We just returned from a long weekend trip to Copenhagen:
- It's definitely NOT cheap! We live in central London and it's notorious for being expensive and bad value for money but we thought Copenhagen was very pricey. A decent meal for 2 with wine/beer can cost up to 700-800dkk which is around £70-80 GBP. We love eating out at great restaurants, and Copenhagen has it' s fair share of good restaurants, again quite pricey. Do book ahead if you're planning to visit one of the many Michelin starred restaurants here e.g. Noma, Restaurant Ensemble, Kommandaten. The restaurants tend to be on the small side, seating around 20-40 people. We came away thinking how on earth the Danes can afford to live here! We only found out later that the city with the highest gross wage level is Copenhagen, now ahead of Zurich, Basel and Oslo!
- Eating out and restaurants: We were hoping to eat at some traditional Danish restaurants but in the end this proved quite tricky. The vast majority of restaurants serve food with a very strong Italian/French influence. We checked out the menu at some Michelin starred restaurants and although they do use local ingredients, the dishes are cooked in very much the French tradition, which was rather disappointing. Having said that, we found a very nice restaurant : 'Restaurant Kanalen' (Wilders Plads 2, Christianshavn) which was very cosy. The service was very good and the standard of the dishes was pretty high. We went to the 'Cap Horn' restaurant in Nyhavn and that was ok but pricey for the standard of food served.
- If you love theme park rides you will be disappointed if you visit Tivoli Park. The rides are not particularly scary and there are far better rides at Alton Towers/Thorpe Park. The rides are probably more suited to much younger children and young teenagers. It's expensive, bordering on horrendous! It's 75dkk for entry ONLY (around £6.80GBP). You also have to pay extra for the rides. A multi ride ticket is 200dkk (around £20) and a single ride ticket is 15dkk (£1.36). You can buy the single ride tickets inside the park at machines which you pay with using a credit card. There IS an additional charge for using a credit card for payment at these machines but this is not displayed. The catch is the 'single ride ticket' does not refer to a ticket for a single ride. You actually have to buy several of these single tickets to go on ONE ride, well the more thrilling ones anyway! You need to buy 4 tickets to go on the best rides i.e. Daemonen coaster. The rides for kids are 1 ticket. You can see how going on the rides will add up - OUCH! Another tip - eat outside before entering the park - there are probably more restaurants than rides in the park! But the food is ridiculously expensive for what you are being served and very poor value for money. Having said that, it is lovely at night when the park is lit up and don't miss the theatre show in the evening.
- Stroget: This is great for shopping, though again it's expensive. It's mostly populated with the usual brand suspects: Gucci, Chanel, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Hermes etc and chain stores. It's nice to sit around for a coffee in the cafes but I don't think anything is cheaper here!
- The Oresund Bridge: We stayed in Malmo during our trip and made the crossing over the bridge into Copenhagen. The Oresund train passes through Copenhagen Central (Kobenhavn H), the Airport (Kastrup) to Malmo Central (sweden). The hotels are far cheaper in Malmo, if you don't mind the inconvenience of travelling over to Copenhagen everyday. There are 3 trains every hour. The train is not cheap, it costs around £30 GBP for round trip for 2 people. Train departures run late very frequently and when we were there the train was not running at all for a couple of hours due to a technical problem. It takes about 40 mins to get to Malmo from Copenhagen Central and about 20 mins from Malmo to Copenhagen Kastrup.
- There's a lot of walking! Wherever possible, make use of the public transport i.e. buses as it's very convenient and not too expensive. Taxis are very expensive way to get around. Alternatively hire some bicycles - there are bike lanes in the road and there are bikes everywhere in Copenhagen. The Danes seem to love them and take them everywhere. There's even a special large carriage with seats for bicycles on the Oresund train. The Danes also seem to love their huge 4-wheeler pram pushchairs. This can get annoying when the train is packed full of people.
- Opening hours: Most shops are closed on a Sunday and shops close much earlier during the week than in the UK. Shops close as early as 4pm.
- The Little Mermaid: this is quite a walk away (a good half hour by foot) from the city centre and Stroget, so take the bus if you can. It's rather disappointing as it's very small and you have to clamber over some rocks to get to, which can be dangerous. It isn't in a spectacularly scenic place either; there are industrial plants and warehouses in the backdrop.
- Carlsberg Brewery: this is great value for money and a must see. It's a fair walk right to the end of Vesterbrogade and then some (around half hour walk). It's worth taking the no. 26 bus there and back and it's a frequent service. It's great value for money, you get to walk around the old brewery and the entry fee includes sample of 2 beers (Tuborg, Jacobsen) afterwards in the bar upstairs, although you can choose to have a soft drink if you prefer!
- Weather: we were lucky with the weather as it was sunny throughout our trip, but it is very windy.
Overall, Copenhagen is enjoyable for a weekend trip, though do expect to pay high prices. We felt it lacked the buzz and energy of Barcelona, there just aren't as many things to see or do to keep you there beyond a weekend. Vesterbro can feel a bit seedy in areas but generally a very safe city to visit.