Copenhagen in one day

On our 5th day during our road trip through Denmark and Sweden, we got up early to enjoy a full day in Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen.

The day we visited, there was the Copenhagen IRONMAN triathlon on and the city was full of people literally running around and a lot of the streets were closed to traffic which made it more enjoyable to walk around. We visited Copenhagen on a Sunday which made it a lot cheaper for us parking vice, because on public holidays and Sundays parking is for free in the whole city. Otherwise depending on the parking zone in the city (cheapest is Yellow, then Blue, Green and most expensive is Red) and the parking time (night or peak hour) it costs between 2-35 DKK per hour! You can see the prices here. 

When we found a nice parking spot in the city center, we started off walking to Nyhavn to see the famous colourful houses of Copenhagen. It looks beautiful in the sunshine but it is pretty busy with all the tourists trying to find a perfect photo shot.

From here walk along the waterfront to the autonomous Free State of Christiania. Christiania was founded in 1971 as it was an old not-used military area where nobody was living anymore. As there wasn’t enough space in Copenhagen for payable rent, the people overtook that area and built their own houses there. Walk along these special streets while you still can, because the Danish government is planning on changing them.

Royal Danish Opera House, view from Amalien Garden
Royal Danish Opera House, view from Amalien Garden

From here, you can visit the Royal Danish Opera House which received the Outstanding Structure Award in 2008 for its fantastic architecture. It is located on Holmen Island. Maybe you will buy some tickets here for a show in one of the most modern Opera Houses in the world.

After visiting the Royal Danish Opera House, you can cross the bridge again, walk along the waterfront to Amalienborg Castle. At Amalienborg Castle you can have a look if the Royal Family is home at that moment as it is the official residence of them. If the Royal Family is home, every day at 12 pm you can witness the changing of the guards. The Castle is constructed as four palaces around an octagonal square. Historically the four palaces were constructed for the four different Danish aristocracy families.

Entrance Amalienborg Castle, three palaces are shown with Frederiks Church in the background
Entrance Amalienborg Castle, three palaces are shown with Frederiks Church in the background

If you walk towards Amalienborg Castle you will already see the beautiful building of Frederiks Church in the background. Often it is also called Marble Church which is constructed in a late Baroque style. You can visit the church from 15 June to 31st August every day at 1 pm for adults 35 DKK and children under 18 years 3,00 Euros. I highly recommend to visit the church as it is an impressive building and while visiting it reminded me of the same feeling which I had while visiting the Pantheon in Rome.

Frederiks Church
Frederiks Church

After Frederiks Church we visited the Design Museum Denmark as it has FREE admission for people under 26 years and students. For adults it costs 100 DKK. We were not disappointed as they display a huge variety of different design from all around the world and different centuries. It is a very big building with a museum garden and also a good restaurant.

Opening hours Design Museum Denmark

Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6

Display at Design Museum Denmark
Display at Design Museum Denmark

pm and Wednesday until 9 pm; closed on public holidays

Afterwards we went further to see Gefion Fountain where you can go to make a wish. It is an impressive fountain in the middle of Copenhagen’s port.

Right next to the fountain you will see the beautiful white St. Alban’s Church, also just called the English Church. It is from the 19th century in a Gothic Revival style. When the church is open and offers services, you can find out for every month of the year here.

If you walk over the bridge next to the Gefion Fountain and continue walking straight, you will get to the icon of Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid, a small 1,25m-high bronze statue which is based on the fairy tale of the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson.

Gefion Fountain right next to St. Alban’s Church
Gefion Fountain right next to St. Alban’s Church
St Alban’s Church
St Alban’s Church

You will walk along the rampart of the Castell of Copenhagen. You can walk all around it and then enter it either from the Norwegian or Pinneberg entrance. Inside you will find the commander house, a church and an old windmill on top of Kongens bastion. Opening hours are daily from 6 am till sunset and the admission is FREE.

