An August 2003 trip
to Copenhagen by UK Flower Girl
Quote: My husband and I took our yearly trip to visit his relatives in Denmark. This year we took some time to take the train into Copenhagen with his cousin, Jan, and his wife, Bernie. Copenhagen is a great city with too much to see in just 2-3 days.
Beer and Soda are very expensive at restaurants in Denmark. Make sure you look at the prices or ask before you order. You can easily blow your budget at lunch in one day.
Eat a pølser or two. It is the Danish version of a hot dog. These things are oh so yummy and very addicting--it is best to take it with everything: remoulade, ketchup, mustard, crispy fried onions, sliced cucumbers. You will find stands around the touristy areas such as Nyhavn.
Visit the tourist office just outside the main train station near Tivoli. Here you will find maps, guides and some good advice from the knowledgable staff.
Bring a light sweater or jacket with you no matter what time of year it is. We were quite warm in the afternoon, but by early evening we were wishing we had our jackets with us--and this was in late August.
Hotel | "Copenhagen Marriott"
The hotel is located right along the harbour in Kalvebod Brygge. Our room was located towards the top of the hotel (can't remember what floor we were on?) and we were facing the harbour so we had gorgeous views from our room right down onto the water. The staff were very professional and friendly.
The hotel offers an abundance of amenities. There is a restaurant, coffee shop, bar, and a gift shop in the lobby. Our breakfast came with the room price even though we booked through priceline.com and it was excellent! It was a large buffet breakfast with so many things to choose from that we just couldn't decide. We even had the option to sit out on the terrace for breakfast. Everything was fresh and in good supply.
Our room was a good size for a European hotel room. The bathroom was clean and spacious and the shower was in good working order. The towels were clean and white and FLUFFY!!
Overall, I would highly recommend the hotel. It is in a nice location along the water in close proximity to plenty of activities.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2004
KALVEBOD BRYGGE 5
Hotel | "The Palace Hotel"
Located in the very prominent town-hall square, The Palace Hotel is a four-star hotel just down the street from the famous Tivoli Gardens and Strøget, the pedestrianised shopping area. You couldn't ask for a more central location. The hotel compliments the square as it is in keeping with the style of the town hall building.
We paid $100 for the room on Priceline.com. We were less than thrilled about the amenities that were supposed to make it a four-star. I think we got the Priceline.com room. I can tell you that the room on the website looked nothing like the room we got!! Everything was clean and comfortable, but it just wasn't what we expected for a four-star. We asked for a view of the square, which they didn't have so we ended up with a view of the slummy looking buildings in the back of the hotel. Also, there was a sewer vent in the bathroom that was spewing out an unpleasant odour which was solved by pouring some water down the drains.
There was a wing of executive rooms with names of movie stars on the doors. These rooms are the suites that face the Town Square. They looked very nice!
Breakfast was enjoyable. There was the usual breakfast buffet with meats, breads, juices, cereal, etc. We filled ourselves up and set off to pack our luggage.
The front desk staff were courteous and friendly. We were able to leave our luggage at the hotel until it was time for our train to leave that afternoon.
The lobby was very elegant-looking. It had couches and chairs set up for guests to sit and relax. It was classy-looking decor, very old-style. The restrooms were down in the basement and were fancy. Poor guy in the mens room across the hall couldn't get the door open, I thought I was going to have to go get someone!!
Overall, I would still recommend this hotel if only for the location. It is such a beautiful old hotel in such a perfect location--too bad all of the rooms weren't renovated to look like the rooms on the website!!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 29, 2004
Scandic Palace Hotel Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark 1550
+45 33 14 40 50
Attraction | "Harbour/Canal cruise"
You must do a harbour tour in Copenhagen to learn some history and see the city from a different view. It had rained earlier in the day and it appeared to be clear so we made our way over to the ticket counter and purchased four tickets for DKK 50.- each for a one hour tour.
The boat was about a quarter full as we set out into the harbour. We weren't in the boat five minutes when it started to sprinkle on us. No problem: umbrellas!! Were heading out of Nyhavn into the harbour when we all had to duck down so we could fit under the bridge. We knew we were in for an interesting ride.
At this point we were informed that the water in the harbour and canals was a bit high today so we would have to skip part of the canals and go look at other things in the harbour. We did get to see some interesting things. We went by "The Little Mermaid" (Den Lille Havfrue), the Queen's yacht, Amalienborg Slot, the new Marriott and library extension, and all kinds of other interesting things that I don't remember. Why don't I remember, you ask? Most of the hour we were in the boat it was pouring rain and windy. Three of us were trying to shield the four of us from rain. The wind was blowing the umbrellas backwards and water was pouring off of the umbrellas right back onto us. Quite humorous now . . . not at the time.
Our guide thanked us for being troopers before we had to duck down again to get back into Nyhavn. We were absolutely freezing and mad because we chose a horrible time to go.
This aside, we decided we all deserved a little treat when we were done and headed over to purchase a Polser with remoulade, mustard, ketchup, cucumber slices, and crisp onions. Yum yum. Another thing that is highly recommended in Denmark!!
Even though we froze and got soaked, we had a good laugh about it. I would still recommend the tour (just try to go on it when it isn't going to rain).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2004
DFDS Canal Tours
(+45) 3296 3000
The temperature that day was fairly warm--probably in the upper 70s. The guards wear tall bearskin hats atop their heads and blue trousers with a white stripe and a dark blue coat on top. I don't think I would want to be out in the heat in that outfit! The hats look bulky and uncomfortable. They come down over the guard's eyes. How would he even know if someone was trying to attack?
