The first time I heard of Copenhagen was when my father booked tickets in 2006 to pick me up from Barcelona during a trip. Needless to say, his experience in the airport gave me bad vibes, and years later, when a friend of the family ended up getting on the wrong flight, I became hesitant to want to travel there. By all accounts, there is not much in the city to do and see. Based on that, I was hesitant to include it on my itinerary for my three month trip in Europe, but ultimately, compromises had to be made, and I agreed to it.
The first thing that I noticed when arriving at the airport in Copenhagen was that it was very minimalistic, and dark. While it doesn’t compare to Newark, the airport I often travel out of, it definitely looked a little tired. Adding to the confusion was the fact that my partner and I could not figure out the transit machines that would allow us to take the metro in Copenhagen. The machine was not exactly user-friendly as it gave us the option for purchasing tickets for the trains leaving out of the train station in central Copenhagen, but no information on the metro. We had to spend some time checking the map to make sure we got the right stops to pull up on the machine so that we can buy metro tickets. For me, that just came off uncharacteristically sketchy for a country that prides itself on doing the right thing.
Also confusing was the fact that there’s no “punch” in of metro tickets—you just walk through to the train, so I’ve never figured out how that works either. But at least the metro itself from the airport was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. When we finally got out of the metro, and walked the few steps to our hotel, it was really cool.
While my first impressions of the city were pretty sour, I warmed up to the daily life there, enough to not write it off completely, though I probably won’t return any time soon or move there full-time. But I can appreciate the city for what it gave me.