Stockholm, Sweden – Copenhagen, Denmark – 2019 – Day 13-15

09/23/19

Copenhagen, Denmark

Day 13 and what a day.

Most important task of this trip – laundry. We literally were living out of a 40x20x25cm type bag and had limited amount of clothes but we had access to a washer and dryer and what a feeling!

We went into town and rented bikes from Baisikeli – They collect used bicycles in Denmark and send them to Mozambique where having a bike can help generate work and education opportunities while also giving them cheaper options for transportation. After picking up our bike rental (we booked for 2 days) we started our adventure leaving town and biking into the suburbs to find 2 of the 6 Forgotten Giants created by Thomas Dambo. We found Sleeping Louis and Hilltop Trine. Google maps wants you to go through a camp grounds to get to Sleeping Louis – don’t do it. It will lead to a dead end. You need to continue past and go into the park beside it, through the parking lot and down the path. Beautiful bike ride seeing a different part of town. Remember to use your hands signals on the bike! In University, I had one course that talked about how cities are designed and Copenhagen was ahead of the times and the best designed in the world. I am happy to have seen it with my eyes first hand. There is a designated walking, biking and car/bus lane.

Unfortunately the Cisterns were closed Mondays which I forgot to double check. After our bike ride through the suburbs, we came back into town for food at Ipsen & Co. We got Smørrebrød (open sandwich) with avocado, mayo, pickled shallots and roasted seeds. It was a small snack more so than a real meal but we were a little cheap considering we kept calculating the cost of meals here in CAD in our heads.

After that little snack break and creating our bike route for the rest of the day, we got back onto the bikes and kept going. We biked through Dybbølsbro bridge to the Bicycle Snake path to the Circle Bridge. From there, we made our way through Christiana again hoping to go up the Lord of our Saviour but it was closed! We also returned back to infamous Nyhavn but this time during the day.

We made it in time to catch a canal tour (which is included in the Copenhagen card). Being on the boat for an hour took all our heat away but we were able to see all the major attractions in the area.

We hopped back onto our bikes and made our way to Gonzo for fællesspisning (a cheaper home-cooked meal where you are encouraged to interact with others). We met up with Winnie’s Danish friend Sophie for dinner.

Overall, we biked over 35KM that day and our butts definitely felt it.

09/24/19 

Copenhagen, Denmark

We rearranged our itinerary to visit more of the attractions that are covered by our Copenhagen card because we got the 72 hour pass and wanted to make sure we saw all the ones we wanted to before our pass expired.

We also still had our bike rental and wanted to ensure we took full advantage of that as well.

With our sore bums, we made our way to Superkilen Park in Nørrebro (3 park spaces with different themes featuring elements coming from a bunch of countries). Slightly less biking than the day before with 16KM roughly. Tried to find the public trampoline Fælledparken (unsuccessful – I guess they took it away).

We biked our way to Rosenborg Castle. It was interesting to see how they lived and glimpsed at the garden but for Winnie and myself, we have already seen so many castles so it wasn’t our cup of tea as much. We continued to the Rundetaarn (Round house) – decent view up top with a pleasant interior aesthetic but a little underwhelming.

We tried to find Køs Museum Of Art In Public Space (apparently Google had a different location saved for this place – this location is actually outside of the city centre). Had lunch at Riz Raz (buffet – cost effective and very filling). After lunch, we biked over to the Cisterns (it is in the park – look for the pyramid glass structures in a field with a fountain).

We returned our bike rentals to Baisikeli and hopped onto the train and went north (about an hour each way) to Louisiana Museum (all the Danish people we’ve met have recommended it). We could definitely see why the moment we got there. The building itself and location is absolutely stunning and it wasn’t even a sunny day which would have made it even better. The exhibits that were on display featured 2 American artists – Marsden Hartley, a painter and Lauren Greenfield, a photographer. I guess because the topics and themes of the series of “art” that was on display is something as a Westerner I have seen so often that it didn’t enthrall me as much as the European visitors. We saw they were setting up a Yayoi Kasuma exhibit but unfortunately wasn’t ready for us to view.

Back to København for dinner at Banana Joe – 2 burgers there cost less than what a bowl of ramen ($25CAD) would cost for a single person. The cheap Asians in us were really showing when it came to eating in Denmark since everything is so expensive. A cup of coffee plus a cinnamon bun (fika if you will) cost $17CAD.

