Spring Break. Copenhagen.

The smell of spring is in the London air. We have three bank holiday weekends coming up in succession and my thoughts turn to city breaks. I love the capsule holiday long weekend getaways.

This week I’m featuring Copenhagen because it is a wonderful cycle-friendly city with greenery, street art, cafe culture and a fair dash of edginess. In particular, I did two city tours when I visited on my own – a food tour and a Segway tour.  

The walkabout with Copenhagen Food Tours should be on every foodies list.  Our guide, Maria, was very knowledgeable  and passionate about food and its place in Danish culture. Go with an empty belly and open mind. I tried everything – sweets from the 120+ year old Somods Bolcher, beer at Nørrebro Bryghus, smørrebrød (open face sandwiches), an  organic hot dog, and deli favourites at the Bornholm Shop. The eating is well paced between walks and the portions are reasonable but I was definitely very full at the end of it.

I’ve already written about the Segway tour with Tours Cph, which gave me a good spatial orientation of the city. The trip passed all the major sites – The Little Mermaid (lonesome), Tivoli (fun), Nyhavn (colourful), Christiansborg Palace (grand), Amalienborg Palace (impressive), the Old Stock Exchange (amazing building), just to name a few – as well as a several I wouldn’t have known to look for. I liked the feeling of being on the ground, but faster, and there were lots of photo stops.

I went back to explore many of the sites afterward :

Nyhavn for the waterfront colourful buildings that are a great backdrop to have a beer;

Nørrebro which is a melting pot of a neighbourhood with lots of cafes & bars;

Christianshavn and its canals and cobbled streets, past hippie Christiania and onto the Opera House which has a waterfront view back onto Frederik’s Church;

Tivoli for its gardens … and roller coasters;

Strøget and surrounding streets for window shopping and Danish design. I wanted the tea cups at Royal Copenhagen and I bought an intriguingly designed egg-beater at Magasin du Nord. When you’re tired, pop into Perch’s tea room for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

On hotels and restaurants, the girls at The Slow Pace love Copenhagen too and I want to go to some of the places they’ve highlighted.

~ Spotted Cow

Nyhavn Amalienborg Palace cafe culture Copenhagen L1020698 smørrebrød  Danish hot dog Perch's tea room

Demon roller coaster

The Wandering Cows are roller coaster fans.  If there’s one near by, you can bet we’ve got a ticket. That’s where I headed when I arrived at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. I bought my Multi-Ride ticket and went on the roller coasters to the exclusion of everything else.

My favourite was the The Demon – Dæmonen – a two-loop and lolling roll, head over heels, twisty ride that lasts all of 1 minute 45 seconds.  You’ll walk like a drunken sailor for several minutes when you get off, until you gather your wits enough to get in line for another go. And another.

There’s also the Rutschebanen, the oldest running roller coaster in the world. It was built in 1914 and back in the day, it polarized the community, some of whom thought that money should not be spent on such frivolous activity. The ride is not as hairy as The Demon, but it still gets up to speeds of 50km/h, which still means you need to hang on.

I also went on the Odin Express, which is a junior roller coaster. No loops on this one, but it can twist quite wildly so don’t go thinking it’s going to be fairly pedestrian.

I don’t have many pictures because I put my bag in a locker. You can’t have loose things about your body. And I was having too much fun as the early evening turned into night.

~ Spotted Cow

The DemonDemon loops

Danish hot dog

The best hot dog in Copenhagen is from the mobile stall at the bottom of the Round Tower.  What’s more, it’s organic.  Yup, you heard me right.  A healthy hot dog.

The menu gives you 4 choices of getting your dog.  Who knew? You also pick the type of sausage – classic, beef, pork, goat, vegan – and the type of dressing. I opted for the classic hot dog in a bun and it came topped with deep fried onions (maybe not so healthy after all!), diced raw onions and many slim slices of pickle.  I added mustard. It was delicious and filling. Importantly, the sausage didn’t taste like plastic. It was juicy and succulent. Doesn’t that make you want to try one?

You can’t miss the stand if you go to the Round Tower. But if you want to ask for it, it’s called Den Økologiske Pølsemand – The Organic Sausage Man.

~ Spotted Cow

Danish hot dog hot dog menu

Segway Copenhagen

Getting around on a Segway is one of the best ways to see Copenhagen because it is arguably the most bike friendly city in the world.  There are over 300 kilometres of bicycle lanes. Both cars and pedestrians are accustomed to accommodating two-wheelers.

I booked my Segway tour with Tours Cph.  Before the tour started, the guide spent half and hour demonstrating the Segway in the car park and we had a practice. I had never ridden one before, and it was very easy to pick up. Within 10 minutes I was doing mini wheelie circles. Our helmets were fitted with radios so that we could hear the guide giving us instructions as well as telling us about the city.

It was really good fun and  I orientated myself with the city layout.  Apart from the obvious sites, we whizzed by the wonderfully preserved old stock exchange building which I might not have taken a look at and trundled through a secret leafy graveyard.  Plus, I was glad that we wheeled over to visit the Little Mermaid as she is one of Denmark’s most prominent symbols … and she was at the other end of town relative to my hotel.  Apparently, she is decapitated regularly by pranksters and political diehards.

The tour was 2 hours.  I wished it had been longer. I now want to do Segway tours in every city I visit !

~ Spotted Cow

IMG_1252

Little Mermaid