Most people during deadline season, especially the week before essays are due, hunker down in the library and forget about the outside world. I, on the other hand, take off on a weekend away and ignore all the stresses of university for 48 hours.
It was my Grandma’s birthday, and one of her favourite cities in Europe is the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, so naturally I was up for going to celebrate there. All I knew of Copenhagen was the steep prices attached to almost everything, the statue of the Little Mermaid, and some of the best Christmas markets the world has to offer.
The whole city was magical. Elaborate lights were strung across the cobbled streets, large festive centrepieces decorated the squares and the markets were everything I hoped for. The sights were spectacular, the smells were sensational, the sounds were special. Everyone was drinking mulled wine and hot chocolate, snacking on hotdogs and pretzels and buying Christmas decorations. It truly is a shame about the high prices, because I would’ve eaten enough for a year if I had the chance.
Obviously, we explored more than the markets on this trip. It was my first time in Denmark, and I wanted to make the most of it. My parents and I made the trip to see the Little Mermaid statue, which although ridiculously busy, was worth the visit. We clambered down to the rocks closest to the statue for the best view, and some family selfies – a nice touch after not seeing each other for months. Nyhavn harbour was also high on our lists to see, where multi-coloured buildings line the water and quaint independent restaurants have been set up within them. This was possibly my favourite destination in the city, because it was the most quintessentially Scandinavian place in Copenhagen. Lastly, we visited Tivoli Gardens, a theme park in the middle of the city. At Christmas time, it was breathtaking, but also visiting at night was a brilliant decision – the lights of the rides were beautiful on their own, but with festive decorations also, it was all the more magical. There was even a 20 foot Christmas tree with Swarovski crystals glistening in the centre, a sight which made my mum act like a 10 year old.
The indoor food markets, however, were one of the highlights of the trip. There were thousands of pastries in the displays on one side, and the biggest, ugliest fish on the other. Honestly, the sight of a fish the size of a small child with its teeth bared and creepy eyes is forever etched into my memory. Although, I could have easily spent an entire day there alone sampling all the food and drink on offer.
Copenhagen is a fascinating city, especially during the Winter. I believe it is one of the best festive destinations available and a city with lots to offer all year round, and I would gladly go back to explore more. Maybe look elsewhere if you are on a budget though.