Day 3 Copenhagen – Sunday
Since we had such a great day biking around Copenhagen Saturday, we decided to spend Sunday on the bikes as well. As you can see from the map, we took off in a different direction of town this time around.
Our first stop on the way, was Copenhagens Botanical garden (1). There is no biking allowed inside the park, so we locked the bikes outside the gate and meandered around for quite some time. For some reason there wasn’t all that many people around, which I loved. It felt peaceful, you could sit down and relax and see no one for a while. And when inside any of the glasshouses, you didn’t trip over people.
The botanical garden has as many as 27 glasshouses, the oldest one, the Palm House, was built in 1874. The Palm house is the tallest glasshouse and there are spiral stairs that leads you up into the dome, where you can walk “among the top of the palms”. You can see some beautiful pictures of the Palm House and surrounding gardens here.
We walked through most of the garden and then took a side trip out of the garden and across the street to:
Rosenborg Castle and The Kings garden
Rosenborg Castle (2) is situated right next to the Botanical garden and has a garden of it’s own, the Kings garden. Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle, built originally as a country summerhouse for the royal family in 1606, expanded several times until it was completed in 1624.
The castle was in use by Danish regents as a royal residence until about 1710, and since then it’s been only used as a royal residence twice. The first time was when Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794, and the second time was during the British attack on Copenhagen in 1801.
There are several buildings “attached” to Rosenborg Castle; Slotsforvalterboligen, The Commandant’s house and the Rosenborg Barracks, The barrack building is an old orangery complex (1709) that was converted into barracks for the Royal Life Guards in the years 1785-1786. The building was in use by the Life Guards until 1985. Today it has a small museum, and I believe it’s a protected building.
We didn’t go inside the castle or it’s surrounding buildings this time around, but we did saunter through the Rosenborg Castle gardens/Kings gardens.
After hanging around the Rosenborg Castle for a while, eating ice cream and sunning ourselves. We walked back to the botanical garden gate, picked up our bikes and continued on to…
Den Lille havfruen/The Little mermaid
Just about everyone (at least in Scandinavia) has heard about the statue of the Little Mermaid (3) in Copenhagen. It’s almost impossible to buy a postcard from Copenhagen and there not be a picture of her on it 😉
I always thought the little Mermaid was sitting on a rock out in the water, but it turns out she is landlocked, sitting on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade.
Since there was a lot of tourist around (it was a bit crowded) we didn’t stay long before we moved on to …
Just down the road from the Little Mermaid you will find Kastellet (4) This old citadel was built in the years 1626 – 1663 (1626 initiated, 1663 rebuilt), it’s one of the best preserved star fortresses (a pentagram) in Northern Europe
In the Citadel area, there are several old buildings. A church (1704), the Commander’s House (1725), the Powder House (1712), the Prison complex (1725) and even a windmill (1847, replacing one from 1718) ++.
Kastellet is still an active military area, but it’s open to the public. You can walk around the ramparts overlooking the Øresund Strait, and the moats surrounding the citadel. It was a beautiful place to lounge around, we even had our lunch sitting on the benches relaxing 🙂
Amalienborg Palace square
Amalienborg Palace (5) is the home of the Danish Royal Family. It consists of four identical palaces around an octagonal courtyard, and in the middle of it all, you can find a equestrian statue of King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; but, after Christiansborg Palace burned on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in.
As you can see.. the sights in this city is just about everywhere… and you can get lost in the all if you really want to, but we started to get hungry and continued on past The Royal Danish Playhouse (7) down to Nyhavn to find a place to eat.
Nyhavn was packed (as you would expect on a beautiful summer day) so we found ourselves an Italian restaurant down the road instead.
After the meal we took of towards the Amager side of Copenhagen, and the Opera house. Before we got to the Opera house however, we found this really cool place where we could drink and eat (had we only known that before our so so Italian meal).
Copenhagen Street Food
Copenhagen Street food (8) is this awesome place (yes I could hang here all day) with colorful and tasty food trucks with food from all over the world. All of them situated inside warehouse 7 and 8 on the Paper island.
We had seen a lot of people hanging outside on the quay and was curious about what this place was all about, you would have laughed had you seen our faces when we walked into the warehouse… I just couldn’t stop grinning 🙂 The hustle and bustle, the smells (yes good ones) we were kicking ourselves for already having eaten. There were food truck upon food trucks, food stalls, drink stalls, music and did I mention all the great food smell?
Some sushi and a GT later, we got back on the bikes. After biking all day, and eaten our self silly on sushi (yes we did, even though we weren’t all that hungry, it was just that the food was THAT good) it was time to call it a night and head home… but… we decided to do a little detour first, as we wanted to see the Opera House, which conveniently was just one quay over 😉
The Opera house
The Opera (9) on Holmen, is an awesome building, at least from the outside. It was starting to get late so we only biked past it. One of the cool features of the placement of the Opera is that when you stand in the main entrance of the Opera, you can see the Marble Church through Amalienborg.
Just past the Opera House we saw an interesting area we just had to check out (did I mention we did a detour on our way home?)
The Naval Station – Holmen naval base
Turns out it was the Naval Station or Holmen naval base as it’s also called (10). The Naval Station used to occupy the entire area of Holmen, being the command base for the Danish navy in the years 1690 til 1990. Today, this Naval base is confined to it’s northernmost island of Nyholm, and is mostly a mix of residential, educational institutions and some military activities.
As you can imagine, it was the ships and Mast Crane that caught my eye 😉
Christiania – again
Leaving the naval area, we found this quirky road following one of the canals, turns out the road we followed put us right smack back in the middle of Christiania (which I wrote about here).
