A Guide to spending 3 days in Copenhagen during Winter

There is nothing I love more than a cheap flight, a short air bound duration and a new city to explore.
Unenthusiastic about paying sky high prices to party in London, and keen to start the year as i mean to go on (travelling) – I booked my flights and it was settled.
2016 would begin in Denmark.
And just to sweeten the situation further – two of my best friends were joining me!
A Guide to spending 3 days in Copenhagen during Winter
Flying from London to Copenhagen takes just an hour and a half and costs as little as £45 return (Easyjet – search here) – so it’s a perfect candidate for a short trip / weekend away.
Between Nov – April you can expect average temperatures of -5deg to +5deg, and so coming to Copenhagen in the Winter months will mean packing a few extra layers. Particularly important if you plan on taking to the streets and exploring Copenhagen – TRUST ME ON THAT ONE.
The addition of layers in your suitcase can obviously begin to bulk it out. So depending on the duration of your stay and your ability to pack light – it may mean the additional cost of checking in hold luggage, something to bear in mind if you’re planning a budget getaway.
Daylight hours are also restricted during the Winter which is important to account for when planning your trip. Whilst we were there (end of Dec/ beg of Jan) the sun rose at around 8.45am and set around 3.45pm.
Although a summer and winter itinerary in Copenhagen will differ, Copenhagen is totally doable in Winter, as long as you are prepared clothing wise.
There is a ridiculous amount to entertain you in Copenhagen should you seek it, but equally, it also accommodates for a chilled getaway.
In my opinion, Copenhagen draws many a similarity to Amsterdam.
An abundance of waffle shops, bikes and canals, incredibly stunning architecture, the cutest of houses and Copenhagen even hosts Freetown Christiana – an independent district where cannabis is freely traded.
So incase you are heading to Copenhagen, have no idea how to tackle it and want to be sure to cover the best bits, I have put together my recommendations for your stay…

Day 1

  • Hop on a Canal Tour

Like Amsterdam there are a few (just not quite as many) canals running through this gorgeous city.
When first arriving, a canal tour is a great way to get your bearings and eye out spots to explore during your stay.
There is something so serene about the presence of water in a city and these canal tours allows you to see Copenhagen from a unique perspective.
TIP: Canal Tours Grand Tour of Copenhagen is FREE with the Copenhagen Card – see more here
  • Visit Nyhavn

The place you’ve seen on all the postcards and the image you most like already associate Copenhagen with.
You’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to take a photo – so make sure you check it off early in your visit.
  • GRAB A TRADITIONAL DANISH LUNCH

There are plenty of eateries around Nyhavn both along the canal and down the streets pouring off it.
We headed to Nyhavn on two occasions during our stay in Copenhagen opting the first time for something on the go, and the second time for something traditionally Danish.
The first occasion took us to a Bagel place where the girls grabbed a Rye bagel and filled it with their choices of protein, veg and salad, whilst I opted for Wok On (opposite) where i had a vegetable and chicken stir fry in a Peanut sauce.
Both – highly recommended and around £6 each 60 DKK.
Our second visit to Nyhavn had us seek out something a little more traditional.
A Danish cuisine you are guaranteed to run across during your stay is a ‘Smørrebrød’ (translates to butter and bread) which is an open sandwich with a dark Rye base. Popular toppings include cold cuts, pieces of meat / fish, cheeses, chutneys and pickles.
We stumbled upon Brooklyn Bar, tucked away along one of the side streets & dug into into a selection of Smørrebrød’s.
I can highly recommend the Rolled pork and Scrambled egg with Smoked Salmon ones!
Each dish was between 59-89 DKK (£5.90-8.90).
TIPS: 
– Eating along the canal in Nyhavn is quite pricey, you can expect to pay 130-270 DKK (13-27£) for a main course on the canal.
– Copenhagen is renowned for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe, so combine that with being in the most popular tourist attraction here, Nyhavn, it’s clear to understand why the prices are that bit higher.
The canal is beautiful though so if you aren’t on a strict budget – it’s a perfect addition to your trip.
  • Visit The Little Mermaid

This iconic danish sculpture is now over 100 years old and was a piece of art commissioned by Carl Jacobsen and created by Edvard Erikson in 1909 after Carl fell in love with the mermaid character in a ballet performance of Hans Christian Andersons fairytale – The Little Mermaid.
The mermaid is about a 15 minute walk further north of Nyhavn.
When you arrive at ‘The Little Mermaid’ you will no doubt be greeted by a crowd of happy snapping tourists and not much else.
When we were there there were coffee, hot dog and pancake stands  to warm you up from the chilly winter winds.
There is also a bus stop besides this hotspot.
TIPS:
– Public transport in Copenhagen is FREE with the Copenhagen Card – see more here
– The walk along the river from Nyhavn is unsheltered walk so if its windy it will be RATHER CHILLY and you’ll need a cosy coat.
– Arrive at The Little Mermaid early if you want to avoid the crowds.
  • Wander through Strøget

This 1km stretch of car free, pedestrian friendly street boasts a wealth of well known shops from budget friendly stores to luxury shopping experiences.
Here you will be able to pick up souvenirs, grab a coffee or listen to talented street entertainers.
TIP: Barisso Coffee serves a great Cappuccino (Starbucks equivalent – I think)
If you are here and hungry, there are a few eateries on the main strip but you will need to dive off the main stretch to gain a decent selection.
  • Visit Tivoli Gardens