After all the city walk, you can go and relax in the Botanical Garden. There is a beautiful café where you can sit down, relax and enjoy the perfect view and stunning nature around you. To get ready for the prices, you can have a look already in advance here.

View of Rosenborg Castle from the café in King’s Garden
View of Rosenborg Castle from the café in King’s Garden

Another possibility is to enjoy the nature in Copenhagen is King’s Garden or Rosenborg Castle Garden (Kongens Have). Here is also a nice café at the Hercules Pavillion with a great view of Rosenborg Castle. It is the oldest park in Copenhagen. Both gardens are open during summer time (01.04. – 30.09.) daily from 8:30 am – 6 pm and during winter time from 8:30 am – 4 pm. The admission is FREE.

Rosenborg Castle which is from the 17th century is open to visitors Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Inside is a museum with the chronological collection of Danish Kings and Queens, including the Royal Crown jewelry.

Rundetaarn (Round Tower)
Rundetaarn (Round Tower)

As a perfect end of the day, we suggest to visit Rundetaarn (Round Tower) and go up on the top for a perfect view of the city. Depending on your visit, you might be able to catch the sunset. It was built in the 17th century as an astronomical observatory for Copenhagen University.

Opening Hours Rundetaarn

Summer Season: 01.05. – 30.09. daily 10 am – 20

Winter Season: 01.10. – 30.04. Monday, Thursday – Sunday: 10 am – 18 and Tuesday & Wednesday 10 am – 21 (closed 24 & 25 December and 1 January)

Admission:

Adults: 25 DKK
Children (5 -15 years): 5 DKK

Our suggested walking tour is shown in the map below:

 


Denmark and Sweden: tips and our 8-day itinerary

As I have seen beautiful photos and heard wonderful stories about Denmark, it was a long dream of mine to explore that country and to see for myself. This summer I fulfilled that dream in a wonderful sister road trip and it was even better than expected. Therefore, I want to share my experiences and my 8-day itinerary with you today. I will share also some tips with you which you should consider while you are traveling through Denmark and Sweden.

First thing, Denmark and Sweden are VERY expensive! At least for people earning in Euro and aren’t coming from the Northern countries like Norway, those countries are very expensive for us. It starts with the food, all kind of activities and ends with expensive accommodation. However, if you plan ahead and aren’t up for any 5-star hotels and are happy with outdoor activities, you will be able to afford it.

Tips

  1. Prices: As I already stated above, Denmark and Sweden are very expensive. However, if you are traveling as a student, bring your student card! Especially for activity entrance fees, you will get it often a lot cheaper. Also, if you are traveling with children up to 17 years old, often the entrance fees are for FREE or a lot reduced. So, definitely bring your IDs!
  2. Money: Denmark is part of the EU but didn’t decide to except the Euro. Therefore, they have their own currency, the Danish crowns. The exchange rates are more or less 1 DKK = 0,14 Euro and 1 Euro = 7,45 DKK; 1 SEK = 0,10 Euro and 1 Euro = 9,77 SEK (as of 11/2017). We didn’t have any crowns as cash in our hands once. We payed EVERYTHING already in advance online (for accommodation or the ferry) or payed with our credit card.
  3. Food: As we knew that food is super expensive in Denmark and Sweden and we drove by car from Germany up North, we decided to plan ahead for those 8 days and buy all the food and drinks already in Germany. We had a transportable fridge with us in the car and the trunk was full with food (at least in the beginning ^^). We saved so much money as we didn’t have to buy anything there anymore. To give you an idea of the food prices there: the cheapest street food which we could find was a kebab for 7,50 Euro each! Once we also treated ourselves very well and had one scoop of ice cream for 3,50 Euro each. As we brought all our food with us, we planned to have a kitchen in most of our accommodation.
  4. Transportation: We drove from Germany with in our own car. The fuel is just a little bit more expensive than in Germany. What makes driving more expensive are the toll roads. The most expensive maut which we had to pay was for the bridge between Denmark and Sweden which costs 56,00 Euro one-way! If you need to rent one, I believe it would be the cheapest to rent one at the German border and bring it back there afterwards. There are two ways of getting to Denmark from Germany: by land and by boat. As we wanted to do a roundtrip, we decided to get there by land and come back by ferry. We decided on Scandlines which you should book in advance here. It cost us 126,00 Euro from Gedser (Denmark) to Rostock (Germany) for a car < 6 m and 3 passengers for a 1hrs45min boat ride.
  5. Accommodation: As we knew that it would get expensive in Denmark and Sweden and we were traveling during high season, we decided to book everything in advance. That means, the planning before the trip took more time but in the end, it was nice to travel without worrying where you are going to sleep that night. As we were three people, we book accommodation through booking.com but also through Airbnb.com. As we brought all our food with us, we planned to have a kitchen in most of our accommodation. Where we stayed exactly each night you will find in the 8-day itinerary. Moreover, in Denmark and Sweden it is very uncommon to provide free bed linen. As we didn’t know in advance, we didn’t bring any and had to rent them every night for about 8-10 Euros each time. So, to save a lot of money, bring your own bed linen or a sleeping bag.

