Is Paris on your list of cities to see? Check out a full five day itinerary in the city of lights.
One year ago, I started calling Copenhagen, Denmark home. "New" was the buzzword of the month. Everything was thrown at me all at once - a new family, a new school, a new city, a new language, and new friends. I took all the discomfort right in front of my eyes and turned it into the best four months of my life.
What do I wish I knew before embarking on this journey?
Here are ten ideas to dwell in as your approaching this new season of life!
- Never say no.
"Yes" should become second nature. Whether someone you barely know asks you to join them on a boat ride with other people you don't know, or one of your new classmates asks you to meet for coffee and you think it could be extremely awkward - your answer is YES. Never pass up an opportunity no matter how awkward you may think it will be.
- It's not that hard to make friends.
Everyone is in the same general boat, experiencing the same general feelings. Everyone wants friends!
- Pack right - pack light.
You will buy many things, even if you say you won't.. you will.
Bring staples that can be worn over and over again.
- You will feel homesick, that's just part of it.
Give yourself a few weeks to get acclimated to your new life. Homesickness can be a sweet reminder to call home, but don't let it be a hinderance to your experience.
- Keep a blog, or a journal.
I kept a blog (Blonde Eventyr) for my abroad experience. It was the perfect platform to write and share my weekly life to friends and family back home. But, I encourage a tangible book or journal to write in everyday. Looking back a semester or three years later, it will be a gift.
- Culture shock is a real thing, but also a really beautiful thing.
With new countries, you can expect new cultures. Learn to love the differences.
- Bring over your favorite sweets on the plane, and enough for you to survive the first week.
Europe is wack in the candy department (my own opinion). Keep an emergency stash just in case!
- Go as many places as you can go.
This is your time to view the world as your oyster. Spend the extra money to do something you would never be in the position to do again. Even in the city your living in, try new coffee shops or walk down new streets, get out of a routine.
- Make an effort to make friends with the locals.
One of my great friends I met while in Copenhagen was a Dane. Something would have been missing in my abroad experience without the local flare.
- You will come back home changed after this semester.
The stereotypical expression you hear regarding study abroad is along the lines of, "you will discover yourself." I for one thought that was stupid when I first heard it because I know who I am - I am a daughter of God, who's on this earth to love and grow the Kingdom. That is all still true, however, I found out more about myself regarding the posture of my heart. Be open and expect to be moved in ways you never thought possible.
Coming back to the states after the fairytale life I lived in Copenhagen, I wanted a special piece of artwork to always remember that part of my life adventures. Modern Map Art has prints for all cities and landscapes that pull a room together. I have LOVED my print.
Click HERE for 15% OFF any print!
What do you wish you knew before studying abroad, or entering a new season?
What do you want to know before you embark on your new abroad journey?
Just touched down in London Town!
Typically one arrives in London through Heathrow, taxi's to a hotel, and begins their royal, english vacation. Still taking London by storm, a college girl's experience may look a little different, but may also look a bit more adventurous.
How to Get to London
If you're flying from another European country, take RyanAir Airlines. I managed to fly to and from London for under $100. The catch is you will fly into London Luton Airport, which is about 45 minutes away from the heart of London. Not the most ideal situation, however a cheap flight and a no-stress bus ride on easyBus make this decision a no-brainer.
Where To Stay
The cheapest, most reliable option is Airbnb. Airbnb is always my go-to! We stayed in a small apartment in South Kensington and it was in the perfect area, close to everything, and served as a great place to touch down after our 30,000+ walking days.
What to Do + Where to Eat in London Neighborhoods
- Walk the streets lined with colorful houses that will tug at your heart like no other
- Portabello Market
- Visit the ever so famous Notting Hill Book Store, Hugh Grant's bookstore in the Notting Hill film
- Farm Girl Cafe
- The Biscuiteers Boutique and Icing Cafe (Most definitely instagrammable)
- The Hummingbird Bakery
- Snaps + Rye
- Morning jog in Hyde park through Kensington Gardens... maybe you'll see Princess Kate and Prince Harry, you never know!
- The Orangery for high tea!! The royal treatment.
- The Queens Arms
- See the most up to date, most famous modern artwork at the Tate Modern
- Watch the street performers on a beautiful day along the river
- Walk the Harry Potter #5 famous bridge
- The London Eye, I for one don't think its worth the money, but it is cool!
