A Winter Walk in Copenhagen, Denmark

I visited Copenhagen on a cold winter weekend in January.  To be honest, traveling to Copenhagen really wasn't part of my plan.  I was visiting Rome and knew that I eventually had to make my way back to Stockholm for my flight home to the U.S.  When searching for flights from Rome to Stockholm, I ended up coming across a $19 flight to Copenhagen.  Who am I to pass up a flight that costs less than an average dinner in San Francisco?  Better yet, the timing of the flights all worked out perfectly and would give me 36 hours to explore a new city. 

Despite the chilling temperatures, Denmark's capital city still felt very much alive with warm, cozy cafes and bright, colorful buildings. Luckily I came prepared with plenty of cold weather gear. After I forced myself into layers of wool thermals and three pairs of socks, I set off for a full day of wandering along Copenhagen's canals and cobblestone streets.  

I started with an early morning walk along Nyhavn, the city's picture-perfect canal. If you've ever seen a photo of Copenhagen, you've most likely seen Nyhavn. The canal is lined with brightly-colored restaurants and homes and is filled with beautiful, historic ships.  The cafes offer outdoor seating with an awesome view, although not many patrons take up that offer when the temperatures are in the low 30s. I'm sure this area is an awesome spot to have your morning coffee in the summer.  

It was a Sunday, so I found that many of the must-visit cafes and restaurants I wanted to visit were closed. After a few failed attempts, the next stop was a success. Hot coffee and a delicious Danish pastry helped bare the ice-cold wind that was blasting my face. I must say, being fully functional with four layers of clothing and hands covered in thick mittens is quite the challenge. I'm happy that this isn't something I have to deal with annually, but would be happy to do it again in order to explore more of this wonderful city.  

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The nice thing about coming to Copenhagen unexpectedly is we had no plan — we just walked, not knowing what we'd find next.  We came across a lovely park that led us to Rosenborg Castle.  I had no idea what Rosenborg Castle was, but it was about to open for the day so we decided to check it out and get out of the cold for a bit.  

Castles are pretty awesome, don't get me wrong.  But after touring castles in nearly every major European city I've been to, you start to get burnt out on castles.  So my castle-patience wore thin much quicker than everyone else's seemed to.  

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One thing I really had my heart set on doing was going to the top of the tower at Christiansborg Palace.  It's free to visit the viewing platform at the top of the tower, although they only allow 50 people to be up there at a time.  It's worth the wait, if there is one.  The tower offers a 360-degree, panoramic view of Copenhagen.  On a clear day, you can see all the way to Sweden!

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