Travel around Copenhagen, Denmark

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Copenhagen is a relatively small city which you can walk around quite freely, and getting from A-Z is a doddle. They have a Metro system which is currently in the process of being expanded across the city, a train network that can get you anywhere you need to go outside of Copenhagen, a harbour bus that takes you across the river from one side of the city to the other, and a bus network which will take you to all the tourist attractions you need to get to. It’s a fantastic place to navigate around without the need of a car.

2000px-Scandinavian_Airlines_logo_svgWe flew with SAS, who were excellent, even though the flight back was delayed by two hours. Both I and Mr Travelstodge were annoyed by this, but at the same time we could understand the reason why. There were two bags on board belonging to a passenger who failed to show up for their flight at a previous destination, which delayed the flight back to Copenhagen, which in turn made our flight late to depart. We went to the information desk, where the staff were helpful and friendly, to find out the reason why.

SAS have a whole row of check-in desks at their Copenhagen Airport departure, and you’ll find the majority of them unmanned. This is because they are autonomous and work on barcodes and scanners. We didn’t figure this out until we were sat waiting for half an hour for a desk to open! Once the system was explained to us, we were like “ohhhhh… that’s clever” I did think I was going to get back home and find my luggage somewhere else as I still don’t trust machines… they will take over the world!!! (Briefly… there are terminals that you scan your boarding pass into which produces a luggage label for you to attach to your suitcase, which in turn has a barcode that you scan at the check-in desk) Very futuristic!

To get from the airport (CPH Lufthavn) to the City Centre you can use three options. The 5db61167982e97e74b7e92be05ee4fc6first one, and the one we used, is the train. There is one train every 10 minutes to Københaven Central Station, (you may see it as København H at the station) which is located by the Tivoli Gardens. Be warned… there are two exits out of the train station, and we left out of the back way and got totally confused where we were! The second option is the Metro. Located above Terminal 3, line M2 terminates at Vanløse Station, but it will go through Nørreport Station which is the one you will need for the City Centre. The third option is the 5A bus which takes you to various locations in the centre, but will take around 30 minutes or more. All details can be found here.

imag1650_1.jpgWe brought the Copenhagen Card, which gives you free transport across Copenhagen using the Bus, Metro or Train, and also free entry and discounts to 73 museums, attractions, food and entertainment. I would advise having a look on their website and see if the places you want to visit are listed in the free entry section, and work out if you would save money getting the card or paying the entry fee at the individual places. We only used their Metro system once, purely for the experience, the harbour buses to get to a street food place, and the train to and from the airport.

The one thing we found confusing was when the card actually started. We ordered ours online and had it posted to us. Ours was valid for 120 hours, but you can order different hours to suit your trip. Bizarrely, our card was never checked on public transport… ever! I wrote the date on the front of the card in case it was checked, but wasn’t sure if I should have or not, but as it was never checked, I’ll never know!

So that is Copenhagen travel in a nutshell. It’s such a small city that public transport in most instances is not required, as the majority of attractions are in easy walking distance.

Next time… our first day, Christmas in September and trip-ups

Day four: Architecture and a Light Up Fountain

Day four… the final day. I was feeling glum as I had fallen in love with Barcelona all over again, and even Mr Travelstodge didn’t want to leave… and he had a cold!  Today, we went to Poble Espanyol de Barcelona and the light show at the Font Màgica.  As Poble Espanyol de Barcelona was quite far away, we spent most of the day there and because Mr Travelstodge was full up with a cold at this point, we didn’t want to rush around like we had been doing the previous days.

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Poble Espanyol de Barcelona is an architectural museum in the El Poble-Sec area of Barcelona.  It was built in 1929 to represent what an Iberian village could ideally look like, and has 117 full size replicas with over 40 craft workshops where you can buy anything from bags to chocolate, soap to jewellery and so much more.  I loved it!  Some of the shops there do not allow photos of their items or the shop in general, so please bare that in mind.  There should be a sign in the shop window stating this.  When you enter Poble Espanyol, you walk through a castle entrance, which is very grand, which then leads into a square. All along the streets are wooden pillars with little decorative metal sculptures on, which were interesting and cute so make sure you keep your eye out for those dotted around.  The architecture is beautiful and the views are amazing from here as you are high up overlooking the city.1935490_10208584248270097_8867420435051652393_n

We got the metro to Espanya and walked there, but you can get buses 13, 23 and 150 along with the tourist buses which will take you more or less straight there.

Tickets cost us €13 on the door but if you buy online here you will pay less and details of all the above can be found in their Useful Information section of their website. 

