Copenhagen in a 48-hour nutshell

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] F [/dropcap]or those of you tuning in to read Jenna’s next masterpiece, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I get the honor of posting one of our latest travel tales.  With the hope of a new year upon us…..and, yes, with a little shame blanketed over me, I’ve decided to step up and contribute my blogging thoughts (or bloughts, as I call them) and finally earn half of the title of this website.  So, let’s do this!

Recently, we decided to throw our spontaneous hats in the ring again and see what the travel gods had for us.  Low and behold, they answered quickly through the prophet  This “map on a dartboard” approach landed us a bull’s eye by offering up an inexpensive flight from Frankfurt to the historic capital city of Denmark and largest city in Scandinavia — Copenhagen.


What do the Danish call danishes? Wienerbod

What do the Danish call danishes? Wienerbod


This was our first trip to the Kingdom of Denmark and we quickly discovered that it is a comparatively expensive experience.  Our eyes opened up to that reality during the 10 minute, $7.00 per person metro ride from the airport to town.

If you’re like me, you probably ask yourself: “What are things to do in Copenhagen?”  The only thoughts that really come to mind when you think of Denmark are Hamlet, Viking explorers, or a tasty cheese pastry. However, we discovered that Denmark is the oldest monarchy in Western Europe, that the mythical national flag of Denmark (the Dannebrog) is the oldest country flag in the world, that Denmark was the first country to abolish slavery on moral grounds, that it’s home to some huge brands, and that the Danes are the most satisfied citizens in the world. Though these seem like trivia facts, they were enough to whet our appetites for more.


Dannebrog, Danish flag

Dannebrog (Danish flag). Image via Wikipedia


Our introduction to Copenhagen was the modern airport located just minutes from the city center. The accessibility to all parts of the country and even Sweden from the airport via train, metro, or bus was very comforting. Plus it’s a really cool airport that is one of the most convenient and efficient that I have been through. We also were put at ease by not having to mumble through any broken second-grade Danish to communicate. The Danes are renowned for their English-speaking abilities and their fluency put my Texas gibberish to shame more than once.

This capital city sits on the Danish island of Sealand, right on the cusp of the Baltic Sea, so there were enough misty rains and gusty winds to remind me of other Northern European cities like Amsterdam and Hamburg. We jaunted past rows of multicolored and multistoried houses and restaurants stacked together towards Nyhavn, a small area of town located on a canal filled with fishing boats. Nyhavn gives the interested traveler almost everything in one area with its longstanding colorful houses and restaurants stacked together in front of canal pathways.  Most of all, it was a warm and welcoming place to get out of the cold evening and settle in for a quick dinner and drinks.


Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Nyhavn in Copenhagen


The restaurant Nyhavn 17 offered very traditional Danish dishes such as fresh fish plates, rye breads, and the world famous Smørrebrød, or Danish open-faced sandwiches.  We went traditional and tried the shrimp, tomato and boiled egg Smørrebrød and washed it down with a seasonal Carlsberg beer, another export of Denmark.  Of course, the entire wallet-whopping meal was served to us by a very friendly staff which used English as their primary language, even with each other!

With replenished nutrients and energy to carry on, we set off again into the blackness of the night.  Did I mention that it was only 5:00pm?  Copenhagen’s latitude leaves it with minimal daytime hours in the winter.  We didn’t mind much because the lights, crafts, music and warm glögg(Danish mulled wine) at the Nyhavn Christmas Market kept our minds occupied.  Our first day there was more exciting than expected and we rested that night anxious to explore more of the highlights of this historic city.  Little did we know that what was to come would involve a mermaid, Legos, and cheating Danish wives who used dogs as calling signals for their lovers…..


See part two of this series on Copenhagen here.


About the author

Ben has lived on several continents, feeding his travel bug. He used to think great travel  consisted of a bowl of nachos and an imported beer … and secretly, still kind of does.


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Related tweets

  • Hello Copenhagen! You’re my first trip to Scandinavia.
  • Scandinavian sticker shock: my 10-min metro ticket cost $7.50! Better than a taxi…big thx to @3000milekayak for the tip
  • It’s gray and misty now in Copenhagen, totally subscribing to Hamlet imagery! A Xmas market along the canal cheers things up.
  • At 4pm, dark in Copenhagen and the bars were PACKED. Asked if it’s a holiday and rcvd strange look from the waiter
  • Hearing more English than Danish, even among waitstaff. Taking a happy break from the “Un cafe, bitte. Grazie” jibberish I speak elsewhere

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  1. Well done! I found myself smiling all the way thru your blog on Copenhagen. I learned bits of info that I didn’t know and discovered a new travel site for airfares, too. The area, Nyhavn, looks and sounds ideal and I’m sure the Christmasmarket and and a mug of glogg added to the ambiance.

    But hey, I want to hear more about the legos and the cheating wives and their dogs. Next entry??

  2. I would LOVE to go to Copenhagen! I’ve only been to Denmark once and it was just across the German border. As a design mecca for Europe though, Copenhagen is on my future travel list!

  3. Thanks for the comment, Laura. If you get there anytime soon, we would love to hear your observations. I don’t think you can go wrong when it comes to visiting Copenhagen. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella and camera while you’re at it! Travel safe and often.

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