Fresh off the boat, I went to visit Copenhagen. I have an account of that first time on my saved archives of this blog. I swear to God, it is mostly a review of a Star Trek movie.

I wrote:-

“If London is an ex boyfriend I have forgotten why we broke up, the Copenhagen was an awkward first date with someone I already know I could never love.”

What I remember was walking around, taking a lot of photos and then getting bored and footsore and going to see Star Trek. I also commented that people were not dicks about my English there.

I have visited a handful of times since, to see friends.  I have had a couple of actual awkward first dates with people, a few nights out and the only thing I have liked about Copenhagen is that my friends live there and I can spend time with them. When I have to go through there, on my way back from Sweden or the airport, I never leave the station like I would in any other big city if I had time.

I had a bit of business to attend to in Copenhagen so I was in town. I said to the man I was meeting that I was going straight home after and he was shocked. I said I hated Copenhagen, that it was like Solihull and there was nothing to do.

He was so shocked (and said “I really love it here!”), that I gave it another shot. I walked around, went to the shops, had a coffee and cake but in the end the only good thing about it was meeting up with friends and chatting.

Maybe that is what people who physically live in Copenhagen like? That their friends are there and they can hang out with them? As a visitor, I found it drab, dirty and boring.

Okay, so it has a shopping street but it reminds me of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn (and not in a good way). It’s dirty, flashy and there is nothing I want to buy there.

On the actual red light street Istedgade, there were loads of unhappy, unhealthy looking prostitutes. One of which was shouting her head off at people, obviously affected by drugs. This was at 10am. For comparison, in Hamburg, the prostitutes did not come out until later in the day and they looked happier, more confident and healthier. They looked like they were in a union. They did not look like sex slaves.

There are some interesting looking shops and cafes in Copenhagen but the prices are offputting. Compared with what you actually get, it’s a rip off actually. I decided to wait until I was in London to go shopping.

The people are okay. The most people I overheard were not Danish, the majority of people seemed to be tourists. In shops, I spoke Danish and they didn’t switch languages (even though one guy was actually British and we spoke Danish for ages before we both realised), this is the first time that has happened in Copenhagen.

Though there was a market researcher who wanted to ask me some questions in the park about a brand campaign. I spoke to her about not really living in Copenhagen, so probably wouldn’t be much help, told her where I lived and where I was from. She said she was from “Anton Berg” or something and I had a vague idea it was something to do with chocolate but maybe it’s underpants? Not sure. So I said I didn’t know and THEN she switched to English.  Her English was okay, accent was good but it was by no means fluent. About as good as my Danish. I think she did it to show me that she could? We were not having a communication problem, I just do not give a crap about Danish brands.

Sorry. Back to Copenhagen. I do not understand what the fuss is about. It is expensive, there is nothing in the shops, it is dirty and there is nothing to do except hang out with your friends. I wasn’t expecting another London or Paris. Maybe another Berlin or Amsterdam? At the very least another Hamburg. But it’s just… not. It’s not in Cardiff’s league. More like Wolverhampton.

I don’t think I actually “hate” it, there are few cities I truly hate because there is always something to like. The parks are quite nice in Copenhagen, for example. But I really do not see it.

To be clear, I like Aarhus. I think it is attractive and fun and there are things to do. I think Odense is okay, though I don’t know it very well. I think Vejle is very pretty in a small-town way. I even quite like F-town, even as all the services are scaled back so only old people and drug addicts have anything to stay for. At least F-town knows what it is. But Copenhagen? It’s a Conference League town with Premier League pretensions.

Sorry for all the people who love Copenhagen. But I bet it is because all your friends are there.

8 thoughts on “Copenhagen

  1. It’s really about expectations, hype and cold reality. Like everything else about Denmark, the capital is massively hyped and cannot live up to expectations that go beyond an extended tourist experience. It’s a small city posing as a big one and cannot live up to the pose.


  2. The car dealer I bought my car from had been in Copenhagen during an after-college jaunt around Europe. Said they got there on a Sunday, nothing was open, there was nothing to see so while it was a pretty little town it was not a highlight of the trip. Even the prices were seriously offputting. I pretty much agreed with him and said nothing has changed in the subsequent years lol


  3. I think it has a ‘dead end’ feel. Not helped by the rep it has for being ‘better’ than Jutland. It’s nice that there are so many foreign voices, but on the whole it is an intimidating place, even if you are a tourist buying into the whole ‘hanscanderson wasn’t a warped drug fiend and all the kids abandoned in prams are just getting fresh air and aren’t the Danes organised?!!?!’ laugh….CPh has this air of sharp brisk fuckuishness. And the people aren’t generally as well dressed or attempting style in the same way it happens in Jutland. This was explained to me as being all about how cpggners have to pay really high rents and therefore cannot afford to dress that well.

    What shocked me the first time I went to CPH decades ago and the final time in 2010, was how rough it was. People on the street seemed really jaded. Could just be the big city thing eh? Personally, I reckons the best of Denmark is in Jutland, and the CPHGNERS who think they are above the Juts are deluded. Xxx I just don’t see the point in going there.


  4. As an 18. century geek, I like the old houses (Gråbrødre Torv, the area around Rundetårn, “Latiner-kvarteret”, etc) though. But they have those in other cities as well, and in better condition…


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