- Southbank Food Market
- Arabica Bar & Kitchen
- Iconic department store shopping at Harrod's.
- Make your Parent Trap dreams come true and visit the London house.
- Harrod's may have every type of cuisine you could ever crave, and it's all yummy! Get a zebra donut.
- Take a picture in the iconic red phone booths
- Visit the must-see's: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey
- Tour the Windsor Castle
- Walk the cute little town
- The Carpenter's Arms
- Covent Garden
- See a broadway show at The Shaftesbury Theatre
- MEATliquor W1
- Ben's Cookies
- The Black Penny
- Bukowski Grill
Four days wasn't nearly enough time in London. If I had a few more days I would have loved to check out:
- Explore the England countryside
- Satisfy my Harry Potter obsession and visit Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland, England, and the Great Hall and other filming locations in the heart of Oxford.
- Travel to the Jurassic Coast
- Spend a day in Wimbledon
- Take a day trip up to Lancashire, home to witch trials which took place in the late 1600's
Comment with your favorite neighborhood of London!
For four months, I had the privilege of calling Copenhagen home. Iconic, colorful buildings on the canal served as the back drop of my study abroad semester. This post is the beginning of a travel guide series, fit for a college student on a budget. Everything from where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and what to see.
What to Do:
Tivoli: One of the world's oldest amusement parks built right in the middle of the city, and it's more magical than Disney World. Tivoli is open seasonally in the summer and during Halloween and Christmas time. Click here for seasonal hours.
Nyhavn: Pastel color houses right on the water lining the street... a girl's picture backdrop dream.
Friendship Boats or Go Boats: If appropriate weather - grab your friends, some charcuterie and wine, and a responsible boat driver to glide along the canals. Go around dinner time to get a glimpse of the sunset as your finishing up. Click here for Go Boats and click here for Friendship Boats.
*p.s. if it's cold, look into the hot tub boats
*p.p.s Friendship Boats were my favorite.
Harbour Baths: Again, if weather permitting, take the metro to Island Bryyge and soak up Copenhagen's idea of a beach. On a sunny, warm day you'll find tons of Danes on the lawn getting some sun and jumping off the "cliffs."
Hillsong: A sweet church that I got to call home for a few months. The people are great, the Gospel is very evident, and it's all in english! The best way to spend a Sunday!
Bike: Rent some bikes and go on a ride around the city. If biking is second nature to you, any hour will work for you, just know that biking is perceived as another car in the eyes of the Danes. If you like relaxing bike rides, go in the morning hours on the weekend.
Climb the Church of Our Savior: Best view of the city by far.
What to Eat
If you want to eat on Nyhavn and not spend a fortune at the tourist trap restaurants, eat at Gorm's. Pizza, salads, and a cool vibe, Gorm's serves as the perfect affordable place to eat. There are two other Gorm's locations as well.
GRØD: I don't like oatmeal or porridge, but GRØD has changed that. The perfect breakfast, and it's cheap!
Mad & Kaffe: I'm mad about brunch here. GO HERE, and here to check it out.
42 Raw: A health nut's dream. All raw, natural, organically made. Acai bowls were my go-to!
Väkst: A quintessential Scandinavian dinner. More on the expensive side, but definitely a yummy, aesthetically pleasing, Denmark feel. Click here for the restaurant's website.
Paper Island: Street food meets good food. From falafel, to tacos, to sweet potato fries, to BBQ, to sushi, to cheesecake. A giant warehouse with every kind of food you could ever want. Grab a mojito and whatever you're in the mood to eat, and sit outside by the water and watch the boats go by.
Where to Stay
I'm only familiar with two places to stay in the city. For a cheap hostel, Copenhagen Downtown is nice (via one of my friends). For a hotel, the Kong Arthur was absolutely beautiful! I stayed here with my mom when she came to visit, and I did not want to leave!
Where to Shop
Strøget is the longest pedestrian street FULL of shops and cafes.
My favorite stores to shop in were:
& Other Stories
Magasin (similar to Nordstrom)
Notre Dame (similar to Anthropologie Home)
Where to Get Your Coffee Fix
Check out my previous coffee in Copenhagen post with everything coffee, and write-ups on each!
Below are a few of my favorites.
Kompa 9 Cafe
Sankt Pauls Gade
Magstræde and Snaregade
If you would like a personalized Copenhagen Travel Guide, contact me.
What are your favorite places and things to do in Copenhagen??