Continue reading:

8-day itinerary – 1st to 4th

As we had to book our accommodation for the tour in advance (see tips), we had to have a rough idea of what we wanted to see and were we wanted to go each day during our road trip. Therefore, we had a look of driving distances and interesting sights before we started. Our 8-day travel plan looked like this:



1st day

We drove from Berlin to Esberg, Denmark for about 6,5 hours. Esberg has a very beautiful old historical city center and it is famous for the big white statues of three men looking towards the ocean. The 9 meter high statues are called “Mennesket ved havet” (The men by the sea) and can be seen even 10 km from the ocean if the weather is good. If you still have time you can go walking along the beach front.

Afterwards we drove to our accommodation in Sig: Egebjerggaard Bed & Breakfast

It is a lovely shared house with different rooms and apartments. You share the big kitchen (including a fridge, cooking area and all cutlery) and the lounge room with the other rooms. It is owned by a lovely couple who give helpful tips about the surrounding area. The garden is huge and perfect for playing sports during the day or a cozy campfire at night. It is pretty close to Legoland as well, were some other people went during the day who stayed at Egebjerggaard Bed & Breakfast. Bring your own linen, otherwise you have to pay for it on top of the price. It cost us 67,00 Euro for the whole room for up to 4 people.

The surrounding area is very beautiful for a stroll along the river, through the bushes or going fishing as well.

2nd day

To start perfectly into your new day, explore the lake Karlsgarde So near Egebjerggaard Bed & Breakfast. It is a wonderful morning walk of about 1,5 hours roundtrip.

Private garden along the way to Karlsgarde Lake
Private garden along the way to Karlsgarde Lake

That lake is also part of the Coast to Coast Trail of Denmark. It is a 120-km trail through the idyllic countryside of Jutland. More information about it here. Afterwards you can drive for about 1,5 hours to visit Egeskov Castle which is South of Odense. Next to the beautiful located castle, the castle garden is already enough for a visit! It received different prices each year and since 2013 it has yearly received the “Travellers Choice” at Tripadvisor. Take your time to explore this special place on earth.

