Saturday 7 October 2023

Copenhagen Diaries: day 2

On our first full day in Copenhagen we got up nice and early, had breakfast then decided to venture out and see how much we could do on a budget; it's an expensive city so it was nice to explore some free things to do in Copenhagen and make use of the public transport system. PS, you can read day one here!

Marmorkirken Area

Our first stop was the stunning Marble Church, located just outside of Marmokirken metro station; I had bought us each a city pass through the DOT app, covering 4 zones, for roughly £9 per person - this covers the metro, trains, buses and even the ferries. Luckily our hotel was super close to a metro station, and we headed straight to Marmokirken. The church is right there as you exit the station, you can't miss it, and it really is beautiful. It was just about to open for visitors so we walked around the exterior then popped inside to see the stunning swan organ and admire the beautiful ceiling.

As we exited, I was about to turn left when Kate (my other half) noticed everyone heading in the other direction; we decided to follow suit, past some unsightly scaffolding, to see where everyone was off to. On our right we saw an open garage full of Rolls Royces, one of which had a royal emblem on the front, so we guessed we were near the palace - and we were! This is Amalienborg, the official residence of the Danish royal family. It's made up of 4 identical buildings with a large statue in the middle, and there is a museum although it was closed on the Monday when we were there. We did, however, get to see the Royal Life Guards who stand outside; it was coming up to noon, so we saw the changing of the guard take place which was really cool. I'd definitely recommend, even if we did just stumble across it...

From here we carried on walking, dodging the thousands of bikes and cyclists, and found ourselves on the waterfront. We intended to just have a short walk then cut back up towards Marmorkirken, but there was nowhere to turn and all of a sudden we'd found a lovely park with a church and fountain - we crossed a bridge here down back onto the harbour, where we saw a huge crowd of people. We'd stumbled upon the Little Mermaid statue, one of the Copenhagen must sees, which is absolutely tiny but definitely worth ticking off the list. There are steps pretty much all the way down to the statue, but it is a bit of a rocky area so be careful.

We walked back up, past a small marina, and found ourselves at the entrance to Kastellet: the fortress or citadel, which is really well preserved and forms a pentagon shape with a bastion at each corner. It's very impressive, and we walked right around it - very peaceful. Then we headed out towards a more town-like area, and managed to see the Nyboder houses: they're a few rows of gorgeous yellow houses, commissioned back in the day by King Christian IV for the seafaring men and their families.

Christianshavn Area

We'd already managed to see so much on this day, but we weren't finished yet; we jumped back on the metro and got off at Christianshavn, where we stopped for a coffee/coke/cookie at a little social enterprise kind of place. This area doesn't feel like the nicest part of the city, but if you want to visit Free Town Christiania then this is where you need to go; we had planned on visiting (it's a small commune which you can learn about here) but there were some warnings on the news to say it was particularly unsafe during the time we were there, so we skipped it. But I know a few people who have been and said it's worth a visit!

Luckily, this area also had something else we wanted to see: the Church of Our Saviour. It's free to get in and it has a very tall spiral tower which you can pay to climb up - we both went inside to have a look around, and it's very pretty, and then I decided to climb up the tower. This costs around £8, and I paid on the day without booking but they do recommend you book during busy seasons. It's a long, narrow and sweaty climb up to the top but the views are sensational from up here - it gets incredible windy though, which is worth bearing in mind...

The rest of the day

From here we got back on the metro to see some other things Kate had found - at the metro stations you can pick up a leaflet which shows you the best things to see near each station, so we went off that. The first stop was Amager Strand for the manmade beach, just to have a look - there are volleyball courts and quite a nice view, but given that it was a windy day in September is wasn't really worth the journey. I can imagine it's lovely in the summertime, though! We hopped back on the metro and made our way to Nørreport, where we wandered up to Kultorvet (the 'Coal Market' area) to visit one of the food halls. We didn't buy anything, but it was still nice to walk through it and see all the street food, meats, chocolate and flowers on offer.

Finally, we made our way back to the hotel for a well deserved rest. We'd walked so much and seen a lot of Copenhagen on a budget - we'd barely spent much at all, except for our city pass tickets, climbing the church tower, and some snacks/a cheeky McDonalds. After a little chill, watching the sunset from our hotel window, we ventured back out to Kongens Nytorv station to see Nyhavn in the dark - it was beautifully lit up, the restaurants were full, and there were some buskers playing guitar. The atmosphere here during the evening is really lovely, and well worth seeing!

So there you have it - our very busy second day seeing a lot of the free things to do in Copenhagen. It's an expensive city but it doesn't *have* to be, and I think we managed to see and do a lot here without spending too much money. Our highlights from this day were definitely Kastellat, the Church of our Saviour and changing of the guard.


  1. Copenhagen looks wonderful, so much to see and do - thank you for sharing how you can do this on a budget though!

  2. Marble Church looks beautiful and the view from the top of that building of Copenhagen is just insane! I would love to visit Copenhagen one day! x

    Lucy Mary

  3. It sounds like a lovely day! I'd love to visit Copenhagen. The changing of the guards must have been great - how wonderful to stumble on that. I'd totally want to climb the tower, too. The views are amazing!

    Corinne x

  4. This is so cool, I'm saving this for later to plan with my partner going there.

  5. Thanks for sharing, you managed to fit a lot in to your second day, there is plenty to see on a budget, I would recommend the changing of the guard, the gardens are nice by there to :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures