I can already picture my mum’s eyes filling up with blood as she reads the title of this post… Because, well, I was not supposed to be in Copenhagen, but instead, in Edinburgh, with my bottom glued to a chair and my eyes to the German or Swahili textbook or whatever. But £20 return tickets (I was not supposed to be tickets-hunting either) seemed to me like a challenge, whether I can get a good idea of a city in under 24 hours with the budget of only £100…
This trip was slightly in the style of Orel&Reshka, a very popular (and actually good) in Eastern Europe ukrainian travel TV show, where the 2 anchors explore the same city in two different ways: one of them has a gold card and can afford himself absolutely anything and exploring the city’s expensive side; the second anchor receives $100 for 2 days and has to survive in the city on that budget. The winner of the Golden Card is determined by a coin toss: oryol(heads) for the gold card, reshka(tails) for the $100.
As you can guess, my coin side was reshka.
1. Actually, my plane tickets were only £18, I just rounded it off. As this was really really really cheap for flight tickets (return) I decided I should include this into my £100 budget. So now I had £82 left.
The Copenhagen Card (24 hours) was my essential and costed me £37. Pretty good, I thought, as it includes entrance to all main attractions of Copenhagen and public transport. On the other hand, might have not been a very good idea for 24 hours on a Sunday. But okay, let’s see what happens. Apparently, it’s a thing in Scandinavian countries, as I used the same card during my visit to Oslo and Bergen in Norway.
Budget left: £45.
2. Accommodation. I booked a hostel 10 minutes away from Nyhavn (in the featured picture) – the most famous and central neighbourhood of Copenhagen. A bed in a 6 people dorm costed me £15. I saw cheaper options but unfortunately there were no spaces for the night of my stay. Hostel was nice, clean and so on, very cozy, friendly staff. The only disadvantage was the guy (or girl) in my room who snored like my weimaraner when he growls…( I think I will throw my phone at him upon finishing writing this post). But that’s what you get for £15. I would definitely recommend anybody to stay in this hostel. As I figured out later, it was the same hostel where the anchor of Orel&Reshka stayed in their Copenhagen episode.
Budget left: £30.
3. My route briefly:
– CPH airport
– Norreport metro station
– Went up the Round tower to take a look onto Copenhagen from the above. Price included in the Copenhagen card
– I bumped into a boat tour and as I am a big baby that loves water and boats, I took it. Besides, it was also included in the Copenhagen Card.
– Design Museum Denmark
– The Little Mermaid
– Den Blå Planet (the Blue Planet) – huge aquarium
– cycling around the city centre
– Den Blå Planet
– CPH Airport
The view on Copenhagen from the Round Tower
4. Sources and links I used to plan my city break:
- Visit Copenhagen – similar to the website my friend Liz and I used to plan the Norway trip
- Copenhagen Card – you can order it online
- A guidebook – to get a better idea of everything for myself
- A basic map I picked up in the airport for free
- This is not relevant to only this trip, I just thought this article had some good tips on searching for cheap flights, so I am sharing! Isn’t it nice of me?
Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most picturesque and famous neighbourhoods. I will not write about history of it here, but if you are interested, you can start your own research here. I will only add that it’s also famous because Hans Christian Andersen lived here and wrote some of his fairytales. In case you are not aware, Hans Christian Andersen is the author of the original fairytale about The Little Mermaid, and that is why Copenhagen has the famous monument.
7. The Little Mermaid. That very little mermaid. It’s been on the list of things I wanted to see for so long, and finally, I made it. The monument is dedicated to the main protagonist of a famous fairytale by a local writer Hans Christian Andersen (see above). I have nothing to add more than what is written here.
The little pile of people hitting each other with selfie sticks and trying to be original with “holding” the monument was funny and annoying, haha, preventing me from taking a proper hipster-instagram-fit picture of it.
