They say that the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world and with their love of hygge and the splendid open sandwich, how could they not be. There may not be many times in life that you find yourself with a brief 24 hour sojourn in Copenhagen, one of the best small cities in the world. But should you, then here’s how to spend your time wisely, without spending a fortune.
Hotels, especially in the summer can be eye wateringly expensive, particularly if they’re right in town so stay a little way out. With the Copenhagen metro system being cheap (a 24 hour tourist ticket will set you back around £10) and very efficient, getting around is easy. We stayed at the CPH Studio Hotel at Amager which is ten minutes from the airport and seven minutes into town. Rooms are well sized if basic but we were upgraded to one with a balcony. The best part? The view of the Oresund Bridge from the roof terrace – a must for all Scandi noir drama lovers. We paid £110 for the night in June through Hotels.com or you can try the website at www.cphstudiohotel.dk for deals. On a previous trip we stayed at the Admiral Hotel which is an old converted warehouse on the water – a great stay but only off season when you can get a deal. The summer months are expensive but if you’re only there overnight, worth a treat.
Copenhagen is a great town for just wandering and wander we did. If you walk along the water’s edge in front of the Admiral Hotel, you’ll come to the Little Mermaid and the Kastellet which is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. An oasis of green in the midst of the city it’s a mecca for runners and walkers and a quiet spot for a pre- lunch walk. Café Oscar was our choice for lunch, not least because they serve the famous Danish open sandwich for which I had a hankering and which didn’t disappoint. At £10 it was a bargain and washed down with a glass of rose, hit the Sunday lunch spot perfectly. Roast beef on rye bread with remoulade, pickles and fried onions was excellent as was the warm pate. The place itself, which is old fashioned charming, was buzzing with ladies who lunch, families and a few tourists so booking is very necessary.
You could also join the zillions of cyclists and hire a bike, some of which come with iPad style sat navs to keep you on the straight and narrow and the right side of the road! Copenhagen is a flat city so cycling is not an arduous task. There are also boat trips available on the canals which are well worth the £8 or so that they’ll set you back. It’s fascinating to see how the city dwellers live and see things from a different perspective including the most impressive opera house designed by Henning Larsen and of course Nyhavn 20, also known as the Boel House where Hans Christian Andersen lived when he had his first fairytale published. On our trip we also breakfasted at Nyhavn – arguably the prettiest spot in Copenhagen and a must see even if you only have a coffee there. It’s the very essence of Copenhagen; very friendly and full of Danish hygge, even in the summer with candles burning and rugs on chairs for chilly evenings.
There are of course museums, galleries and the Tivoli gardens to visit if time is not of the essence, but if you only have a short amount on your hands, then make sure you at least have the sandwich!!
We flew with EasyJet for £26 each way from Gatwick.
Words: Amber Beard
Pictures: Christine Taylor