We packed up our hotel first thing in the morning and stored our bags with the concierge. We headed for the train station to zip into downtown, stopping by the gas station to pick up some sodas on the way. I’d found a place that was recommended for breakfast on Google that was also near Nyhavn, a good spot for us to start touring.
We also noticed that elevators use a much more logical numbering system in Copenhagen!
Our breakfast location was hipster-esque, and we managed to get there at just the right time before the rush hit. (Their menu board is pictured at left.) After breakfast, we decided to sign up for a boat tour. Our guidebook had recommended one that was inexpensive. I also swung by the amber museum and learned all about Baltic amber. There were tons of prehistoric insects and plant life trapped in amber, but they did not photograph well. I learned about the different shades and types of amber and looked at sculptures and art made of amber.
The boat tour showed us the unique Copenhagen architecture. We didn’t get to take the full route because the water level was particularly high, and the boat couldn’t get under all of the bridges. We still got to see some amazing sights. I’ll call out a few special ones, and you can browse through the full gallery at the bottom of this post.
This is the Inner Harbour Bridge (Inderhavnsbro), and it’s a pedestrian/bicycle bridge connecting Christianshavn (where Christiania is) and Nyhavn. It’s also sometimes called the Kissing Bridge by locals, because it has two pieces that interlock and retract to allow larger ships to go past it. It took 3 more years to complete than was originally planned, due to a series of engineering mishaps. It was going to open in August 2013 but they realized that the two interlocking pieces didn’t line up properly. It finally opened in the summer of 2016, and we saw many pedestrians and bikes using it.
These buildings used to be large boat hangars used by the military, but they’ve been converted into posh condos that include a private boat launch.
Christiania actually extends onto the water. (If you haven’t read about Christiania yet, see my post about Day 1 of our trip.) There are several floating barges that are part of the anarchist communes. We also saw lots of swans swimming between the barges in this area.
Maersk is a well-known worldwide company that makes shipping containers, and they’re headquartered in Copenhagen. Perhaps then unsurprising is the fact that Copenhagen originated the “recycled shipping container as housing” trend. This is a floating array of apartments being used by college students, who are receiving free housing in exchange for testing this particular shipping container home.
This is the famed Little Mermaid statue, as seen from the water. The hordes of tourists nearby made us very happy to see it this way versus from the land. This statue stood for years with little notice until Copenhagen decided to use it in a tourist campaign, which made it the symbol of the city that it is today.
I discovered while on this trip that Copenhagen is known for chocolate frogs. Traditionally, they’re liqueur filled. We stumbled onto this posh chocolate shop in a mall attached to the train stop, and after being taken in by the cuteness, I learned via the internet that the use of chocolate frogs in Harry Potter was probably inspired by the Danish confection.
(full gallery from this day of our trip)