København, Part I

Thomas had Thursday, Friday, and Monday off of work for the Easter holidays here in Denmark. To take advantage of this time, we decided to explore Denmark’s capital city, since previously we had only visited the Copenhagen airport (which was very nice). Travelling from Aarhus to Copenhagen by train takes about three hours, depending on how many stops it makes. It was comfortable ride and a great way to see the Danish countryside. The train travels south from Aarhus to Odense and then crosses the Great Belt Bridge to Zealand.

Great Belt Bridge

After we arrived, we navigated to our hotel, which was literally on the other side of the train tracks. Before traveling to Copenhagen, I did some research to narrow down the list of things to see while we were there. Our Danish coffee date hosts advised us to buy a postcard of the Little Mermaid instead of seeing it in person because it was the Danish equivalent of lame. So with some vague plans, we were ready to conquer Copenhagen Our spacious hotel room.

Our first vague goal was to find dinner and go to the Mikkeller bar, which Thomas had come across magically, and is rumored to be the best brewery in Denmark. After wandering around, rejecting the Hard Rock Cafe twice, we found a nice Indian place that was super tasty. We made our way to Mikkeller and tried several of their beers. Mikkeller

The beers were all very good, pretty comparable to what you might find on the American craft beer scene. Then, like the party people we are, we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

In Denmark, the weather never cooperates with anyone. On day two we woke up to snow, wind, and overcast skies. We had heard about a tour of the Danish parliament, conducted in English, so we went early to get tickets. After taking our tickets out of a stack at the Parliament’s public entrance, we decided that since we were so close to many other obligatory tourist sites in the center of Copenhagen, we would explore until the tour, which was at one. The parliament is in Christiansborg Palace, which houses all three branches of the Danish government. From what I’ve read, it has burnt down multiple times since 1167 and the current palace is the third iteration.

After walking along the canal, we ran into Nyhavn, one of the major tourist attractions in Copenhagen. I’d seen many pictures of Nyhavn, but seeing the real thing was more impressive than I thought it was going to be. Lunch was multicultural; I had the worst craving for a burger and fries and Thomas kept it more traditional Danish style.


In Copenhagen, you are never more than a stones throw away from a palace/castle/church. Our next stop was Amalienborg, where (some of) the Danish royals reside. Obviously, the royals have other residences, including one that is used in the summer in Aarhus.

We didn’t stay long because we didn’t want to be late for our tour, which, wait for it…..was cancelled. Without explanation. Boo. After our disappointment, we decided to make our way to the Royal Museum for Fine Arts via the pedestrian only shopping/eating street called the Strøget. On the way we ran into the Rundetaarn (aka The Round Tower). For a small price, this was a very cool place to visit. It has been around since 1642 and was used as an observatory by University astronomers after the king kicked Tycho Brahe out of the country for some reason. Attached to the tower is a building that once held the University’s  library, which has been converted into a gallery and concert venue.

No stairs!

No stairs!

Royal Museum for Fine Arts was fine and looked like this:

Look, another castle! This one is called Rosenborg. It was originally built as a “summerhouse” and now serves as a giant closet where the Royal collections (of various things) are stored, which, for a price, you can tour.

Feeling snacky, we stopped at Lagkagehuset, which was a recommendation from our Danish instructor back in Minneapolis who had studied in Copenhagen. I had a glorified pop tart called a hindbærsnitter (okay, it was much better than a pop tart) and Thomas had some cake thing.


We were pretty tired after walking around all day and headed back to our hotel. Given that it was a holiday, there were not many places still open, so we ate street food for dinner. Little did we know the next night we would have the best dinner since we’ve moved to Denmark. To be continued……

2 thoughts on “København, Part I

  1. Heather! Another entertaining story — thanks for the map — ever since you left, I have been meaning to look at Denmark and haven’t. Thanks for doing my homework for me.Good perspective. Love that round tower! I am so glad you got to spend a tourist-y weekend there. Looks like fun! Also, I saw Hamlet recently and it made me think about you living in the land of the royals. Tell us about that sometime. What a weird thing. Is it low key, or are you ever-aware of a King and Queen?- MA

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