After leaving India we made our way to Europe, stopping over in Dubai for a few nights. Let me tell you, what a big change of pace. Weather, culture, people, food, architecture, and just EVERYTHING about it! The first three days in Europe I was SO jet lagged and tired. A month spent in India going from North to South, ending with a challenging wellness retreat, stopping in Dubai for 4 days and a change of almost 30 degrees Celsius in weather -yes from 45 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees! It was a pretty drastic change to say the least. I loved India so much, but it is intense! After a month we were both definitely ready to move on.
We were so excited to be finally arriving in Europe and to spend the next few months there. When thinking about Europe, I always think about all the wonderful things it has to offer – cafes, delicious food, walkable cities, romance, diverse languages, history rich, stunning architecture, and so much more. It is a special place. Each country has something unique to offer and you can easily hop from one country to another in a short period of time. Our favorite method of transportation was by train. It is so easy and convenient, you get stunning views, and they are super comfy! We used the app Rome to Rio and Go Euro for information on train options including times and prices.
Travelling for a few months in our year abroad, there was one major downside for us. It can be damn expensive! Especially when coming from India and your first stops were some of the most expensive places in Europe (Stockholm, Copenhagen and Switzerland). We had severe sticker shock upon arrival …
As soon as we arrived we were craving good coffee and wowee, the coffee is SO DAMN GOOD all throughout Europe! We started off strong and went to a café patio twice a day for the first few days there, quickly realizing that this was not realistic for our budget. The cost of a coffee and cake was about $7 Canadian each and adding up to $22 per day! We went back to our Nescafe instant coffee (black) and the odd coffee purchase every other day.
Our first stop in Europe was Stockholm and we really enjoyed it. A great start to our European adventures. However, when we arrived to Copenhagen which was right after we quickly realized that it was on another level (in our opinion). So, let me dive right into this amazing city of Copenhagen aka KOBENHAVN with some fun facts about the city:
Fun fact #1: 50% of Copenhageners commute to work every day on bicycle – come rain or shine.
Fun fact#2: Copenhagen hopes to be carbon neutral by 2025, hence making it one of the greenest cities in the world.
Fun fact #3: Within Copenhagen is an area called Christiania: a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents. Anything goes here, and cannabis trade is allowed.
Fun fact #4. It is common for locals to have a picnic or drinks in the cemeteries of Copenhagen
Fun fact #5: The UN World Happiness Report has rated Danes as the happiest people on earth two years in a row.
Fun fact #6. Danish pastry is actually called “wienerbrød” or “Viennese bread”
Fun fact #7: LEGO is Danish 😊
The general vibe in Copenhagen is laid back, hipster, bike friendly , all tied together with a nice European bow. It has a strong patio lifestyle- no matter how chilly it is outside you will see lots of people sitting on a patio with a pint and blankets. Danes love being outdoors in general and parks can be found all over the city.
We stayed just outside the downtown area, in an area called Teglholmen. We chose this area since it was the more affordable option on Airbnb. The area wasn’t too busy and had everything we needed nearby. It was also easy to get to the main city center by boat, bus or bike. But if you have the budget to stay downtown CPN, then I would recommend that option since commute times are much shorter.
The highlight for us was biking around Copenhagen. Mario got cursed at a few times for being in the wrong bike lanes, but other than that it was so much fun! We loved the bike-friendly nature of the city, which included an elevated laneway just for bikers with their own dedicated traffic lights and lots of bike racks all over the city. Rentals were scattered across the city so you could easily pick one up. Out of all the cities visited this year so far, my husband and I would say that it is somewhere we could see ourselves living – in another life…lol
We covered a lot of grounds but didn’t get to do everything on our list. Here are my top recommendations for your visit to CPN:
- Nyhaven – cross the famous bridge Nyhavnsbroen, walk along the canal and stop for a drink or coffee on a patio.
2. Stoget – shopping district in a beautiful area of town. Stop for a coffee at Original Coffee. There is a balcony and you get a good view.
3. Freetown Christiania –a community of 850 residents that have its own laws and regulations . You are able to buy, smoke and eat cannabis in this part of town and it is legal. Even if not your thing it is cool to see! Side note: pictures are not allowed here.
4. Nightlife in Meatpacking district – lots of clubs and bars. If you want a more upscale/posh night go to Noho. For a more laid back/hipster vibe go to Mesteren & Laerlingen
5. Picnic in a park/gardens – go to Irmas (local grocery store) pick up some snacks and beer/cider and take it to Rosenborg Gardens (fancier garden) or Enghav-parken (more casual park)
6. Rent a bike and bike the entre city! – We used Donkey Republic, just download the app and find one and go!
7. Drink Beer /Cider – Carlsberg or LOCAL brew which is Danish . Try Kopparberg Cider – Elderflower/Lime is so good!
8. Puk Restaurant –Traditional Danish food and delicious! Order the smorrebrod and snaps for drinking! We met up with lovely friends here who are locals that recommended it!
9. Vesterbro Neighbourhood – nice to walk around and grab lunch. Stop for a burger at Vesterbro Original Burger Restaurant, they were so massive so we shared one!
10. Simple Raw – Healthy Eats with lots of gluten free and vegan options. Has delicious bowls and sweet potato fries
11. Little Mermaid – you can see it by the public transportation, ferry (to pass by and get pics from the boat) or bus stop nearby.
12. There are also many history and art museums that are beautiful to see. We didn’t get to see any as time ran out for us, but there are many popular ones like Rosenborg Museum, National Gallery , Amalienborg, etc.
Remember there is so much to see in Copenhagen and can be daunting, remember you can’t do it all. To just take it easy and stroll around is good enough!
Until next time,
Melly Fit xox