Europe Summer 2016 – Copenhagen Day 2

This post is written by Katie about her day in Copenhagen (and last full day in Europe – for this trip).

I woke up around 9am to head to the 10am Copenhagen Free Walking Tours “Grand Tour of Copenhagen”. The tour was meeting close to Urban House on the City Hall Steps, so I just stopped at a 7-11 on the way to the city hall. Sadly, this breakfast of a bagel and a liter of milk cost as much as my grocery store dinner had the previous night.

The buildings and streets in Copenhagen are so colorful.

This three hour tour visited many of the popular tourist sites in Copenhagen including: The City Hall, Christiansborg palace, the old city center, Nyhavn, and the Royal Palace Amalienborg. The guide was an Indian guy from Banglore who had come to Copenhagen to get a master’s in sustainable buildings and fell in love with the city in the meantime.

The reality of visiting the Little Mermaid during the day
Kastellet was a nice place to wander
Nyhavn, where everyone loves to take photos

After this tour I walked to The Little Mermaid statue (which was crowded with tourists) and then to Kastellet (one of the oldest remaining star-shared fortresses in Europe). From Kastellet I walked to Nyhavn for more views and then to Højbro Plads where the 4pm Copenhagen Free Walking Tours “Tour of Christianshavn” began.

This 90 minute tour saw a more alternative side of Copenhagen. The tour walked “down winding cobblestone streets, past unique churches and right up to the door of the Free Town of Christiania”. Our guide explained what we would see inside Christiania and left us at the main gate since it is illegal for guides to give tours through the Free Town.

Christiania home brew from Indkøbscentralen

I wandered with a group of six other people from the tour to find Indkøbscentralen – a beer stand in the Free Town that sells a special Christiania beer for just 12DKK. We eventually found the white building, bought some beers, and sat outside enjoying music from a free form band down the street. Behind us, there was an old school, makeshift playground that would never pass safety inspections in the US.

Pumpkin soup from Morgenstedet – it was surprisingly fulling

After enjoying our beers, five of us decided to go get dinner. I had no cash, but Wendy was kind enough to lend me some cash until we found an ATM (since Christiania is completely cash based and there were no ATMs nearby). We had hoped to eat at Spiseloppen, but found it was closed. Instead, we walked back across Christiania and ate at Morgenstedet. We ordered a variety of their dished – I ordered the daily soup special of pumpkin soup for 50DKK – and we all thought everything was very good.

The five of us at the entrance to Christiania

Christiania is an interesting place where we found cannabis being bought and sold openly on ‘Pusher Street’. It was strange to witness such a scene! Off Pusher Street, there were many people chilling, a free open air concert, many vegetarian restaurants, and just a really unique vibe. I certainly would not mind going back to Christiania and exploring the community more.

After dinner we decided to wander towards the Little Mermaid. I was enjoying their company – and I really wanted to pay Wendy back despite her insistence that it wasn’t a big deal – so I decided to walk towards the Little Mermaid with them.

Nyhavn is even better at sunset and with fun people!

We ended up hitting beautiful but touristy Nyhavn street just before sunset. There were less tourists out and the lighting was pretty sweet. I found an ATM here, and we all decided to get ice cream (which also had the added benefit of helping me break the 100DKK note that the ATM forced upon me). The ice cream store had an interesting money machine that dealt with all of the cash transactions automatically.

We all enjoyed our ice cream as we walked towards the Little Mermaid. I had gotten a very sweet cookies and cream as well as a pistachio flavored ice cream.

At sunset, we were able to get a group picture with the Little Mermaid

Amy was super excited about the Little Mermaid, so we all relaxed there for a while. After enjoying it, we decided to start walking back towards all of our individual hostels together. One by one we broke off until I was left heading the final part back to Urban House.

It was really cool how the five of us met on the Christiania tour and then decided to keep hanging out. This was my first real ‘backpacker bonding’ experience, which was fun. Somewhat comically, three of our five of us were heading home the next morning which somewhat put a damper on what otherwise might have been a fun, late night.

I was surprised to find the lights still on in my dorm when I returned. The Egyptian girl was getting ready to go to sleep, but we chatted a bit while I packed. I finally got in bed just before 1am.

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