Category Archives: Denmark

Copenhagen on a Dime

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Planning a trip to Denmark’s capital that doesn’t break the bank? Read on for our 5 tips on budget travel to Copenhagen:

Today is Grundlovsdag, a.k.a. Denmark’s birthday!

June 5 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Danish Constitution—all the way back in 1849!

This effectively ended the absolute monarch that dated back to 1660, and established the constitutional monarchy that exists to this day.

Coincidentally, it’s also Danish Father’s Day.

Did you know? WIT Agent Nancy has Danish heritage!

To commemorate this special day, we offer to you: 

6 Ways to do Copenhagen on a Dime

Museums

Most museums in Denmark have free days for adults once a week—the Museum of Copenhagen for instance, is free for all on Fridays, and the Thorvaldsen Museum, on Wednesdays. Be sure to bring the kids—all national museums have free entry for children below the age of 18! Look for Copenhagen’s Open-Air Museum and the Danish Music Museum—free for all!

Free Tours

New Copenhagen Tours offer guided walks in the summer. All guides sign up on a volunteer basis, and it’s donate what-you-will. You can also join a free city walk sponsored by the Museum of Copenhagen—or simply download a free app for a self-guided tour around the city.

Check out a Music Festival

Summer in Copenhagen is a time for cheap festivals and free fun in the sun! There’s no charge for instance for entry to music festivals like the Copenhagen Jazz Festival! Pick up a ticket to the Tivoli Gardens (110 DKK / US $16), and open-air concerts and symphonies—from Saturday Swing to Friday Rock—are included!

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Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Attractions

It doesn’t cost a penny to admire most of the famous sights in Copenhagen: walk around the historic Nyhavn Harbor or climb the top of Christiansborg Palace. Don’t miss the lovely Little Mermaid—who despite being a victim of many vandals—has stood out as the local beauty for more than a hundred years. Hop on a bus to the Danish graveyard of Assistens—founded in 1760—to pay your respects at the graves of folklorist Hans Christian Andersen and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

Eat at Lunch

Copenhagen has a reputation for world-class cuisine—as well as pricey dinners! But eating out doesn’t have to be out of budget. During lunchtime, many establishments will run specially priced dishes. Drop by that Michelin-starred restaurant between noon and 2PM, and keep your dinners simple. Look out especially for places under Bib Gourmand, an international award of exceptional food at reasonable prices.

Escape into Nature

Nature’s never far from Copenhagen! Pack your tent and set up at one of the 500+ campsites just outside of the city. Choose your idyllic setting: beach, forest, lakeshore—and practice your skills at hygge, the Danish art of coziness from your snug tent.

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Filed under City Guides, Denmark, Europe

Aarhus: 2017 European Capital of Culture

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Aarhus is the 2017 European Capital of Culture! Congrats Aarhus!

Why should you visit this “City of Smiles”? Loads of reasons!

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Aarhus tends to get overlooked by its sister city Copenhagen, but for Aarhus this bit of anonymity plays well for its personal style. Unlike many of the gentrified European capitals, Aarhus maintains its distinctive style and Danish flair The town loves its cobbled streets, old architecture, and lively museums.

The town, fairly quiet until recent years, is now abuzz with internationally acclaimed chefs and innovative breweries, and it’s home to three Michelin-star restaurants. Culture afficinados will love the town’s art exhibitions, that spill from captivating museums onto the streets in public installations.

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As the 2017 Capital of Culture, Aarhus is celebrating with year-long events and jubilees around the theme of “Let’s Rethink!” Aarhus was voted #2 as the best destination in Europe by Lonely Planet. The city is a popular port for cruise ships, such as the HAL Rotterdam and Princess’ Regal Princess. (Ask your travel agent for dates and deeds!)

Make Aarhus a stop on your way through Copenhagen and Germany, and we assure you, you won’t regret it.

Cultural Highlights

The Danish Royal Theatre will perform Røde Orm, a Viking saga on the rooftop of Moesgaard Museum, based on a novel by Swedish writer Frans G. Bengtsson. (May 24 to July 1.)

The Garden, an huge, interactive art project stretching more than 4km. It will explore nature’s role in art, intellectual history, and contemporary society. Presented in 3 iterations: The Past (April 8-Sep 10), The Present and The Future (June 3-July 30).

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Hone your cultural taste at ‘Tree of Codes,’ a modern ballet by Olafur Eliasson, or Janne Teller’s ‘Nothing’ at the Danish National Opera. The Jewellery Box houses a unique collection classic Danish jewelry from the 19th century.

Regular events include Aarhus Pride (June 3), the Moesgaard Viking Moot (last weekend of July), and the Aarhus festival (Aug 24-Sept 3). Join the lively 28th Aarhus Traders’ Market at Tangkrogen (May 11-14) or Explore the World festival, a 2-day celebration of tradition and culture (June 2-3).

For more inspiration, check out how to Enjoy a girls’ trip to Aarhus and Explore the city on foot.

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An example of what you might see at a Viking moot

Paphos, Cyprus, also bears the 2017 Capital of Culture alongside Aarhus. But that’s for another time.

Did you know? WIT Agent Nancy can trace her roots all the way back to settlers from Denmark!

Call WIT to discuss your summer vacation in Europe with one our qualified agents today. 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Denmark, Europe

Where in the World is the WIT Client? : Copenhagen and Around

This week we feature Denmark, and its spectacular capital of Copenhagen. Denmark is an archipelago consisting of a large peninsula, Jutland, and a series of large and tiny islands—most noteworthy Zealand, Funen, Bornholm—in the Baltic Sea. Denmark is world-renowned for its strong civil liberties, progressive social policies, and stable currency. Famous for its rich cultural heritage and innovative practices in design and architecture, Denmark is a modern, vibrant country definitely worth exploring.

