Copenhagen’s Paper Island

Our last full day in Copenhagen started with a trip to Paper Island (Papirøen), which is a waterfront warehouse that was transformed into a food truck/cafeteria haven. We arrived right when the doors were opening, so the food truck owners were still busy prepping food stations and getting ready to serve their daily fare. We took the first 15 minutes to walk around and research our choices (and there were a ton of choices of global food – Korean, Brazilian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican) before settling on some vegetarian-friendly “toastie” sandwiches. There was plenty of seating (especially in the early afternoon) and we enjoyed seeing the global influences and decorations crammed into a small area.

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A little too early for cocktails…
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Monkeebutt mojitos and cocktails

After grabbing some Icelandic-inspired pancakes and coffee to warm up, we headed over to Amalienborg and Frederik’s Church. The day was cloudy and rainy, so we limited our time outside of the Palace and quickly scurried indoors to check out the Frederik’s Church, or “the marble church,” as it’s known. Don’t get me wrong, I love checking out palaces and castles but after seeing 3 others in Denmark, the interiors were starting to run together.

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Frederik’s Church

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We arrived at the Church right as it was opening, so it was very peaceful inside and we were able to take our time admiring the marble architecture and artwork inside.

The rain let up, allowing us to stroll through the city and check out cute shops and grab some smoothies from Joe and the Juice. I grabbed some postcards to send to friends and family back home, and had enough self-control to not buy too many Moomin products. 🙂

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Cute, colorful post-rain stroll
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Copenhagen, Denmark – “We Are Red, We Are White, We Are Danish Dynamite!”

We went back and forth a few times before finally deciding on our spring destinations. That’s the hardest part of trip planning for me – narrowing down exactly where we want to go. We almost committed to going to South Africa, but learned that my friend Joe was studying abroad for spring semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. We shifted our plans to visit him in Copenhagen, and decided to tack on visits to Stockholm, Sweden, and Vilnius, Lithuania.

Looking for hotels in Copenhagen was an interesting challenge. For one of the days we were there, the city’s hotels seemed to be almost full. Copenhagen is an expensive city to stay in and that is definitely reflected in hotel prices. We opted to stay at the Axel Guldsmeden, which is a Balinese-influenced self-defined eco-hotel. Yes, we travelled all the way to Denmark to stay in Bali. 😉 The hotel was nice, if a bit squeaky with the hardwood floors and wooden furniture. They offer eco-amenities, like shampoos and soaps in dispensers, toothpaste tablets, and reusable plastic water bottles to take along and refill. The location is great, near Copenhagen Central train station and we were able to get to most places on foot easily.

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A little Bali in Denmark’s capital

The hotel even had a bin of organic apples and pears for guests to take, as well as bicycles to rent.

On our arrival (half) day, we visited Christiansborg Slot (Palace) and walked around the area with the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) and the Royal Library Garden.

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Folketinget

From there, we walked over to the National Museum of Denmark. The museum was nice, though a bit random in some places. They had an exhibit on Navajo blankets and textiles, Japanese manga and cosplay culture, and arctic lifestyle/clothing. The museum also had a very darkly-lit room with a bunch of vintage doll houses (side note: we also saw doll houses at Stockholm museum – is this a Scandinavian thing?).

The museum also had exhibits on antiquities (of course!). You can’t have a National Museum without an overview of Danish history, so luckily we found those exhibit types, too. I especially liked looking at the section with Danish culture in the past 100 years – 1950s consumer culture and a 1970s room layout – seems like hippies were everywhere! The post title comes from a pillow on display at the museum.

At Tivolihallen, I had my first taste of quintessential Danish cuisine, smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) with eggs and tomato. The restaurant staff was very friendly and accommodating. The dish was not yet on the menu, but after learning that we were vegetarian, they offered to make the egg and tomato smørrebrød for us.

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Smørrebrød

On that note, Copenhagen was definitely the hardest city on this trip for finding vegetarian cuisine, but we managed. 🙂

We strolled over to Nyhavn to hop on a canal boat tour, since we reviewed weather forecasts and determined that it would be the nicest day.  On the tour, we saw The Copenhagen Opera House, Christiania and Freetown Christiania (at least the outskirts), Amalienborg Palace, the Black Diamond Library, and, of course, the Little Mermaid statue (which was very small and surrounded by a ton of people).

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Nyhavn canal tour

I would highly recommend the canal tour. We were even able to see the royal yacht, which happened to be in the harbor as we rode by. We also saw Papirøen (Paper Island) from the boat, which inspired a trip a few days later.

After the canal day, we had unremarkable Italian food in Nyhavn before heading back to our hotel.