CIRCUMNAVIGATOR

(Almost) FREE things to do in Copenhagen

Denmark 2012

The last couple of days I have become a lot of international Likers on my Facebook page – thank you for that :-) So I have decided to give them a little treat about what to do in the capital of Denmark – Copenhagen, or “København” in Danish. My Danish readers and Likers are of course welcome to read as well.

Last summer I spent some weeks in Copenhagen. I was attending a very interesting course on Social Media Marketing. Being unemployed, I was a little short on money. Luckily I was able to sleep very cheap at friends places – even spent some nights in the guest room at a real monastery. In the spare time from the course, I tried to enjoy as much of Copenhagen for as little as possible.

Nyhavn – Harbour and Canal Tour in Copenhagen

I will start with one of the almost free things to do in Copenhagen, but definitely value for money. To take a stroll or sit on a bench at the harbour is free, but if you decide to get something to eat or drink in one of the many bars and restaurants in Nyhavn, prepare yourself to spend a lot of money. It surely has it’s charm though, and I did treat myself to a Danish specialty – “Stjerneskud” – an open sandwich with two kinds of fish and scrimps. Another Danish food specialty is “Smørrebrød” – a variety of open sandwiches on dark rye bread with herring, cold meat cuttings – one of my favorites is “Rullepølse“, liver paté – “Leverpostej”, Danish cheese etc.

Stjerneskud at Nyhavn in Copenhagen          Nyhavn in Copenhagen from Nettobådene

The very popular harbour and canal tour boats also leave from Nyhavn. It is a fantastic way to see many of the great sights and scenery of Copenhagen, and then it is almost free. If you choose the company “Nettobådene” – blue boats leaving from across Nyhavn, then it is only 6 Euro per Adult. The entire tour is approximately one hour and is guided in several languages. It takes you to the harbour and under bridges in the narrow canals of the city.

The royal yacht Dannebrog at Holmen          View to Amalienborg and Frederiks Kirke

I will just mention a few of the many sights you will see on the tour: The Royal Palace – “Amalienborg”, The Little Mermaid – and she is VERY little, the old naval base of Copenhagen – “Holmen”, “Børsen” – a trade center build by King Christian XI and “Christiansborg” – the seat of the Danish parliament and famous from the Danish TV series “BORGEN“.

Little Mermaid from the seaside

Nettobådene under the bridge in Copenhagen          Christiansborg and Børsen in Copenhagen

Assistens Kirkegård – Cemetery

Some might say: “Why should I spend my vacation on a cemetery?!?”. In my opinion visiting a cemetery is like walking down a lane of history, especially if you bump into tombstones of famous people that reminds us of the past – and this you most certainly do on the Assistens Cemetery at Nørrebro in Copenhagen.

Hans Christian Andersen at Assistens Kirkegård          Søren Kierkegaard at Assistens Kirkegård

This is the spot to visit the graves worldly famous Danish people. The most famous of them all must be the writer and adventurer Hans Christian Andersen. He was to one saying: “At rejse er at leve – To travel is to live”. But also the Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, has his rest here. Being born on 5th of May 1813, his 200 year birthday celebration is coming up very soon.

Dan Turrèll at Assistens Kirkegård          Natasja Saad at Assistens Kirkegård

Further to this are numerous of writers, artists, scientists and other significant people to the Danish society buried here. To mention a few is Niels Bohr – Nobel Prize winner in physics, Dan Turrèll – a popular modernistic poet and author and reggae singer Natasja Saad, who was on the verge to a world wide career, but died too early. Similar to for example The Doors’ lead singer, Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris, that I saw some years ago, also Natasja’s grave is decorated with small presents.

The cemetery is situated in Nørrebro, a multicultural neighborhood of Copenhagen, and during opening hours it also function as a park. If the sun is shining and you don’t mind eating with the dead, then I recommend to grab a take-away kebab from one of the many small cafés on Nørrebrogade – they are tasty and cheap too.

Poem found on his grave by Dan Turèll – sorry it is in Danish, because I dare not translate it into English. It is tribute to everyday life.

Hyldest til hverdagen…

Jeg holder af hverdagen
Mest af alt holder jeg af hverdagen
Den langsomme opvågnen til den kendte udsigt
der alligevel ikke er helt så kendt
Familiens på en gang fortrolige og efter søvnens fjernhed fremmede ansigter

Morgenkyssene
Postens smæld i entréen
Kaffelugten
Den rituelle vandring til købmanden om hjørnet efter mælk, cigaretter, aviser –
Jeg holder af hverdagen
Selv gennem alle dens irritationer
Bussen der skramler udenfor på gaden
Telefonen der uafladelig forstyrrer det smukkeste, blankeste stillestående ingenting i mit akvarium
Fuglene der pipper fra deres bur
Den gamle nabo der ser forbi
Ungen der skal hentes i børnehaven netop som man er kommet i gang
Den konstante indkøbsliste i jakkelommen
med sine faste krav om kød, kartofler, kaffe og kiks
Den lille hurtige på den lokale
når vil alle sammen mødes med indkøbsposer og tørrer sved af panderne –
Jeg holder af hverdagen
Dagsordenen
Også den biologiske
De uundgåelige procedurer i badet og på toilettet
Den obligatoriske barbermaskine
De breve der skal skrives
Huslejeopkrævningen
Afstemningen af checkheftet
Opvasken
Erkendelsen af at være udgået for bleer eller tape –
Jeg holder af hverdagen
Ikke i modsætning til fest og farver, tjald og balfaldera
Det skal til
med alle sine efterladte slagger
Så meget usagt og tilnærmelsesvist
vævende og hængende i luften bagefter
Som en art psykiske tømmermænd
Kun hverdagens morgenkaffe kan kurere –
Fint nok med fester! Al plads for euforien!
Lad de tusinde perler boble!
Men hvilken lykke så bagefter at lægge sig
i hvilens og hverdagens seng
til den kendte og alligevel ikke så kendte samme udsigt

Jeg holder af hverdagen
Jeg er vild med den
Hold da helt ferie hvor jeg holder af hverdagen
Jeg holder stinkende meget af hverdagen

If you want more information on what to do in Scandinavia, then please also read about A Long and Lovely Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden, and The Royal Summer House in Aarhus.

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