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How to visit Copenhagen in 48 Hours

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Let’s get the word wonderful out the way first of all so as to avoid cliché. It’s very hard not to say wonderful though because Copenhagen really is a wonderful, exciting and unspoilt city.

48 Hours in Copenhagen: Day 1

Try to find a hotel near Strøget, in the city center. As with all capital cities this helps with the navigational aspects but particularly with Copenhagen because it’s a bit of a maze and there’s often water in your way when you need to cross somewhere. A good way to start the break is to head towards the Rosenborg Have park and find the famous Rundetårn Tower. It might look like a giant toilet roll with windows but the climb up this 350-year-old 200-metre observatory is a fantastic welcome to the city. Take a good map and try and find someone to help you point out certain landmarks. You’ll then feel very confident getting around on foot.

If you have a taste for history then one of the best museums in Copenhagen is the aptly named National Museum of Denmark. There are wonderful archaeological remains, detailing this vibrant and colourful country’s history. One of the highlights in the collection is the clothing remains of the Egtved Girl, whose teenage body was preserved in a barrow. If you want to see what the fashion was back in 1370 BC then you might be surprised to see how little things have changed.

Let’s head to the shops for a while shall we? Copenhagen loves shopping. The area you want to head over to is the place they call “the stroke”, or Strøget if you’re a local. The wide, pedestrianized zone is the longest shopping walkway in Europe and is full to the brim with fashionable outlets, many of which you might know from other countries and some of which have a certain Danish feel. Built to reduce the cars that were starting to spoil the city centre around fifty years ago, this area has become something of a template for cities the world over.

Only a short walk from the shops of Strøget is the famous Rosenborg Castle Gardens aka The King’s Gardens. A place perfect for those tired legs and feet after all that shopping. Or maybe somewhere for the gents to sit and read the paper while their female loved ones shop till they drop. It’s the most visited park in Copenhagen and the views of the castle will make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.

A park of a very different nature is perhaps something to save for the following day, when you a little more energy. For the climax to the opening day you couldn’t do better than to go out for dinner at Restaurant Gråbrødre Torv 21, found between the park and the university, it’s a very traditional affair. The décor is very earthy and simple but the atmosphere is as warm as the food. Trying something traditional is almost a dead cert here. Why not plump for some of the wonderful fish, fresh from the North Sea.

48 Hours in Copenhagen: Day 2

On your second day you could either take it easy or not. Or maybe you could merge the two? If so then head straight for the world famous Tivoli Gardens in the morning for an energetic experience to rival no other. It’s an amusement park with an edge. Being one of the oldest of its kind in the world there is a huge array of things to see and do. Roller coaster rides and carousels in one corner but then traditional dance and theater across the trees in the other. There’s a Pantomime Theatre, a Glass Hall and even the odd chance you’ll see some famous musical acts if you’re there in the summer months.

On your final afternoon in Copenhagen, why not take it easy with a saunter around The National Gallery and soak up some masterpieces from Rembrandt and the like. It’s just next to the Nørreport Metro station.

Popular Copenhagen Hotels near Strøget

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer phil mcdonald

Phil is a freelance writer working on various writing and editing projects ranging from feature film scripts to travel writing. He enjoys writing from experience and sharing information on the many places he has visited over the years

One response to “How to visit Copenhagen in 48 Hours”

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  1. Marion Cerrato says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 10:19

    Hi Phil! I couldn’t agree more: Copenhagen is so wonderful!!!! :-D

    You didn’t mention the Little Mermaid… it’s true that the statue of HC Andersen’s character is often mentioned as one of the most disappointing tourist sites in the world, but it’s still the symbol of Copenhagen and it may be part of a nice itinerary: a stroll from Østerbro to Rosenborg Slot, starting from Langelinie (the promade offers views of Copenhagen harbour and the Opera House, and there you can find the statue of the Little Mermaid), then going through Kastellet park, Amalienborg square, Kongens Nytorv and the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter.

    Just one more thing: I would save the visit to Tivoli Gardens for the evening (I think the amusement park is funnier at night), and instead take a morning walk along the city’s lakes (Sankt Jørgens Sø, Peplinge Sø and Sortedams Sø) or maybe go visit the fantastic Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk (about 35 km north of Copenhagen).


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