Copenhagen at Christmas
It’s not much of a secret, Emily and I LOVE Christmas! Since having Matilda it’s become even more fun, especially with her being 3 she is at that age where she is truly loving the magic of it all. For the run up to Christmas we fancied going somewhere we hadn’t been before. So we – myself, Emily and Matilda – along with 2 other friends, Emma & Nathan, headed for Copenhagen in Denmark for 3 days.
According to some Norwegians, a couple of Swedes and even some Germans who Nathan and I know between us, the Danish LOVE and DO Christmas better than some of the German Cities and that the Danish “German Christmas Markets” are as good, if not better than the ones in the big cities of Germany with them being chock full of christmasy goodness and less touristy, which is a big plus point if you want to actually see anything and especially when taking a 3 year old. With recommendations to see Tivoli Gardens even in the summer, let alone at Christmas and with Danes being consistently voted the happiest people in the world we had to see what the fuss was about….and after being there for only 3 days I can happily say that it’s one place I’d go back to!
Day 1 & 2
“Hotel Phoenix Copenhagen is one of Copenhagen’s most luxurious hotels.”
As a 4-star deluxe hotel it definitely looked the part from the outside and the reception area was impressive too. Usually this is the limit of it from some of the 3/4 star hotels I’ve stayed in in the past, but the rooms were great also. The reception staff were very welcoming and polite with impeccable English language skills – like most Danes it seemed. Everyone we spoke to spoke English perfectly, which is just aswell as my Danish is limited to tak (thankyou), hej (hello) and farvel (goodbye). The hotel was well situated for the most part. We walked a fair distance, especially with a 3 year old and the parts we didn’t walk to we bought a 48 hour unlimited hop-on-hop-off bus pass to get around which was a great way to see the city.
One of the most impressive buildings we saw in Copenhagen was Frederik’s Church, an Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. It’s popularly known as The Marble Church due to it’s stunning rococo architecture.
The church is in the Frederiksstaden district where we stayed at the Phoenix Hotel and is located literally down the road from the Amalienborg Palace where we saw the changing of the guard in the photos on Day 3.
Day 2 – TIVOLI!
Tivoli at Christmas is NEXT LEVEL Christmas epic-ness! The only way this could have been better was if it had actually been snowing!! Tivoli’s Christmas Markets in Copenhagen is so fairytale Christmas it’s almost like Disney took hold of Santa, his decorations, all his elves, took a big handful of everything else christmasy and emptied it at the Tivoli Gardens…. but then forgot Mickey Mouse.
The other Christmas Markets in Copenhagen that we found were dotted all over the places we were walking. There wasn’t just one or two but LOTS and each of them had so much Christmas Spirit in the vibe with everyone so happy! Sounds cliché but it’s hard to describe. The assault on the senses was intense. The stalls all had amazing decorations, trinkets and ironwork, woodwork and arts & cr afts. The smells from all the amazing food was outrageous. I’m not going to lie, I drank a fair bit of Gløgg (Danish Mulled Wine) which was too sweet for Emily and Emma (and Nathan preferred the beer!) but I loved it (but I loved the beer also mind you) and the food; pastries, cinnamon rolls, crepes and so much more…so yummy but definitely not healthy! I can’t wait to go back!
See you soon Denmark!
Tip: Whilst Denmark is in the EU they still use their Danish Krone (DK). Whilst not 100% accurate, at time of writing, if you simply move the decimal place to the left the Danish price is pretty much what it costs in British Sterling (£ GBP). So 85.00DK is roughly £8.50 and 100DK is roughly a tenner. Purchasing products in Denmark can range from being fair priced to WTF! For example a breakfast of 3 pastries, 1 large coffee and 2 hot chocolates cost us around 250DK! But then the entrance to Tivoli (at time of writing) was only 100DK which hardly seems justifiable but that’s how it is. I’m sure there might have been cheaper ways to do breakfast but the cafe – Mormors was so nice that you need to check it out.
Places of interest from this blogpost and links.
Christmas Markets in Copenhagen – This exact search term is what I typed into Google when first researching where to go for Christmas Markets. This page sold it for us….I dare you to try reading it and not feel all warm and christmasy!
Mormors Coffee Shop – Our favourite place for breakfast we found, just down the road from the Phoenix Hotel. It’s a beautiful coffee shop right out of a Hans Christian Andreson Fairytale.
Phoenix Copenhagen – 4 Star Delux Hotel located in the Frederiksstaden district. Price range: £84 – £339 (at time of writing – Jan 2016) Trip Advisor page. The hotel dates back to the 17th century and is a 3 minutes’ walk from Amalienborg Palace and the charming Nyhavn waterfront. 5-10 Minute walk from Kongens Nytorv (the train station that comes from the airport).
The Little Mermaid Statue – Den Lille Havfrue – Iconic bronze mermaid sculpture, by Edvard Eriksen, of a character from Hans Christian Andersson‘s fairytale – not much to see but the fort by it was cool.
Kastellet – Built in the 17th-century (1662) this star-shaped fortress with ramparts is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It also includes a museum and when we visited also had soldiers practicing drills with real cannons for some reason which was cool to see.
Red Blue Bus Tours – We had a 48 hour unlimited travel pass – has audio description whilst the bus drives in a load of languages with free headphones. Also has (slow but usable) bus wifi – good for instagram and snapchat (search for “Krausey_krause” on snapchat) uploads with geo-location tags!
Expedia – we booked the trip through Expedia. The price was actually cheaper than getting the flight and hotel separately.
Ryanair – Lowcost airline.
Visit Denmark, Copenhagen page
Ice rink at Frederiksberg Runddel – Free Ice Rink, you just need to pay for skate hire if you don’t have your own so check opening times on the website. You can get to it by Bus. It was included on our 48 hour pass but you need to catch the green bus that stops at the Tivoli bus stop and which goes to the Carlsberg Brewery. Simply tell the driver you want to stop at the zoo. It’s a 10minute walk from there and he or she can direct you.
Carlsberg Brewery – We didn’t get time to go to this but it looks good and if you’re in the area earlier enough whilst Ice Skating I’d check it out.