Monday, 1 April 2019

TRAVEL: Family Holiday in Copenhagen - Cost, Weather, Places to Visit, Tips and Tricks

TRAVEL: Family Holilday in Copenhagen - Cost, Weather, Places to Visit, Tips and Tricks
Copenhagen is renowned for being a really family-friendly city, not to mention beautiful and filled with history. On paper it seems like the ideal place for a family city break, so how did we find our family holiday to Copenhagen in February of this year? Now to be honest, the idea of flying with two young children in tow terrified me, so the only way we were going to be going abroad on a family holiday was if my husband organised it. So on Christmas morning when I started opening a pass the parcel style package with a picture of the world, going into Europe, going into Denmark, going into Copenhagen and finally going into an air bnb I was filled with excitement! Although I wasn't brave enough to book a holiday abroad myself, we had discussed about making the most of Isabella's last year before school and going abroad this year. Little did I know my husband had secretly planned a trip to Copenhagen for us all.

The moment we started looking at the Lonely Planet Copenhagen Book it quickly became evident that there were so many places that we would love to visit, so I thought I'd break it down as to where we did end up going, the timings and our recommendations:

When? We flew out to Copenhagen from London Luton on Sunday 24th February and returned on Thursday 28th February 2019. If you are hoping to visit a lot of the major attractions that I'd recommend checking carefully what is open and when because Sunday 24th February was the last day this year that a lot of places were open to the public until April time. We had to choose between Rosenborg Castle and Tivoli Gardens for Sunday because both were shutting the day after and we were so happy with our choice of Tivoli Gardens.
Where? One of the brilliant things about Copenhagen is that there are so many places to visit and things to do that are free, not to mention completely family-friendly. We only paid to get into Tivoli Gardens and Round Tower, but the rest of our time was filled with wandering around the beautiful city and visiting free places. We visited the following free places during our stay: Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid (although I wouldn't recommend going too far out of your way for this one - Isabella loved it, but it is quite underwhelming in size), wandering around the shops in the central area, Rosenborg Castle grounds and watching the change of guard at Amalienborg Palace 12pm. You can watch each day of our trip to Copenhagen over on my IGTV channel to see exactly what we got up to and what to expect if you visit.
How? We did look into getting a Copenhagen Card (which would have been around £90 per adult for our stay), as it gives you 'free' entry into most of the major attractions and public transport. However, as a lot of places were shut after our first day in Copenhagen we decided against it and we were so happy we did. A unique aspect to Copenhagen is that for a city it is very compact, so we ended up walking everywhere instead of using the buses. We did get the Metro directly from the airport into the centre, but that was the only public transport we used during our stay. Aside from public transport we only paid to get into Tivoli Gardens and the Round Tower, so we simply wouldn't have got our money worth from the Copenhagen Card. However, it does depend on where you want to go and the time of year you're visiting, so it is worth comparing costs for your stay if you're looking into it.
Weather? This is something I did extensive research into on the approach to our holiday because everything I read seemed to be conflicting. We visited right at the end of February, which a lot of websites/books indicated would be very cold with potential snow so this is what I was expecting for most of the run up. But as the time approached and I kept checking the BBC Weather app it was suggesting it was going to be more on the mild side (around 8'C). I was so confused as to what to pack for Isabella and Poppy - did they need snow suits, just coats or all-in-ones? Luckily, JoJo Maman Bebe have a fantastic range of compact outerwear, as well as multi-layer coats that ended up being absolutely ideal for our trip away. They very kindly offered to send Isabella their 4-in-1 Waterproof Polarfleece Jacket in Floral (£55), which is a cleverly designs jacket that will take your child through every season and is therefore ideal for the unexpected weather that holidays can often bring at this time of year. As the name would suggest, the jacket can be worn four different ways with an inner detachable and reversible fleece that transforms it for every weather occasion. Isabella mostly wore the outer jacket with the inner fleece in too, however she could have just had the waterproof outer layer by itself, the fleece by itself or the fleece reversed to make it a wind-proof coat. It's made with 100% recycled polyester, is quick drying, machine washable and fascinatingly made with approximately 17 recycled water bottles!
Another range from JoJo Maman Bebe that is absolutely perfect for travelling with, whether that be a day out, holiday abroad or staycation, is their recycled Pack-Away range. If you're looking to be more environmentally friendly with your purchases then this is the range for you because they take polyester clothes that can no longer be worn, tear them to shreds, make those shreds into small fibre chips, these are stretched into long fibres and finally woven into rolls of fabric to make new garments. JoJo Maman Bebe also very kindly sent Isabella their Pack-Away Waterproof Dungarees in Navy (£29) and Poppy their Woodland Print Pack-Away Waterproof All-in-One (£35), which both pack into very compact bags that are attached to the garment so they can't be lost! They were absolutely perfect for taking with us in the suitcase and offered that extra bit of protection from the cool breeze in Copenhagen. Poppy wore her All-in-One every single day because she was sat in the pushchair as we walked around and I was conscious she wasn't moving as much as we were. It was incredibly easy to get on and off with the zip front opening, lightweight design and removeable stirrups to stop the legs riding up. Not to mention the seriously adorable woodland pattern across the whole thing! Isabella wore here Pack-Away Waterproof Dungarees on the days that were really cool to again offer some extra protection from the cold breeze and they were ideal for playing on the various impressive children's play parks Copenhagen has to offer across the city. The buckle fastenings on each shoulder made them really easy to pull down when visiting the toilet, without having to take everything off in the process. They also feature the removeable stirrups to stop the legs riding up, fully taped seams and a front pocket that Isabella loved storing her various finds in.
Cost? We stayed in an air bnb (which I believe is going to stop being rented out soon, as its been sold so I haven't linked it here), which is a really easy way to keep costs down and is ideal if you're visiting as a family. We had two bedrooms, kitchen, living area and shower room, so everything we could have needed for a short city break. As previously mentioned, another way we kept costs down was to not buy a Copenhagen Card and embrace walking around the beautiful city - everything is a short walk away. When we went to Iceland a few years a go we had heard that it was expensive, but nothing prepared us for the cost of the food in the supermarket (we're talking £15 for a block of cheese), so this time we went prepared to Denmark. I took a lot of cereal bars, snacks, rice pouches etc. for the girls to try and keep costs down, which I would recommend however the Netto supermarket in Copenhagen was actually a lot more reasonable than we expected. Prices were similar to in the UK; the real challenge was working out what everything was because Danish is nothing like English! The real shock when it came to money was how expensive it was to eat out, whereas we found eating out in Iceland expensive but not too bad in Copenhagen it seemed to be seriously expensive in my opinion. I wish we had known that prior to doing the food shop as soon as we landed in Denmark because I think we would have tried to cook some of our own meals back at the apartment. To be honest we don't mind spending that extra bit on holiday meals out, but because we didn't know where we were eating each day sometimes we spend almost £100 on a meal out that was not even that nice, which was really disappointing and did taint our 'dining out' experience. We ate at a restaurant sitting outside on the Nyhavn front, which looked like an idyllic location but the food was far below standard and at £20 for a vegetarian burger it was very overpriced in my opinion too. We did however go to the rooftop terrace in the Ilum department store twice because the food in the Rossa Pomodoro restaurant was absolutely delicious and therefore worth the more expensive price tag. It's just something to perhaps bare in mind and maybe do more research than we did about the best places to go are each day you're visiting. 
Overall, we made so many special family memories in Copenhagen and it is one of the only cities I've visited that I could actually imagine myself living in with young children. The parks, vast open spaces and how compact the city really is makes getting around very easy and almost everywhere is pushchair friendly. 

