So this weekend, I took a little solo trip to Copenhagen. Most of my friends were going to Budapest, but I’d already been, and I wanted to get to a new country, especially since we only have two weekends left – and I knew Denmark would be hard to get to during my backpacking trip because of its location.
So I didn’t really know what to expect from Copenhagen. I’d heard really good things, but not many specifics on what to do or whatnot. Regardless, I booked my flight and hostel like two days before leaving.
But this weekend was definitely one of the best, if not the best, trips I’ve taken this entire year. So much fun. I ended up going to Copenhagen solo but made a few friends along the way.
But before I talk about that, I need to talk about Wednesday night. There was a Stammtisch – basically a bunch of German speakers come together just to talk about whatever. The cool thing was, this was an international student Stammtisch, at Augustinerbräu. I decided to go with some of my friends, as well as Christina, my Viennese friend, and it was a lot of fun! We stayed there for about 4 hours, and I ended up talking with a Universität Salzburg law student for an hour, just about the politics and history of Yugoslavia. He did a similar trip to mine two years ago and loved it, because he also loves the history of the area. I also talked with Christina for awhile, and taught Hayden some things (as well as just checking in with Christina that what I was saying was correct). It was so much fun to have Christina visit Salzburg for the last time, and I’m excited to hopefully pass through Vienna on my backpacking trip! Also, I learned so much from this night, and after the conversation about a complex topic like Yugoslavia, with Roland (the student), that was the first time that I really felt like I knew the language to a decent degree.
Anyways, on Thursday, I headed to Copenhagen. The travel TO Copenhagen was a bit unfortunate – I left at 10:00 on Thursday evening, then took an 1.5 hour train to Linz, Austria (the same place I got stuck in on the way to Prague). Anyways, this time, I had no hotel, so I spent my time from 11:45 to 4:00 in the morning in the train station. Unfortunately, I was incredibly dehydrated, but I also needed to use the restroom, and I was also starving – none of these were open (restaurants, restrooms, and there were no vending machines or anything for water). So I suffered for 4 hours, trying (and failing) to get some sleep. Thankfully though, Haley (another UP Salzburger) was in Linz for the day and she was heading back to Salzburg on the 1am train, so we hung out at the train station for like 20 minutes before she headed for Salzburg.
Anyways, after suffering for over four hours, I finally got on my train to Vienna. It was relatively smooth, thankfully, but I still didn’t get much sleep. The train was slightly delayed, so I only had 40 minutes to get through the airport, go through security, find out where I was going, etc., but I made it!
The flight to Copenhagen was the one point that I actually got SOME sleep. But even then, the flight wasn’t long, and it was still hard to sleep.
When I got into Copenhagen, it was snowing. I headed through the airport and decided to walk the 6+ miles to my hostel to kill some time (I had 5 hours between my plane landing and my hostel check-in). So I walked for the two hours, then spent some time around the Christiansborg Palace, which is the seat of the Parliament. Also, side note: the walk to my hostel reminded me a lot of Dublin, just in the architecture and the feel of the streets. I dig it. I also wandered around the biggest shopping street in Copenhagen, called Strøget – I wanted to buy flip flops since I forgot mine in Salzburg, but I couldn’t find any that weren’t like $50. I didn’t get any pictures of the street itself, but it was right by my hostel; anyways, here are some pictures from my walk/time before checkin:
I ended up falling asleep on a bench, totally passed out, but once it came to 1:30 I tried checking into the hostel (still couldn’t) so I ended up just lounging in the hostel bar/cafe/club thing. There was a big group of British dudes that were playing like beer pong, but they were throwing a dildo in each others’ beer glasses. Whoever’s glass it landed in had to put the dildo on a fake police helmet (like the stereotypical British police helmets, with functioning lights and a siren), and walk around town with a dildo strapped to his helmet.