Had I known we were biking along this narrow stretch of land close to the lake at Christiania – Stadsgraven (11), I would have moved us one street over, so that we could have followed the road alongside the lake instead, and maybe, just maybe I could have found some of the houses I had missed out on, on our Saturday trip… Oh well, now I know.. for next time!
Onward to home we biked! And ended our day on the balcony, relaxing, winding down and preparing for our departure the next day.
Where did we stay? Well, we decided to try out Airbnb, first time ever, for all three of us. How did that go? Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it…
And I promise, it wont take me weeks.. like this post did! It was all due to computer trouble, which is hopefully now fixed…
I had a wonderful trip to Copenhagen with some friends, early June, and you might remember I covered Friday’s excursion in my last post, and here we are on day two…
Day 2 Copenhagen:
Saturday, we started off the day with renting bikes. Walking is a great way to get around, but you cover more ground on a bike. There are several places to rent bikes in Copenhagen, and if I could give any recommendations, it would be to rent a bike as soon as you get there. In hindsight we should have rented our bikes from day one. It’s cheap, and would have saved our feet Friday 😉 We found a rental place just a few streets down from where we lived.
Biking around Copenhagen is very easy, not only is it flat as a pancake, but almost all roads have separate bike paths on the side, with their own traffic lights and even roundabouts. It was almost like driving a car, except you were on a bike 🙂 The city is pretty much built for cyclists and there are more bikes than cars in the city centre. The people living there commute on bicycle and you’ll see people in suits, heels and skirts pedalling away. If you ever want to give cycling a capital city a try, Copenhagen is definitely the place to start,
This is what we did!
We left our apartment in the morning, got our rental bikes and took off for the day.
I’ve drawn up a map on our Saturday route, the numbers on the map corresponds with numbers mentioned in the text below:
As soon as we got the bikes we figured we needed a little food and we roamed the Meatpacking district (1) for a place to eat. The meatpacking district used to be, where Copenhagens meat industry had their businesses. Nowadays the area has turned into a more trendy restaurant and nightlife area. And it turned out we were too early and most places wasn’t opened up yet. Instead we found a small deli a few streets up, where we grabbed some food for a quick brunch, and snack for the road.
Then we took of towards a couple of Copenhagen’s allotment gardens, on the island of Amager which is a large part of Copenhagen. We decided to bike to these allotment gardens because we wanted some green time, time away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, where we could have a picnic and just relax.
We biked along Islands brygge, it’s a area/street that follows the canal that separates Amager island and the rest of Copenhagen, and there are several sights along the way. One of the really cool ones are the Harbour Bath (2), an outdoor pool area. There are pools for the little ones, a large pool for people wanting to do swim training and a diving tower for people that wants to practise or just want to jump from higher ground. The area around the Harbour bath was packed with people. Some sunbathing in the gorgeous weather, some playing on the grass, and some hanging out at a oriental food festival. Right next to the Harbour bath, there is an area they have created where people can play kayak polo/canoe polo which… I’m telling you is a hoot to watch 🙂
Amager fælled/Amager Common
As we biked further along the canal, we found Amager Common. Amager Common is a large green area with fishing ponds, trails and loads of birdlife, and we hit the park right alongside the canal. A few hundred meters into the park we saw this cute little quay (3) and decide to stop for a picnic and a bit of sun.
Being restless souls (that would be B and me… K could have stayed all day sunning herself I’m sure) we continued on into the park, where we biked around Sønderbro allotment garden (danish) (4). We stopped at Sønderbro for a refreshing drink (they have a small shop), before we continued on to Bryggen allotment garden (danish) (5)
On our way back towards the center of town, we biked along the bike trails within the Amager Common (6) and it was great. The birds were singing, we hardly saw a soul and if we hadn’t known better we could just as easy have been in the middle of the countryside miles from civilization…. It’s a beautiful area as you can see here!
Christianshavn – Christiania
When we hit “town” again, we were just down the road from Christianshavn and the freetown of Christiania. Christiania is Copenhagens fourth largest tourist attraction. Christiania has it’s own history, the idea behind Christiania is that is is a free, self run society, kind of a free state within the state. They have their own rules and regulations. The place is famous for its liberal views on cannabis and it is still possible to buy hash and various strain of weed on Pusher street. They are however fighting hard to keep harder drugs out of the area.
The reason I wanted to visit the place is that the area around the lakes have all these little self built houses that are really cool (I’m a fan of tiny houses and other small dwellings). And within Christiania itself there are a bunch of quirky small houses. Since we had a dinner reservation at 18:30 and wanted to go home for a quick shower (I told you it was sunny and warm, right?) we only got to see parts of it all. But I will be back.. and maybe next time I’ll get to find some of the ones that are along the lakes, some you can see here.
All in all it was a great bike trip around the city, including several stops on the way, some sunning and a picnic on the quayside, you can easily do this in a few hours… from the moment we started biking, to the moment we were back “home”, we had been out and about around 5-6 hours.
Our dinner reservation – Høst restaurant
I have to tell you about, where we went for dinner that night. I had first come accross an article about this restaurant a while back. It had gotten rave reviews as a place you could have gourmet food at affordable prices. I checked it out and loved the decor of the place, and decided if I ever went to Copenhagen I just had to try this place out. And thats exactly what we did.
The three of us decided on their three course meal, which turned out to be a six course meal. We had some wine and mineral water. The food in the three course meal was different depending on which menu you chose, but the added extras was the same regardless. One of us had the regular Høst menu, with the wine package and two of us had the Høst signature menu but no wine package, just single glasses of wine and beer. And I’m telling you.. it was worth it.
The food was great, the restaurant itself was cosy and really cool and the service was impeccable. All in all a great experience. And… we didn’t have to break the bank 😉
After the restaurant, we biked back home and ended up, just like on Friday, on the balcony planning Sundays excursions.
Stay tuned for Sundays trip…