Copenhagen, Denmark | Baltic Cruise

Next stop on our cruise was to Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is where most cruises begin and end. Our cruise was no different, but because we were also able to board in Germany we were some of the few passengers who got to stay on and be “in transit”. Because this is where the bulk of people get on and off the ship, we had a very long day in the port. This is the only place (besides in Russia), where I don’t recommend using the public transportation. Not because it isn’t great, I’m sure it’s wonderful just like the rest of Europe. But because the lines to get on the local bus at the cruise ship were so long! I’m talking like 200 people deep. Plus, the cost savings is just not there like it is with the other ports. A 24 hour public transportation pass is DKK 130 (around $21). A Hop on Hop off bus pass for the day is DKK 165 (around $26).

Now, I really don’t like the HoHo buses and we try to avoid them. The reason for this is because they are usually 3-4 times the cost of public transportation and because they are slow. However, in Copenhagen they weren’t bad. It was cost effective and the bus will take you to all of the tourist locations (or at least close to them), plus take you to your ship. Plus, it was very nice to have a mental break and not have to figure out a new public transportation. That gets difficult when you are switching countries daily. I think the HoHo bus was well worth the extra $5.

I inserted the picture above to remind myself to tell you about the bicycles. Bicycles have their own lanes in Copenhagen and they WILL run you over. It was a lot like Amsterdam. You should always watch out for bicycles when crossing a road, getting off the bus (look right), etc. They have the right of way many times. We saw a few people get hit. Looked like it hurt.

We stayed on the bus a lot of the day since there was little I wanted to see in Copenhagen. We kept seeing this church everywhere. It was really unique.

This was the Amalienborg Palace, the Queen’s winter residence. Looks like a state capitol building. If you are into royal residences then Copenhagen will be great for you! They have multiple residences that you can tour! I’m not super into them. I feel like they all are about the same and Stefan really hates them, so I try to go in them only if it is something I will regret missing. I don’t regret missing this one, so I think I made a wise decision.

This is the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. I just really liked the way that this building looked.

And of course we went to Nyhavn. This was one of my favorite things to see in Copenhagen. This is a very touristy spot and we were lucky to see it early in the morning while there weren’t a lot of people. We actually came back through here about an hour later and there was no way I could have gotten pictures without other people in them. There are lots of tourist shops and restaurants here. You can also do what lots of locals do and go to a grocery store or 7-11, buy beer and a sandwich, and sit and have a picnic.

And then we came to a stop where I could get up close and personal with this church. It’s called Our Savior’s Church, and tucked behind it is the coolest little part of Copenhagen. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d have no reason to venture behind this church….

Christiania!

Freetown Christiania is a green and car-free neighborhood in Copenhagen, best known for its self-governing inhabitants’ different way of life. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government.

When you enter Christiania, you are actually leaving the EU. They have this marked when you exit the property. I thought it was unique.

Christiania has everything. Their own money (they take Euro and Danish Kroner though), their own rules, and even their own flag. The post office is pictured above.

The flag of Christiania is a red background painted with 3 yellow circles. The circles represent the three i’s in Christiania. The flag is red and yellow because their was a lot of leftover red and yellow paint when the squatters originally occupied the military barracks.

A lot of people skip Christiania because they hear it is dangerous, or because it looks run down. DON’T SKIP IT! Seriously, this was so unique and memorable. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

The reason that a lot of people think Christiania is dangerous is because of the drug culture there. There are a lot of misconceptions. First of all, no hard drugs are tolerated in the community. Marijuana is openly sold and smoked on “Pusher Street”, so maybe that is where people are leery. It isn’t like that at all though. Marijuana is still illegal in Denmark, so be aware of that, but we walked up and down Pusher Street several times and never felt unsafe. Pictures are not tolerated on Pusher Street, so don’t even try to take one. I actually felt more safe and at ease here than I did in the “Green Light District” in Amsterdam (and it’s perfectly legal and regulated there).  Part of that is because the community looks out for Christiania and will not tolerate any bad behavior. If you have kids, still bring them to Christiania, just avoid Pusher Street if you are leery.

Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, art galleries, cheap restaurants, music venues and souvenir shops. It is a society within a society. You cannot buy a house in Christiania, you apply for one. No property is owned and if you move out, the property goes back to the community.

I really enjoyed Christiania. I love to see unique places when we travel and Christiania definitely fits! We saw lots of families here enjoying a cheap meal, playing frisbee and just walking around the town. While the buildings and houses are mostly constructed of recycled material, and therefore look a little run down, the area is pretty well cared for. Most of our time was spent here walking around the town. There is a school here and a playground for children to play on. I wish we would have timed it right to take a tour with a local, but we missed it. Definitely try to book one of those. I feel like we would have seen even more cool things on a tour.

After our time at Christiania we decided to head back to the ship. On our way we stopped to see the completely underwhelming Little Mermaid. She’s like 2 feet tall, but you have to see her!

We could have went to Tivoli Gardens, a famous amusement park, but I didn’t feel like I would get $35 worth of enjoyment out of it since I don’t enjoy roller coasters. Many people rent bikes here and bike around town like a local. On a warm day, this would have been great! It was a little chilly while we were there and about an hour after we got on the ship it poured down rain, so I think we made the best decision to relax on the ship.

 

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