For as long as I can remember, I wanted to go on a trip with my significant other to Europe, and Bollywood, in part, is to blame for this. These movies made every part of Europe seem dreamy and romantic. So I was thrilled when Abhi announced he would be flying to Europe for a conference (of course, I was going to tag along!). Copenhagen wasn’t where I imagined we would be going in Europe. I was skeptical because October can be cold in Denmark and cold vacations are out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, we decided to embrace the situation, and it was totally worth it! Rounding up some of our favorite Danish moments, memories, and things we hoped to do differently:
Exploring the city alone - Abhi arrived a couple of days prior to me and had a chance to explore most of the touristy locations with his colleagues. So, I planned on heading out on my own when I got there. The evening I arrived, he showed me the ropes of the metro and handed me a map. The next day I set out on a mission of covering all the spots he had seen. It took me 7 hours and I only got lost about 70 times, but I had a blast soaking in the gorgeous architecture of the castles, the lovely colors of fall, walking down the cobblestone streets, and enjoying quiet moments in quaint cafes.If you decide to explore the place alone don't worry, Copenhagen is known to be extremely safe (fun fact - we heard that Copenhagen is so safe that people don't even lock their bicycles ) and you can always ask the friendly people on the street for directions.
Packing/ Weather - Like I said, I was anticipating the cold weather, but anticipation didn’t make it better. Much like California, Copenhagen also requires you to dress in layers ( well, warm layers) in October. It can get cold walking from one place to another, but the restaurants, coffee shops are other places are toasty and warm! Never EVER forget to pack an umbrella if you visit in this season. The umbrella was the main reason our plans were not dampened by the rain.
Our stay - Given the most of my husband’s stay was covered we didn’t worry too much about the hotels. We stayed the first 2 nights at Bella Sky Hotel. The room was small but clean and had really nice Scandinavian design appeal. My favorite piece was the bathroom cart & the lobby lights! So simple, sleek & functional. We opted of eating any meals in the hotel but the one thing I have to mention is this was hotel had filtered water bubbles to refill your bottle. So, Copenhagen has a 10 DKK fee for an unlimited water at restaurants etc. It was so nice to fill up our bottles here for free before heading out. Ideally, we wanted to rent an Airbnb for the rest of our stay but it worked out rather expensive so we settled on the Radisson Blu Scandinavia. I wasn’t a fan of this hotel. The room, lobby and overall experience was disappointing and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Trains & Metros - My European friends always talk about their public transport system in almost every conversation and now I get why. Even in a small place like Copenhagen, there are several trains, buses, and multiple routes to keep the city extremely connected. The only cab I took was when I landed. We even lugged our luggage in the metro train on our way out. The metro train we most used was automated, always on time, well connected, and very clean. Three things worthy of mention here, though: both our hotels were very close to the metro line, so we used that a lot, but you will need a credit card with a pin number to buy your tickets; for the buses you will need local Danish currency, which we were not carrying with us; you can also buy a Copenhagen card for all public transport, which I wish we knew because it seems to the most economical option. The last thing to remember is that if you buy day passes, always hold onto your ticket. The trains may be automatic but there is a lot of checking and if you lose or throw away a ticket you can be fined up to 750 DKK, almost $100.
P.S: Next week I am sharing 5 things I noticed and a vegetarian food guide in Copenhagen with tips from a local. Stay tuned!