A Travellerspoint blog

Denmark

Dreams

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Everywhere

Everywhere

The May weekend in Copenhagen became part of my Sport Travel Portfolio by accident. When I booked it a few months earlier, the only plan was to get out of the UK the weekend of That Wedding.

Being a hardline republican, I find the sycophantic fawning on such occasions utterly nauseating. As an aside, a large chunk of the UK feels exactly as I do, another large chunk “couldn’t care less”, and it is just a minority which causes the problem. You would never know from the media, of course.

Anyway, getting back on message, I was looking for a place to spend the weekend which is just one relatively short flight away from Edinburgh. I know Copenhagen well, but hadn’t been there for a long time, so when it showed up as a possibility in terms of convenience and price (£107/€122 return) I was interested immediately.

When I started looking for a place to stay for 2 nights, I ran into problems. The city centre hotels were all full already, or coming up with silly prices.

Admiral (Full)

Admiral (Full)

That was a surprise, trying to book 3 months ahead. A quick look at the Visit Copenhagen site revealed that the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournament was taking place in Denmark over May, with the semi finals in Copenhagen on the Saturday of my visit.

Radisson Blu Royal (Full)

Radisson Blu Royal (Full)

Well Airbnb solved the accommodation problem very quickly, and then it was a case of deciding which semifinal to buy a ticket for! Going to an top level ice hockey world championship had been on the “wish list” for a while, so I couldn’t believe my luck. I got a ticket for the evening semi final for £119/€136 - expensive but still. Of course I didn’t know who’d be playing until the Thursday night after the quarter finals. It turned out to be Canada (ranked 1) v Switzerland (8th).

Swedish Fans

Swedish Fans

In another positive aspect to the trip, when I made contact with a friend who lives in the city about meeting up during my time there, it turned out she’d never been to an ice hockey game and was keen to join me!

Beer Here

Beer Here

The whole evening turned into a wonderful occasion with beer, burgers, good company and a nailbiting game, won 3-2 by the Swiss.

Face Off Time

Face Off Time

The championships will be held in Slovakia in 2019. I know Bratislava well, but haven’t been there for a long time...

Posted by IainT 03:51 Archived in Denmark Tagged sport denmark copenhagen Comments (0)

Travel Tips - Copenhagen

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Nyhavn

Nyhavn

What about the nuts and bolts of that 2 night weekend in Copenhagen?

My outward flight frrom Edinburgh was with Norwegian (£53/€60.50) and the return was with easyJet (£54/€61.60). easyJet’s flight time (21:10) gave me all day in Copenhagen. easyJet’s boarding arrangements can be unpleasant, and in Copenhagen they are just nasty. Not recommended.

Those prices don’t include any checked in bag - fine for a 2 night trip in May. I did pay extra for an upfront seat on easyJet and for an extra legroom seat on Norwegian.

Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air

It is unusual to be able to make a direct comparison between two airlines, but in this case I can, and Norwegian made easyJet seem like 3rd class.

I spent my 2 nights in an Airbnb flat very close (10 minute walk) from the Central Station. It was very expensive (£130/€148 per night, including Airbnb’s fee and cleaning charges) but I know I was paying extra for that central location.

Compact

Compact

It was clean, quiet and comfortable. I enjoyed it, and yes, the extra for the location was worth it.

I used the train to get from and to the airport. The cost was a very modest 36 DKK (£4.20/€4.80) each way. It takes 15 minutes. Compare that to £22 off peak (€25) single for the Heathrow Express - a similar journey time.

The only negative angle to it was having to queue for the ticket machines on arrival. On the other hand, it didn’t take long, the queue was well organised and they had staff on duty to help anyone having problems with the machines. The machines are easy to use, but probably not so if the instructions are not available in your language.

The Metro also serves the airport. However that line (M2) doesn’t take you to Central Station. You would have to change lines. It is useful for other parts of the city such as Nørreport and Kongens Nytorv.

I was able to get breakfast in a bakery just 5 minutes from my apartment. Quick, easy, cheap and good. Twice I had smørrebrød in the food hall at the Central Station - about 80 DKK (£9.40/€10.70) for 2 sandwiches and a drink. Delicious and worth every krone.

