Lizzie Churchill | Fashion Photographer

Travel Diary: Copenhagen

Copenhagen, a weekend exploring the city with a day trip to Sweden.

From the moment Lewis told me his favourite supercar manufacturer was in Sweden, I knew it was a trip I wanted to make happen for him; I wasn’t even sure tours were even offered or available but I looked into making it happen. What else was I to do for a car obsessed boy on his Birthday?! So after a few emails back and forth to the organisers at Koenigsegg, a little bit of waiting and a conversation with a friend (who suggested staying in Copenhagen and driving across) our trip was in place.

I was obviously delighted to be spending the weekend in Copenhagen; famous for scandinavian design, nordic comforts, artisan coffee and the idyllic ‘hygge’ lifestyle I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and explore the most ‘livable city’ in the happiest country in the world. I was, however sliiiiightly concerned about the price I would have to pay for this all. When turning to good old Instagram for general tips and advice, I was told it was probably the second most expensive place to visit after Iceland (which I’ll be visiting in December). *Gulp*. Safe to say I picked my timings well. Who needs to eat anyway?

I’d been looking at places to stay pretty much all year on Airbnb knowing this trip was set in place but it wasn’t until two weeks before (I know!) that the most beautiful little apartment came up in the gorgeous and popular district of Vestebro and I knew it was meant-to-be. It was just what I was looking for, very reasonably priced, perfectly placed and only a 5 minute walk from the station which sits in the centre.

Split into 7 main districts, Copenhagen’s centre can be divided into the following areas of Christiana, Indre By (town centre), Nørrebro, and Vesterbro which is also know as the meat packing district

Starting locally, we began with the meat packing district for a coffee at Prolog then meandered our way around eventually  stopping for tapas at the beautiful Café Mandala then spent the afternoon at Tivoli.

Friday was the big day, the main exhibit and the day Lewis had been waiting many years for. The Koenigsegg factory tour; and my goodness it didn’t disappoint. We weren’t allowed cameras inside (for obvious reasons) so I don’t really have a lot to share from it but thoroughly enjoyed driving through the Swedish countryside to Ängleholm and crossing the Øresund bridge into Sweden and back.

If you’re looking to hire a car in Copenhagen then GoMore is a pretty popular Danish car rental app that works like Airbnb but as a first time user, the sign up and approval required for renting a car was more complicated than it needed to be for one day, so I booked with Sixt car hire who also sorted my bridge passes out. (This costs about €40-50 and needs to be paid for BEFORE you cross)

If a scooter is more your style, you can always download the ‘VOI’ app which allows you to locate and rent a scooter as and when you please; and there are plenty of them!

The best way by far to get around the city however has to be (you guessed it) by bike! There are SO so many bikes it’s utter madness but with huge cycle lanes, your own traffic light system and clearly marked roads I’d honestly never felt so safe cycling in and out of the city centre! The Danes are vigilant with rules so stick to the lanes and don’t even think about crossing a red light. We managed to peddal 30-35k in a day, covering all the furthest spots I wanted to visit as well as taking some time out at a beach I’d spotted which was just the dreamiest. We passed restaurant Babylon on Pebble lake on our way out to Superkilen before heading out to Churchill Park, St Alban’s church, the Gefion fountain and the little mermaid. From here we cycled to the one and only Nyhavn; known for its beautifully bright and colourful 17th century buildings and architecture as well as home to Han’s Christian Anderson for many years. It was an incredible spot for eating, drinking, people watching but was also ridiculously over-populated with people looking to ‘document’ the moment. 

Passing through the lawless ‘freetown’ commune of Christiana, (where canabis is traded and consumed openly) it was impressive to see the amount of houses built from scratch using only found materials by the residents and locals. However I was definitely more happy to arrive at the beach for a swim and an hour of soaking up the sun. The long stretch of dunes at Amager strandpark and the bathing pools of Charlottenlund Søbad were definitely the most idyllic part of the city.

On our last full day we spent the morning at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek which has the most incredible collection of art and statues from ancient Greece Egypt and Italy; I loved the botanical winter garden at the centre of the museum and egyptian room most (which is open late on a Thursday) The afternoon was spent wandering into the centre to visit Hay House, a few shops and to climb the Round Tower before heading ‘home’ for Pizza and a pint at Mother (which cost me £48 for 2 of us). 

I had the most amazing time and experience while in Copenhagen and can honestly say it was the most happy, innovative, active and trustworthy place I’ve been. The city is clean, everyone is kind and they’re all fluent in English; I swear they could tell a mile off I didn’t stretch far beyond Hej, Tak and farvel but I was very grateful for the ease of communication.

Other places I didn’t make it to but would like to add are;

Design Museum

Boat tour

Amalienborg Palace

Rosenborg Castle

Botanical Gardens

Paper Island

Refshaleøen (Reffen) 

Thanks again to my wonderful host Adam for having us. I’ll be back to continue eating and drinking my way around this magical little city.

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