather in Denmark haha. I wrote about cheap and good places to eat in Copenhagen if ever you want to check it out here: http://www.filipinastandard.com/food/cheap-and-good-food-in-copenhagen/
You’re posts are easy to read and I love your little low down at the bottom. Glad I stumbled across it 🙂
I love Copenhagen so much, I think for me it represents the freedom in the sense of my life at the time. And when I crave that feeling, I crave a visit to Copenhagen. A place I hold so dear to my heart.
Thanks for sharing!