In May we had the chance to travel to Denmark with our friend Rachael from Orlando (pictured next to me above). She has two friends, Megan and Maddy, who currently live there and work for LEGO, so we figured it was the perfect opportunity to visit.
We spent the first three nights in their town—Vejle.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find an Airbnb for our first night, so we booked a nearby hotel. The website specified the room was suitable for two people, but as soon as we walked in, we quickly realized something got lost in translation. The bed was slightly larger than a twin, and they only supplied one pillow, one towel, and one tiny blanket.
We headed back to the lobby to request more bedding and towels, but as we approached the front desk, we realized that a different guy was working. And he was drunk.
I started to ask for another pillow when the man immediately interrupted me and explained that he doesn’t work at the hotel, but that he got locked behind the desk and can’t get out. And then he promptly offered us a sip of the very large beer he was holding.
After we both declined his generous offer, the employee who had checked us in exited the elevator. Without a word, he walked up and unlocked the desk to let the drunk guy out. Then they both started laughing and making plans for when the guy got off work. Eventually, the employee noticed Cardin and I standing there and provided us with everything we needed.
We couldn’t help but laugh as we headed back upstairs. The entire interaction was so strange and so different from anything that would have been allowed in America.
After a slightly uncomfortable night, our first morning began with the best way to start a Danish adventure: with a danish.
After breakfast, we headed to a park called Dyrehaven. It’s a protected area for deer to roam and you can feed them. Strangely enough, people often feed the deer dry spaghetti, so we brought our little baggy of hard noodles.
And of course, none of them wanted to eat it.
Finally, we found an excessively hungry deer who ate our entire bag of noodles and then proceeded to eat every leaf we put in his path.
Once we ran out of noodles and leaves, we walked around town and grabbed lunch at a cute cafe. The area in the picture below is known as “the walking street” in Vejle. Just like most European towns, this one is full of adorable shops and cafes!
If you haven’t noticed from our videos, Cardin and I have developed a bit of an ice cream problem. We eat ice cream almost every day while we travel—thank goodness we walk 10 miles a day, or we would be gigantic by the end of this year!
So, when our friends suggested we get ice cream, we immediately agreed! Especially since it would include another Danish specialty: Guf.
It’s essentially strawberry flavored marshmallow fluff, and you can get it for free on your ice cream. Almost everyone in the shop was ordering a heaping pile of it, so we couldn’t wait to try it!
Our verdict: it’s not bad, but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly good either. Mostly because it’s overpowering, so we could hardly taste the flavor of the ice cream buried below it. It was fun to try it though, and we never complain about anything free!
Licorice is another strange specialty you frequently find in Denmark.
Unfortunately, along with blue cheese and anchovies, licorice is one of the few foods I hate. Since the ones in the picture below were covered in chocolate, I figured I could handle eating one….but, once you get through the layer of chocolate, that licorice is powerful!
I still haven’t figured out why those things are so popular, but we saw them in every shop we visited.
The next morning we rode the bus to a town called Billund—the home of LEGO!
We started at LEGO House. I’m relatively indifferent when it comes to this particular toy, but this place was amazing! It’s a giant playground dedicated to LEGO products. They had endless stations full of different bricks along with unique LEGO themed games and activities.
Our favorite spot in the building was the giant LEGO pit. Although it makes a cool picture, I don’t recommend attempting to sit on a massive pile of tiny bricks—it was far more challenging than we expected and I immediately fell over after taking this picture. I can officially empathize with all the parents who have ever stepped on their children’s LEGO bricks!
Our next stop was a quick visit to LEGO headquarters before heading to LEGOLAND. We were only allowed to see the main entrance area, but it was still fun to check out where Megan and Maddy work. We especially loved all of the LEGO touches greeting you as you walk in!
The next morning we grabbed an early train to Copenhagen. Cardin and I booked a private room at an Airbnb, so we shared an apartment with the girl who lives there. It ended up being a great spot, but I have to talk about our unique bathroom experience.
The bathroom in the picture below is typical for Copenhagen apartments, but I can’t imagine having to use this closet-sized restroom on a daily basis. The shower and the sink share a faucet and there is a thin shower curtain you pull around yourself to protect the toilet from getting wet. But, that means you’re showering right up against the sink with no room to turn around.
It worked though and was a very efficient use of the space! The only other struggle was that the door was wooden and has warped over time. You have to slam the door to close it, which was a bit rough early in the morning and late at night. Plus I almost got locked in the first few times, so we were happy to move onto using a regular bathroom again in our next Airbnb.
Everyone recommended the hot dogs in Copenhagen, so of course, we made that our first lunch stop. Food is expensive in Denmark, so we were happy to finally find a cheap meal! Plus it was delicious!
We also couldn’t get over the fact that they don’t have open container laws there, so after lunch, we walked around the city drinking our beer. Cardin and I kept trying to conceal it though for fear that maybe we would get in trouble!
The most frequently photographed spot in Copenhagen is called Nyhavn (shown in the featured photo of this post). Known for its colorful buildings and waterfront views, we loved walking around the area and taking a canal tour. Plus they had plenty of hot dog stands, so we all enjoyed a second round after walking off our first lunch.
We spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring the beautiful city! Check out the unicorn horn shaped building in the picture below. Denmark has such unique architecture!
Denmark is also home to the castle Hamlet was based on—Kronborg. It’s located in a town called Helsingør, which is a quick train ride from Copenhagen.
The castle is beautiful, and they offer free themed tours. Our tour was based on the king’s helper planning a royal banquet. So, as the actress showed us around the castle, she discussed the different responsibilities she had to prepare the dinner. It was entertaining and very unique compared to any other castle tour Cardin, and I have gone on—which is saying a lot since we’ve visited so many this year!
A short walk from the castle is a great food market. We loved the decor and enjoyed trying a few local foods—although we still aren’t huge fans of the country’s food scene.
After lunch we had to choose between taking a ferry from Helsingør to Sweden or going on a brewery tour back in Copenhagen…so, of course, we decided the brewery tour! As much as we would have loved visiting Sweden, there isn’t much to do in the coastal town, so the brewery won the vote. Cardin and I will make a trip to Sweden one day though!
Carlsberg brewery is a staple in Copenhagen. The beer was great, and we loved petting the horses after the tour! Plus the staff was very friendly, which is always a bonus.
We couldn’t get over the crazy looking bangs on the horses! They were adorable!
Another popular spot to visit in Copenhagen is the statue of the Little Mermaid. We passed the figure during our canal tour, but it’s very small and covered with tourists. Thankfully the brewery had a replica of the statue, so we just pretended it was the real thing and decided to skip fighting the crowds at the actual one!
We spent our last day in Denmark visiting the second oldest theme park in the world: Tivoli Gardens.
It opened in 1843 and is officially one of our favorite theme parks! The attractions were amazing, and the gardens around the park were beautiful. It felt like we were in a botanical garden rather than surrounded by rides!
Unlike a typical theme park where your food options are limited to burgers and chicken tenders, this one has a food court attached. You have to leave the park and re-enter once you finish, but the food was delicious! And it’s by far the healthiest amusement park meal we’ve ever eaten.
Our favorite ride in the park is one of the oldest operating wooden roller coasters in the world! The craziest part is there’s a driver on each train manually operating the coaster! We rode the ride a few times, and all of the drivers stood up during most of it. Our first guy turned off a light switch in one of the tunnels while standing up and operating the controls! We’ve never been so frightened and entertained on a ride before.
We had a fantastic week, and it was such a joy to get to know Megan and Maddy! Also, if you’re looking for some tour guides in Denmark, I highly recommend them! 😉
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