How To Take a Long Weekend Trip to Malmo and Copenhagen

Not everyone has the luxury of taking off on an adventure whenever they get the urge and not everyone has a spouse that will support them to see the world for weeks at a time, so sometimes a long weekend trip is the best kind of trip.

Years ago, the idea of heading to Europe for a long weekend seemed something only the very wealthy could do, but with the new inexpensive airlines, you can travel quite cheaply. One thing you need to remember is on these airlines, you pay for anything extra like baggage and food. They don’t even give you nuts and water for free, but you can pack your own and on a long weekend trip, you can carry everything you need in a backpack or carry-on bag.

My husband and I recently went to Malmo, Sweden which is also close enough to Copenhagen, Denmark and connected by a rail system, that you can see both cities while you are there.  There are many airlines that fly there and I recommend using google flights and planning months in advance with flexible dates to find the cheapest tickets.

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                  click on picture to take you to Google Flights

We flew in to Copenhagen, walked to terminal 3 where the train station is located, took the train to Malmo which is about a 30 minute ride and stayed at the Renaissance Marriott Malmo using hotel points which helped keep the cost down even lower. Central Station Malmo is within walking distance to Lilla Torg(Little Square) where you can find wonderful hotels, restaurants and shops. You really do not need to leave this area as everything you need to enjoy the culture and history is there. And the best part is Malmo is a pedestrian and cyclist community, so no need to rent a car. However, if you don’t feel like walking, you can rent a bike!

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Mornings are odd here in Malmo, especially if you are an American. We are used to waking up at the crack of dawn and getting our day started. Well, Malmo doesn’t wake up until at least 10am. Which means if you need coffee before that, its best to brew your own in the room or head to the train station down the street.

Also, most hotels will offer a deal on breakfasts during your stay, but I don’t recommend it. Their breakfasts are great, don’t get me wrong, but take advantage of all the different cafes, espresso houses and pastry shops while you are there. The prices are all about the same and you get to experience more of Malmo culture.

After breakfast, take a walk to Malmohus,  a castle fortress built in 1434.  This marvelous castle not only houses original furniture, military items and decor from Danish and Swedish history, but also an exhibit on the Roma/ Romani people, or what many people know as the gypsies, as well as an art and textile museum. The ticket price is 40 SEK for adults over 19,which converts to $4.50 per person (FREE for 19 and under). Or maybe you will be lucky like we were and show up on a FREE day.  The walk to the museum through Kungsparken(Kings Park) is beautiful and a lovely way to spend the morning.

You can eat lunch at the castle at The Museum Restaurang Wega. This adorable little bistro is built around a beer fountain and lunch restaurant that was built in the 1910’s, closed in the 1960’s and then donated to Malmohus.

After lunch, keep walking to see more sights of Malmo. There are so many parks and public art that you will never find a loss of things to do. Make sure to stop by the local fish market, head to Ribersborgs beach and get a photo of the famous Turning Torso building.

 

Head back to your hotel in Lilla Torg to freshen up and rest a little, then go enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants.  You can take your meal inside or eat outside under the patio heaters covered up with the blanket each seat has provided.  As someone who hates the cold, I was skeptical of how warm these heaters and blankets can keep you, but after sitting down, I was in heaven. Those heaters put off a lot of heat and the ambiance of everyone sitting closely eating their meals and enjoying each other’s company is amazing!

Malmo - After Dinner - Lilla Torg - Saturday July 5 2008

We ate many places, but our favorite meal by far was at Steakhouse Lilla Torg.  Compliments to the chef!

 

After a good nights sleep, and a quick breakfast and coffee,  head to Copenhagen for the day. At the train station purchase a 24 hour ticket that gives unlimited travel on trains, metro and buses to, from and in Copenhagen for DKK 120 or 142 SEC which converts to $16 USD. Make sure you set up a FREE city tour through SANDEMANS . The free tour starts at the Dragon Fountain in Town Hall Square and covers all of the important spots; Copenhagen Town Hall, Tivoli Gardens, Danish Royal Palace, The Marble Church, Picturesque Nyhavn harbour, Hans Christian Andersen, Absalon – the warrior bishop, Nazi occupation, WWII resistance, Strøget shopping mile, The Lur Blowers, Nytorv and Gammeltorv, Kongens Nytorv, Danish Parliament, The Royal Danish Theater in a 2.5 hour time period. This tour gives you a chance to learn and see what you want to see more of or spend more time visiting. Of course Nyhavn Harbour is one of the most iconic areas and I recommend heading there to eat lunch.

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After enjoying lunch, make sure you get ice cream for dessert at Vaffelbageren. Not only do they make their own waffles and waffle cones, but their own ice cream as well!

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Don’t leave Copenhagen without seeing the Little Mermaid statue. Honestly, it’s not all that exciting, but it’s one of those things that is pretty much required on a trip to Copenhagen!

