One of my goals for 2017 was to travel alone. While I did live in Sweden for 6 months back in 2010, the experience was slightly different in my opinion considering I was there as an exchange student and not as a simple tourist. I made this promise to myself because I was tired of waiting on other people to explore the world, either because my friends are teachers and therefore only available in high season or because they would most likely escape with a boyfriend/girlfriend. But let’s face it: I’m a bit of a wimp and I was scared to wander in foreign streets by myself, mostly because I thought I would be bored to death. I’m an introvert and I gladly enjoy my own company but for me, the joys of traveling include discovering and exchanging views. Sharing is the key word. So I thought I would aim for a European country as my destination and a weekend as the length of my stay, just to test the waters. Copenhagen quickly came to mind.
So what happened? I loved it. I loved the freedom to go at my own pace, to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The liberty to relax in Kongens Have and people-watch, to find “hygge” in a little café when it started raining, to have a random chat with a local while eating some smørrebrød at Papirøen, to run to see the Little Mermaid at sunset, to hop on a bus just to admire the Grundtvig’s Church, to take a walk at Amagerstrand in the early morning or to linger on the Strøget to listen to a busker (hej Frederik Konradsen!) or to catch a glimpse of Gigi Hadid (true story! – check out the vlog below). I must admit that food taste better when surrounded by nice people but when I think about it, the only moment I really felt lonely was at Tivoli Gardens, especially in thrill rides. People were probably wondering why on earth did I go solo to a theme park but I just love the magic of the amusement parks and the Roller Coaster, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world (the lady was operating it from the ride itself, standing!) was definitely worth the visit! Also, it was quite interesting to notice that I don’t scream and laugh as much when there’s no one next to me to encourage this loud behavior. Christiania, the “free town”, was also out of my comfort zone: I missed the group visit and have been welcomed by dozens of men staring at me around stalls reeking of weed. Needless to say that the paranoid that I am was out of there after 10 minutes. This wouldn’t stop me to come back to Denmark someday, just to chill some more and, maybe this time, check out a few museums as well.
Lonely yes, but I did have fun…
CPH Studio Hotel
Ideally located 10 minutes away from the airport and from the city center, this hotel got me at first sight with its HAY furniture and its stripped down and practical design, but also with the beach (Amagerstrand) nearby (10min by foot!). The staff is incredibly sweet and the room has a little kitchenette which I always appreciate when I don’t opt for an Airbnb as I like to have the possibility to cook a quick meal after a long day of exploring. You can get 15€ off on Booking by clicking on this link when planning your next trip.
As stated above, the proximity of the beach was a big factor for me when choosing my accommodation: there’s something about the sea that is so calming… There’s nothing like the breeze and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore to help me feel centered again.
Looking like the attic of an eccentric grandma, this bakery near Amalienborg is one of the oldest cafés in Copenhagen and offers delicious pastries. Tested and approved: the kanelsnegl (cinnamon roll) and gulerodskage (carrot cake). The best pork sandwich ever is to be found at Meyers Deli (they even managed to make me love pickles!). When it comes to drinks, I went every day without fail at Joe & the Juice to get my Avo Shake. Papirøen, the temporary street food market where I tried delicious smørrebrød, is just a feast for all your senses but is now unfortunately closed. Keep your eyes peeled thought ’cause they’re planning to open a new food market in May 2018!
Even though I got the wonderful idea to keep all the most touristic sights of Copenhagen for the last day where I blessed by a beautiful sun, the first two days were rather gloomy. The glasshouses of the Botanisk Have did the trick to forget the greyness, with a high temperature, the occasional waterfall, but most importantly, the luxurious vegetation.
Although I left the place with empty hands (I’m trying to calm down a bit with my CD collection), this shop is heaven for any music lover who needs physical copies of their favorites masterpieces. You’ll find a very nice selection of vinyls and CDs in all genres, with interesting bundle deals for the most voracious ears.
I initially didn’t plan to visit that church and didn’t even know about its existence until I decided to browse Instagram for some extra inspiration. Although a bit far from the city main attractions (about 30min by bus), this expressionist design by Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint is truly a must-see if you like architecture. As impressive inside as it is outside!
You can find out more about what I’ve been up to in this modest travel vlog, with the tinkling voice and sincere poetry of my latest musical crush in the background: the London-based songwriters RUE. Abena from Without Further Adu made me discover the song Seasons a few weeks before editing the video and it’s been on repeat ever since.