Egeskov Castle
Egeskov Castle

Egeskov Castle
Egeskov Gade 18
5772 Kværndrup
Denemark
www.egeskov.dk
Phone: 0045 6227 1016

Opening hours:
29.4. – 23.6. & 1.9. – 22.10. 10 am – 5 pm (castle from 11 am on)
24.6. – 13.8. 10 am – 7 pm
14.8. – 31.8. 10 am – 6 pm (castle from 11 am on)

Prices:
From 29.4. – 23.6. & 28.8. – 22.10.: Park, exhibitions & Castle: 190 DKK (adult) & 110 DKK (child)
24.6. – 27.8.: Park, exhibitions: 190 DKK (adult) & 110 DKK (child)
Park, exhibitions & Castle: 220 DKK (adult) & 130 DKK (child)
If you want to skip the line, you can buy your tickets online in advance here

When you are full of amazing impressions of the landscape architecture beauty of Egeskov, you can drive for about 1hr40min to Roskilde. In Roskilde we stayed in an AirBnB for 3 people including a kitchen. We payed for a one-bed-room apartment 84,00 Euros for one night.

3rd day

Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral

We used our third day in Denmark to explore the impressive old city center of Roskilde with its Roskilde Cathedral and the famous Viking Ship Museum. Roskilde Cathedral, constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries, is an UNESCO world heritage site and the royal burial church of Denmark.

Opening hours
1.04. – 30.09.: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 18; Sunday 13 – 16 (except July till 18)
1.10. – 31.03.: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 16
* These times may vary due to church services.

Prices
Adults 60 DKK (Copenhagen Card Free)
Children (0-17 years) free
Retired and Students 40 DKK (Copenhagen Card Free)
Groups (minimum 10 pers) 40 DKK per person

The Viking Ship Museum is a lot of fun for kids and adults. It is a very interactive museum with offered workshops (you can learn how to build a Viking Ship there!) or going on a cruise on a Viking Ship replicant. I highly recommend to participate in one of the free given guided tours about the ships. The guides are really good and are giving very interesting facts.

Workshop Building a Viking Ship
Workshop Building a Viking Ship

Opening hours
daily 10 am – 16; closed: 24, 25 & 31 December
during summer months and on holidays until 17:00 (11 – 26.02.; 9 – 17.04. & 01.05 – 22.10.)

Prices
during summer months and on holidays (11 – 26.02.; 9 – 17.04. & 01.05 – 22.10.):
adults 130 DKK and students 100 DKK
rest of the year: adults 85 DKK and students 70 DKK
Children to the age of 17 years old FREE
Boat trips are for 100 DKK (50 min) and 200 DKK (100 min).

Original Viking ship in the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde
Original Viking ship in the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde

After spending a lovely morning and lunch time in Roskilde, it was time to drive about 40 min to the beautiful Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. The castle was built in the 17th century and incorporates the best of Renaissance architecture.

Unfortunately, we arrived too late to visit the castle itself but the castle garden is extraordinaire as well! So much beauty and all of it for FREE and it is longer open to public than the castle itself! The Castle Gardens are symmetrical Baroque Gardens with cascades and parterre flower-beds. Moreover, next to it there is a romantic English-inspired garden. So, this impressive landscape architecture has something to offer for everybody.

Frederiksborg Castle in the background of the beautiful Baroque Gardens
Frederiksborg Castle in the background of the beautiful Baroque Gardens

Opening hours of the castle:
01.11. – 31.03.: 11 am – 15 pm
01.04 – 31.10.: 10 am – 17 pm

Entrance fee for the castle:
Adults: 75 DKK
Children (6-15 yrs): 20 DKK
Students + Seniors (65+): 60 DKK

After a wonderful evening stroll along those beautiful gardens, we drove further to our accommodation in Gilleleje. A nice apartment from AirBnB for 3 people for 66,00 Euro per night.

4th day

Gilleleje is a beautiful little fisher town in the North of Denmark with long wide stunning beaches. We had a long coastal walk along all the beaches and it is definitely worth it!

Gilleleje Beach
Gilleleje Beach

Another famous beach is Hornbæk Beach or Tisvildeleje Beach about 50 min along the coast from Gilleleje. We just drove through and it looked nice. However, it was a lot more crowded than the beaches of Gilleleje and we were very happy about the choices we have made. The coastal drive is a very peaceful and enjoyable drive with magnificent views. We drove all the way to Kronborg Castle in Helsingør which is an UNESCO world heritage site. This is the famous castle known as Hamlet’s castle as William Shakespeare decided to use this special site for Hamlet. In the casemates is also the legendary knight Holger Danske “sleeping” who will, according to the stories, will wake up and protect Denmark in case of an important war.

