Travels with V

Copenhagen

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A perfect day

Since our home is in the southernmost part of Sweden, our nearest capital city isn’t Stockholm, it’s Copenhagen. By train it’s just a one-hour ride to get there. So naturally we have been there a number of times, each time surprised by the speed of change there. This travel blog is a bit different because of this, it simply describes a sunny day’s walk through parts of Copenhagen that we hadn’t seen so much of before. We avoid the big shopping streets and the picturesque Nyhavn. Instead we start at Torvehallerne, a great place right by the metro station Nørreport. Here you’ll find plenty of great food stalls and bars.

THE LOCALS RIDE THE BIKES HERE

After some lovely danish tapas and a cold beer we just head up the nearest street, Linnésgade, to see where we will end up. And it turns out to be the botanical garden, a real city oasis with greenhouses with palms and other exotic plants, but also a beautiful park with flowers and trees and the mirror of a small lake. This is a surprise to us and we highly recommend a visit!

Strolling through the gardens we come upon it’s likewise lush neighbour “Østre Anlæg”, and the impressive building of the National Arts Museum. Their exhibitions are high-quality and absolutely worth checking out. A few years back we were here during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival listening to a powerful and enchanting gathering of Danish jazz musicians. The amazing views through the enormous windows surely added a lot to the excitement.

Now we cross over the wide Øster Voldsgade street and back a bit to look closer at the cute little renaissance castle Rosenborg slot. Inside you’ll find the Danish crown jewels, but today we ‘re content just to stroll around in the park surrounding the castle, called “Kongens have”, the king’s garden. A hugely popular place when the sun is out.

On the other side of the park we follow the Kronprinsessegade street eastward. We walk past Krusmyntegade, a most lovely little street where the low houses are all painted in different clear colours and trees and bushes seem to spring out everywhere. A cosy chaos!

A few blocks further on along Kronprinsessegade we enter a peculiar area with row after row of long and low ochre red houses. This is “Nyboderne”, built in the late 1700’s to provide for homes to the Royal Navy’s personnel and families. Here they had their own little society with a school, a hospital and even their own police. The houses have long been under threat to be torn down but just recently a renovation process has started here.

Still following the Kronprinsessegade we enter Østre Voldgade again. Now we’re right by the Castel, a star-shaped fortification surrounded by a lovely park. On the other side of the Castel is Langelinje, with the world famous statue of the little mermaid. But we’ll be seeing this later from another angle, so instead we enter the Bredgade street an head back towards the city. And immediately to our left is the Danish Design Museum. Danish design is exquisite of course, so this place is definitely a must-visit.

Further down Bredgade to our right we find a spectacular church, called the Marble church, “Marmorkirken”. It’s mostly a circular room with an enormous cupola hovering above. The biggest church cupola in Scandinavia they say.

Walking just a few more blocks down Bredgade and we’re in Nyhavn, the old harbour area that once had lots of seedy places, tattoo parlours and dark cellar bars. Now it’s very clean and touristic and ridiculously popular. We stop at the new city theater, “Skuespilhuset” that has a lovely outdoors seating area where we share a snack and watch the intense sea traffic in the harbour. 

It’s a maelstrom of hundreds of small rented boats and some shuttle ferries dangerously navigating between them on their way to or from “Papirøn”, a very hip place across the water. We’re triggered by all this to jump on a sight-seeing tour through the canals of Christianshavn and Holmen, where not only a new opera house is built, but lots of new housing developments also have been made. Here the tenants have swimming facilities and boats towed just outside the door. It’s a new Venice!

Walking just a few more blocks down Bredgade and we’re in Nyhavn, the old harbour area that once had lots of seedy places, tattoo parlours and dark cellar bars. Now it’s very clean and touristic and ridiculously popular. We stop at the new city theater, “Skuespilhuset” that has a lovely outdoors seating area where we share a snack and watch the intense sea traffic in the harbour. It’s a maelstrom of hundreds of small rented boats and some shuttle ferries dangerously navigating between them on their way to or from “Papirøn”, a very hip place across the water. We’re triggered by all this to jump on a sight-seeing tour through the canals of Christianshavn and Holmen, where not only a new opera house is built, but lots of new housing developments also have been made. Here the tenants have swimming facilities and boats towed just outside the door. It’s a new Venice!

We have just enough time to dine on the Gråbrødretorv square before we head back to the train station and roll away home again. A well spent day!

On the map below you can follow our path through the city (the boat tour not completely visible):

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