Copenhagen was the first planned stop of a three-week trip to Scandinavia. The plan was to Spend one full day, along with the previous afternoon and following morning in the city, before flying on to Norway. It was to be a brief stop after a very long flight from Australia.
As they say even the best laid plans can fail shortly after you set them in motion. Ours failed at Sydney Airport as the Airbus A380 had mechanical problems. We were delayed by almost twelve hours in Sydney. We were flying with Qantas which was code shared with Emirates. I won’t go through the long frustrating story of what happened trying to get on board the next morning. Our stopover in Dubai was brief, and basic, spent less than 12 hours there and only saw the airport and accommodation that we briefly stayed at until our next flight was ready. However, we won’t be flying with Qantas or Emirates again.
An interesting note on travel insurance, is that ours did not cover the accommodation cost for the first night that we lost in Copenhagen. They have a clause that if the delay is due to mechanical issues, they do not pay.
Eventually arriving in on December 5 in Copenhagen, a full 24 hours late, our time was cut down to an evening and the following morning. The time allocated had already been limited, just a refresher before flying on, but now it was going to be difficult to see many things in any detail. This needed a quick revision of our plans. We decided that with the time available, we would only spend time in the National Museum and the Tivoli Gardens, and view the palaces and other buildings from the outside.
First task was to get from the Airport to our hotel, the Alexandra Copenhagen. As there were four of us with a lot of luggage, we chose the taxi option. Almost as cheap as buying four tickets on a bus or train, and dropped right at the hotel’s doorstep.
Check-in was fast and friendly. Located on Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard, we chose it for its central location and competitive rates. The staff understood that we had our stay shortened, so were very helpful with suggestions. The hotel sold tickets for the Tivoli Gardens, which were only a short walk down the street and open until late at night.
A short walk down the Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard was the National Museet (museum). This is one of the world’s great museums with excellent exhibits illustrating Denmark’s history. Extremely well laid out, you start at the pre-historical section, and then make our way through Viking times, the coming of Christianity through to modern-day.
There is an excellent collection of Viking artifacts, ranging from swords and shields to boats and rune stones. Some of the best-preserved bog bodies are also on display. Gruesome but captivating at the same time.
On the second floor is a very nice café where we stopped for a hot chocolate and snack, before pressing on. We spend around two hours here and could have taken longer if not pressed for time.
Leaving the museum, we went to the Christainborg Palace. It was now dark and the palace was lit up, making for a nice contrast to the usual day time views. We headed back to the hotel through some of Copenhagen’s shopping streets, taking in the Christmas decorations and markets.
After returning to our hotel for some warmer clothes, as we went to the Tivoli Gardens. The gardens are very popular with locals and tourists and were very busy. We found them to be more crowded than expected and difficult to get through at times. Certainly very pretty, with everything lit up, but we found it quite boring, and apart from a coffee and a walk around, did not stay more than an hour.
Our hotel room was nice and warm and after a long flight and walking around the city for a few hours, we easily fell asleep and had a good night’s sleep. Breakfast was included with our stay was served in the adjoining Vietnamese restaurant. Quite a reasonable selection of food and we all had a good meal. As we were flying out at 2:00PM, we checked out of our rooms and left the luggage with the front-desk.
We were out of the front door by 7:00AM, to make the most of our very shortened stay. Walking down Strøget, we saw some nice decorations, including a lot of small Christmas trees. This early, all the shops in this famous pedestrian street were closed, but we hoped to see a few on the return journey.
Getting to Nyhaven, most of the usual crowds were yet to arrive, so we could see all of the docks and buildings without other people around. The same went for the Amalienborg Palace. There was only a few people there. We took it as an excellent opportunity to take pictures of the palace and guards.
One of the big attractions in Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid Statue. Its biggest criticism though is the size of the crowds of people gathered there. Not early in the morning though. There were less than ten of us, and could get photos of just us by the statue. Nearly is the Geflion Fountain. In winter the water is turned off, so it was not as spectacular as when operating, but still a very nice sculpture.
We walked back to the hotel the same way we came, stopping a few shops in Strøget. The Pandora shop was high on the wife’s list and as they had some specific Danish beads, we made several purchases. As a quick fun picture, we stopped at the Guinness Book of Records Store and took pictures with the statue of the world’s tallest man.
Our hotel organised a taxi for our trip to the airport. Copenhagen International was very easy to find our way around. They also had a very helpful help desk, which we needed when the automatic check-in counter would not accept our tickets. Everything was fixed with the minimum of fuss.
So, what did we think? Overall apart from the lack of time, it was great. Very easy to find your way around and we felt very safe. People were very friendly and helpful and the city centre is full of great attractions. We visited in December and the city was full of festive decorations, with most sops having candles in their doorways, as well as decorations. Would we go back. Yes, so that we could spend more time seeing the things we missed and going into the palaces and other museums as well as touring the rest of Denmark.