Have you ever had a preconception of a city based on what other people say about it? And then once you get there, it’s not really as you imagined?
Well, that happened to me when I visited Copenhagen in Denmark. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the city for its serenity and being eco-friendly, but that didn’t stop me from thinking that it’s overrated. I guess ticking off another new country and being told by a lot of friends that Copenhagen is a really cool city got me excited. Maybe too excited. All this hype had gone to my head and left me with high expectations. But sadly, Copenhagen just didn’t deliver. To be honest, I was left feeling underwhelmed.
Prior to my trip, I had heard rumours of Copenhagen such as “there are a zillion bikes”, “people are really friendly” and “it’s a better version of Amsterdam”. The one thing that everyone agreed on is that it’s expensive, although I found it to be completely doable on a budget.
Some people even deem Copenhagen as the best city in the world which left me wondering why I found it to be the most overrated I’d ever visited. Maybe there were contributing factors like the time of year I visited, or the fact I was in bed sick for a full day. Still, I don’t believe these were the main reasons why I felt disappointed. Of course, every individual has a different experience while travelling, but why had mine been so underwhelming while the majority of people seemed to be ecstatic about Copenhagen?
Alas, the three top reasons why Copenhagen is the most overrated city that I’ve visited in Europe…
Where’s the Culture?
For a capital city, there isn’t very much to do, unless you’re a museum fiend (which I am not). I felt like I couldn’t properly interact with the city and get a real feel for Danish culture.
Even in the surrounding neighbourhoods, it was really quiet and there was a lack of atmosphere. Maybe I needed to venture further out of Copenhagen and take a day trip to an even more local area.
The Tourist Attractions are Overrated.
I didn’t even need to see the Little Mermaid to know it would be overrated.
For me, the other glorified attraction Nyhavn is a tad disappointing too. Of course, the brightly coloured 17th century townhouses along the canal are beautiful. But since all the pictures I’d seen of Copenhagen online were of Nyhavn, it gave me a distorted preconception of the city. I thought that more houses would look like this. In reality, it stops at one short street.
Better Than Amsterdam?
I’ve visited Amsterdam three times, and I love the city.
According to my friends, Copenhagen was even better than Amsterdam?! Again, this raised my expectations. Now, I don’t see how the two cities are comparable.
Amsterdam has 165 canals whereas I saw four in Copenhagen…
Amsterdam has kept its character with unique houses all over the city whereas Copenhagen has given into modernity.
There are copious activities to do in Amsterdam whereas there aren’t that many in Copenhagen.
I don’t like complaining about any of my travels, but I still have to be honest about all of my experiences. For some sad reason, I just felt like I couldn’t connect Copenhagen. Even though I tried to be open to having an amazing time there, it still felt mediocre, like I was trying to force myself to like it.
Maybe I will visit again in the
far future to give it another shot… Or perhaps it’s one of those cities you can only truly appreciate if you live there.
Have you been to Copenhagen, and did you think it was overrated?
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