I can’t quite believe how busy 2016 has been.
In between the many weddings and hen dos I’ve been enjoying, I’ve somehow also managed to squeeze several holidays and trips into the year. This is kind of accidental! I didn’t set out this year to go on trip after trip, but what can I say, it’s how I like to spend my money! And with Maz working shifts, I sometimes feel getting away from it all is the only way we get to spend any real time together.
Last month, for Maz’s 31st birthday (yeah, we celebrate 31st birthdays! Why the hell not?) I suprised him with a trip to the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Neither of us have ever been to Scandinavia (mostly because of the horror stories of how expensive it is!) but the trip itself was such a bargain, it seemed silly not to take advantage.
(Maz, if you’re reading this, look away now!)
I only paid about £60 each for our easyjet flights from Manchester. When you’re really not bothered where you go, Skyscanner is great as you can search flights out of Liverpool or Manchester to ‘Everywhere’ and then just go from there. I was super impressed I managed to get decently timed, Friday to Sunday flights for a great price. And with our accommodation being a bit of a bargain Air B&B (not the best, most glamorous accommodation in the world but when you’re only really sleeping there, it’ll do. The hotel options completely prices me out so it was this or nowt!), the whole trip cost me less than £250 for the two of us. It just goes to show, that these little breaks don’t need to be expensive. If you’re happy to explore any city, you can get some real bargains.
Copenhagen is a beautiful city. Super chilled, easy to get around and plenty to do to keep you occupied for the few days we were there. This is shit banter, but one of the things that impressed us was the public transport. The electrified trains didn’t have anyone manning them, which meant they ran every couple of minutes, 24 hours a day. A day pass was about £8, which is what you’d pay in London, and on our last day, we used it to explore and then get back to the airport so it was a bargain.
Anyone who’s read my travel posts before we also know how much Maz and I love hiring bikes when we’re away and with 50% of Danes commuting to work by bike (fact fans!), the city is well geared to exploring on two wheels. For £9 each, we use the city’s public bike scheme and they were super posh! They had a sat nav on the front, I kid you not! But you can basically tootle around all day on the bike-friendly routes, then to lock your bike you stick in a personalised pin code. Super easy and a great way to explore.
We loved spending time on Paper Island, an old warehouse building right on the waterfront that housed the Copenhagen Street Food Collective, which is basically a whole host of street food vendors. You can sample everything from sushi, to pizza to Moroccan wraps and Korean noodles. The food is incredible and probably one of the most cost effective ways to explore Copenhagen’s incredible food culture. We also loved the late-night firework show at Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli is a magical, romantic, old fashioned theme park that really comes alive at night, with fairy lights every where and live music most evenings. The firework show is on late (like 11.45!) but if you’re out for a few drinks, it worth checking out. I bought us a deal which included a boat trip in the morning and then access to Tivoli at night for £17 so not a bad few hours entertainment for the money.
We also loved exploring hippy commune Christiania with it’s ‘green light’ district and dodgy looking guys selling weed wearing balaclavas (which, if you ask me, was all for the tourists!)! We whiled away a couple of hours wandering the little lanes and having a beer or two in the sunshine, before heading to the dizzying heights of the top of the Church of our Saviour, with it’s gorgeous spiral staircase (I managed to not completely freak out at the top!)
And no trip to Copenhagen is complete without visiting the Little Mermaid. But beware of the Japanese tourists!
I mentioned before our previous reluctance to go to Scandinavia has been the cost. Yeah, you could spend a fortune (we went into one pub where a lime and soda cost me £4.80. I nearly, actually died!), but with a bit of research, you can find really great values places to eat and drink and ways to explore. Being a city on the water, a boat trip is a must and the bikes are also a brilliant way to get around. Grab yourself a couple of beers from the supermarket on the way round, find a cosy corner of the waterfront and you’re set for the afternoon.
Exploring new places and new cities is just one of life’s biggest joys. It’s what makes me most happy and I’m yet to find a European city I don’t love. I also think, whilst we’re lucky enough to have the money and the freedom, we’re cramming in as many of these trips as we can, no matter how frivolous. I’ve got a trip Lisbon before the year is out and I’m hoping for a cheeky New Year’s adventure too, as well as our big holiday in November to South Africa. Some people love renovating their houses, other love camping in Wales or jazzing up their car or spoiling their families. I love exploring new places. Do what brings you joy and makes you most happy and just enjoy.
Have you visited Copenhagen? Is there anywhere you recommend I get onto my wish list of places to go? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments section below.