Saturday, 10 October 2015

Copenhagen as a Child Friendly City

Copenhagen is a wonderful city and it is perfectly designed for exploring with kids.   From parks, to attractions to the attitude of the locals, we had an amazing experience, even with three little ones in tow.

Denmark is child friendly, and I saw far more children around than you would in London at this time of year.  Everywhere we went was pushchair friendly, and there were always lifts or ramps making it accessible.  As their schools start much later than ours a child is generally considered to be over the age of six, meaning our three were free to enter all the attractions we visited.

Staying outside the city centre had some definite advantages for travelling with young children, one of them being there was a beach only a short walk from our house.  Whilst we didn't spend much time there, and it wasn't really the weather for sandcastles and swimming, it was lovely to balance out a bustling city with a peaceful seafront.  The boys had the freedom to run and explore and it was the ideal place to go after a couple of hours cooped up on a plane.  





At the tourist office, you can purchase a Copenhagen card, which is valid for a period of time (24,48 or 72 hours) and gives you unlimited free travel and entry into a number of the city's main attractions.  There is a handy calculator on the website that helps you work out whether it is worth it, and we found it definitely was as it covered most of the places we wanted to visit and we could use whichever transport we chose (it even includes transport to and from the airport)

Our favourite place to visit in Copenhagen has to be Tivoli, an amusement park situated right in the centre of the city, and with enough to entertain the whole family.  There were rides suitable for all ages, and the boys loved their first tastes of rollercoasters.  At 4, Dylan could go on at least 80% of the rides, and Archie around 70% at 2 (when accompanied by an adult), and they loved the new experiences.  Along side the rides, there were beautiful gardens, a huge collection of restaurants and a stage for live music.




Tivoli was one of the attractions that could be visited with the Copenhagen card, which gave you access to the gardens, music and restaurants.  You did have to pay extra for the rides, and a wristband for the day worked out at around £20 per person.




There was also a fantastic park, full of colour and different areas to explore.  The boys could quite happily have spent the whole day there and we loved that there was a kids toilet and baby changing facilities in the middle too.




We ate at the pirate ship one night, and it was small boy heaven.  Before you enter there is a chest full of clothes to dress up with, and they put on pirate gear over their normal clothes, with eye patches and hats provided as we sat down.  The menu was simple and easy to personalise and they offered a plain kids burger meal alongside the more elaborate food.  

The park was open until midnight every day, and we made the most of it.  The rides were wonderful in the dark and we all went on the hot air balloon ferris wheel (including Finn tucked up in the sling), and watched over the park and city and their lights.  The live music is included in your entrance to the park, and we happened to be there on the night Little Mix were playing!



We visited Copenhagen zoo which houses lions, tigers, penguins, camels and many other favourites.  It was well set out, and whilst it didn't offer much different to a zoo in the UK, the boys had a great time exploring.  Children under 6 are still free to enter, and again this was available with a Copenhagen card.











Copenhagen Aquarium had been recommended to us before we even arrived, so we made sure to visit (also available with the Copenhagen card).  The hammerhead sharks were its main feature, but Dylan was much more interested in the stingrays and ended up having a soft toy stingray as his holiday souvenir.  It was well set out in a stunning building not far from the airport and the walk through tunnel was fascinating for us all.

The aquarium is set right on the sea front so if you visited on a day where it wasn't pouring with rain, there is much more to see in the area.  We had kept the aquarium for the wettest day so that we knew we were inside however.  Archie's toy from the gift shop was a hammerhead shark monster truck, which he didn't let go of for the rest of the trip!


Copenhagen is a lovely city to explore and the bloke and I did want to do a little shopping whilst we were there.  Be warned that things are significantly more expensive than in the UK.  We did find the Lego store though, which was a big hit.  We turned up at just the right time, as there was a free mini kit building session at the back, and Dylan got to create a deep sea diver figurine and take it away with him afterwards.  The store sells sets exclusive to them as well as everything Lego related you could possibly imagine!

If you are more interested in shopping then a visit to Malmo in Sweden is a must.  Only half an hour on the train from Copenhagen central station, it is significantly cheaper and easy to access.




Eating out in Copenhagen is expensive, but we tried to stick to budget as much as we could.  The streets are full of hot dog stands which are easy for quick lunches.  They tend to have their sausages in a hollowed our roll rather than a cut one like ours which cuts down on mess if you have messy things like mine.



In the evenings we found restaurants or went back to the house.  Sporvejen was a favourite - a converted tram that served delicious burgers with everything under £10 a meal.  We chose to sit outside as this was one of the only places not suited for babies (it was a bit tight inside for a buggy), but they did a wonderful children's menu, so if you didn't have a baby or buggy then it would be fine inside.

One big difference between Denmark and the UK is that tap water isn't free.  Whilst you may cut costs here by drinking water with each meal, you pay between £1 and £2 for a glass of tap water out there.  Even in the supermarkets, it was around £2 for a bottle of water,  so if you can fill some up before you go out for the day at your accommodation then it definitely pays off!




We found that the city felt very safe.  Babies were pushed around in big traditional prams, and you would often see them lined up outside shops and rides, or even houses.  Bikes were not always locked and the streets felt welcoming and friendly even in the evenings.  I would recommend Copenhagen for young families like ours.  The costs can be high, but carrying your own water, bringing packed lunches or looking for cheaper places to eat and making the most of a Copenhagen card all make it affordable enough.




7 comments:

  1. What wonderful pictures! And how well dressed are all your littles? So cute! I've not been to Copenhagen before, it's never really appealed to me but I guess I've not researched it that much either, definitely wouldn't cross it off my list now! X

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  2. We loved Copenhagen as well. If you go around this time of year they have the Tivoli gardens all dressed up for halloween which is great for slightly older children. We did find it expensive to eat out but found a local Lidl for stocking up on supplies.

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  3. Wow what an amazing holiday! You always take such superb photos too.

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  4. Oh it does look amazing! It's always been on my must visit list but I think we might have to bring it forward a bit, it sounds like a perfect fit for families with little ones :)

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  5. It looks like such a beautiful place, your photos are amazing. Those hotdogs and burgers looks so good!

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  6. I lived in Denmark for about a year but I only made it to Copenhagen once! I would love to go back and take my daughter these soon. My husband is Danish so we will probably visit there a lot =)

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  7. We are a half Scandinavian family, but Denmark is one place I haven't been... You've sold it to me!! Looks fab!

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