DISCOVERING DENMARK IN A MOTORHOME,
Denmark is a land of wonder.
Amidst enchanted scenery, lighthouses, islands and charming corners where the pace of life is people-friendly, here it is easy to travel around and feel at home.
In describing Copenhagen, Peter Hoeg, author of the novel "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow", said: "It gradually emerges from the surrounding countryside. Its size makes it as easy to traverse as a small town, but without denying it the cultural importance of a metropolis."
Copenhagen is a people-friendly city, where everything is within easy reach and the quality of life is higher than elsewhere in Europe. It’s especially pleasant to visit during spring and summer, so to discover Denmark’s capital at its best, we recommend loading the bikes onto your Ducato-based motorhome and travelling around the city just like the Danes do: on two wheels. In winter, however, it is better to make use of the excellent public transport services. In the city you can also use the city bike service: just take a bicycle from one of the special racks and pay the required fee.
HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND
Although Copenhagen is a capital city, its urban area has just over 1.3 million inhabitants and is quite small in size. Memorising its layout is simple: the districts are divided by cardinal points, with the addition of Christianshavn.
The central district is the one with the main tourist attractions and should be the focus of your trip. Places to visit include the Danish Parliament, Amalienborg Palace, the central campus of the University of Copenhagen, the Town Hall (Rådhuset) and the picturesque Nyhavn district with its charming canals. To the southwest is Vesterbro, or "Western District", which is full of pubs and clubs frequented by a large number of university students. To the northwest is Nørrebro, the Northern District, which is the city’s multi-ethnic quarter, hence its main street (Nørrebrogade, which cuts through the middle of the quarter) is also known as the Shawarma Belt. Østerbro lies north of the city centre, even though the name means "Eastern District", and is essentially a residential neighbourhood.
Christianshavn is located south of the centre and is the last of Copenhagen’s districts. It is also where you will find the free town of Christiania, which was created by squatters in a former military area in the early 1970s and remains a fully-fledged social experiment to this day. Over time, the old naval stronghold has been transformed into a residential area for hippies.
RADHUSSPLADSEN - TIVOLI GARDENS
Once you have parked your Ducato-based motorhome, you can easily continue on foot or by bike.
Our journey starts from the neighbourhood of Radhuspladsen, the city’s main square, next to the Central Station and Tivoli Gardens, which is actually an amusement park. It was opened on 15 August 1843 and is the world’s second-oldest amusement park, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg. A large green oasis within the city centre, it is full of wooded areas and wild animal enclosures. The amusement park was designed to respect the ecosystem of the surrounding gardens.
After leaving Tivoli Gardens, you can go for a pleasant stroll among the restaurants and shops along the Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world. This will lead you to the area of the Nyhavn Kanal, the city's most famous and picturesque canal, where you can take a guided boat tour to experience the city from the water. Another starting point is the Old Port. The tour will also take you to Christianshavns Kanal, located in Christianshavn district, which is noted for its sailing community and the numerous traditional boathouses along the bank. You can also admire the Opera House, the castle of Amalienborg and the Little Mermaid statue, one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Nyhavn Kanal is also a perfect place for night-time entertainment, owing to its wonderful bars and restaurants. Another trendy spot worth visiting is Sluseholmen Kanal.
A VISIT TO CHRISTIANIA
Now let’s come to one of the most visited places in Copenhagen: Christiania.
The world's most famous hippie neighbourhood was founded in 1971 in a disused naval base. One of the most influential members of the first group of squatters was Jacob Ludvigsen, who published an anarchist newspaper in which he announced the proclamation of the free town ("Fristad" in Danish). The area’s legal status has remained in limbo for years and faces an even more uncertain future. In 2006 the town lost its special status as an alternative community. The first building to be demolished the following year sparked tense conflicts. Forty years after its foundation, an agreement was reached with the district’s approximately 700 inhabitants, giving them the right to use the occupied and self-governed neighbourhood (which covers around 35 hectares), provided that they set up a fund to buy the entire residential complex for 76.2 million Danish kroner (about 10.2 million euros).
In Christiania there are around 50 different collectives practising craft, cultural and theatrical activities. The community has its own day nursery, bakery, sauna, bicycle workshop, printing works, free radio station, restoration workshops, cinema, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.
For those who want to explore the city limits a little further, we recommend the place where Shakespeare set his play Hamlet: Kronborg Castle.
On board your Ducato-based motorhome, exit the city and head towards Elsinore (Helsingør).
Here, close to the sea, you can admire the castle, which is still intact. With its long Knights' Hall and the statue of Holger Danske ("Holger the Dane")—who, according to legend, will wake up to defend his kingdom if it ever comes under attack—the castle is an extremely fascinating place and well worth a visit.
MOTORHOME STOPPING POINTS
Copenhagen is not one of the best places for campsites. There are more comfortable sites the further you go from the city centre, but you can bridge the distance if you don’t mind travelling by bike and public transport.
City Camp holiday park
Can accommodate up to 450 motorhomes. Open from 25 May to 2 September, opening hours from 08:00 to 22:00. Located near the port of Copenhagen and close to a well-stocked shopping centre. GPS coordinates: 55°39'35"N 12°33'27"E
This campsite is about 500 metres from Brøndbyøster Station, which enables you to reach the city by train in 20 minutes. GPS coordinates 55.67014 N 12.43492 E
Open from 1 June to 31 August, it is located in the northwest part of Copenhagen. It is just over 4 km from the old town centre and is well served by public transport. GPS coordinates N 55° 42.011 E 12° 30.660