Lucie Loves… Travel // How to spend 24 hours in Copenhagen as a solo traveller
When life throws a spanner in the works do you cancel all plans or do you think “Fuck it! I’m going anyway.”
On 3 August 2015, I spotted really cheap Ryanair flights to Copenhagen. Just £40.76 for two people to fly from London Luton. Ridiculously cheap!
However, this wasn’t a typical blog trip, organised by a PR company, on behalf of a brand. This was me looking at places I’d always wanted to visit, and planning ahead for when I went freelance.
I found a really beautiful Airbnb studio apartment in Frederiksberg.
I was originally supposed to be travelling with my husband. We’d talked about all the places that we could see now that we weren’t saving up for our wedding any longer. All of the adventures that we could have.
But, life got in the way. We separated, just 4 months after getting married. He started planning his new life in Canada, and I ended up travelling to Copenhagen, on my own.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Shit. How awful. Poor woman. But actually, it was one of THE best 24 hour periods of my life.
I’d never travelled anywhere on my own before that wasn’t for work. Being a solo traveller, and a female one at that, meant that I was very aware of my safety. But, also, very aware that I could do whatever the hell I wanted. There was no one to ask permission from, who needed their mood or needs pandered to. It was so liberating.
So, camera in hand, and my Google maps full of starred recommendations from Instagram friends, I went in search of my own CPH city adventure.
24 hours in any new place isn’t very long. Especially, when you take into consideration the amount of time it takes to fly there, and then travel to your accommodation, etc.
The good people over at 12hrs specialise in creating little city guides – 12 hour long itineraries – to help you make the most of a minuscule stay in a new city. They’ve covered Copenhagen, Barcelona, Helsinki, Paris, London, Marseille, and many more across Europe and North America.
My flight was at 8:30am, which meant that by the time I got to Copenhagen it was lunch time. I went straight to my Airbnb to pick up the keys and drop my bags off, before exploring the city.
Being winter there wasn’t actually that many hours left to see the city in daylight. My flight home was booked at 7:15am the following day, so I had a lot to squeeze in before then!
I decided to go off in search of HAY– a Danish modern design store with so many beautiful accessories, furniture and interior decor to feast my eyes on. I seriously wanted to buy everything. But, my hand luggage only travel situation said no. One day…
The light had started to fall when I made my way over to Christiania. But I discovered a really cool store – one of many – called Munk. I bought an inexpensive print from them – a little memento for my art collection back home.
When I was planning my trip, a friend of mine told me about the word: Hygge meaning cosiness. The tiny artisan shops and lit up windows really brought home what this meant.
Then I walked a bit more and discovered a little cafe called Parterre. It was so cute. I spent a good few hours enjoying coffee, and a really tasty chocolate brownie, by candlelight.
I got chatting to a British guy who was over in CPH giving a talk at a nearby museum. Turned out that he’d heard of Grow Wild, the programme I used to work for at Kew Gardens. Such a small world!
After my coffee I went in search of a bar called Ruby’s.
Ruby’s is an old townhouse in the oldest part of town. I’d been told that it does really good cocktails. When I walked in, wearing my very casual day clothes, I felt a little underdressed and a bit alone.
The place was packed with groups of friends, and work colleagues, enjoying early Christmas drinks. I pitched up at the bar, popped by rucksack on the floor and took a look at the menu. I definitely needed a drink.
I ended up ordering a Rapscallion – a smoky, Scottish version of the Manhattan. A cocktail to sip slowly and savour.
If you’re a woman travelling alone, it’s highly likely that people will want to talk to you. Not only to find out why on earth you are traveling in Copenhagen in November, but also because Danish people are really nice.
So, I got chatting with a group of very lovely guys. They told me that they meet up at the same time every year, and have done for the past 20 years. And then, my one drink turned into a drink for 10+, a bit of a bar crawl and a meal at Madklubben. Because, at this point, my diet had consisted of a single chocolate brownie, a LOT of cocktails, Jaegerbombs and German Bier from Heidi’s Bar...
It was close to midnight when we sat at our table in Madklubben. It was a funny atmosphere. We were seated in between a gaggling group of Danish hens, and a rowdy, testosterone-fuelled group of lairy British lads. It was hilarious!
I was then given a seater home (or a backie, as it’s also called in some parts of the world…) by a 50+ year old half-British, half-Danish Colonel, who cycled for a good 20 minutes uphill, with me laughing my head off on the back of his bike! It was definitely more fun than a taxi. But maybe a bit illegal… Eek!
My trip to Copenhagen was over in the blink of an eye! Just like my marriage… (bad joke, sorry, not sorry! 😂) But there is still so much more of Denmark that I’d like to see. I’ll definitely return to CPH in the summer months to do more exploring.
I also really want to visit more Scandinavian countries, and immerse myself in Nordic culture. Let’s see what adventures I can get myself into this year… Watch this space: lucieloves.co.uk/tagged/travel
Other places to check out in Copenhagen:
Over to you…
If there are any great must-see places in Copenhagen that I’ve forgotten to mention, please comment below.
Upcoming Lucie Loves road trips…
If you have any tips to share for where to go/eat/see in California or Ireland, please get in touch.
- California - 10 - 25 April: San Francisco to LA via Yosemite and the coast, before popping to Coachella festival for weekend 2.#LucieLovesCali
- Ireland - 7 - 14 April: Wild Atlantic Way - Cork to Dublin - (Clockwise) #LucieLovesIreland
Photography © Lucie Kerley