These Scandinavian countries are no joke when it comes to your wallet. It really is true that you could blow your whole budget real quick after a wild night out. This being the case, my time here had to be brief since I had more affordable countries I was dying to get to (THAT MEANS YOU POLAND!!).
In case you’re in the same budget-friendly boat I am, here’s a full day of some kick ass activities to do with one day in Copenhagen.
Pop into the Royal Library aka The Black Diamond
I’m a sucker for a good library. Nerd alert! I know! But seriously, this building is incredible. It’s the largest library in the Nordic countries and it’s easy to see why. THIS PLACE IS MASSIVE. It even includes the first Danish book, printed in 1482. Plus, it’s an architectural dream in there. Hold on wait, best part, it’s freeeeee.
If you’re a THC enthusiast like myself (👍) then this is THE place for you to go in Copenhagen. Hell, even if you’re not then this place is still totally worth a visit. This small hippie commune has been dubbed “the green light district of Copenhagen” It’s pretty easy to see why.
Once you make it past the walls covered in street art you’ll find skate ramps, people zooming past with skateboards, gardens and those tending to them and people from all walks of life. You’ll find your asian tourists who are quickly realizing they took a wrong turn somewhere, parents passing through with their kids riding in their bike baskets, seniors, students, artists, lovebirds, men on their lunch breaks and drunkards.
From here, it’s best if I tell you that there are three rules in Christiania. 1. No pictures 2. No phones and 3. No running. “Technically”, it’s still illegal to sell hash and bud in Copenhagen so to Snapchat your whole visit, transaction, consumption would be harmful to those who enjoy the community. So out of respect, once you see the signs asking you to abide these rules put the phone away and enjoy your time here.
After you pass the signs reminding you the rules you’ll notice brightly decorated shacks all over the place, shielding the identity of those selling you your flowers. Don’t be freaked out to see guys chilling in ski masks. As intimidating as it may look these guys are just regular people who are protecting their identity. Walk through and find the shack that speaks to you, enjoy the tunes blaring from the speakers, take a deep breath and smell all the goodness.
Transactions are straight forward so once you grab your purchases you can head to a well shaded spot in one of the many parks and smoke ya shit. 😉
Head to Nyhavn
Nyhavn is the quintessential canal scene when you think of Copenhagen. Seriously though, it has the reputation of being the most photographed canal in Copenhagen. It’s easy to see why.
You turn a corner and are pleasantly assaulted with canal houses painted reds, blues, yellows, greens and purples. There are boats constantly moving in and out of the canal and the street is buzzing with tourists and locals. If you want to get a good feel of the canals in the short time you are here then you can’t miss Nyhavn.
Hop on the Ferry like a Local
Since we didn’t have much time and needed to take the metro to the airport the next day my girlfriend and I invested in a 24 hour travel card. For $17 dollars we could hop on any metro, bus, tram and even ferry for 24 hrs. It helped us cover a lot of the city in one day. Taking the ferry was hands down the best. The system is really easy to understand and the ferry takes you on a gorgeous ride around the harbor. Definitely GoPro worthy!
Copenhagen Street Food
By this time you’ve probably worked up quite an appetite, ESPECIALLY if you enjoyed your purchases from Christiania. LOL. Well rest assure, I have just the place for you. At the end of the Nyhavn canal there is a ferry stop that will take you right across the harbor to the Copenhagen Street Food.
This massive industrial building has been shelled out and stuffed with pop up food vendors. The best part, THEY GIVE OUT FREE SAMPLES. Your wallet will be screaming thank you when you walk through and are handed sample after sample. From pulled pork, to pulled duck, plantain chips, and rice with curry.
The food choices are endless, I spent a good 30 minutes just walking up and down the aisles before settling on what I finally wanted. There’s surf and turf burgers, Mexican food, Indian food, Brazilian churrascaria, cheesecake, Thai food, organic juices, Swedish food, Danish food, flatbreads, ice cream, pasta, beer, mojitos and hot dogs. Seriously, the list keeps going on, your eyes won’t know where to look. Best advice is to follow your nose and pick that place.
The best part is that once you grab your food you can have a seat on one of the couches sheltered in the shelled out shipping containers and eat your little heart out while enjoying a killer view.
Take the Ferry to the Little Mermaid
After you’ve eaten until you can barely stand you can take the short walk over to the Opera house. It’s about 10 minutes, plus you’ll need to digest a little I’m sure of it. From there you can hop onto the ferry again and be whisked away to Norde Tolbod which is right next Langelinie Park. Stroll through this colorful park and let yourself be surrounded by the aroma of fresh flowers.
If you keep going straight you’ll see the famous Little Mermaid statue. If you’ve taken my advice and had yourself a fun filled day already, then by the time you get here it will be later which means there will only be a few tourists. Rather than the mobs you would find if you tried to come in the morning or early afternoon.
You can dive a little deeper into the park and come across various surprises. From Danish windmills, to a giant fortress, military barracks and docks all along the outer edges.
Make Your Way to Nørrebro & Get Yourself a Drink
Our hostel was in Nørrebro which was past downtown. This meant no tourists, no big hotels and a cool alternative scene. From Langelinie it was a short walk to the metro station and then a quick hop on a bus to the area. There are places all over to grab a drink so kick back and enjoy a cold one, you certainly deserve it!
This was the exact route that I took and it was one of my favorite days on this trip thus far. I felt like I saw a perfect mix of touristy spots and local life. So if you’re on a time crunch this could be a great day!
Have any suggestions for my next trip to Copenhagen? Leave them in the comments!