Reader Contribution (BB)…
After talking with some folks at the Danish NSU, we decided to drive to Copenhagen. It is about 500 miles away. Although you really could make it in one day, we decided to break up the drive by spending the first night in Hamburg.
If you decide to make the drive, you should schedule your ferry ahead of time on line. Here’s the website we used: http://www.directferries.co.uk. We used the Puttgarden/Rodby ferry. The price depends upon how many passengers you have and the size of your vehicle. It cost us 122 Euro, plus about 10 Euro to book on line. Make sure you print out your reservations.
Once you arrive at the ferry, you just give the gate guard the paperwork and he gives you tickets for both ways. It didn’t actually seem to matter what time you booked your ticket for, in that if you miss yours, they’ll put you on the next one and if you get there early, they’ll put you on if there’s room. We had no problems at all. The ferry ride itself isn’t long. There are plenty of snacks and beverages available for purchase, but it was ok to bring your own stuff on as well.
There is an Esso station near the ferry. You’ll definitely want to fill up before you leave Germany. Here’s the address and phone number. They accept Esso cards.
Landkirchener Weg 49
23769 Burg auf Fehmarn, DE
Tel: +49 4371-2095
We stayed in military lodging on Holmen Naval Base. Truthfully, it was more like a hostel than a hotel, but for 45 euro a night, it did the job. The guy who runs the billeting was extremely helpful and friendly. You will stop at the first building when you enter the base and if it is after hours, the security police will help you. You need to pay for your lodging in euros in total shortly after your arrival.
Tel: (0045) 3266 4131
There are a couple of other places you can try for lodging as well:
Life Guard Barracks Hovelte 4599 4000.
Can’t tell you anything about those two places, but it’s worth a try if you’re up to it!
Transportation in and around Copenhagen:
Once we arrived, we never used our vehicle again until the day we left. We were very near a water taxi, which we were allowed to pay cash for (euros since we hadn’t hit an ATM yet), and the price included a ticket for the bus. We went straight away to the hauptbahnhoff and bought a 3 day pass for 429 Danish Krone (about $75). Children up to 9 are free, and each adult can have two. The pass includes all water taxis, busses, subways and trains for a large radius. We also went to Legoland one day, and for that we had to book a special pass. More on that later.
Sightseeing In Copenhagen:
There really is so much to do and see in this wonderful country! The city itself is loaded with museums, many of them free. The first day we just got our bearings and visited the Nationalmuseet (free, open 10 – 5) www.natmus.dk
Considered the longest continually operating observatory, the Rundetaarn is worth the walk up. It’s not nearly as high as say, the Eiffel Tower, but the view from the top is pretty. It was 20 Krone to get in and is open late on Tues & Wed until 10PM. 10 to 5 M-Sat observatory 7 to 10 pm tues & Wed.
Tel +45 33 73 03 73
Copenhagen is very pedestrian friendly. The famous shopping street is Stroget. There are lots of neat little shops here as well as the just overtly touristy ones. I personally really enjoyed shopping at the Royal Copenhagen store – such beautiful things!
Do read “The Little Mermaid” – an authentic not Disney-ized version if you can find it (GK library has it, and I’m sure JFC does as well). And take your kids to see the statue. You will be underwhelmed, but you just got to do it!
We really lucked out as the classic amusement park, Tivoli happened to be open for Halloween! http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-3351.htm Additionally, the Bodies Exhibit was in town. http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/
Because we travel with a little one, we mix it up so we have some kid things (such as the Build a Bear near Tivoli! http://www.buildabear.com/ ) in between the museums and such. And we alternated doing stuff in Copenhagen with days where we got out and explored further out.
Here are our day trips:
Hillerod is about 45 minutes drive/1 hour train. Frederiksborg Castle is a royal Renaissance castle, built in the 17th century. It has a beautiful chapel, hundreds of coats of arms and the national portrait gallery of the Danish kings and queens and other notables dating back to 1500. It also houses the National Historic Museum as well. There is some fun stuff for the kids to do as well, such as dress up and learn how people lived and worked centuries ago.
Roskiled, a fjord village, is about 45 minutes drive/1 hour train. The Viking Ship Museum is there. Several years ago, 2 scuttled Viking ships were discovered in the bay, apparently sank there to delay further attacks. Miraculously, they have been reassembled to some degree – pretty incredible since they are over 1,000 years old. And, there has been a reconstruction done based on the originals. There are some mock ups that the kids can dress up and play in also. The village has a lovely Dom, but it was under construction while we were there.
Another day trip we made was up to Helsingor to see “Hamlet’s castle” Kronborg Slot. Again, it’s about 45 minutes drive/1 hour train. From here we took a ferry into Sweden to Helsingborg. We went to the tourist office and asked for directions to a traditional Swedish lunch. We found a nice little spot which had 2 specials for the day from which to choose. The town itself used to have a huge castle of which only Karnan, the keep, survives. If you catch it right, which we didn’t, you can go up. The “Radhauset” is a beautiful neo-gothic style building – this is where the information/tourist shop is. If you’re looking for a couple of souvenirs, we found their prices better than a lot of other places. Other than that, there wasn’t a lot do to here other than shop. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsingborg
The longest day trip was Legoland. It is about a 3 hour train/bus ride to get there, BUT, the place itself is wonderful and we all had a great time, especially our little one. It was a great reward for him after traipsing through castles and museums and shops! Admittance for kids was 229 Krone – about $42, adult ticket 259, about $47 each. Total for a family of 3 – 747 kr/$136. Park hours are posted on their web site. Rides shut down 1 hour prior to close. www.legoland.dk
At the end of our time in Copenhagen, it is time to head home. Hopefully, you haven’t lost your ferry tickets! And, don’t forget to gas up once you’re back across the water.