When I asked you guys for recommendations in Copenhagen, 90% of you included a trip to Tivoli Gardens in your response & rightly so.
Tivoli Gardens is the Winter Wonderland of Copenhagen
& the ultimate provider of festive vibes.
This popular amusement park is located in the heart of the City Centre (near central station).
Here you can have a go on Tivoli’s oldest and most popular ride – the wooden rollercoaster, one of only 7 rollercoasters in the world that has a brakeman on every train, alongside many other rides.
If ferris wheels and rollercoasters aren’t your thing, you can instead nestle between the exotic gardens for something to eat in one of the restaurants, wander around the shops or, my favourite option, grab a glass of gløgg (mulled wine).
TIPS
– Entrance to Tivoli Gardens is is FREE with the Copenhagen Card – see more here
– When we visiting in the evening it was -3 degrees so wandering isn’t as attractive an option. During winter maybe have a little wander with a glass of gløgg and plan to dine here.

Day 2

  •  Visit Rosenborg Castle

Built in the early 17th Century and located in King’s Garden this Royal Hermitage hosts the crown jewels and sits in the most beautiful of settings.
The perfect spot for a run, a wander,to satisfy the historian in you or to combination with a visit to the Botanical Gardens nearby.
  • Explore Nørrebro

Often described as vibrant and youthful this district of Copenhagen reminded me a lot of Shoreditch in London.
Sophisticated coffee shops, a quirky dress sense, walls filled with Graffiti (heart of the artistic individual) and shopped filled with vintage wear.
The only street we had time to explore here was Jægersborggade.
Here we nipped straight out of the sharp -5deg air into The Coffee Collective and snuggled up with a coffee and a danish sweet pastry.

 

  • Dine at Cocks and Cows

This award winning restaurant serves only the best burgers.
(110 DKK av. for a burger and chips)
They have a few locations in Copenhagen and I can definitely vouch for a visit here.

Day 3

  • Explore on a bike

    It goes without saying that should you come to Copenhagen and the weather be anything more than mild – you should grab a bike and explore on wheels.

Bikes have their own bike lanes here in Copenhagen and you can rent a bike for just 60 DKK a day.

Bikes are hands down my favourite way to explore a city, but honestly, when it’s -5 degrees outside and you have no balaklava to hand – cycling is just a no go.  The exact situation we found ourselves in during our visit 🙁

A good enough reason to come back!

  • Explore Freetown Christiana

Estabilished in 1971 by a group of hippies, this green and car free neighbourhood has their own set of rules and is completely independant from the Danish government.
Consisting of art galleries, workshops, homemade houses, organic eateries and gorgeous nature, it’s most certainly a unique place to visit.
Tip:  Upon entrance into Christiana you will see a set of ‘do’s and dont’s’ which you are highly advised to follow for your own safety and include rules such as ‘no photos’, which is mainly due to the existence of hash dealing.
  • View from Christiansborg Palace Tower

Sitting at 106 metres the Christiansborg Palace Tower is the highest tower in Copenhagen and boast gorgeous views over the whole city.
Unfortunately access to the Tower was closed during my stay in Copenhagen but should you seek gorgeous city views like me – definitely go! And take a picture for me! 🙂
If you want to further your experience you can dine at the Towers’ restaurant – see more here
  • Visit one of the markets

Copenhagen boasts a variety of markets, some of which are just open in the Summer, understandably, as they are located outside.
Don’t fear though – there are still some options during your winter visit to Copenhagen…
  • Dine at a Restaurant with a view

Because there is nothing better after a cold day exploring than snuggling up inside with a gorgeous view and tucking into some good grub.
Recommendations:
– The Tower, Christiansborg Palace
– Sky Bar and Restaurant
– Alberto K
– Sticks’n’Sushi, Tivoli Hotel
This is obviously just my suggested itinerary but should your hobbies / preferences differ from mine, you can see everything Copenhagen has to offer here on the Official Copenhagen website.

Accommodation…

There is a wide variety of accommodation on offer in Copenhagen including hostels, hotels and apartments, and as always you can always grab a unique added value stay through Airbnb.
 
I stayed in the Anderson Boutique Hotel during my trip, located a 2 minute walk from central station & walking distance from everything. Gorgeous rooms, service and the most delicious breakfast buffet.

Getting from the Airport:

For around 36DKK (£3.60) you can get the train from Platform 2 to Københavns Hovedbanegaard (Central station).

Health & Fitness:

– there are lots of juice shops (including Joe and The Juice), organic eateries and gluten free options in Copenhagen
–  if you fancy a gym session during your trip we went to Fitness World (view the locations here) 100 DKK for a day pass, 200 DKK for a week pass

Nightlife:

 – During our stay we went to a night at HIVE for new year which was amazing! Centrally located and full of house music.

*The Copenhagen Card*:

– Free admission to 74 museums and attractions
– Free public transport by bus train and metro
– Discounts on restaurants, attractions and entertainment

Need to book accommodation? Here’s £30 off your first AirBnb booking – my budget travel godsend!

Or search for the best hostels / hotels here

Have you been to Copenhagen?

What did you think? Where did you visit? I’d love to know! ?

I’d love to know!

Thank YOU guys for reading <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

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