Since I have been to see the Changing of the Guard in London where the police keep everyone well back, I was surprised at how close you actually were to the guards. The Palace does not have huge gates around it like Buckingham Palace. It allows for a much better view.
Each guard actually has a two-hour shift in which they stand in front of the guard houses and then march back and forth in front of one of the four houses of the palace. After two hours they are replaced by the next guard who marches out to take over for the next two-hour shift. This is different during the Changing of the Guard ceremony that happens mid-day. I will describe this below.
The Palace, which consists of four buildings, is located in an octagonal area. In the middle is a statue of King Frederik V on a horse which was completed in 1771. Normally cars can drive through the octagonal area, but it is closed of for the ceremony each day.
First, a group of guards came down one of the roads. They all stood off to the side of one of the buildings. We could hear the band off in the distance. They were coming down the same street dressed just as the guards were dressed. The band marched into the "square" playing their instruments with a group of guards to follow. By now there was a huge crowd watching the ceremony.
I didn't quite understand what was going on since I somehow ended up at the back of the crowd, but there were groups of guards that marched around to each of the guard posts. It was interesting because the entire crowd would move from one area to the next when the guards would move. I just could keep up with it all. I guess I need to be taller!
The guards are under orders not to speak to anyone except the other guards. We saw people going up and getting their pictures taken with the guards and the guards were actually being quite humorous. They weren't speaking, but they were teasing the children that were standing next to them getting their pictures taken.
The guard houses are small red booths that are very small. On the top of the guard house is a very ornate M that represents Queen Margrethe, the beloved Queen. Inside their guard houses are long red overcoats that are meant to be worn when it is cold outside.
Tivoli Gardens is truly what being Danish is all about. The park is tidy and well-kept. There are thousands of flowers and trees neatly tucked in the park. There are fish and swans and ducks in Lake Tivoli. Nothing is overpowering, it is just there for you to enjoy without having it scream at you.
Tivoli holds excitement for all. There are over 20 adventures for children and adults such as a ferris wheel, fun house, The Monsoon (not for the faint-hearted), The 1914 wooden roller coaster, and the skating rink. There are also milder rides such as bumper cars and a classic carousel. You will also find classic arcades and games such as a shooting galley and other games you would find at a carnival.
FOOD!! That is what you want to know. There is no shortage of food here at Tivoli, either. Everywhere you look there is another place to eat. There are restaurants in all price ranges and tastes. You can also find more informal eats such as the cafes and pubs. You will never be far from cotton candy and tons of other sweet candies that your kids will be begging for!
If you don't care for the rides (or if your stomach just can't take them) don't feel left out. The Gardens provide much more than just amusement park rides. The day we were there we had several opportunities to see shows. One of the more famous acts at Tivoli is the Peacock Theatre's Pantomime show. There is also a concert hall that holds special events such as "The Nutcracker" in December. We watched the Tivoli Boys Guard Parade through Tivoli playing their instruments (150 boys in the Guard that train for the parade at Tivoli). The day we were there we watched a tightrope walker show, which was interesting, too. There was a "Big Band" there on stage right along with the acrobats (scantily clad women, too, for the guys!!).
As night falls, Tivoli turns into a magical wonderland of lights. Buildings are lit, trees are lit...everything completely transformed. It sets a different tone for the evening. Romance is in the air. There was a fireworks show the evening we were there. We didn't manage to make it to midnight to watch, though. We heard them from our hotel room banging away in the night.
You CANNOT visit Copenhagen without visiting Tivoli. We purchased the "Copenhagen card" from the Tourist Office which allowed us into Tivoli for free. There are two different cards for purchase: 24 hours and 72 hours. The 24 hour card gives you access to 40 museums and attractions in the city. The 72 hour card which we purchased gives you free access to 70 museums and attractions, free travel on trains and buses and further discounts on other things such as trains out of the city. The 72 hour Plus card was just under 400 DKK (at that time it was about 7 DKK per US Dollar and about 11 DKK per British Pound).
Helsingør is a city north of Copenhagen right on the coast. You can see Helsingborg, Sweden right across the Öresund Sound from Helsingør. This has always been a strategic position for the Danes for controlling boat traffic in this area--and charging tax.
It is a bit of a walk from the train station over to the Palace. It is a great view though. When walking to the Palace from a distance, it provides a gorgeous site. The Castle is built in the Dutch Renaissance style. The defenses of the castle, which overlook the Öresund Sound, are in the shape of a crown. Part of the castle's fame comes from the play Hamlet by Shakespeare.
Fires and battles over the years have changed the look of the castle as parts needed to be rebuilt. Notables of the castle include the green copper roofing of the castle and the chapel. You will also see the main part of the castle including the casemates, the Great Hall, the Royal Rooms and the Royal Apartments all lavishly decorated.
With your Copenhagen Card you will have free access to the Danish Maritime Museum located at Kronborg Palace. Since Denmark is made up of several islands, transport has always been an issue. The museum has been here since 1915 and is one of the oldest and largest Maritime museums in the world. You will find a variety of items such as models, paintings and artifacts from former Danish colonies and Greenland. There's lots to see here in this little museum. Make sure you budget some time to make a stop in here.
Don't come up to Kronborg Palace without taking a stroll through the town of Helsingør. This is a beautiful little town with nice places to eat. Stroll around the harbour area, too. There are tons of boats and often you will see large ferries in port.
UK Flower Girl