09/25/19

Copenhagen, Denmark

Our itinerary changed since we tried to pack more of the museums into the previous day so the day was a little slower but consisted of food. Started off at the Design Museum in the morning. Tried to goto the Nikolaj Kunsthal but they were closed to prep for a new exhibit. So many attractions were closed during our timing here – transition period.

We kept walking the same street a few times but passed through the Lego store (Fun fact: Lego was invented in Denmark) and checked out the oldest tea shop of A.C. Perchs Thehandel.

Went to Sankt Peders Bageri for onsdagssnegle (Wednesday snails/cinnamon rolls).

We checked out Torvehallerne (the market with 50 stalls and fresh flower and fruit stalls) the food there was a little over our price range and so we made our way over the bridge to Rita’s Smørrebrød for some good but cheaper options.

We did a brisk walk through the Assistens Kirkegård – cemetery. Stopped by Mirabelle for some focaccia with arugula and prosciutto.

We decided we needed to spend some time back at school and went to the University of Copenhagen (University education is free). The facility itself is beautiful. There is an observation-viewing window also known as the Maersk Tower to see above the city.

We pretty much finished all the things we had marked down on our itinerary so we decided to walk the Osterport area. Turns out that after coming in at night a few nights back and biking through town, we had actually covered so much of the core of Copenhagen and had now seen many neighbourhoods both during the day and at night.

We took the bus over to check out Reffen (street food market in an urban area by the waters). It looks like such a cool spot to hang in the summer but it was dead when we went.

We decided to go back into the core area and stopped by Sprød and Kebabistan (stock up on the hot sauce – so good and don’t be afraid to spread it all over) for dinner and they were delicious.

Back to Skovlunde we went and with the little money we had left, we bought a few things for breakfast at Aldi. The inner cheap Asians in us have not been so present but it can’t be helped when you convert DKK to CAD and realize you are paying an arm and a leg for 1 meal. We were going to get Ramen and realized one bowl was $25CAD. My mixed doner was $12CAD and a line out the door.

Itinerary – Europe – 2019

#urowiz

The original plan was to go to Australia & New Zealand for Sept/Oct 2019 with my friend Winnie. We were hoping for a flight deal to come along. Unfortunately no deal came by the deadline we gave ourselves so we decided to go to Europe together instead. Our itinerary is all over the place zig –zagging all over Europe. We narrowed down our top 10 countries we wanted to visit in the time period we had and researched where we could fly to for a bargain. From there, we chose to go to the warmer destinations first to extend our summer. The last leg of the trip was originally going to be staying in London/UK but we decided during the trip to go somewhere warm because let’s be fair, the heat makes things happier especially being in chilly and wet weather for awhile.

Now, before you get to the itinerary (all the way at the bottom), I am posting some (hopefully) helpful tips and information that came up during our trip.

 

Money – STACK (Pre-paid Mastercard)
36 days of travelling to multiple countries with different currencies takes a lot of organizing. When I travel, I usually carry a good amount of cash on me and pay that way so I don’t incur high conversion fees using my credit card. I made sure I knew what countries I was going to and calculated roughly how much I would be spending per day and got cash for certain countries I knew I would be in for a longer duration.

I tried to average about $60CAD/day. Prior to setting off on this trip, we tried to book our Airbnb’s, car rentals and flights in advance so at least those costs were covered.

My brother told me about this card called STACK, which is a conversion fee pre-paid Mastercard. With this card, you Interac transfer money from your bank account to the card account via the app using the special custom question and answer the app provides you with. Say you decide to transfer $200 to the card, if the card gets stolen, the card is not linked to your actual bank account and if say only $200 is on the card that is the limit that can be used. This card comes as a physical card but is also a virtual card via the app.

What I liked about using this card is that it was a very fast and secure way of paying for things abroad and the app also notifies you when a transaction has been made and will convert it automatically to your main currency so you don’t have to calculate the conversion yourself. And it is conversion fee free!

I used this card more so in the Scandinavian countries because they have started to adopt the cash-less transactions method but I still used cash in many of the other countries we travelled to.