Opening hours
January – March & November – December: Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 16 (last admission: 30 min before closing); closed 24th, 25th and 31st of December
May and June: daily 11 am – 16:00 (last admission: 30 min before closing)
June – September: daily 10 am – 17:30 (last admission: 30 min before closing)
October: daily 11 am – 16:00 (last admission: 30 min before closing)

Prices
November – May:
Adults: 90 DKK
Child under 18 years: Free of charge
Students and groups (min. 10 people): 80 DKK
June – August
Adults: 140 DKK
Child under 18 years: Free of charge
Students and groups (min. 10 people): 130 DKK

Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle

After visiting Kronborg Castle we drove to our AirBnB in Søborg where we rented a 3-people-apartment for 64,00 Euro per night. We decided to stay in Søborg because it was close to Copenhagen and the city was just too expensive for staying there. Therefore, we planned on sleeping close to Copenhagen to have enough time to visit the city the next day.

Continue reading:

8-day itinerary – 5 to 8

5th day

We got up early the next morning for enjoying a full day in Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen. The day we visited it, it was the Copenhagen triathlon on and the city was full of people literally running around and a lot of the streets were closed to traffic which made it more enjoyable to walk around. I write an own post about a day-trip in Copenhagen.

Neyhavn in Copenhagen
Neyhavn in Copenhagen

After our very well spent day in the capital, it was time for us to leave the beautiful country Denmark and cross the border to Malmö in Sweden. It is a stunning 50 mins ride over the long Oresund Bridge. The bridge is the longest combined rail and road bridge in Europe and is almost 8 km long. If you cross that border, you never come to any checkpoint or anything but just have to pay the maut of 56,00 Euros one-way! Because the border crossing is that expensive, I wouldn’t recommend to go just for a day-trip but at least to stay there for a night or two or even longer. We stayed at First Camp Malmö in a cozy new hut for up to 4 people. However, they also have a camp ground and bigger huts. The location is beautiful directly next to the waterfront with a beach and swimming areas, campfire possibilities, big grass areas for playing sports and perfect area for a stroll along the water. For the hut we payed 197,00 Euros for two nights. Bring your own linen here as well.

Sunset along Oresund Bridge, view from First Camp Malmö
Sunset along Oresund Bridge, view from First Camp Malmö

6th day

Use the day to explore Sweden. We enjoyed going to Malmö and to visit the Malmöhus Castle which is built in the 16th century in a Renaissance style. It houses the Malmö Museum (website in Swedish: http://malmo.se/museer ).

Opening hours daily 10 am – 17:00
Entrance fee: adults 40 SEK, children (0-19) Free, students 20 SEK

Malmöhus Castle
Malmöhus Castle

Around the Castle you will find a pretty nice Castle garden with a fountain. There we saw a “meeting” of Pokémon Go players as it seemed there was a Pokémon arena. Everybody was staring at their phones and nobody was talking to each other. What a strange world we are living in by now…

Another side in Malmö is the Turning Torso, the tallest building in Scandinavia. I am pretty sure you won’t miss it, as you can see it from all over the city. The building won already different awards in 2005 and 2015.

If you are up for some swimming, the best spot to go to the beach is Ribersborg Beach in Malmö. In case you want to go out to eat in a restaurant, we got recommended Far i Hatten (Father in the hat) which is supposed to have great food and drinks. As I said earlier, we had all our food with us and it was way too expensive for us to eat out, we never tried it.

