Beside exploring the city, our main goal when visiting Copenhagen, was to celebrate New Year's Eve and welcome 2018 like locals. From all I've read and heard, the city hall square was the spot for the night, after watching the Queen's speech at 6 p.m. on the national tv. Still, there was a six hours gap we had to fill in between and have dinner as well.
Luckily, we managed to grab a last minute, free spot at a restaurant (Paafuglen) inside the Tivoli Gardens. In the morning we stopped by, booked, paid and went exploring the city in the rain.
As dinner was booked for quite early (for what we're used to) at 6 p.m., we went back to the hotel just in time for some quick preparation for the fancy dinner, before watching the Queen's speech with a glass of wine at the lobby. It was nice for a couple of minutes, but as I don't understand Danish, wasn't able to pick a single word from it. And I was shocked to notice that the Queen didn't wear a crown, a tiara, or whatever symbol of a monarchy. She looked like a nice lady, though.
We didn't watch the entire speech. Sorry, Your Majesty. We've heard that during those fifteen minutes, the entire city is dead calm and there's absolutely nobody at the streets, so we wanted to check it for ourselves. That might actually be true in the more residential areas, but in the city centre life just seemed to be going on normally - there were a few locals on their bikes and tourists were still leaving the central train station or going to dinner.
Arriving at the restaurant, most of its guests have already taken their seats. Staff was nice and friendly, the restaurant was beautiful and the five-course dinner was delicious, but there's one thing that bugged me a bit. On our way out (we were almost kicked out of the restaurant at around 10:30 p.m.) we had to additionally pay for the glass of champaign. The issue is not about the extra 7 euros obviously, as we've just spent more than 300 euros for the dinner itself... It was simply bad taste, in my opinion.
We went to the square in front of Hjulkøbing, inside the Tivoli Gardens, where at 11 p.m. we enjoyed a marvellous fireworks show.
It lasted for around 20 minutes and when it ended we said Goodbye to the magical Tivoli Gardens and headed to the city hall square, which was already packed. Suddenly, we realised we were out of champaign for the midnight toast and at around 11:35 p.m. I found myself barely reaching the stairs of Seven Eleven, trying to get in, with the vast hope of still finding a bottle of champaign somewhere on a shelf. I was totally seeing myself spending midnight and receiving 2018 inside the supermarket. Strategically however, all the champaign was placed in the middle of it, so I didn't really have to leave my spot on the line. Simply grabbed a random bottle, made it to the cashier and five minutes later we were looking for a safe spot for us at the square, to be part of the festivities. I think that probably was the fastest shopping session in my entire life. Lol
The fireworks at the city hall square started at midnight and it was wild. Beside of the prepared official show, everybody was just randomly launching their own fireworks, that at times seemed really dangerous. Growing up in Bulgaria, I was feeling pretty confident with all the firecrackers around, but Danish people take it to a whole another level. Several times, some of these things exploded less than a meter away from our feet, as people just light them up (in a box) and kick the box in a random direction. After half past midnight it got calmer as many people left, but the fireworks kept lightning the sky until after 1 a.m. when we also made a toast for the Portuguese New Year.
Shortly after, we left in a search of a bar or a club to keep the celebrations going. We've read great feedbacks on Hyve, which supposedly celebrates the New Year from the different time zones, but we haven't bought tickets and when we got there, the line was huge. So, we decided that we'll enter the next place that has no line. After all, New Year's Eve is not to be spent waiting on lines - it is to be enjoyed. We ended up getting into a bar called "Beirut". Yep, we did a short trip to Lebanon. With hookahs at each table, a lot of oriental rhythms, dancings on top of chairs and of course, drums. It was the most unexpected experience I had in Copenhagen. When we left, the line in front of Hyve was still standing strong.
New Year's Eve in Copenhagen was for sure, an interesting experience. The fairy-tale Tivoli Gardens were the most dreamy park I've ever been. However, to be honest, I'm not convinced that traveling for New Year's Eve is a good idea. Weather's not always the best, many museums are closed and let's face it - there are great parties all over the world.