A Winter Visit to Copenhagen with Kids
My hubby and I attended a travel conference back in September, and we had the pleasure of hearing bestselling author, Ms. Helen Russell, speak about her experience of “Living Danishly”. Denmark has been dubbed the happiest country in the world. Of course we were intrigued and wanted to see what all the hype was about. Denmark was the last stop on our European tour, so our family of five were all a little tired from the travel. We had travelled with our kids to Manchester, London, and Paris prior to arriving in Copenhagen. Before we landed, I wasn’t so excited about our visit. I wondered if the extra flights, lugging of bags or whiny little ones were worth it? Denmark turned out to be worth all of that and more! Although, I must mention that a few things stood out, like the fact that there is very little diversity in Copenhagen. We saw less than 15 minorities during our entire trip. Also, we spoke to quite a few locals about Denmark being the happiest country in the world, and the majority responded, in summary, that all places have their problems. In addition, the obvious is that it is an expensive place to live and visit. Considering all of these, we really loved it, so much that we are hoping to return in summer so we can experience Copenhagen in all its glory. Maybe we’ll get a chance to venture out to other cities. Copenhagen was amazingly beautiful and quite possibly the cleanest city we’ve ever visited. I even asked Ian if we could move there. He didn’t blink because I ask that of almost every new place we visit, Haha! If you fancy watching us explore Copenhagen rather than reading about it, scroll down to view our short video.
We flew from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to the Copenhagen Kastrup airport with EasyJet. We were able to book one way flights for 76€ per person, which roughly equals $86.43. We found the flights through Skyscanner, one of my favorite sites for flights. If you haven’t used it yet, be sure to give it a try. It’s free. The seats on EasyJet were nice and way more roomy than I would have thought. We’d heard lots of bad things about flying with EasyJet prior to our flight, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. The flight from CDG to CPH was just under two hours. We had an early morning flight, so I was able to enjoy watching the sunrise. The kids slept during the flight because we’d started our morning way earlier than they would have liked. Upon arrival, we attempted to order an Uber to take us from the airport to our hotel. We quickly learned that ride sharing is not allowed in Copenhagen. However, it was super easy to get a taxi, which needed to be a van, in our case. The taxi was located right outside the arrivals area. There were no long walks are anything like what we’ve experience in Manchester or Paris. This was such a convenience when you’re dragging tired kids, blankets, and tons of backpacks. Speaking of dragging stuff around, our littlest one dropped her doll and someone chased us down to return it to us. How kind! Even the taxi attendant was friendly and smiling. The only downside about the taxis in Copenhagen is that they are quite expensive. Our 25 minutes taxi to our hotel ended up costing just under $90. This may have been because we needed a van to fit all of us. I’m not sure. On our return to the airport we took the train. It wasn’t the easiest to figure out, but locals were so helpful to get us going in the right direction. The cost for the train on our return from our hotel to the airport was $11 per adult and children were free.
When searching for hotels in Copenhagen, there were not very many options that would accommodate our large family. We chose STAY Seaport, a newer hotel located in the harbor area of Nordhavn. While this was not a budget hotel at $253/night + taxes and fees, it was well worth the splurge, as we saved money in other areas because of its location. We chose this hotel not only because of its ability to accommodate our family, but also because it was a serviced apartment complete with everything you would need for an “at home” feel. The waterfront apartment was complete with three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, dishwasher, separate washer and dryer, and huge living area. This was such a nice change from compact Paris. The kids really enjoyed the ability to run around and play. Copenhagen is an expensive city much like Paris, so we wanted to be able to cook our own meals rather than relying on eating out all of the time. There was a Netto supermarket conveniently located right outside of our apartment. Upon our arrival we stopped in and got everything we needed for our 4 day stay. The total cost for our groceries including beer, wine, and dessert was around $200. We could have easily decreased this amount, but we really enjoyed exploring the supermarket and probably got a little bit carried away.
The train was a short 15 minute walk from the hotel which was extremely convenient for traveling to Nyhavn, the most popular photo you see when you google Copenhagen. The closest train station to our hotel was Nordhavn. The station needed to get to Nyhavn is Norreport which is only two stops from Nordhavn on the train.
On our first day of exploration we headed to Nyhavn to get the famous “Copenhagen” picture. I know, I know. How touristy of us! After getting our photos and having a wander around, we decided to take the kids to the National Museum of Denmark. It has a special Children’s Museum inside complete with a ship, a life size horse that kids can sit on, a Pakistani style market, and an old classroom where they could be the teachers. Our kids absolutely loved this place! Although we stayed for a couple hours, both little ones cried when we had to leave. Afterwards, we found the cutest little restaurant called Royal Pancake. They served sweet and savory crepes, as well as American style pancakes. Our oldest and middle picky eaters appreciated the familiarity. Ian and I shared the arugula, tomato, cheese and avocado crepe, but both went for our own dessert crepes. Ian said his lemon and sugar crepe was the best he’d ever eaten, and he’s eaten a lot of crepes! His Grandma used to make them like a short order cook.
We also made sure to stop by the Instagram famous Paludan Bog & Cafe which is known for its bookstore and eatery. The food was good, but not memorable. I would highly recommend it for the experience, but if you’re trying to watch your coins, I’d give it a miss. A burger and a beer will cost around $25. This is not too bad for singles but can quickly add up for families. We were wondering around outside the Nørreport train station and stumbled upon Skaal, a craft beer restaurant that boasts over 100 beers. We decided to pop in for a couple of drinks. They had an outstanding variety of craft beers to choose from. I even saw one that was brewed in Michigan, although I don’t recall the name. While the beers were great, I didn't get a vibe that it was a place for kids, so we decided to grab a bite to eat somewhere else.
Copenhagen has an unbelievable bicycle culture. We had never seen so many bikes in our lives! We really wanted to give it a try, but we had trouble renting a bike that was suitable for carrying kids. If we get to visit in summer, we’ll definitely be more prepared to fully immerse ourselves in Danish culture.