As Malmö isn’t that big, we also decided to drive all the way to Lund to explore that beautiful old historical city center. The old Lund University has very nice-looking buildings and it is magical to walk around that campus. When I was there, I nearly wanted to study again. ^^

Beautiful old buildings of Lund University
Beautiful old buildings of Lund University

Stunning interior of Lund Cathedral]
Stunning interior of Lund Cathedral]

Another must-see is Lund Cathedral which is the oldest cathedral in Scandinavia. It was built in the 12th century in a Romanesque style. I have seen already a lot of different churches during my travels but I would consider Lund Cathedral as the most beautiful church I have ever seen in my life. When I entered it took my breath away and I immediately had the same feeling as I had while standing in front of Uluru, in Australia: that is a magical place and God seems to live there.

Opening hours: daily from 8 am to 18:00; Entrance FREE.

Lund also has to offer some good restaurants as we were told but never tried. The recommended places were: a good Asian restaurant called Ihsiri where you should try the superb Pad Thai, Bytaregatan 14, 222 23 Lund.

A good Sushi place called Rå Epok, Klostergatan 7, 222 22 Lund. Or great places for having a beer: Inferno, Paradisgatan 1, 223 55 Lund and Café Ariman, Kungsgatan 2, 223 50 Lund which apparently is more of a student meeting point, very nice and friendly.

7th day

We drove back to Copenhagen to do some shopping there and afterwards we drove for about 2,5 hours to Mons Klint which are the highest chalk cliffs in Denmark with up to 120 m high going straight down to the Baltic sea. If the weather is good, you can see the chalk cliffs of Rügen, Germany on the other side of the ocean and vise versa.

You will also find the Geocenter Mons Klint there which explains the whole geological backround. We didn’t enter as we preferred to go hiking and explore the beautiful landscape.

The whole area around Mons Klint consists of woodland and you can do a nice hiking tour from the Geocenter Mons Klint up on the cliffs all along the waterfront and coming back along the beach getting up the cliffs using the longest wooden steps in Denmark. So, bring along your hiking shoes and get some fitness done. But be aware of the incoming tides as you can get back along the beach just at low tide.

Impressive chalk cliffs of Mons Klint
Impressive chalk cliffs of Mons Klint

Afterwards we visited Liselund Castle and its Romantic Garden on Mon. It is a Free admission to the park which displays a Palace, Swiss House, Norwegian House, Chinese House and the castle itself. It is very well preserved and you can find a guiding booklet at the entrance to the gardens explaining all the different sights. During the summer months they offer guided tours through the Palace Wednesday to Sunday at 10:30 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm and 2 pm for adults 50 DKK and children under 18 for Free. More information about it here.

Liselund Palace
Liselund Palace

We spent our last night on our trip through Denmark and Sweden at Klintholm Marina Park Cabins directly at the waterfront where we could enjoy a beautiful last sunset with the sun setting into the ocean. What a perfectly last night! We payed for 3 people 64,00 Euros for one night.

Beautiful sunset, view from Klintholm Marina Park Cabins
Beautiful sunset, view from Klintholm Marina Park Cabins

8th day

On our 8th and therefore last day, we took the ferry back to Germany from Gedser, Denmark to Rostock, Germany. We decided on Scandlines which you should book in advance here. It cost us 126,00 Euro for a car < 6 m and 3 passengers for a 1hrs45min boat ride. You have to be at least 15 min prior to the departure time at the port. It was a very relaxing ferry trip and we were happy that we decided to go by ferry as we had time to relax, enjoy the scenery and discuss our beautiful memories of the past week in Denmark and Sweden.

Scandlines ferry from Gedser, Denmark to Rostock, Germany
Scandlines ferry from Gedser, Denmark to Rostock, Germany

Overall costs
For the whole 8 days including everything (like petrol, car insurance, accommodation, food, activities, ferries, maut…) we payed 480,00 Euros each of the three of us. That is the most budget traveling we could come up with in Denmark and Sweden but despite that, we really enjoyed our time and didn’t have the feeling that we missed out on anything as we did do everything we wanted to.