After three weeks, my time in Copenhagen has suddenly come to end. It’s crazy how comfortable you can become in a city in such a short amount of time. The time really flew by, despite the fact that it feels like I lived there for months. During the first week I had in Copenhagen, I admittedly did not get as much done as I hoped. So, to make up for that, my friends and I crammed in as much as we possibly could in this last week! It was an jam-packed conclusion to a wonderful city.
One of my favorite parts about the end of the year is the massive amount of top ten lists that circulate. Whether it be songs, albums, movies, or moments, I love scrolling through what people think were their yearly highlights. So, I’ve decided to do the same for Copenhagen! Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Hits of Copenhagen Summer 2022!
10. The Views
Copenhagen is such a giant city, it’s hard to really see everything. Thankfully, there are a multitude of places you can climb to get a magnificent view!
The most popular of these is Church of Our Saviour. This is a 90-meter, 400-step tower you can climb to the top of to get an incredible look at the city. It was so beautiful, but also exhausting! My legs were trembling at the end, but it was so worth it. (Tip: Do not do this right after class with your whole giant backpack… that definitely complicates matters.)
Christiansborg Palace also offers a tower with an amazing view. And this one has an elevator to make your life easier!
It feels like there’s always something going on in Copenhagen. This year, the two biggest events while I was there were the first stage of the Tour de France and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. It was neat getting to experience both of these opportunities, and seeing the city come alive with them.
Watching the Tour de France was especially fun for me because of the amount of people it attracted. It felt like all of Europe was there that day! I have watched the race for years with my dad, but was never prepared to see this many people. Taking advantage of events like this when you’re in a foreign country is so cool, because you never know if something like this will happen around you again. Focusing in on that feeling brings so much excitement.
8. The Sustainability
I was very impressed by the steps Copenhagen has taken to help the environment. The biggest one is the bicycle culture. Very few people own a car, and it seemed very rare to see a traffic-busy street while I was there. I easily crossed 15,000 steps every day I was there, and it was great!
The cooler sustainability project though, in my opinion, was their bottle recycling system. All plastic and glass bottles have a “Pant” symbol that correlates to what material they are made of. You can collect your bottles and return them to get money! I decided to do this because I was curious about how it worked, and I actually made 28 DKK in just the three weeks I was there. Making recycling a fun game is a smart idea to promote it, I know I enjoyed my collecting!
7. The Architecture
I loved just walking to class and looking at how pretty all of the buildings were. From Nyhavn to simply random buildings downtown, there are so many colorful structures that really bring the city to life.
The Danish Architecture Center is another really neat place that highlights this. They have different exhibits highlighting the rich history of architecture in Denmark. But it’s not all museum… they also have a neat place to explore that helps you use architecture to create a better work environment. Oh, and a slide to go down at the end!
Tivoli is an amusement park. One of the ride attendants called it the “original Disneyland”. My friends and I spent a day there and it was one of the most exciting days I had in Copenhagen!
We were there right up to closing, which was a very smart idea. As the sun goes down, the crowds get smaller, the heat goes away, and the lights make the park beautiful! We really savored those moments at 10:30pm we had in the park together. Tivoli is a must for any future Copenhagen travelers!
5. My Class
I really enjoyed Positive Psychology this summer. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I was so wrong. So many of the topics we covered really excited me and made me want to put in the work, despite it being summer. I even found myself enjoying my final paper! I think I truly discovered an area of psychology that I would want to pursue further.
This was definitely thanks to my classmates and professor too. My class made discussions so easy, and everyone seemed just as enthusiastic about being abroad as I was. I felt lucky to be with so many amazing students and passionate travelers. It made having to attend class every day a privilege and not an obligation. Thank you, Positive Psychology B!
4. The Suburbs
Being in an urban area for so long is fun, but sometimes it’s nice to see something else. My friends and I twice took the opportunity to this and let me tell you, there are some cute, beautiful towns outside of Copenhagen! The first of my travels was to Hillerød to see Frederiksborg Castle, which doubled as a Danish History Museum! It opened my eyes to just how little I know about Scandinavian history, and had so many phenomenal exhibits.
On my last day, my friends and I spent the day exploring Sydhavnstippen (a nature area with roaming alpacas) and found one of the Six Forgotten Giants! I especially I enjoyed finding the giant. For those who don’t know, there are six giants in Denmark made by artist Thomas Dambo out of scraps of recycled wood. It brought out a fun youthful energy and was a nice walk to explore a different side of Denmark.
3. ICE CREAM!
I love ice cream. Arriving in Copenhagen, I was excited (and overwhelmed) with the amounts of ice cream there is! So. Many. Shops!!! It’s so hard to narrow it down, because I tried a lot. If I had to pick three though, it would be Vaffelbageren (known for their waffles and waffle cones), Gelato Rajissimo (which had some of the most decadent flavors) and soft-serve with chocolate chips (something about Danish soft serve really hit).
Bonus shout out to the two desserts my professor brought to class for us: Flødeboller and this pineapple covered ice cream bar that I forgot the name of but was very refreshing.
2. The Water
Oh, how I loved living by the water every day. Copenhagen is built on a bunch of canals, so there is so much you can do on the ocean. Islands Brygge is a must, I had a blast swimming in the harbor and jumping off a tall platform.
I also highly recommend GreenKayak, which is a company that allows you to kayak for free as long as you pick up trash. My friend and I went in the morning and had a blast! We kayaked around a strand, got some physical activity, and saw amazing views. Just be careful if you get in to swim. You wouldn’t want to flip the kayak over getting back in…
My friends and I also rented a FriendShip! We had dinner together on the ocean as we drove around the canal, resting and being in the present with each other. I got the honor of driving and I would say it went pretty well! After the first few minutes of course…
1. The People
Whether it was my stellar classmates, my phenomenal friends or the random strangers who helped me when I was struggling, the people of Denmark are what stand out to me the most.
I had so many moments of panic: messing up my self-check-out, losing my phone in the ocean, being afraid a ride would go upside down, not knowing if something had one of my many allergens in it. But the Danes were always ready to help with a smile on their face. I got through every hardship because their culture is so willing to trust and be there for others. Being abroad alone for the first time is not easy, but being in a country that is so caring and safe made the transition much smoother.
Farewell to Copenhagen…
With that, my journey to Copenhagen comes to a close. It was bittersweet, because I am so excited for what the future holds, but I will definitely miss the city and my classmates. Given the opportunity, I would definitely return to Copenhagen in the future. It has made such a lasting impression on me, one that I definitely will cherish.
…And Hello To Stockholm!
My week ended with the 12-hour bus ride to Stockholm for Session 3! I’m writing this at the end of my first day here, and I cannot believe the amount there is to do. Who knows what will come next?