Use my referral link and you’ll get $5 in your account when you activate your card.
Download STACK now: https://getstackco.app.link/fuqEmfMNH1 (this link only works on your phone via the app once its downloaded)

 

Ryanair
Yes Ryanair has super cheap flights BUT many hidden costs or steps. We decided to go to many countries because of how cheap the flights were (12£ one-way to go from London (Stansted) to Copenhagen (CPH) is a real good price). We also booked early. These cheap tickets have many drawbacks. First off, many of the airports you fly out of or into are not usually the main airports and are usually smaller airports outside of the city centre which adds more travel time.

More recently, Ryanair changed their luggage requirements from what use to be a free carry-on (still smaller than regulation size on other airlines) and now the only free luggage you can have must be 40x20x25CM. Depending on the airport and the staff, they don’t really check the size of your bag. I got the size compliant bag (Swissgear – https://www.shopbentley.com/en/escape-collection-travel-tote-swiss-gear-1016684.html) and it sits under the seat no problem with room to spare. The staff didn’t really check so you could get away with a slightly larger bag or a bag that can squish.

REMEMBER TO ALWAYS CHECK IN ONLINE. You can do this up to 48 hours. For non-EU passengers, you must print your documents, as they will not issue you a boarding pass. I found that with flights not connected to the UK, the boarding pass will be issued to your Ryanair App however, if you are flying out of or into UK, you must print your boarding pass to get a Visa check and stamp. I have heard that if you don’t print it and ask at the check-in desk, there is an expensive fee for them to print for you.

Easyjet, Air Europa, Norwegian and Vueling are also other cheap airline operators and their restrictions are not severe as Ryanair for luggage or protocol. I usually use Momondo or Skyscanner to help me check for better deals on flights.

 

Car rentals – International Driver’s License
As a Canadian, you are required to have your International Driver’s License to rent a car in Spain.

 

Sim Card
Travelling throughout many countries in Europe for over a month, trying to find a SIM card plan that works in all the countries and for that period of time was a challenge but there are definitely options out there beside “roaming” with your phone plan back home as that can be costly.

For my 36 day Eurotrip, I purchased this 30 day SIM card that works throughout 71 European countries with 12GB + 3000 minutes + 3000 texts. You are also able to top up this plan when in the UK by purchasing in-store.

Photo & Video Storage – SSD & USB – I brought an external to back up my photos from my DSLR and my phone every night. I also bring a USB for back-up to the back-up of the external for peace of mind since my phone internal storage is not large enough to store all the photos from the trip for the entirety of 36 days. I would suggest bringing another USB (64GB should suffice) to be the back up to the back up for the phone photos so you can clear space.

You can also use cloud storage but I am not a fan of that so these are my alternatives.

 

Hikes

Alltrails is amazing for finding hikes around the world. People review or comment on each hike and also you can see the difficulty and lengths. You can also download the app.

 

Groceries
To be honest, we ate out a lot this trip. When we could, we tried to make some meals with friends. We also stocked up on snacks like fruit and breakfast (skyr, yogurt, granola etc). You will find that there are many grocery stores but some are superior to others in terms of quality for the price. Budget friendly grocery stores you should be on the lookout for are Aldi & LIDL.

 

Overview

Spain – Euro
-Tipping is not common but you can tip if you want (5-10%)

Eating times
Different times for eating. They take siesta very seriously and will take hour long lunches where the kids will go home as well to eat with family. Dinner usually starts around 8PM.
Desayuno – breakfast – 7-9AM
-a Spanish classic is a toasted baguette with olive oil and crushed tomatoes
-other breakfast foods consist of churros and chocolate or pastries like croissants.
Almuerzo – Mid-morning snack – 1030-11AM – Coffee with a muffin or a croissant with ham and cheese
La Comida – Lunch – 2-330PM – Most important meal of the day.
Merienda – Mid-after snack – 530-730PM – More about socializing – more drinks than food. Churros are popular at this time of day or a small meat and cheese sandwich.
La hora del aperitivo – Tapas Hour – 830-10PM
La Cena – Dinner time – 9-11PM – Dinner is usually much lighter than a standard dinner meal. Traditional Spanish dinners are shared plates.

