The trip so far:
It’s always a thrilling experience to arrive and feel at home someplace 5,000 miles from home. It’s one reason that returning to the same place years later, even with other destinations on offer, can be worth doing. It’s even more pronounced when you return, with a baby for the first time.
Almost exactly 4 years earlier, we traveled to Europe for the first time together as a couple, and Copenhagen was one of the first stops. Last time around we stayed a block from Tivoli Gardens in the Radisson Blu. It’s located right in the business/tourist district. We rented bikes from a shop around the corner, and toured the city (somewhat aimlessly, but with a plan).
The weather was unseasonably warm, and we enjoyed taking our (admittedly well worn, budget priced) bikes on the train to Dyrehaven, frequenting a quaint wine bar with friendly service, and staying out late (ish) to have ice cream sitting on the edge of the Nyhavn canal as the nightlife spilled out onto the streets around us from nearby bars and restaurants.
Copenhagen is (price point aside) a thoroughly livable city, which is what we liked about it. It has plenty of attractions, architecture, and culture all fit into a manageable footprint. There’s no high-rise skyline- few buildings are over 15 or 20 stories at most, and these are the exception to the rule. The old parts of the city are well preserved, while the new structures are clean-cut, and modern to the point of being a Scandi version of avant-garde.
Everything is accessible by bike or train, and with the possible exception of unexpectedly wandering into Freetown Christiana, easy to navigate without ever really feeling lost. This is also the reason, along with the family-friendly culture, that we decided to give it a repeat visit, now as parents.
So, back to the current trip report! We took the short flight direct from Helsinki on Finnair. Through our Oneworld status, we had access to the Schengen area lounge. It’s nice and ultra-modern, with plenty of food and drinks for free. We grabbed a few seats, and Baby Flyer thoroughly enjoyed going up and down the few steps nearby. In fact, she managed them by herself for the first time! It’s the little memories….
There was a small kids’ area in a corner, but it was smaller than one might expect for a lounge of this size, but a nice thought anyway. Baby Flyer was having too much fun hanging out with us to play in it anyway.
Our flight went by quickly, and the service was good. As Oneworld elites, we could check bags for free, pre-select our seats, and were served free drinks even though we had purchased the lowest level fare. One more reason to pay attention to who you fly, even for short hops abroad. What looks like a cheaper fare with a competitor can come with some hefty fees you’re not used to having to think about.
All that fun in the lounge finally tired Baby Flyer out, and she spent the trip taking her nap. Quite unlike her, the nap even continued through deplaning, and all the way to baggage.
Our next destination was our Airbnb townhome on Oster Farimagsgade, in the city center, near the botanical gardens and lakes. We bought tickets for the Metro, headed for the Norreport station, but ended up on the regular train by mistake. As it turned out, all ended well, and this train was headed for that station also. Thankfully, no one checked our tickets! For the return trip, we had it sorted out. Both the trains and the metro here are good options to get to town, depending on your final destination. The main difference at the outset is that the metro doesn’t go through the central station, stopping at Christenhavn and Kongens Nytorv instead.
Our Airbnb was wonderful, quirky, and homey- everything you want in a stay in Denmark, right down to the little Danish flags everywhere. This is standard, the Danes put their flag on everything! Might have something to do with it being the oldest one still in use…. might be a viking thing, who knows.
The place was two stories, with a terrace and loft on the top floor. It was modern but cozy, and fully furnished. As per usual, the thing that took the most adjusting to for us Americans was the bathroom, as the shower water just drained right from the tile floor, and would flood much of the space if it ran long enough. But once again, this is par for the course in many of the old buildings in this area. We (mostly) got used to it. Plus, it would be far from the last water-related incident we learned to deal with on this trip.
More to come….grab your umbrella…
~CET, CAR & Baby Flyer