Once we had finished here, we made our way back to our hotel room to freshen up and have something to eat before we made our way over to the Font Màgica located in the Montjuïc area.  On certain nights of the week they do a light show on the fountain and they program the formation of the water shoots to move alongside the music they play, which for us was Barcelona by Queen, followed by Flash Gordon also by Queen.  12301698_10208584332392200_8870271357125176913_nBefore the show, there was a breakdancing group who performed a few dance routines which entertained the scores of people who were turning up to see the fountain show.  Two words of advice.  Number one, turn up nice and early to get the best spot as the area fills up quickly and you will be hard pushed to see much.  Number two, be prepared to get pushed and shoved as everyone wants to get the best position to see the fountain.  The first time I went to Barcelona, I stood to watch the show and I got a tap on the shoulder by a father who complained I was blocking the view for his child…. Now, as I was there first, I politely told him I was here first and stood my ground.  Unfortunately, it is still exactly the same now, overcrowded!

For details of how to get there and when the fountain light show is on, go to their website

So, there you have it… my trip to Barcelona.  I absolutely loved every minute of it.  The food, the culture, the people… everything!  I would go back in a heartbeat, and so would Mr Travelstodge.  We have brought back some good memories from here which I haven’t put into this blog as they are our memories that we will treasure deeply.  If you are planning to go to Barcelona at any point, DO IT!  You will not regret it at all.  If you are going, or have been, let me know what you think and let’s compare stories.  Next stop… Copenhagen…

Transportation around Barcelona.

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Getting around Barcelona couldn’t be easier.  You have a choice of the Metro (like the London Underground), buses, trams and on foot, all of which are quick, easy and cheap.  Depending on where you are going and how long you are there for, you can obtain travel-cards that help you get about in this magnificent City.

We opted for the five day Hola BCN! Card which, for €32, gave us unlimited travel for the five days we were there on the buses, Metro, tram, local train FGC (Zone 1) and the regional train called Rodalies (Zone 1) which also means you can use it on the train to and from the airport.  The Rodalies train takes you from the airport to the City Centre and the stop Passeig de Gracia, perfect for onward travel to your hostel/hotel via the Metro.  Please don’t do what I did on the way back to the airport… I exited out of the train station at Passeig de Gracia to get a bottle of water while I was waiting for the train to the airport, and found that my Hola BCN! Card wouldn’t let me back in again!  I managed to convince the guy at the ticket desk that I made a huge mistake and he let me through. Apparently that train station is outside the allowed zone the card could be used in.

The confusion however, is with the Montjuïc funicular as online it says you can use it there, but on the back of the card it says you can’t, so if you are wanting to use aerial cable-way then please check before you travel.

All details, and to purchase your Hola BCN! Card before you travel (you get 10% off online too), can be found here: http://www.tmb.cat/en/barcelona-travel-card

Once you have obtained your card you then just slot it into the ticket machine and you’re through.  Ticket machines operate in the same way on the Metro, in the train station or on the bus.  It’s like the London underground, you put your ticket in one end and it pops out the other.  The buses are a little different.  There is a white machine behind where the driver sits that you have to put your ticket in to, it makes a noise and pops it back out again.  If you hear a noise like an alarm, it means there’s a problem with your ticket.  It could be that the ticket was put in the wrong way round or there might be a problem with the ticket.  As we never used the trams while we were there I can’t comment on how to use them there but you can find more information on where the machines are located here: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/tram-guide-barcelona.html

480-aerobus-2To get to and from the airport, you can either use the train or the official shuttle bus called Aerobus.  This bus goes between terminal one and two of the airport and takes you to the centre of Barcelona in around 35 minutes.  There are various stops along the way and prices start from €5.90 one way.  More details can be found here:  http://www.aerobusbcn.com/

So, there you are.  A brief blog on the transport of Barcelona.  There are different types of tickets available for your stay, it all depends on how long you are staying and where you want to go.  Below is a list of websites that might come in handy for your time here, so at least you will be prepared with your travel plans before you leave for your trip.

 

A multi-person travel card valid for 10 intermodal journeys from 1 to 6 zones.

http://www.tmb.cat/en/sistema-tarifari-integrat/-/ticket/T10

The Barcelona Card for travel and free admission to some tourist attractions.

http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/shopv3/en/product/1/barcelona-card.html

Lists of all the Leisure Transport Tickets available, for example, Tourist Bus etc…

http://www.tmb.cat/en/bitllets-turistics

Guide for the underground metro and further links to maps and timetables.

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/barcelona-metro.html