Copenhagen at Christmas

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Both my mum and I have a habit of trawling travel sites for cheap deals - but it's very rare our schedules ever line up well enough to actually take a trip together. Last summer, a deal popped up to visit Copenhagen right before Christmas, and knowing we'd both be able to take some time off we booked our tickets straight away. Fast forward to December, and in the midst of work, essays and a rescue dog, I'd all but forgotten I was going anywhere. I found myself shoving a few bits into a bag thirty minutes before I needed to leave for my hometown the night before our flight. My coat wasn't warm enough, I forgot my gloves and, most unusually for me, I hadn't even looked up any museums! Luckily, we managed pretty well through wandering and some hotel wifi (and I ditched my ratty parka for an oversized puffa jacket which used to belong to my grandad and has featured in family photographs from the last thirty plus years).

After dumping our bags at the hotel, we decided to take it easy. We headed down Strøget to admire the flagship Tiger store, and the lovely homeware shop Hay, exploring a few of the side streets and grabbing some mulled wine from the Christmas Markets (I wouldn't make a special trip for the markets, as they sell nearly all the same things at all of them now!) Dinner was down in the meatpacking district, Kødbyen, at pizza joint Mother - the sourdough pizzas are great and packed with high quality ingredients, at a relatively reasonable price for a city known for being expensive. On day two, we hopped on a boat tour to learn a little about the history of the city from the water, walking back to the National Museum of Denmark and then onto Tivoli Gardens. I wasn't expecting to enjoy Tivoli as much as I did; big crowds, fairground rides and a Disney atmosphere aren't exactly my thing. However, with it all lit up for Christmas in the dark and another mug of steaming mulled wine in hand, I did feel pretty Christmassy! 

Our final day was spent wandering more of the city. The 17th century Rundetårn was such a surreal experience; the slow climb of the sloped floor is beautiful and the building has a fascinating history. It's especially good if you're claustrophobic and struggle with the narrow spiral staircases you'll usually have to deal with to get a great view of a city. It was also playing host to the Museum of Broken Relationships, which I saw on tour in London and really enjoyed. Trinitatis Kirke, at the foot of the tower, is free to visit and very simply beautiful. We then walked up towards Nyhavn, stopping on the way to pick up some very sticky onsdag snegl (a kind of cinnamon roll) and look in some vintage shops. Kaabers Antikvariat was such a great find - it's filled with antique books, homeware, furniture and everything else. I picked up some beautiful vintage Swedish matchboxes, which spurred me on to start collecting label designs (for a great matchbox label collection, see matchbloc on Instagram). Sadly I had to throw away the lovely bright pink matches inside before our flight home!

Copenhagen is such a beautiful city, and whilst I didn't get to see as much of it as I wanted, it is definitely on my re-visit list; especially to get a glimpse of it in the summer months. I'm a sucker for a coloured or wonky house, so nearly every street ticked that box! I may even have to go back just to photograph the Palads Teatret - after seeing Naomi's photo I can't believe I missed it. Next on my list are the Botanical Garden, the street food on Papirøen, the Leckerbaer bakery, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (for Kusama's 'Gleaming Lights of the Souls installation), and Superkilen park.

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