When it finally came time to check in, I settled everything and immediately knocked out in my room – like deep sleep – for a few hours. I woke up right before one of my roommates was coming into the room, so it worked out pretty well on timing, I’d say. I introduced myself to him – his name is Jason, and he’s from New Jersey. He lives right on the border with NYC and goes to Skidmore College, where he studies music, and he’s studying in London. We talked for a long while – about music, politics, our lives, etc. It was a really good conversation, and I learned that, with him studying music and being heavily invested in making and playing music, he has a project called “Moon Sand Land.” I’d highly recommend it. It’s absolutely fantastic, so here are some relevant links and stuff if you want to check him out!:
Anyways, after a little while, I went to shower (I felt disgusting), and once I got back I lounged around a little while longer until another roommate came. Her name is Mara, and she’s from Switzerland (from Lucerne, to be exact). I told her I’m studying German, so we exchanged a few sentences and she asked me if I could speak Swiss German, which I responded no to. Anyways, she’s studying nursing, and she was also visiting friends in Copenhagen. All three of us (Jason, Mara, and myself) talked for a little while, and then Jason and I headed out to get some food, because Jason wasn’t meeting up with his friends until the next day.
We ended up looking around at some of the city, such as the City Hall and Tivoli Gardens (didn’t go in, because it’s like a $15/20 entrance charge). Anyways, the City Hall was pretty gorgeous.
We ended up finding a Mexican restaurant to eat at (don’t even get me STARTED on how much I missed Mexican food), and as we walked through the city it was a lot of talking about our study abroad experiences and life at home. It was a really enjoyable conversation, and I got to learn a lot about the East Coast and the NYC area, since I haven’t been to NYC (as far as I can remember?). We ended up crossing the river as the sun set and it was GORGEOUS:
Anyways, we reached the Mexican restaurant and I ordered 5 tacos, since they were relatively small.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how expensive (and deceptively so) Copenhagen is. But I’ll get to that later.
So anyways, Jason and I spent awhile looking for seats – it was crowded – but eventually found some and ordered beers. I didn’t realize how well Mexican food and beer pairs, but it’s REALLY good. Anyways.
We got our food and WOW it was delicious. As we ate, we talked about a lot – a lot of politics, and more specifically, shitting on Donald Trump. Something I also realized at this restaurant/bar thing is that there were a LOT of Americans. Copenhagen is one of the cities that I think I’ve seen the most Americans – maybe it’s because a lot of schools are on spring break, but there were a LOT.
Anyways, after dinner, we headed to check out some of the local bars/pubs/stuff. Most of them were really cool in terms of like the vibe, but most were also pretty expensive, so we ended up just heading back to the hostel. We hung out in the lobby/bar thing in our hostel for awhile and talked for a long while longer – I learned a lot about his study abroad experience and got to see the differences between his and mine in terms of the immersion/how much the students in theirs are involved in the actual university. It sounds like a really cool study abroad program/experience, and it definitely seems like he’s been having a hell of a time over in London.
After awhile, we decided to head to sleep because we were both pretty tired from the day of travelling, so we both headed to bed.
In the morning, I slept in for quite awhile, then headed out solo, since Jason was heading out to meet up with his friends. I forgot how much I missed travelling solo – having no itinerary, nowhere to go, no requirements or anything – it was a TON of fun. I first headed to Nyhavn, or “New Harbor.” It’s kinda the stereotypical Copenhagen harbor image (you’ll see what I mean), but I wandered around here and met quite a few people! I met a guy from Germany, who was taking other peoples’ pictures and he said (in German) “Welcome to Copenhagen! Windy, cold, and way too expensive!” I also met a family from Seattle who was vacationing for their son’s spring break – they had just visited Stockholm, and they told me it’d be REALLY cold when I’m there. Whoops. They offered to take my picture, too! I spent most of the morning lounging around Nyhavn and offering to take peoples’ pictures when they wanted group pictures (it’s a great way to meet people!), and they were the first ones to offer to take mine!
From Nyhavn, I walked to the Botanical Gardens and another palace. These gardens were pretty cool – huge, but absolutely gorgeous despite the gloomy weather. There were lots of cherry blossoms blooming all around the city, and this park was no exception. It was a really, really relaxing time, and I ended up lounging on a bench on the shore of a lake, and a duck came up and was just waddling around and eyeing me. I was a little worried it’d bite me or something, but it was a chill duck. Almost sat on my shoe. Apparently very comfortable with people. Here are some more photos from my walk, from Nyhavn, and from the Botanical Gardens/the other palace/the guards’ drill training/the lake-pond thing.
From the pond, I walked around town and headed back to Nyhavn. I think Nyhavn was my favorite spot in the entire town. Really cool and lively, but pretty touristy. But gorgeous nonetheless.
