Copenhagen, Denmark: Europe’s Best-Kept Secret?

I was extremely fortunate to have been chosen as one of five staff members to attend and represent my school at the 2016 ECIS Conference (Educational Collaborative for International Schools) in Copenhagen this past November.

The conference was so incredibly interesting. Not only did I get to meet Americans and other nationals who are teaching at international schools around the world, I also got to attend some very interesting sessions, including some about blogging in the classroom, Cambridge exams, and more. Even better, as the conference finished at 15:30 every day, we had time to explore and do a little sightseeing ourselves (despite the fact that the sun sets in Copenhagen around 16h00).

I absolutely loved Copenhagen (although I had been once, six years ago, I feel like I appreciated it so much more this time around.) It had an ambiance that made it feel both livable and realistic. It’s a mix of Berlin and Amsterdam, but not as big or hectic or touristic or crazy. Even better: we arrived just as the Christmas market season was starting!

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Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli is the oldest operating amusement park in the world. It originally opened in August 1843 and had 4.7 million visitors in 2015. Although the entry price is steep, it is a must-see in Copenhagen. There are not only rides, but also bars, restaurants, shops, walkways, and more. We were lucky to arrive on the first day of the Christmas season, and got to see the park lit up and decorated for the holidays. Even better, the guards let us in for free (I’m still not quite sure how we managed that one!)

Nyhavn

The famous, picturesque port in Copenhagen is known as Nyhavn. It dates back to the 17th century, and is known as the canal and entertainment district of Copenhagen. The colors are vivid and 17th century townhouses, restaurants, bars, and cafés align the bustling streets. You may also leave from here to take a harbor tour of the city, and during the Christmas season, the Christmas market is in full swing.

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The Harbor

Copenhagen has great streets that are great for wandering, strolling, and exploring, especially near Nyhavn and the harbor area.

Christiania

This self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of 850 residents has been controversial since its creation in 1971.  It reminded me of certain areas of Berlin, as well as Camden Town Market in London. Originally for military use, Christiania is where Copenhagen’s squatters, collectivists, and hipsters convene and live amongst each other. The neighborhood and its people are known for the progressive, active lifestyle, and the main drag, Push Street, is known for its open hash and skunk weed sales. The community is best visited at dusk, when activity is at its peak. Photos are not encouraged, although we came back early Sunday morning for a different perspective. On Saturday night, we stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant, hidden on top of a sketchy, graffiti-ridden staircase, where I consumed the most amazing venison of my life.

 

City Center and Architecture:

I absolutely adored Copenhagen, and despite the high prices, I hope to go back to visit in the summer on day. I didn’t see nearly everything, but I experienced a lot more. Have you ever been?

Bisous,

Dana

 

14 thoughts on “Copenhagen, Denmark: Europe’s Best-Kept Secret?

  1. Hi! I’ll be going to Copenhagen for five days during my upcoming February break, and I was wondering if you’d recommend exchanging euros for kroners? Do you think I’d be able to get by with my French bank card? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi! I think the easiest thing to do is to just take some out from an ATM machine, and then when you go to the airport, you can change them back 🙂

      With your French bank card, you’ll need to see how much your ATM fees are, if you have any.

    1. I was highly appreciative of the fact that my school provided accommodation and most of our meals! It made Copenhagen more doable and enjoyable 🙂

  2. It looks pretty cool! Especially those pictures of the port. I’ve always considered going but for some reason the opportune time has never fallen in the summer.

  3. Glad you enjoyed Copenhagen! I was there four years ago with my family and really loved the picturesque harbor of Nyhavn, along with the delicious, neo-Danish “experimental” cuisine we tried at Madklubben (which I recommend!). Did you see the Little Mermaid statue? Personally, I thought it was a disappointment, but in any case I’d love to go back and explore Tivoli Gardens inside which I didn’t do last time. Great city with great ambiance!

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