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Enjoy your day here in Copenhagen, shop, eat and make the most of it and then head back to the train station for Malmo. One thing to make note of, is to make sure you keep your passport with you at all times. On the trip back to Sweden, the train stops and police come through to check your passports before continuing on the way. I’d hate to be the person who forgot their passport at the hotel that day.

Spend the next day in Malmo visiting all the other spots you didn’t make it to. A quirky little museum to stop at is the Theatre Museum. It costs $3 to enter and is a nice way to support the local arts as well as interesting to see set models, costumes, props, posters etc, from Swedish theatre.

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Make sure as you walk around today, you pick up souvenirs for all your friends and family back home. Who doesn’t want an iconic Swedish Horse?

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And of course, continue trying all the local cuisine. I recommend dinner at one place and dessert at another so you can hit them all. (I love food)

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Enjoy your last evening in Malmo and get a good nights rest. When you wake up in the morning, pack your backpack, check out and head back to Copenhagen. You have to visit Tivoli Gardens, the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world, before going to the airport.  The gardens are beautiful and you can definitely see that the buildings and atmosphere were an inspiration for the Disney Parks.

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 I don’t know about you, but I see It’s A Small World in this building.

After your visit to Tivoli, it will probably be time to get to the airport to go through security and start boarding.

What an amazing trip and a long weekend was just the right amount of time to visit Malmo and Copenhagen. When we booked the trip, I thought we’d spend more time in Copenhagen, but I am glad we stayed in Malmo which is much more relaxing and enjoyable! And I get to color in two more places on my map!

Happy Traveling!!!!

 

 

 

 

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The "Tour to Die For"


Finding the “tour to die for” when you are planning an international trip can feel like a coin toss.  This is especially true if you are not traveling with a large group under the guide of a large company.  While there are certainly advantages to the “just show up we’ve got everything planned” types of trips, there’s something really rewarding about planning your own tour.  Here are some ideas for helping you get out there are really SEE your destination.

1. Be honest with yourself.  If you are a high energy person, you aren’t going to want a tour that moves slowly and is lower activity.  On the flip side, you are more introverted you want to choose something more suited for your ideal pace.  Sometimes when we travel, we imagine ourselves different than we really are and capable of things that normally overly tire us or drive us nuts.  Stay true to you and there’s no way to go wrong.

2.  Search all types of places for tour options.  Online, trip apps, blogs, traditional tour sites and hotels suggestions (and then steal them), Facebook, etc.  This process shouldn’t be rushed or you’re likely to regret it.  You never know what you’ll find if you spend a little extra time doing your research.

3. Once you decide on your tour or day trip, call them in person.  Don’t let all your communication be digital, even if you live in a drastically different time zone.  Make time to call the tour and ask to speak to a guide/driver.  You learn a great deal about how your day will go from speaking to someone whose boots are on the ground.  You might even discover that the language barrier might be too great to ensure a nice experience.

4.  Read the reviews, and not just the top three.  Scroll down in trip adviser, or on the website to get a well-rounded sense of what went right and wrong for other people.  Knowing that can help you fine-tune the tour by asking to skip or amend parts, know you need to bring your own water or snacks, and other little details that might ruin an otherwise great sightseeing day.


5. You are in control.  If things go poorly, you feel unwell, your tour guide seems untrustworthy, you can end the tour at anytime and return to your hotel.  Don’t be afraid to assert yourself in any situation that leaves you feeling unsettled.

Jodi and I immensely enjoyed the tour of the Bishnoi Village we took with our guide Chhotaram.  We were both interested in meeting local people and learning about the culture of the Bishnoi.  They offered both full and half day tours which gave us the ability to go at a pace that suited our energy level.  Chhotaram was a knowledgeable guide about both the local wildlife and culture.  In fact he and his family are still members of the community and are weavers by trade.  He was willing to answer every question, stop by any roadside, and explain any custom we didn’t understand in perfect English.  THis was one of the many great tours we took in India. 

Roadtripping At It’s Finest

When I plan a road trip, I like to make it as silly as possible to keep it entertaining for the other passengers in the vehicle. I’ll plan stops at supposed vampire or witch grave sites, silly vintage statues or art works, or landmarks that you’ve always heard about, but have never seen.  To me, these are what make a road trip worth taking and makes lasting memories to talk and laugh about for decades.

 A few years ago, while my mother was battling lung cancer, my sisters and I decided we needed a Mother/ Daughter Road Trip to make some lasting memories. We hadn’t done anything like this for decades, since we all are married, have children and moved all over the country.  Of course, I took on the task of planning the trip! I used two great websites and apps called https://roadtrippers.com/ as well as http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ . Our plan was to go to Cape Cod to take my mother on a real clambake, but we decided to see a lot more while on the road.


On Sept.2, 2013, we began our trip to New England by trying for a photo op at The Sloppy Giant with Ill Clad Clothing in Phoenxiville, Pa. We couldn’t find it. However, we did find Jode Rd and a random globe for the first pictures of the week.