But what’s there to do or see? Let’s check it out:

Get on a Bike.

Denmark is very flat, with its highest point, the Søsterhøj Transmission Tower, 315m above sea level! So naturally it’s great for biking. With its wide cycle lanes and great inner-city bike system, Copenhagen looks like it was created for bicycles. Join the ranks of the city’s cyclists, tour the capital au velo, and catch a sight of one of the unique “pram bicycles”—a combo of bike and perambulator. Be advised that since bikes are prohibited from crossing expressways and major bridges, you and your bike should board the train if you do need to cross. The major selling point of rental bikes is that they only charge a returnable deposit of around 5 USD!

photo by Patrick Nouhailler

Cross the Baltic.

Take a half-day trip out to Sweden over the new Øresund Bridge that spans 17 km. For about 20 USD roundtrip, the electric train will take you over in about 45 minutes, rewarding you with a spectacular view of the glistening Baltic Sea.

photo by Thomas Munter

Visit a Park.

Denmark is known for its recreational areas, amusement parks, and zoos. Head over to the pleasure gardens of Tivoli with its rides and restaurants, or investigate the world’s oldest operating rollercoaster at Dyrehavsbakken Park. Copenhagen’s zoo is 142 years old and houses a variety of Victorian ornamental gardens, fierce cats and bears and strange spiders. For a real treat, don’t miss Legoland in Billund.

Educate yourself on the Heritage.

Denmark is known for their long and sometimes bloody history, and for their love of storytelling, art, and design. Check out the national galleries at the architecturally stunning Statens Museum for Kunst, or the classical collections at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Don’t miss the royal palace of Amallenborg Slot—Queen Margrethe II is reputedly available by appointment to meet any of her subjects.

Head over to Christiania.

One of the main attractions in Copenhagen is Christiania, a former Victorian military barracks that has since been overcome with hippies, bohemians and artists. This funky, alternative village is home to some of the best cafes, clubs and bike shops in town, and the sight of old gravel tracks and rickety push bikes is not uncommon. As a free station, Christiania officially has no laws and pays no taxes. The economy is sustained mainly by tourists who come to check out the Bohemian atmosphere, the hemp beer, and the openly smoked and sold Cannabis.

photo by rubyrose10

Try the Cuisine.

Danish cuisine is a unique variant of typical Scandinavian fare. On top a wonderful variety of meat and fish dishes, try the national specialty of smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches on rye. Danish beer consists mostly of pilsners and other pale lagers, but for a twist try Aquavit (Scandinavian schnapps) or Gløgg (mulled wine, served mostly during the winter).

Some of the most innovative chefs base themselves in Copenhagen, and the city is home to quite a number of Michelin award winners.

photo by Stephan Mosel

On a budget?

If you’re a budget traveler, don’t be discouraged to visit Copenhagen—known for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe—the city does its best to offer a variety of hotel deals, holiday rates and youth discounts. For bargains, head over to the Latin Quarter for some great shops just north of the Strøget shopping street. For a low-priced drink, take the Carlsberg Brewery Tour, weekdays 11am – 2pm, where after a brief tour around the factory you can drink free for an hour.

If you have more time, also check out:

–          Neighboring Aarhus, with its picturesque Open Air Museum of what the city looked like in the 1800’s, or Odense, the main city on Funen, the hometown of HC Andersen and of one of the best preserved Renaissance castles, Egeskov Slot.

–          For the outdoorsy adventurer, there’s Læsø, a remote island where you can ride through sand dunes on horseback and visit farmhouses with seaweed roofs—or Kongernes Nordsjælland National Park, the old hunting grounds of ancient kings.

–          For a special treat, take a ferry over to Bornholm. This tiny island (227 sq miles) lies seven hours from Copenhagen. Here you’ll find caves, forests, rocky coastlines, medieval churches, sandy beaches, strawberry stalls, traditional herring smokehouses, red-tile roofs, and Viking burial mounds. You can also bring your bicycle for a cycling excursion around the island; or rent a bike for a minimum fee from one of the many shops. Be sure to stop in Svaneke, a town known for its cute craft shops. Take a night ferry from Copenhagen (94 USD roundtrip) and float by the old churches and docks in the Baltic moonlight. There are a variety of cozy accommodations around the island, suited to every type of traveler—beach camping, pensions, bed and breakfasts, youth hostels, holiday cottages or boutique hotels.

photo by Kerry Bellerose

Traveler’s Tips:

–          At the grocer plastic bags cost money—so bring a tote bag.

–          Cans and bottles have a 1-3 kroner refundable deposit—which you can exchange at the shop.

–          Many toilets have half and full flush buttons—you’ll soon figure out which is which.

–          There is a 100% tax on gasoline—this means you will pay about double the actual cost.

–         Denmark, though not part of the EU, is a member of the Schengen Agreement. This allows free movement from other countries within the treaty. Check if your country of departure is a member and whether or not a visa will be required.

Did You Know?

The famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen now has a companion. You can spy ‘Han,’ a stainless steel sculpture, in the harbor of Helsingoer. Due to an inbuilt hydraulic system, he blinks once every hour.

photo by Chris Brown

Interested in taking a trip to Denmark? Wittravel offers counseling with the best places and times to go. Call us for an appointment or just more information at 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Denmark, Europe, News, Where in the World is the WIT Client?