Perhaps I should actually retitle this blog post as Copenhagen, From A Dummy.
I am said dummy.
Why? Well, for a lot of reasons. But, without delving into my personal life, I’ll stick to the facts at hand.
Copenhagen is an amazing city. One that, inexplicably, I decided to spend only a single day and night in. That, my friends and foes, is simply not enough time.
This last May, I visited Scandinavia for the first time. My delayed United flight put me in Oslo two hours behind schedule, thereby causing me to miss my flight to Copenhagen. All other flights were booked for the next two days. So, I did the American thing and rented a car. And drove.
Ten hours of awful traffic and construction later, I arrived in Denmark’s largest city. After consulting TripAdvisor and Instagram, I embarked on a whirlwind tour of all the must-see spots the city had to offer.
I started off at the Rosenborg Castle. Imposing yet beautiful, and located on the grounds of a large, lush park, this landmark is a must-see. I wandered around, got hissed at by a swan, and soaked in the spring sunshine.
Next, I headed to Copenhagen's iconic Little Mermaid statue, located on the waterfront at the Langelinie Promenade. Sculpted by Edvard Erikson and completed in 1913, it’s Denmark’s most photographed statue and near the top of most Copenhagen to-do lists. To be honest, I was somewhat underwhelmed. The crowds of gawking selfie-drunk tourists made it tough to even get an unobstructed picture of this work of art.
Short on time? I would recommend the nearby St. Alban’s Church and Gefion Fountain. What they lack in international renown, they make up for in sheer scale and architectural beauty.
St. Alban’s Church looks like something straight out of a movie, and the fountain and accompanying goddess statue are complex and riveting, complete with a stunningly blue pool.
I made a brief stop at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum, a picturesque tribute to all things art. Mostly, I just wanted to utilize the museum’s free wi-fi to plan the rest of my attack, but I found that although I’m not much of a museum aficionado, this one was a worthy destination. I would’ve spent more time here had I had more time here.
Of course, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without a stop at the ubiquitously seminal Nyhavn, a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district. Go. Walk around. Snap a picture. Post it on Instagram. Everyone’s doing it.
Copenhagen is also known for its thriving craft beer scene. I’d had plenty of brews from Danish pioneers Mikkeller over the years, so I made it a point to visit their brewery. Unbeknownst to me, Mikkeller actually owns and operates multiple taprooms and bottle shops around town. I happened upon the one that was closed on a Friday, which seemed like a questionable business practice to me. Finally finding a location that was open, I went in and enjoyed an 18% ABV barrel-aged blueberry sour and struck up conversations with locals and tourists alike in this tiny, crowded bar. It turned out that coincidentally, or perhaps providentially, I’d visited Copenhagen during the citywide, Mikkeller-hosted Copenhagen Beer Celebration, one of the largest craft beer festivals in northern Europe. I had unknowingly just walked into the afterparty.
After visiting several other Mikkeller-operated taprooms, the rest of my tourist plans were derailed, but I thoroughly enjoyed making friends with some amazing people and drinking some amazing craft beer.
In the morning, after staying up way too late, I woke up way too early to begin the drive back towards Gothenburg and Oslo, kicking myself for not spending more time in this capital of cool.
Visit Copenhagen. Take my tourist advice, or don’t. But by all means, don’t be a dummy. Spend more time there than I did.