Our second roadside photo op was at the Giant Steel Hockey Player in Newark, NJ. Mom and Jami were too afraid of the “ghetto” to get out of the car, but that wasn’t going to stop Jen and I. I mean we had driven all this way just to take a picture with it….  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/23432

After a few attempts at seeing Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse, otherwise known as The Little Red Lighthouse, http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fortwashingtonpark/monuments/810

taking a bathroom break for Jami(again in the ghetto) we decided to leave NYC and find something to eat.


We chose the old road trip standard, Cracker Barrel, where we were joined by the Mileys and the Short Bus Mileys. (Note- this was right after her tongue exposed VMA award performance)

Midnight Mary in New Haven, Ct, was our next stop. Mary Hart was a woman who was buried alive and thought to haunt the cemetery at midnight. We left her a penny, took some pictures and went on our way. http://www.damnedct.com/midnight-mary/









While in New Haven, Ct, we decided to crash a wedding at Lighthouse Park. We took some silly photos and searched for seashells. (photo to the right- Get it? I’m the little mermaid?!)





New Haven was also the home of the rather scary, gross Econo Lodge Motel where we spent our first night, I would not recommend it. The next morning, we got up early and headed out to visit Gillette Castle http://www.friendsofgillettecastle.org/which is gorgeous. The castle was the home of the original Sherlock Holmes and was quite eccentric which makes the tour very entertaining. We arrived too early, so stopped for some chai and coffee at Two Wrasslin Cats https://www.facebook.com/TwoWrasslinCats and toured Jami’s new favorite town, East Haddam, Ct

Once we arrived at Gillette Castle, Jami was a gracious host at her estate, inviting us in, doing some gardening and taking photos of forbidden closets.






After a brief stop at a Life Size T- Rex in Oakdale, Ct, we stopped at the Mohegan Sun Casino to spend some money.







Mystic, Ct was the next stop on our trip. We, first, stopped by Ford’s Lobsters, a Mystic Pizza Filming location, for some lobster rolls and a lobster stuffed avocado in the pouring rain.


After a drive by photo of the Stonington Lighthouse in Stonington, RI, we stopped by a Vampires Gravesite. Mercy Brown was thought to be a vampire, so was exhumed and her heart was made into a drink for her brother to drink to keep him from dying of the TB plague that was happening in Exeter, Ri in 1888. http://strangene.com/cemeteries/vampire.htm


The Fighting Seabee Statue in North Kingston was next on the photo agenda, as was the Warwick Neck Lighthouse and an attempt at seeing the Conimicut Lighthouse.


The Comfort Inn in Warwick, RI, was the best hotel on the trip. It was clean and had a bar downstairs, where Jami and Jen, in their infinite wisdom kept the drinks coming. Not only did mother not appreciate it, apparently neither did Jodi’s histamines.
The next morning we drove by TAPS(ghosthunters) for a photo.





The next morning, we intended to take a tour of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, but only did a quick drive by of the front. We, then, headed to Battleship
Cove to look at the water “and wait for our long lost loves to come home”







Finally to the “tip of the Cape”!
We found some stones lying on the beach and enjoyed a meal before going to bed for the evening in rooms that smelled of cat pee and had splattered blood on the curtains. Ahhh the memories! Just a tip- You get what you pay for!


 The next day was a rather gloomy day in February, but we were heading to Plimoth Plantation anyway! http://www.plimoth.org/  Luckily, we had the whole place to ourselves, so we could act as goofy and obnoxious as we wanted. We had some great conversations with some natives and also got to meet our  11th great grandfathers. Ok, well, actors who portrayed them! As a huge genealogy buff, I’ve traced us to 7 of the original settlers in Plimoth. We had a fun time talking family with the actors who never broke character, even when we brought up things that would happen to them in the future.




 Next we went to see  Plimoth Rock which at one time had been quite larger, but people kept chipping parts away for souvenirs, so now it is enclosed as well as take a picture of Governor Bradford’s statue, which has a crazy resemblance to our father.




Last on the agenda, was touring the Mayflower, where again as the only people on, we were able to take some funny pictures and annoy the actor.



Finally to our Clambake, the reason we chose New England! It was a rather cool, gloomy evening and mom was not feeling too well, but it still was an awesome experience.  And if you ever decide to go, I would not recommend trying to save money by choosing the vegetarian option.! http://bostonsbestcruises.com/clambake-at-sunset












We visited a few more places before heading back to Pennsylvania; The Salem Witch Museum  http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/   and the House of the Seven Gables http://www.7gables.org/. Both were interesting tours.







Overall, our trip to Cape Cod, Boston and Salem was an awesome Mother/Daughter Road Trip with lots of laughter until tears streamed down our faces and we were doubled over in pain.  We will always have lots of memories of our awful hotels, sneaky facebook pictures of each other and of trying to push the darn wheelchair.


Remember your road trip is only as fun as you make it!

Until the next one….