I apologize for how long it’s taken me to write about some of the cities I’ve been too. Traveling to 3 new cities back to back within 2 weeks & jotting notes down to blog about later presents it’s difficulties!
Nevertheless, no excuses. I want to share with you the main highlights of my trip to Copenhagen. I will be adding this piece and one for each city I’ve visited for you to check this out on the Forever En Route‘s page, Location is Everything.
My favorite spots
Frederik’s Church, also known as “The Marble Church”, was the first cathedral I visited on my trip. This Evangelical Lutheran church, located at the heart of the Frederiksstaden district, was completed in 1894 and originally designed to be built mainly out of marble (however, that isn’t the case – the architects threw in some limestone as well).
It’s free to enter and is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside!
Just a hop, skip, & step away from Frederik’s Church is Amalienborg, home to the Danish Royal Family. There are four symmetrical palaces facing inward towards the octagonal courtyard. These palaces were purchased after the Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794 and have been occupied by numerous Danish Royal Families (I learned that many buildings in Copenhagen burnt down, and for some, more than once). In the center of the courtyard is the statue of Kind Frederick V, founder of Amalienborg.
This vibrant hippy enclave was established in the 1970s and, to this day, maintains its separation from the city of Copenhagen. Located on the east side of the city, the inhabitants of Christiania are known for living life by their own societal rules (and, more famously, for it’s distribution and trading of cannabis – groovy, I know).
Fun fact: You, unfortunately, cannot simply move in Christiania – you need to apply for a “citizenship” and your acceptance is decided amongst the current residents. In case you were wondering, yes I am still waiting to hear back on my citizenship status.
Paper Island is in close proximity to Christiania and is home to the Copenhagen Food Market, a warehouse offering a plethora of street cuisines. One thing everyone should know about Philadelphians is that we relish our street food!
What I found to be more fascinating, however, were the Wishing Trees on Paper Island. Right outside the entrance of the Copenhagen Food Market, there was a small cluster of trees with little white tags hanging from them. Visitors are asked to write whatever wishes they desire down on the tags and hang them on the trees. It was a magical site to see indeed!
My favorite dishes
Sandwiches have a whole new meaning to me after trying this traditional Danish dish! A smørrebørd includes a piece of buttered rye bread that’s topped with meats, cheeses, and/or spreads. Located in the Torvehallerne Market (another place I’d recommend everyone to go!), I had the most delicious smørrebørg that consisted of: buttered rye bread, 1 gigantic meatball, mouth-watering potato salad, and finely chopped red onion and chives!
If you aren’t instantly hungry by that description, and even more by this picture.. well you just aren’t human.
Now I understand why we call pastries “Danishes” back home – because the Danish know how to do it to perfection! I cannot pinpoint which exact pastry is my favorite (as there were many I indulged in, of course), but if I was forced to choose one, it would be this delicious raspberry pastry pictured below. Purchased at the same food market as my smørrebørd above, this pastry was as decadent as it looks and still has me dreaming about when I’ll be able to try another!
My favorite people
King Christian X of Denmark
To be upfront, no I did not meet King Christian as he has been deceased for quite some time now. What I learned about him though made me really appreciate his dedication to his country! I’ll keep it simple with the history lesson but overall, King Christian wasn’t a big supporter of democracy but did remarkable things for his country in other ways.
During the time of WWII and the occupation of Denmark by the Nazis, he put up a great fight for the Jews by allowing them to not wear the golden star and also not allowing any Nazi flags to be flown in Denmark. Legend has it that King Christian even wore the Star of David in solidarity to the Jewish Danes and in defiance of Hitler.
All in all, he seemed like a great man and one to be admired!
My tour guide
For my first free walking tour I participated in on my trip, my tour guide Erland was that good that I take free walking tours every city I travel to now and recommend others to do so as well! He was a local Dane, spoke very good English, and was super friendly and passionate about his city and country. His knowledge on Copenhagen and the history of Denmark was impressive and he made the tour even more enjoyable with his jokes. Job well done sir!