copenhagen // day 4

take the train and bus to Frilandsmuseet, Copenhagen’s outdoor folk museum. When I arrive, I take a map showing me the nearly 100 homes that have been brought to construct this ambitious project. I more or less follow the path to visit the cottages in order. The vast majority of them are open for visit, and I never grow tired of checking out the insides of each and every home. Some have been furnished as they would have in the 16th century, while others as they would have in the mid-20th century. In front of each cottage, there is a sign that explains what size and kind of family would have lived there, and also gives one an idea of their daily life in these lodgings. At the center of Frilandsmuseet, employees dressed in historical garments are busy preparing traditional dishes for visitors to try. There’s some delicious fresh bread and cookies, as well as some homemade salted butter. For lunch, I order a hotdog. It’s not your typical NYC dog, however, as it is served on a delicious multigrain loaf. That, and the sausage looks and tastes like actual meat.

Frilandsmuseet is one of my favorite places so far. You’ll definitely want to spend half a day there, and even bring a picnic if you want. Kids or no kids, everyone will love it. There are even some adorable pigmy goats and sheep nursing their newborn lambs!

After returning in the city center, I stumble upon an outlet sale for the brand Moss Copenhagen. I get a cute pair of shorts for Olympe and a rad necklace for my mom. Non-touristy gifts: check!

There’s a bit of time left before my 4pm walking tour, so I do a quick visit of the Post & Tele Museum. The museum curators have somehow managed to make rather uninteresting (to me, at least) subjects interactive and relevant. I wouldn’t put this on your “must do” list (especially if you’re not traveling with children), but if you, like me, have a few minutes to spare and happen to be in the area, then definitely take a look.

I meet up with my group for a free walking tour of Christianshavn, a borough on a manmade island founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV. Before crossing over to this neighborhood itself, we make a stop by the architecturally impressive Børsen. Built by Christian IV in 1619-1640, Børsen is Denmark’s oldest stock exchange. Apparently, the building is currently for sale, and has received an offer from none other than McDonald's! The bid was rejected, of course, but how funny would that have been?

What makes Christianshavn so special is its juxtaposition of architectural styles and inhabitants. On one side, there’s the pristine financial district, and on the other, the very grassroots Christiania. Add two majestic churches, the Church of Our Savior and the Christian Church (also known as the Lottery Church, German Church and Theater Church) to the mix, and you’ve got a pretty interesting neighborhood.

Just as we are walking through the historical streets of Merchant's Harbor, our guide freezes. A few instants later, he tells us we have just seen Mireille Enos, the main actress of The Killing! Now I really need to watch the show - it’s been sitting on my Netflix queue for ages.

Our tour “officially” ends on Christianshavn’s fortifications, but we’re warmly invited to “unofficially” follow our guide through the unique area of Christiania. Also known as ‘Freetown Christiania’, this autonomous neighborhood contains only 850 inhabitants but has become internationally famous for both its seemingly utopian vision and its tolerance of soft drugs. All of the houses are built by the inhabitants themselves, and some are super cool (I’m thinking of the window house, or the one that much resembles a hobbit hole). Along our stroll, we pass a number of meditation and yoga huts, which are apparently very popular practices in Christiania. We finally reach the Green Light District, where cameras and cell phones are strictly forbidden. This means I’m unable to photograph the pretty standard falafel I order at one of the food stalls. No worries, though, because I head to a charming café by the name of Grønsagen for dessert. I highly recommend you try the rum chocolate truffle with coconut shavings, which seems to be a common delicacy in the Scandinavian countries.

After leaving Christiania (a sign at its exit kindly reminds me I am “now entering the ell”), I walk over to Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, a cultural venue also on Christianshavn, to attend an improv show. The event is part of the Copenhagen International Improv Festival, to which I’ve won a free ticket via Facebook (to be honest, I’m so addicted to comedy performances I would have paid to go anyway). The show is in English, and despite a slightly flimsy opening act, it’s a very good laugh.

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