One month exactly from today I’ll be landing in Copenhagen and I can’t wait! I’ll be spending my week exploring Denmark and popping over to Norway for a couple days. I’ve never been to Scandinavia before, so here are the 10 things I’m most excited to do:
1. Nyhavn. Everyone who visits Copenhagen comes back with the same photo of Nyhavn, but I don’t care. I can’t wait to see this iconic waterfront neighborhood and snap my very own picture of the colorful buildings.
photo: Michael Button via Flickr
2. Look super chic on a bike. I will put together the perfect city cycling outfit… and try to avoid accidents. Hey, I survived Citi Biking in Brooklyn, so I got this!
photo: tomislav medak via Flickr
3. Eat an open face sandwich. Or a “Smørrebrød” as the Danes call it.
photo: Sakena via Flickr
4. Visit Freetown Christiania. This autonomous commune is the last remnant of the peace and love hippie movement in Europe, and has about 1,000 residents. Everyone designs and builds their own homes, and they earn money by producing things like bicycles and stoves (and selling weed of course). It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Copenhagen for a good reason – it’s fascinating!
photo: Kieran Lynam via Flickr
5. Drive a stick shift car across the country. I’ll be renting a car and driving from Copenhagen to Aarhus. I barely drive period (#NewYorkerProblems) so figuring out how to work a manual transmission will be quite fun. Actually I’m going to rent one before I go and practice. Wish me luck.
photo: Charles Hutchins via Flickr
6. See where fairy tales come from. If I master the whole driving thing, I”ll hopefully be stopping at Odense. It’s the third largest city in Denmark, where famous fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen was born. It’s also known for having one of the largest gothic style cathedrals in Denmark.
photo: Pedro Plassen Lope via Flickr
7. Explore Ribe. Another ambitious road trip I have in mind is to Ribe, a viking town famous for its storks. Storks have been nesting there for centuries, which is reflected in the use of storks in fairy tales and myths. Sadly they don’t visit Ribe every year any more since their population is dwindling, but I’m hoping they make an exception and come see me.
photo: Martin Munneke via Flickr
8. Experience the nightlife of Aarhus. Apparently this city, famous for its nightlife, is the young capital of Denmark due to a heavy student population. Since I only have a few more years left of being able to blend in with college students (guilty of accepting student discounts over here) I’m looking forward to checking it out.
photo: pier_photo via Flickr
9. See the fjords of Norway. In case you’re thinking I’m crazy for taking two days to go from Denmark to Norway just to see the fjords, I’d have to agree with you. I’m going with my sister and she wanted to see fjords, I wanted to see Denmark, and this is our compromise. We’ll be doing the Norway in a Nutshell one day tour and the views look pretty incredible.
photo: Joe Stump via Flickr
10. Try the raved about breakfast at Klosterhagen Hotell. For our brief time in Norway we’ll be staying at the Klosterhagen Hotell in Bergen. I’m a big fan of breakfast (favorite meal of the day!) so obviously I’d pick a hotel that’s known for a traditional Norwegian breakfast homemade from locally sourced ingredients. They even press their own juices and bake their own bread.
photo: c/o Klosterhagen Hotell
So that’s the general plan! If you have any other suggestions for things I must do in Denmark or Bergen, Norway then please feel free to leave a comment. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If I stop posting photos for a few days, please contact my parents. I am probably stalled on the side of the road somewhere trying to translate the car manual from Danish.
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