After visiting a beautiful and extremely Christmassy Amsterdam in December 2014, we fancied another hefty dose of Christmas spirit and we found it in spades in Copenhagen.
We flew in to Copenhagen from Luton, arriving late in the afternoon and used the very efficient Copenhagen metro to get to our hotel, the Wakeup Copenhagen Borgergade, which was nicely central and relatively cheap for an expensive city like Copenhagen.
We spent our first evening looking around the picturesque Nyhavn area which was beautifully lit with Christmas lights. This used to be the commercial port in Copenhagen but these days the tall houses and warehouses are restaurants and hotels. It was cold and pretty quiet with few people around so we headed back towards our hotel for a veggie burger at Hot Buns and an early night.
The next day we got up early and went to the bus stop at Kongens Nytorv to catch the public bus to Malmo across the Oresund bridge. Opened in 2000 the rail and road bridge links Copenhagen with Malmo making it easy for commuters and tourists to cross from Denmark to Sweden. We’d looked at taking one of the regular trains but since the rail link runs below the road deck, to get a view of the bridge itself it’s better to take the bus. We were lucky and managed to get the first two seats on the bus so had an awesome view of the whole journey.
Leaving Denmark, the road runs through a tunnel for the first 2.5 miles before emerging onto an artificial island, then starts climbing onto the bridge. The curve of the road means you can get a wonderful view of the four bridge towers.
Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden but on arriving in the city centre it was easy to get our bearings. We headed off across the Kungsparken to our first stop, the Science wing of Malmö Museum where there was an exhibition about TV show The Bridge. We both love the original Swedish/Danish crime show so it was fantastic to see props and costumes from the show, including Saga’s Porsche and leather trousers.
We looked around the rest of the small but very interesting museum. The best bit was getting to scramble through an original U3 submarine. It was pretty claustrophobic and I got stuck in one of the doors; I don’t think I’m cut out for life under the waves!
We headed back the way we came, stopping to admire the Turning Torso skyscraper, the tallest building in Scandinavia and another star of The Bridge. We walked into the old town, first visiting the main square, Stortorget, then heading around the corner to Lilla Torg, or Little Square. Built in 1592, this is one of the prettiest, most rustic squares I’ve seen in Europe. The giant table lamp in the centre added a touch of cool – this is Sweden after all.
Being Sweden, and December, it got dark and cold very early so after lunch in a very cool record shop/cafe/bar and a quick look round the shopping streets we headed back to the bus.
The next day, back in Copenhagen, we hit the sights.
The Little Mermaid, where we waved our flag for the #EUtour…
The Danish Design Museum…
The Amalienborg Palace…
Børsen, with its spire twirled by four dragons’ tails…
And of course Tivoli – unmissable on any visit to Copenhagen but especially at Christmas, when it’s lit by thousands of fairy lights and the gløgg flows.
The next day was clear, crisp and beautiful – perfect timing for a visit to the Rundetaarn. This tower was built in the 17th Century as a library and astronomical observatory but these days is most famous for its views and the unusual ramp rather than staircase which you use to climb to the top. It was designed like this so a horse and carriage could take books and heavy equipment up and down the tower. The views at the top are pretty stunning but the ramp itself is mesmerisingly beautiful.
Although Copenhagen is an expensive city to be a tourist, it makes the perfect Christmas break. Getting there from the UK and into the city is super-easy, the shops are full of cool Danish present ideas and everything looks beautiful with the Christmas lights up. And then there’s Tivoli, which will just make your heart burst with Christmas spirit. I think I’ll be back…
We stayed at: Wakeup Copenhagen Borgergade
We saw: two countries; a big bridge; TV show memorabilia; Christmas spirit; Danish design
We ate: veggie burgers
We drank: gløgg