I hope you found this helpful and if you're planning a trip to Copenhagen soon I hope you have an amazing time!

Where would your favourite city break be?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. Copenhagen was on my list before I read this...but now it's up top. You've captured it so beautifully and the portraits of your kids are perfect. You've got some superb photography skills there.

  2. It sounds like you had an amazing time in Copenhagen and it is a good place to go with the family. The good looks amazing and what a great range of architecture is on show.

  3. The one issue I have with Copenhagen is the number of things to do, I have had three friends visit in as many months all claiming you need to be doing x,y and Z! It does sound like you not only had amazing weather but also an amazing time!

  4. This is somewhere on my list! Looks like you had nice sunny weather which makes the experience much better. The gardens are so beautiful. We went Vienna last year for the Christmas markets and loved it

  5. Copenhagen is somewhere I've always wanted to visit and now you've convinced me even more. Before my Dad had me, he lived out there for a while with work and always raved about the place x

  6. We have never visited Copenhagen before. Would be lovely to visit one day with the family.

  7. Only by looking at the photos I can totally understand why you returned to the Rossa Pomodoro restaurant, the food looks amazing! I have heard a lot about Copenhagen being expensive, but I didn't expect it would be this expensive. But I so badly want to go there nonetheless!
    PS-you have a fantastic eye for photography, Helen x

  8. I've never been before, it looks a great place to visit and so much to do!

  9. What a wonderful surprise trip for you and your family. Copenhagen is such a gorgeous city, and so many great things to do as a family. I'm sure you wanted to stay longer! It looks amazing.

  10. The architecture looks so beautiful. The kids look like they loved the food!

  11. Copenhagen looks wonderful, it is on the top of my city break list

  12. It looks like you all had a great holiday. Copenhagen is on my travel wishlist so this was a really helpful post. I'd already heard about how expensive the food is so an Air BnB where you can cook yourself is a great idea.

  13. We absolutely loved Copenhagan pre-kids. We have a Danish friend in the city and have visited him twice but are yet to revisit with our son as nd I'm eager to do so!

  14. Wow what an amazing time you had! Copenhagen looks stunning!

  15. I love Copenhagen and excited to head back to this lovely city, this time I will make sure to buy a city card

  16. We went to Copenhagen briefly at the beginning of the month and loved it.


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