Local Lunch

Local Lunch

I had a pizza for dinner at Vapiano on Frederiksborggade right above Tivoli. It was good but slow... Friday night, of course.

Vapiano

Vapiano

I had a burger in the food hall at Westmarket on Vesterbrogade - a recommendation from Mariel. It was delicious - one the the best I’ve had in ages.

If your idea of weekend away involves lots of alcohol, and/or dinner out at fancy restaurants, Copenhagen will be an expensive option for you. I was on my own for most of the time, so I could make my own choices as far as those were concerned. I drink very rarely anyway. I could easily have saved quite a bit of money on my weekend by choosing an Airbnb in the suburbs and then buying a 24 hour ticket for public transport (or cycling).

Posted by IainT 02:59 Archived in Denmark Tagged planes trains food restaurants transport flights denmark copenhagen airlines Comments (0)

Helsingør

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Helsingør

Helsingør

Copenhagen is a city which can keep a visitor very busy with sightseeing for several days, and I suppose for most people that is all they want.

When I had my 48 hours there last weekend I decided to branch out a bit, having visited the city so many times before. My choice was between a day out in Roskilde or Helsingør, and in the end I chose Helsingør.

It is an easy 45-50 minute train journey north from Copenhagen, in Nordsjæland. Trains run every 20 minutes.

Rejseplanen App

Rejseplanen App

The ones I caught were modern and comfortable, being the Øresundståg which are used on the services crossing the Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden. I paid 108 DKK each way, but I suspect a 24 hour ticket would have saved me some money. Tickets are easy to buy from machines in the stations, taking cash or cards.

Kronborg Slot was one of the main attractions. The castle was well worth the trip.

Kronborg Slot

Kronborg Slot

It dates from 1420 and was the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The banqueting hall is the largest in northern Europe. I found a very pleasant cafe - Strandsvejristeriet - just inside the outer walls. Best coffee and cake I have had for a while (and I’m a connoisseur). Entry to the castle was 90 DKK, but you can walk around inside the outer walls without paying.

Outer Walls

Outer Walls

As for the rest of Helsingør, it’s a pleasant little seaside and harbour town with non-stop ferries crossing to Helsingborg in Sweden. I walked around to take in Axeltorv (the town square), Karmeliterklosteret (15th century monastery) and Sankt Olai Kirke.

I made a good choice for my sunny Sunday by the sea.

Posted by IainT 12:34 Archived in Denmark Tagged trains transport denmark copenhagen helsingør Comments (0)

CPH

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Danish Cool

Danish Cool

Well what a great decision!

Back in February I booked a weekend away in Copenhagen for May, to make sure I was out of the country at the time of That Wedding. I’m a republican (with a small “r”) and have no time for the medieval “royal family” garbage. It worked. Unless I chose to subject myself to Twitter or Facebook, I was totally cut off from it. Wonderful.

Copenhagen is a city I visited many times over a 15 year period straddling the 1990s. Mostly it was just an overnight stop on the way to somewhere further east or north. I also attended a conference there in 1994, which allowed a bit more of an insight to the city.

Morten's Place

Morten's Place

It was fantastic to be back after so long, and to be blessed with beautiful late spring weather. I’d forgotten how gorgeous the city is. One lovely building after another, one wonderful open space after another. The sea...

Saturday Brunch

Saturday Brunch

Leaving aside the background music for a moment, I packed several highlights into 48 hours. First, a reunion with Mariel B. She is such good company. Polyglot, multicultural and a bundle of fun.

Next, the World Ice Hockey Championship semifinal between Canada and Switzerland. Aside from being a real privilege to get to an event like that, it was a great game.

Big Occasion

Big Occasion

Last but not least - a trip on the train north to Helsingør to visit Kronborg Slot - the 16th century castle which became the backdrop for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I enjoyed going around it, but also getting out of the city on a sunny, spring Sunday.

Kronborg Slot

Kronborg Slot

On a short 2 night trip the travel and accommodation arrangements being “right” is important, so well done Norwegian Air and easyJet for getting me there and back on time and stress free.

Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air

Well done also to Airbnb and Morten for providing me with an ideal place to stay.

Posted by IainT 09:43 Archived in Denmark Tagged sport flights denmark copenhagen airlines helsingør Comments (0)

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