-Try Clara – beer with lemonade or lemon Fanta
-Try Tinto de verano – Red wine with Sprite or Fanta (very popular in Spain) – very similar to sangria

Common Phrases
-Hola – Ola – Hello
-Adios – bye
-Si – Yes
-No – No

-Pardon or Disculpa – Excuse me
-Por Favor – Please
-Gracias – Thank you
-De nada – You’re Welcome
-Lo SIento – Sorry
-Factura – Bill
-Salud – Cheers
-Camamos – Let’s eat

 

Portugal – Euro
-Tipping is not common but you can tip if you want (5-10%)
-You need to try some pastel de nata (Portugese Egg Tarts)
-Ola – Hello
-Oi – Hi
-Tchau – Bye
-Sim – Yes
-Nao – No
-Por Vaor – Please
-Obrigado – Thank you
-De nada – You’re Welcome
-Desculpe – I’m Sorry
-Perdao – Pardon me
-Saúde – Cheers
-vamos comer – Let’s eat!

 

Sweden – Stockholm – SEK – Swedish Krone
-Open drinking on the streets is not allowed.
-Physical cash transaction is not common here.
-Tap and Swish (E-Transfer) is the common transaction types
-Stockholm is made up of many little islands connected by bridges
-Tipping is not common however, it is common to round up the total to the nearest big number as a tip.
-Access is their tap transport card – I got the 72-hour card. You can take all the forms of transportation ranging from bus, train, tram and ferry.
-Fika – an important part of Swedish culture. Fika – coffee break

-Hej – Hello
-adjö – bye
-Ja – Yes
-Nej – No
-Ursäkta – Excuse me
-snälla du – Please
-Tack or Tack tack – Thank you
-Varsågod – You’re welcome
-Förlåt – Sorry
-räkningen – Bill
-Skål – Cheers
-låt oss äta – Let’s eat

 

Denmark – Copenhagen – DKK – Krone
-Open drinking on the streets is not allowed.
-Tipping is not common however, it is common to round up the total to the nearest big number as a tip
-Biking is taken very seriously and has its own road rules just like driving a car.
-Copenhagen Card – You can use the calculator on their website to see if it is worth it to purchase this card. We purchased it but mainly for the unlimited travel. We purchased the 72 hours card. It’s sort of an honour system in a sense as you have to write in your start date and time on the card. You don’t tap it when boarding trains/buses etc but there may be a fare/ticket checker on some of your rides and must show your card. I wish we used the erasable pen we had instead so we could adjust it as we were in Copenhagen for a little bit more than 72 hours and it would have been nice to not have to purchase a day pass for the last few hours. The card gets you into many attractions and discounts on many other things.

-Make sure you check if certain attractiions are open on specific days
-Expensive country

-Hej – Hello
-adjö – bye
-Ja – Yes
-Ingen – No
-undskyld mig- Excuse me
-Vær venlig (vair-vin-lee)– Please
-Tack or Tack tack – Thank you
-Selv tak (sell tack) – You’re welcome
-Beklager (bi-clay-er) – Sorry
-regning – Bill
-Skål (skuul) – Cheers
-Lad os spise- Let’s eat

 

Germany – Euro
-Tipping is not common but you can tip if you want (10%)
-Drinking is allowed in public
-Many flea markets on Sundays!
-Many stores are closed
-Grocery stores are closed Sundays however the ones in bus/train stations are exceptions

-Hallo – Hello
-Tschüss – (choose) bye
-Ja – Yes
-Nein – No
-Entschuldigen Sie – Excuse me
-bitte – Please
-Dankeschön– Thank you
-Bitte – You’re welcome
-Es tut uns leid (astudentslight) – Sorry
-Rechnung – Bill
-Prost- Cheers
-Lass uns essen- Let’s eat

 

London – Pound – £
-Oyster Card – train/subway/bus system is very intricate but can get you everywhere.
-Tip is around 10%

 

Scotland – Pound- £
-Similar to Quebec to the rest of Canada, Scotland is the United Kingdom’s counterpart whereby at a certain point, they wanted to separate to become a country of their own.
Edinburgh
-It doesn’t really snow here but the temperature remains an average low of maybe 5C
-Edinburgh seems to be a popular for international students to study

 

Congratulations, you have made it to the piece de resistance – My Itinerary for 36 days in Europe. We did move around things we did on certain days in certain cities but for the most part, this is what we did and they are grouped by areas in each city to maximize your days.

 

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3 & 4
Week 5 & 6
All the places we went