Copenhagen: My First Glögg!

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Copenhagen is a super cool city. I actually wasn’t expecting to love it so much, given the chilly weather this time of year, but in our brief, 48-hour visit I decided I could totally live there. The bike-ability, the abundance of English, the architecture, the retro vibe… I loved it. Of course, there was also the cold, the sunset at 3:30pm and the high price tags, but the expenses seemed rather manageable after living in Geneva, and I could get some long underwear, right?

Gui and I arrived on Easy Jet Friday night, navigated the metro to the charming Hotel Alexandra and then wandered around the neighborhood looking for food, having missed dinner on the plane. When we returned to the hotel, they gave us each a glass of wine on the house, and then I was thrilled — Gui decidedly less so — to find an English episode of Sex and the City playing on TV to lull us to sleep.

On Saturday morning, we headed to the Danish coffee shop down the street for breakfast and then walked the roughly half-hour from our hotel near Tivoli Gardens to the colorful port of Nyhavn. The neighborhood is absolutely adorable and we had the extra pleasure of visiting during the Christmas market, spending a good hour wandering around the stalls of sweet-smelling pastries and handmade crafts (oh, and gaping at the guys in the hot tub boat floating around the canal; see photo below).

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Afterward, we crossed the new pedestrian bridge to check out the Copenhagen Street Food venue, which is essentially an indoor food truck market. The food was so delicious and affordable that we came back for lunch on Sunday! Between the two of us, we can vouch for the Mexican, Turkish, Thai, and toastie stands, as well as the sweet potato fries and the crème brûlée donuts (see later photo of donut being incinerated) 🙂 Stuffed to the brim, we walked down to the current royal residence (Amalienborg Palace), the Little Mermaid statue and the city’s bright red fort, before heading over to Tivoli Gardens to partake in the winter festivities.

Guys, Tivoli was a blast. I got windburn on my face from riding the rollercoasters, but it was totally worth it, and seeing all the lights and Christmas market stalls is really something. That was also where I had my very first cup of glögg (mulled wine), which is my latest obsession. Again, I wasn’t expecting to like it so much, but the mix of warmth, wine and spices on a cold winter night really hits the spot.

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Sunday morning we checked out another coffee shop for breakfast before heading to Rosenborg Castle, a former summer palace and home of the Danish crown jewels. I found the castle very unique compared to the Swiss castles we’ve visited of late and was happy to spend a couple of hours there before heading back to the Street Food market. Afterward, with another mug of Glögg in hand, we walked to see the spiral staircase spire of the Church of Our Saviour and then visited the royal chambers inside Christiansborg Palace, which is both the seat of parliament and used by the queen for events (note the plastic blue shoe covers required upon entry). Guillaume was enthralled with the bright set of modern tapestries in the main hall depicting parts of Danish history, which were presented to the queen on her birthday. We closed out our trip with a bit of shopping, including a visit to the Royal Copenhagen store, where we purchased our first ever piece of china.

It was a fabulous weekend, full of fun. Copenhagen: We will definitely be back.

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