This past weekend I made my very first excursion outside of the UK and it was amazing! My two friends and I ventured off to the very lovely, but very chilly Copenhagen, Denmark! I got to say, if you ever study abroad, going to Denmark is a really wonderful and beautiful place to travel to and all the locals are so friendly and helpful!
Our adventure first started with us taking public transportation all the way to Luton Airport, which is a trek for us because we live all the way in Roehampton! It took us roughly two hours to travel all the way to the airport and by the time we got there we were all so exhausted. We loaded up on coffee and tons of sugar before our plane took off. All three of us snoozed on the airplane, even though the flight itself was actually only an hour and a half which wasn’t bad at all!
Finally!! We arrived at Copenhagen Airport and all three of us were filled with excitement to venture off and discover Denmark. After getting out of the airport and buying three day passes to use the metro, we headed towards where we planned on staying for the next couple of days. We actually rented an airbnb for relatively cheap and it was decently close to central Copenhagen. Our host, Per, was very polite, helpful and welcoming. Per gave us recommendations of where to go, and what to try in Denmark and after putting all our things in our room, we took off to central to explore!
The first place we just had to go to was the famous harborside in Copenhagen, Nyhavn! It was just as beautiful as it is in pictures but oh man, the breeze coming right off the water sent chills down my spine! We walked along the harbor and took some pictures of the vibrant houses as the sun was setting in the background. If you ever visit Denmark, I highly suggest going to Nyhavn because it’s so breathtaking and the restaurants along the harbor are so quaint and lovely. The unfortunate part is that the restaurants can be a bit pricy for a college student, so we walked a little further into the city and away from the harbor to see if we could find any food for a bit cheaper. We ended up at this quirky burger place called Hot Buns. It was a very interesting place with a very unique atmosphere but I gotta say, their food is pretty delicious. I got a chicken burger and french fries with some aioli sauce and it totally hit the spot after a long day of traveling and walking around. I would recommend going here if you’re looking for a hearty burger and some really good fries, but if you’re looking for authentic danish cuisine, I would recommend going to a place like Nyhavn 17 or other restaurants along the harbor.
After a late dinner, we decided to get some dessert at a little waffle house in Nyhavn. I picked up a delicious waffle covered in milk chocolate and my friend got some ice cream in a waffle cone. What was cool about the shop was that you could watch the employee make the waffles and waffle cones which I found fascinating. I chowed down on my waffle, and after a long day we all decided to head back so we could get a good night’s sleep as we had a long day of sightseeing ahead of us the next day.
Rise and Shine! All three of us woke up super early so we could explore Denmark since we only had a couple of days and we wanted to make the most of it. I was so sleepy, so I downed a redbull and then we were off to explore more of Copenhagen! The first landmark we just had to see was the famous Little Mermaid Statue! Surprisingly, it was a lot smaller than I would have thought! My friend and I had to fight our way through tourists to get a glimpse and a few pictures of it, but it was worth it to see the famous landmark. One of the girls I went with on this trip was on crutches so she rented a bike (which is a BIG thing in Denmark and if you ever go, I highly suggest renting a bike because it makes traveling a lot easier) and my other friend and I walked to the next famous landmark, Frederik’s Church! The architecture was so beautiful and the inside was even more stunning. It’s very close to other landmarks so even if you wanted to quickly stop by and take a few pictures, I would recommend doing so!
After a quick stop at Frederik’s Church we headed off to a few other important landmarks such as the Amalienborg Palace which is home to the royal Danish family! We got to see the guards marching about and I got to take some funny pictures with one of the guards. I was too scared to stand too close to him, it’s safe to say I was a little intimidated! We stopped by a cute little coffee shop and grabbed some cappuccinos and croissants which were delicious by the way! I road on the back of my friends bike for a little while and many of the locals were laughing or staring at us weirdly! After we went back home for the night which was much later on, we realized it’s actually illegal to hold on to another person’s bike and we could have gotten fined…oops! It’s safe to say we never did that again! After that we checked out some of the other famous landmarks such as Rosenborg Castle and Rundetaarn!
After all that walking we were a bit hungry so we headed off the Papirøen or Paper Island which is known for their variety of street food and the buzzing atmosphere that you just can’t pass up. Papirøen had everything from chinese cuisine, to crepes so you could pretty much get anything you were craving. It was very crowded but so worth it! After grabbing a quick bite, we explored a little more and discovered Yoko Ono’s wish garden at the Copenhagen Contemporary. We each wrote a wish and tied it to a tree. I really enjoyed the wish garden and reading other people’s wishes and feeling that some felt so relevant to my life as well. It was also nice to see how some people wished for happiness, while others just wished for simple things or materialistic things and some wishes were deep and heartfelt. After placing our wishes on the trees, we stopped by a little coffee shop and picked up some hot chocolate since it was a little chilly outside! The hot chocolate was amazing and while in the shop I left a little message in the window saying “Hello from USA” just so others could see it and think about how far we’ve come from our homes and maybe add on and write where they’re from.
After Paper Island, we went to these trampolines that are on the sidewalks in Copenhagen! They were so much fun to bounce on. I went a little too extreme and tried to bounce on all of them without touching the center and ended up falling but it was totally worth it. Even my friend on crutches went on the trampolines and had a blast! Overall it was a really successful day and I feel like I really got to experience and see a lot of Denmark!
The next morning was a bittersweet day because it was my last day in Denmark. I really enjoyed Denmark and all of the danish people who are so friendly and carefree but to be honest, I was excited to head back to London, the place I’ve called my home for about a month now. Right before I left, I picked up a couple souvenirs such as pins, some patches and postcards and then I was off back to London!
Studying abroad has been such an adventure so far and I feel like I’ve learned so much about other cultures and about the world. If you ever decide to study abroad, I highly suggest making a couple trips to other countries or places nearby and experiencing their culture and livelihood. I feel like it not only teaches you about the world but it also teaches you about yourself and about your own culture.