acting as a free tour guide for a week, or, my friends came to copenhagen

Honestly I’m ready to send my resume to a travel agency now.

Within the last week, I’ve had two groups of friends come visit Copenhagen! My best friend from middle school, Bridget, and 4 of her university friends came the first weekend. Then, my friends from Villanova, Ryan (also high school!!!), Ian, Becca, and Taylor, came on Tuesday because they were on fall break.  We had planned their trip to Europe back in July and I have been waiting for these three days since then. Here’s some things I did with mine venner, my friends.


  • Rosenborg Castle and the King’s Garden: I think this is my favorite place in Copenhagen. Only a few minutes from Nørreport station, this spot is a beautiful and peaceful green area in the middle of the city. Walking through the King’s Garden is always like the first time. I never get bored with it. And since it is fall, the leaves were all changing yellow and orange.


  • Nyhavn: while it is so very important to live in the moment, it also feels imperative on your trip to Copenhagen to take some photos in front of the colorful houses at Nyhavn. Going to Nyhavn is also a surreal experience for me, and others, because you constantly see these vibrant pictures of the houses, water, and boats online and then you turn a corner and you’re there?!


  • Trampolines: I had not been to the bouncy sidewalk spot until this week. Warning: you might have to fight some Danish children for bouncing time.


  • Amalienborg and Frederik’s Church: these two landmarks are located right next to each other. Amalienborg Palace is where the royalty of Denmark lives. You can see the changing of the guards here if you time it well. It is a pretty modest housing situation, but I think that really embodies Denmark. Down the street is Frederik’s Church which is free to go into. It is a beautiful marble church and was actually having a special exhibit with (fake) cherry blossoms hanging from the ceiling to promote recognition of Earth’s beauty and the preservation of these natural gifts.
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cherry blossoms

  • Christiania: very different part of the city. I think it’s nice to go to the off beaten path a little bit to see allllll of what Copenhagen has to offer.



  • Both groups went to Skt. Pedar’s Baegeri for breakfast one day. Not only is it really affordable but it’s the oldest bakery in Copenhagen and has the yummiest pastries. Unfortunately now they will all have skewed perceptions of cinnamon rolls because none will be able to live up to theirs here. Unskyld!
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Wednesday necessity

  • Reffen: Reffen is a street food spot that is a little bit out of the way of the center city. The first time I went I did not realize where I was-everything looks really industrial. But we took the trusty 9A bus out to Refshaleøen and rounded the corner to all of the food stalls. It’s pretty affordable if you play your cards right and everyone can get what they’re in the mood for.


  • Brunch: On Thursday morning, I went to brunch at Mad & Kaffe with my Villanova friends. I was able to walk them through Vesterbro to see a different part of Copenhagen, outside of the center city and tourist attractions.



  • Rent a boat on the canal: I cannot say this occurred without incident. Our first boat experience began with our boat horizontal in a small canal with a larger boat aiming straight for us. We fired our first captain (our friend Hillary). A kind Danish man offered us some advice and helped us turn straight and continue our maritime journey. I also did a GoBoat with my friends from Villanova and it went completely smoothly (thanks Ryan our loyal captain!!!!). This is a really unique and special thing to do because you need absolutely no prior boat experience. There is a table in the center of the boat, so we brought bread, cheese, jam, the thin chocolate I love (!!), grapes, meats, and drinks for our boat ride. Both groups had a ton of fun.
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  • Tivoli: spooky season at Tivoli! I LOVE fall and the park was decorated with pumpkins, hay, and orange decor everywhere. We walked around, watched a light show, and got waffles. I got chocolate all over my coat but I’ll call it a win.



  • Neon lights: I took Bridget and two of her friends to Reffen on Sunday night. The rumors (facts) are true: Denmark gets super dark quite early in the year. While this is kinda sad it makes for perfect photo shoot lighting under neon signs. After the food stalls started to close up, we walked around the industrial grounds that surround Reffen and had fun with the neon lights there.

pc: Bridget

  • Art exhibit: While walking around Copenhagen, we kept seeing this poster of Marina Abramović. Bridget said she watched a documentary on this artist, and says that the stuff she does is really wild. When we were in search of a free bathroom (lol), I suggested we go to the Black Diamond, but then I realized that Marina Abramović’s exhibit was in this library! We were 10 minutes late to a time slot but the nice worker let us in. The concept was to leave your phone, watch, and everything outside and enter the room with the headphones. There were wooden beds and seats for you to get comfortable on while listening to the treasures on tape. I think my favorite one was Hans Christian Andersen’s letters.


  • Ticket to ride: I had heard about this board game bar all semester so I decided to test it out on my friends (thanks test subjects!). Bastard Café acts as a really cozy café and bar. ~Hyggeligt~ They have SO MANY GAMES you can choose to play. I had to get the app which gives you the location of where each game is. It’s seriously huge. There were a lot of Danes there when we went which made it really authentic. We played ticket to ride (because Catan was taken .. sad) and had a really fun time enjoying the atmosphere and each other’s company.
  • The weather of Week 42: Week 42 is a holiday week for Denmark. In the olden days when the Danes relied on the soil and farming for their food, the kids would have the week off to pick potatoes to prepare for winter. Now, they aren’t picking any potatoes but children still have the week off. My friends were all here during this holiday week so for example, Reffen is only supposed to be open on the weekends during winter, but they were open this whole week for the break. And the weather was abnormally incredible. It was over 60°F and completely sunny. On Friday when they left it dropped to 40°F and was gray. Maybe they brought the sunshine to Copenhagen. (awwww!!!)

Mine venner, my friends. It was so special to have a piece of my heart come to Copenhagen this past week. Whenever I walk by Snaregade or the canal where our boating trip went awry, I will think of you all.


gwen (1)



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