Copenhagen in a Eurovision Whirlwind

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Copenhagen is a city i’ve always heard a lot about, but never got the chance to going to before. As we all know by now, I flew over to Denmark for the Eurovision Song Contest last week and I made sure I booked myself an extra day on the end to explore the city while I had the chance to.

I’d heard a lot of rumours floating about the Internet and also from friends and family that Copenhagen was rather expensive to visit, and while yes, it is on the pricey side – it’s not as horrendous as they make it out to be. If i’m honest I think the most expensive part was the hotel – I stayed in 2 star hotel Cabinn City by the central train station in Copenhagen, and at a discounted press rate for Eurovision it still worked out at about £70 a night, which is definitely edging on the pricey side. The hotel was great, I would recommend it if you’re looking to do Copenhagen on a budget – it’s basic, but clean and that’s all you need. It’s slogan is that it’s ‘all you need to sleep’ and that it is. There’s no chairs or anything in the room, just a bed and a wet room, it reminded me of those big Uni accomodation blocks that most students in this country live in. Limited space, but everything you need. If you don’t plan on spending much time in your hotel and want to do Copenhagen on the cheap – it’s brilliant. London basic hotels could learn a lot from it cleanliness wise, that’s for sure.

Of course I spent the first two days of my stay pretty much exclusively on Eurovision Island, which was a little purpose built arena for the Eurovision alone. If you look in the photo of the mermaid above, you can see the abandoned dreary looking building behind covered in a huge banner saying #JoinUs, that is the Eurovision arena. It used to be a ship yard part of Copenhagen and it’s not really visited or used by anyone, so transforming it into Eurovision Island clearly took a lot of work and well, it was rough round the edges.

After the Eurovision was done and dusted I had a full Sunday to myself to explore the city. I woke up late because I didn’t get to bed until 4am the night before, and I immediately headed out for some lunch. Joe and The Juice is a really popular chain here – actually from Denmark I believe – and it’s great for fresh smoothies and sandwiches. I headed there for a bit of lunch before setting out on a mammoth walk. I absolutely love walking, i’m sure i’ve mentioned it before, and I decided as the sun was out, the best way to explore the city was on foot. I actually walked about 45 minutes across the city right up to the little mermaid statue which is actually right on the outskirts of Copenhagen – something worth noting! It was a beautiful walk right through Christiansborg and the Nytorv areas and straight down Bredgade to the statue.

There’s a great shopping district in Stroget that has absolutely everything from H&M, & Other Stories and Monki to shops like Sephora and other such pharmacies. It’s a really nice area actually, quite pleasant. This main bit was host to the Eurovision Fan Mile while I was there so it was pretty busy with pop up stages, singing spots and all sorts of other kitsch Eurovision fun, but I can imagine it’s usually very busy but nice to look around.

Overall, and this is just a very brief look at Copenhagen, the city felt very cool, with a really diverse mix of people adorning the streets. Of course I saw it during Eurovision so the city was all geared up for that really but I could tell it had a great vibe. It was quite different to a lot of other European cities i’ve been to, feeling clean and bright as well as really unique architecture and a whole bunch of different things to look at, Copenhagen is definitely on my list for a little re-visit one day! And honestly, if you budget well, it really isn’t as expensive as you think. Working out the currency though.. well that’s a whole other ball game, that!