Have you heard? The Danes are the happiest people on Earth! I guess they’ve moved on quite dramatically from their depressed schizophrenic Prince of Denmark after their primary residence was changed from Elsinore to Amalienborg Palace.
That said, my latest vacation to Copenhagen was something that I had been looking forward to for weeks, and yet, surprisingly (or not surprisingly), I barely planned for it. And as my sister would say, when you fail to plan, plan to fail. And I sort of did, sort of. I mean, I probably spent more than what I should have, and had I spent some time planning, I might have saved some money. Still, even though I did overspend, a little, I did have a good time. And I think, if I had known, that everything was going to close at 4 or 5 pm, I might have planned my sightseeing a little better too.
But there’s a lot to see in Copenhagen. And there’s also not much to see in Copenhagen. If that makes sense. I think a lot of it has to do with what sort of sightseeing you like to do. I spent a bit of time going to the modern art museums, only to find that I’m still not a super big fan of a lot of modern art. At the same time, I don’t really think that Copenhagen is a big haven for a lot of the Classics. They did have a Golden Age in the 17th century (I think) but I’ve seen a lot of the more classical pieces of art in the past and these days, instead of trying to see everything all at once, I tend to see what catches my eye whenever I enter a room and kind of just zoom in on it. Copenhagen also has a thing for their sculptors, and there are a lot of them everywhere but that’s not necessarily what I’m into either. I do, however, like architecture (that’s a recent thing), and I love old churches (but apparently only the Renaissance and the Gothic ones). So I guess what I’m saying is that if I had done my homework, I could have been a lot more focused in my sightseeing, and saved myself some dough, and perhaps not have been as rushed even though I was there for a week, which is a lot of time to spend in such a small city.
That said, there are a couple of ways to lower the costs of your stay. Most of the State museums are free. The Hirshsprung museum (a really cool small art museum) is free on Wednesday, along with the Thorvald Museum (mostly scupltures). The Carlsberg art museum is free on Tuesday. The castles and palaces all have an admission fee, and that includes the Christanborg Palace, The Amalienborg Palace, Krongberg and Rosenberg castle and Roskilde Cathedral. Climbing up the Tarnet at Christanborg is free. But to see the Round Tower, it will cost 25dkr, and so does climbing up the round spire at the Sankt Anne church. Freetown Christiana was an interesting experience. I’m not sure what I should have expected. I was expecting happy hippies? But it wasn’t as pleasant as my imagination would lead me to believe. Paper Island has good and fairly affordable food. 7Eleven, surprisingly, has great coffee and some of the best tasting croissants in the city.
I had gotten a 48hour Copenhagen card. I think it released a bit of the pressure on trying to figure out what I wanted to see, and I felt freer about taking public transport. That said, I think I might have saved a bit of money by just getting a 24hour city pass or 24 hour transit pass and using my student card to get cheaper admission prices at the castles. Or getting a Parkmusernee. Unless if you really plan your time really really well, the 48hr Copenhagen Card might not be as worth the price you are paying for.
So here’s a big picture summary:
the Copenhagen card which comes in 24hrs, 48, 72 and 120 hours allows you to go to MOST of the attractions in Copenhagen (and some out of it) and also comes with free transportation on all modes of public transport (water taxis, bus, metro, subway) to all the zones (as far as Roskilde and Helsingor). May be worth it if you are short on time and cannot go to the free museum days.
There’s a combined ticket for Kronberg and Amalianborg (but there’s no student ticket price for that). Kronberg also offers a separate student ticket price.
There’s a combined ticket for all 4 sites at Christanborg palace (but if you are only interested in the reception rooms…just get the reception room ticket. Bonus if you have a student pass on you).
All the palaces and castles have student ticket pricing.
There’s a 24hr City Pass that allows unlimited travel on public transport.
The Museum Park Pass (Parkmusernee) will cover the The David Collection, The Filmhouse, The Hirschsprung Collection, SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), The Natural History Museum of Denmark and Rosenborg Castle.
The David collection
Staten Museum for Kunst (its next to Kronberg castle)
The Botanical gardens (but you’ll have to pay for the greenhouses)
Free Museum days:
Thovald museum is free on Wed
Hirshsprung museum is also free on Wed
The Glyptoteck (that’s the art museum that was built by the founder of Carlsberg) is free on Tues.