Charming waterfront, colorful buildings, stunning decor and a cosmopolitian atmosphere, Copenhagen (Kobenhavn in Danish) is a great introduction to Denmark and an insight into Scandinavia.
Copenhagen is located on the eastern coast of the island Zealand, and a smaller section of the city is located on Amager. Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark, and also the cultural and geographic link between Scandinavia and mainland Europe. The city was founded in the 10th century and was once a small viking fishing village. Now the city represents a strong urban and cultural modern city. Copenhagen has the buzz of a city and is still small enough to give you an intimate atmosphere. You can easily explore the city by foot or bicycle.
A weekend in Denmark
As were based in the UK we were always on the lookout for cheap deals to travel more of Europe. We found a cheap flight (around $15 usd) to Copenhagen. So we jumped at the chance to visit the capital of Denmark.
The flight was only two hours from London. We arrived around 6pm and checked into our hostel. Generator hostel is located in the city center, just steps away from the Kongen’s Nytrov square. This hostel was so comfortable and the decor was gorgeous, the on site bar made is easier to meet other travelers. This was a standout backpackers hostel from all of my travels. We had two full days and a half day to explore this beautiful city.
Highlights and must sees
- Nyhavn: A beautiful neighborhood to walk around. Colorful buildings line the canal of this 17th century waterfront. A great place for a meal and drinks, with many options for bars, cafes and restaurants.
- Frederiksberg Palace: A pretty palace that is located on Frederiksberg hill and overlooks the stunning Frederiksberg garden.
- The Little Mermaid: A statue of the little mermaid is located on the Langelinje pier. The statue is over 100 years old!
- Kronborg castle: A beautiful 16th century castle.
- Amalienborg palace: The home of the Danish royal family.
- Stroget: One of Europes longest pedestrian streets and the largest shopping district in Copenhagen.
- The national museum: A look into Danish history, from the stone age, viking age, middle age to modern day Denmark.
- Glyptoteket: A beautiful art museum.
- Botanical garden: Walk around the gorgeous gardens located in the city center.
From seeing the major sights of the city, wandering the streets and experiencing the Danish nightlife, our time in Copenhagen was well spent and very enjoyable. I would love to visit Denmark again to explore more of the country.
Our next stop is Malmo, Sweden, only a 40 minute train ride away!
Beautiful canals, stunning architecture and an impressive art scene.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, located in the southeastern section of the providence of north Holland. The official language is Dutch, although the majority of residents do speak English. The Euro is the currency. Peak tourist season is during July and August (Summer). The name Amsterdam comes from the cities origins, as Dam of river “Amstel”. It is easy to get around Amsterdam, the city is walkable and it is very easy to rent a bike and explore the city this way. The Public transport system is great and includes, the metro, buses, trams and ferries. Amsterdam, a city full of life, culture and a rich history. Beautiful buildings, picturesque scenery and a stunning canal.
A visit to the Netherlands
I have visited this wonderful city, twice. Both times I stayed in a backpackers located near the center of the city. Once in the autumn (fall) and again during the winter period. Both times were very fulfilling and an enriching backpacking experience. Autumn provided us with nice weather, enabling us to make the most of the parks and outdoor scenery, even renting a bike to experience the craze of the bicycle capital! A must do! Heineken beer, cheese tasting, exploring the red light district and experiencing the famous coffee shops I would definitely return to this wonderful city for a third time!
Highlights and must-sees of Amsterdam
- Walking tour of the city: It is free and great way to get your bearings whilst learning about the history of the city.
- Anne Frank house: The house where Anne Frank hid during world war two and wrote her diary. A very rewarding visit.
- Oldest pub: Cafe Karpershoek claims to be the oldest pub in the city. Opening in 1606! So why not enjoy a drink whilst sitting in history!
- Coffee shops: In the Netherlands, coffee shops are defined as alcohol free, but where cannabis is sold and consumed. There are approximately 200 coffee shops in Amsterdam.
- Van Gogh Museum: The worlds largest collection of beautiful artwork from Vincent Van Gogh.
- Vondelpark: I love the outdoors, and this urban park is a great way to spend a day outdoors.
- Jordaan: A beautiful neighbourhood to walk around and immerse yourself into the Dutch lifestyle.
- Rembrandt House Museum: Historic house and art museum.
- Dam square: The heart of the city. Located in the historical center of Amsterdam.
- Royal Palace of Amsterdam: Still used by the royal family. Rich in history and stunning architecture.
- Science center NEMO: I love science and this is a great interactive museum to explore and discover science and technology.
- Leidseplein: Great place to sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
- Venustemple sex museum: Worlds first and oldest sex museum.
- Red light district: Window parlours, sex shops, brothels and even museums, the infamous attraction of Amsterdam is worth the visit.