From Nyhavn, I went back to the hostel to write an essay that I had due on Monday, as well as did a little studying for my music final. Once the weather had brightened up, I headed back out, but this time out to the Little Mermaid statue. The walk was absolutely gorgeous – there were cherry blossoms and parks and rivers – it was incredible.
I checked out a park near the Little Mermaid statue and lounged around in the sun for a little while – despite being sunny, though, it was incredibly cold and windy. But just having the sun out was really nice, regardless.
From there, I just walked around some more – I ended up passing a small, very geometrical park; it felt like almost an art gallery in terms of how precise the symmetry was. There was also a really cool building across the river from it (not sure what it is):
Across the street from the park was another palace, with armed guards and everything. I ended up getting there right as they were changing guards, so that was pretty cool. It was a little off-putting, however; the soldier that was in charge of all of the others (like, leading the march, leading the changing, etc.) was probably only 16 or 17, but definitely not older.
From there, I walked back to Nyhavn, since I wanted to get some Golden Hour photos of the harbor:
I got dinner at Nyhavn – literally only a bowl of soup and some water – and it ran me $15. And that was the cheapest option on the menu, and the water itself was almost half of that price. So needless to say, I couldn’t eat a lot this weekend because it was incredibly expensive, especially considering I only had $50 worth of cash because the other $50 was to cover my hostel. I spent the entire day up to this point eating only two granola bars – that was my “breakfast and lunch” and the small bowl of soup was my dinner.
Afterwards, I headed back to the hostel, got a little more work done, and then headed out later to see Nyhavn at night, where I messed around with some manual settings.
From there, I checked out a local bar called “Dubliner,” and it was pretty cool. I stayed for some live music, but left pretty soon afterwards to head back to the hostel.
I lounged in the lobby area of the bar thing, and ended up talking in German with a Peruvian dude named Marco. He’s studying in Cologne, and he showed me pictures of his motorcycle (I was SUPER jealous). We talked for a long time about our study abroad experiences and both got a good opportunity to practice our German. A little while later, as I was still downstairs, a local came up and complimented me on my outfit (in Danish), so I told her I didn’t speak any Danish, but she was super friendly! Her name is Maria, and she taught me some basic phrases and whatnot and we talked about our lives. She hasn’t gotten out of Europe, but she models for DM (a HUGE cosmetics company in Austria and Germany), so she gets out to Germany quite regularly. She’s studying linguistics, community, and communication, and her English was quite impressive. She was super friendly and complimented me on my “Danish” (as in the sentences that I repeated, she said the pronunciation was perfect) – she was freaking out (like jumping up and down at the pronunciation) but realized it’s probably because I can speak some German and the languages aren’t too far apart that I seemed to pronounce it better than other non-native speakers. Anyways, we talked for a little while, but she was with some friends, and one of the friends was sick, so they decided to head back home. So with that, I headed back up to my room and fell asleep.
And that leaves us with Sunday. Today. I checked out of the hostel and walked for 2 hours back to the airport, then hung out from around noon until now – it’s about 4:30 at the time of writing this. I’ve been hanging around the airport, studying some music, but it’ll be a long day, since I don’t get back into Salzburg until 11pm at the earliest. Oh well. Here are some pictures from the walk:
Well that’s all for this weekend. It’s been a hell of a time – lots of fun, lots of memories, and some cool people that I met along the way – what more can you ask for?
This trip has definitely been one of the best – and it makes me so excited for 1) next week’s trip to Stockholm, Trondheim, and Oslo, and 2) for my backpacking trip. I forgot just how much I love travelling solo, and I’m really grateful for my hostel for allowing me to branch out and make more friends. If anyone is staying in Copenhagen, I’d HIGHLY recommend the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel – it’s only a brief walk from everything – maybe 10 minutes to Nyhavn, 2 minutes to Christiansborg Palace, and right off of Strøget (the shopping street) – it’s a perfect location, the atmosphere is great, and the people are fantastic. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun! And it’s the cheapest option in Copenhagen. Really, I can’t recommend it enough.
Med kærlighed fra København/Mit Liebe aus Kopenhagen/With love from Copenhagen,
“Tak!” = ,,Danke!” = “Thanks!”
“Mit navn er …” = “Ich heiße …” = “My name is…”
“Seaside Seashop Sunday” by Moon Sand Land! It’s one of Jason’s songs, and I absolutely love it. Definitely recommend checking it out!