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