En route to spending New Year’s Eve with Lisa and Lee in their new hometown of Växjö, Sweden, Kerry and I flew into Copenhagen as it was the most convenient location to travel to. And I had the bonus of ticking another country off of my list! Having been crazy busy with work, Amsterdam and then Christmas I had given no thought to what I wanted to do with my afternoon/evening in Copenhagen and nor had Kerry! So, it was with a blank slate that we landed in Denmark after a lovely flight where I gazed at beautiful cloud formations and snow-covered landscapes, and headed to meet Lisa and Lee for some unplanned fun.
So with only limited trepidation Kerry and I made our way from the airport to central station. The one piece of research I had managed before travelling was that to do this we needed to get a train not a metro! This was after the airport’s website said that onward travel could be confusing, but luckily everything was provided in dual language and really was not any more complicated than travelling in other large European cities.
When we arrived at Copenhagen Central I decided we should try and work out which train Lisa and Lee would be arriving on. So, we headed to the arrivals board to only realise that a. we didn’t know the name of the town they lived in and b. couldn’t work out which trains were international and which were Danish only. Luckily, there was a tap on the shoulder from Lisa; coincidentally it turns out we had got onto their train at the airport!
After checking our baggage into storage for the afternoon, we headed out into the brisk -6°C weather. There was slushy snow on the ground, ice underfoot and a whole city to explore with absolutely no plan. So naturally, we looked out for a bar! After walking for 5 minutes we had not found one. Cue Lee: “This is what I miss about England. There’s a pub on every corner!” and with 15 seconds we walked straight into a rather dingy old-man pub. It was so smokey; something I am not used to! I did not realise that Denmark allowed smoking indoors so Lisa explained that Denmark is Sweden’s more liberal neighbour in a few different ways! We settled in and had a few beers before heading back into the cold.
Which is when we headed to Tivoli Gardens. Apparently, Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park and in the world! It looked incredible; all old-school rollercoasters and funfair rides, a lake, replica Taj Mahal, little shops and oodles of snow! Lee was feeling generous and bought us passes that allow access on all rides, rather than having to pay as you go so we entered and embarked on a little explore of the 21 acres and went on plenty of rides. Although, having looked at the website since returning home I have realised we missed out so many; we never even made it to the bumper cars!
My favourite rides were the Dæmonen rollercoaster and Rutschebanen which is the world’s oldest running rollercoaster that was originally built in 1914! Dæmonen was a really short ride, yet still managed to include numerous loops and g-force effects. It was particularly fun as it was dark, starting to snow and absolutely freezing; not the weather when I usually visit theme parks!
We wandered around the park for a few hours, freezing our fingers and toes off. But I loved it. The snow that lay everywhere made the gardens look like a wintery masterpiece, which then got better when the snow really started falling from the sky. Snow was at the top of my list of things I wanted to experience in Denmark/Sweden, so I was so pleased it happened in my first few hours!
Kerry and I went on the Star Flyer, which is a kind of spinning swing ride which whips you up a pole and gives 360-degree panoramic views of the park and the rest of Copenhagen. It was cold, windy and the snow viciously ripped into my eyeballs as we whizzed around. Needless to say, I was not able to look at the view very much as I had to pull my hat down over my eyes to protect them from the snow flying in!
The photos I took of Tivoli really do not do it justice. It is a perfect winter wonderland and I can see why it is a popular spot with both locals and tourists alike. Plenty of fun rides, games to try your luck on (we were shocking at archery) and numerous restaurants with menus that sounded delicious;although we sadly only had fast food! I also think it is the perfect location to people watch too!
My time in Copenhagen was very short, but I enjoyed it. I would definitely like to go back and actually explore more of the culture: museums, the mermaid statue, Nyhavn and just the city in general.