After many years of discussing it, we finally decided to take a trip to Scandinavia. At first, Hannah attempted to plan this trip but quickly became overwhelmed. When should we go? Which countries should we visit? There were too many options. Fortunately, Hannah’s mom got wind of this idea and jumped in. She basically planned the whole trip and we would highly recommend the itinerary, especially if you don’t have more than a week. We stayed in Copenhagen the whole time, and agreed to leave Stockholm and Oslo for another time.
Since this was a “baby moon” we ended up traveling in December. Hannah would have been too pregnant if we had traveled much later and we would have used up some precious 2019 PTO.
Although not the best time to head north, it never dropped below freezing and the Christmas markets were quite festive. It did get dark very early, but that didn’t stop our adventures!
We arrived in the afternoon and checked into our hotel, the Marriott. This hotel was a 15 minute walk to downtown. Although not in the most happening location, reviews online said it was much quieter. Robbie also found a deal online for the buffet breakfast which was great. Overall, it was an excellent place to stay and we would recommend it!
Nothing was truly planned for our first evening, except dinner, so we went shopping! Royal Copenhagen did well.
The next day we visited the National Museum and Christianborg Palace. We would recommend both but only certain parts. The Modern Danes tour at the Museum was excellent. Skip the Viking exhibit if you don’t have much time, although some of the artifacts later in the exhibit were interesting.
The stable tour at the palace was great, but we do not recommend the reception tour, or at least our tour guide. She spoke way too much about the materials the building was made of rather than its history. And then, in the tapestry room, she intimidated that the only reason the Danes helped the Jews during WWII was because they were being paid (IE why else help a Jew?). We were pretty upset when we left.
The next day we went to Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace, and the Design Museum. Rosenborg was fine and the Crown Jewels were fun to see, but nothing to write home about. We did enjoy the changing of the guard at Amalienborg. The interior exhibit of this palace was okay but not too exciting. The design museum was spectacular and highly recommended. The cafe was excellent too and a good place to take a break.
The next day we took the train to Roskilde and visited the Viking Ship Museum. This was an excellent day trip and shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Copenhagen.
Robbie arranged a Jewish tour of Copenhagen for the following day. Our guide, Benta, was excellent. She first toured us through Mitzvah, the Danish Jewish Museum, and then hired a car to take us to Dragor, one of the port cities the Jews were evacuated from. We saw one of the fishing boats which was used to transport Jews to Sweden, lovingly maintained, and a monument in honor of the fishermen who were involved in the rescue effort. We heard many stories from Benta about her family – her parents escaped to Sweden – and the general rescue operation. It was incredibly moving and satisfying to hear a story of goodness from that very dark period.
That evening we went to Tivoli Gardens, the inner city theme park. Because it was chilly and expensive we didn’t go on any rides but it was fun to walk around.
On our second to last day we started with a canal tour of Nyhavn. This was great fun and recommended, especially because it involves very little walking! We also visited the Glyptotek museum. Although not a necessity this was a lovely museum and worth a visit. They have an indoor garden which was perfect for a rest.
On our final morning we toured the Carlsberg Factory. This visit was actually a pleasant surprise: interesting and informative while still being a bit off the beaten path. Highly recommended!
We had a lot of wonderful meals in Copenhagen at the following restaurants:
A couple notes: we thought keeping kosher in Denmark would be easy but it turns out that game, more than fish, is their protein in the winter months. This, combined with Hannah’s fish limitations, caused us to choose mostly Italian restaurants on our trip to Denmark!
The only restaurant we can’t recommend is Paludan Bog cafe. We told them about Hannah’s nut allergy and they still put walnuts in her salad. The bathrooms were also disgusting.
Overall this was an amazing trip! We highly recommend visiting Copenhagen!