Budget left: £30 (no entrance fee)
8. Decided to inject myself with culture and knowledge, went to the Design Museum Denmark. Tells the story of Danish design development. Denmark is famous for its design, if you didnt know. All of Scandinavia is, actually. The design is rather simple and futuristic, looks really cool, modern and opposite to what all the classic designs like Baroque, etc… does. The museum again, is included in the CC price. It would be free for me anyway because I am a student, hehe.
I was surprised to learn that 200 yrs ago it was Japan who influenced the Danish design and later in the XX century my own country’s ideas were an inspiration, too (sarcastic french “ah bon?” here)
Budget left: £30
9. The child in me is hopefully never gonna die, I will love water and giant aquariums forever, so I ran ran ran to the Aquarium (Den Blå Planet)… And didn’t make it. As usual, lazy Europeans (compared to Russians, who work until about 9-10 pm every day) close up early, the aquarium closed at 5. At least i saw the building, it was nice. But aw, man, i still wanna get inside!
10. Went back to the city and took an unwalked route, aiming to arrive in the hostel at 8. I found Copenhagen streets damn weird. I mean, who the hell writes street names like this – small invisible plates, names on which are absolutely different from what my map says?! Anyway, found my hostel, arrived safely, sent a couple of postcards, sitting now, drinking Tuborg (local beer), learning my German vocab… I swear it will kill me one day.
11. Copenhagen is obsessed with bikes. I kinda knew it, but I still didn’t expect THIS amount of bikes. They are everywhere. And that’s because the city is fit for them, on purpose. Apart from bike lanes, the city’s underground is equipped with bike storages and even special stairs… This impressed me so much. Pictures below.
12. Now about food. I was so hype about this trip I couldn’t think about food. However, as my caring boyfriend and food fanatic (cuz he is French) said, food is important. So once I felt the urge to send something down my esophagus, I grabbed a hot dog for £3,70. Now UK feels cheap. Later on I had a really good coffee with a pain au chocolat, which
to be honest, was not as good, for £5. Whaaaaaaaat, I can have a perfect capuccino or a flat white with the same but better pastry in Edinburgh for a quid less! After getting back from Den Blå Planet I also had a hot chocolate for £5 alone. Seriously, you’ve got to be kidding me. Even though the hot chocolate was fantastically good, I still think it’s overpriced.
A pint of Tuborg I had later in the evening together with a small bag of crisps (or as Americans and Russians say, chips) costed £5.
Breakfast was not included in the price of my hostel, so I had to pay £6,5 separately.
Budget left: £3.5
13. Strictly speaking, I couldn’t afford a bike. Not strictly speaking, it was £8 for 12 hours, not possible to rent it for less. My CC included a free bike tour, but the trouble was that I visited in February and bike tours are only available in the period from April to October :(. So I rented a bike from the hostel.
“Fudge fudge fudge!!” I thought, as danish grannies jumped out of my way. It took me 10 minutes to realise that, unlike in normal countries (meaning the UK), for some unexplainable reasons in Denmark they drive on the right. God, this was a battle. My hands kept automatically dragging the handlebar to the left without me realising it. The Danish cyclists didn’t give a flying toss about UK’s driving preferences and kept squeezing me out of the way. But okay, everyone is alive! I think so.
Budget left: -£4.5
14. As I said, I am a big baby that loves water and aquariums and to be honest I couldn’t even remember when was the last time I visited a place like Den Bla Planet. And that is why I desperately wanted to get inside. I had a bit of time to visit it before my flight because Den Blå Planet is 1 metro stop from the airport, so basically I popped in there on my way to CPH Lufthavn.
Main mistake I made: Copenhagen Card was probably not the best idea, as I traveled on a Sunday and everything closes earlier, I traveled on winter and the included bike tour was simply unavailable, so I suppose I could have saved there.
In conclusion I would like to say that Copenhagen is not a city a proper acquaintance with which can be done in 24 hours. I got an idea of the city, true, but there are still a lot of places and activities that I did not cover. I also think a 24-hour distribution of 100 quid can be carried out better and that I personally failed to do this in the best way. But this only means I will come back 🙂