4 ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2015 in Copenhagen

Whether you’re Irish or you just like green beer, you’ll likely have marked next Tuesday in your calendar - it’s St Patrick’s Day again! It is originally a religious holiday, marking the death of Saint Patrick, who is said to have converted the Pagans in Ireland to Christianity, using the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Christian concept of trinity - hence the wearing of green and the symbol of the shamrock.

Today, many cities and nations around the world celebrate St Patrick’s Day with parades, the so-called “greening” of rivers or other landmarks, like for example the Chicago River or the Sydney Opera House.

Being a city of internationals, Copenhagen has a lot to offer on St Patrick’s Day, too! Here is some inspiration for you, so grab your best green shirt or dress and get going!


via livescience.com

Attend the parade

Like many other cities around the world, such as Dublin, London, or New York, Copenhagen also offers a parade on St Patrick’s Day. Starting around 15:30 on Rådhuspladsen (city hall square), the parade then moves through the streets of inner Copenhagen and ends back at Rådhuspladsen again. On the square, there’s music and entertainment, free face painting for the kids, and of course a pint or two of Guiness for the grown-ups. More info here.


Drink green beer at one of the many Irish pubs

St Paddy’s Day is all about green stuff, and the green beer is super popular. Of course, it is also served at most Irish pubs around the city, like The Irish Rover on Strøget, or The Globe on Nørregade. Lots of them have live music, free green merchandise, activities, or special offers. To pick your favorite, there’s a full list of Irish pubs in Copenhagen here.


Do some good

If you enjoy green beer, parades, and partying, but also want to calm your conscience and do some good, why not participate in this year’s three-legged charity race? The idea is simple: a race through five Irish pubs in the city, while tied at the leg to another person! At each stop, participants must drink, so the fun is pretty much guaranteed. Registration starts at 12:30 at Kennedys on Gammel Kongevej. Participation is DKK 150 per person, and proceeds go to charity. More information here.


Party it up at Copenhagen Downtown Hostel

If you’re not a fan of Irish pubs, why not head over to the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel, near Christiansborg and the National Gallery? They’re hosting a St Patrick’s Day party, which is very likely to attract a young and fun crowd - if my experiences with hostels are any indication! More info here.


So, in the spirit of St Patrick’s Day:

May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door!

Sneak peek: Private wine tasting at Admiral Hotel

You know what I like? Wine! I really, really like a good glass of white, red, or rosé, and don’t get me started on sparkling wines - I love bubbles! I also often wish I knew more about wine. Especially how to pick a good one at a restaurant - that’s always the toughest part. By now, I’ve figured out a couple of grape-region combos that I know I’ll probably like, but that’s far from being a safe bet. The nice thing about learning about wine is that it is best done in practice - yes, some theory is nice, too, but nobody likes the pretentious smartass that gives speeches about how the 2006 vintage has more wooden notes than the 2007 one (I’m not even 100% sure this sentence makes sense). So I often turn to one of my very good friends, who holds a Master’s degree in Vine, Wine and Terroir - so she’s a full-on expert and by no means a pretentious smartass, since she actually knows what she’s talking about!

I’ve attended some of her wine tastings before (did I say some? … I guess “many” would be the more accurate term here!), and I always really enjoy them. One reason for that being that she’ll give you a generous amount of wine and actually lets you drink all of it - no spitting or discarding, which makes it so much more approachable. So needless to say, I was super thrilled when she invited me to a special event: a private wine tasting in a suite at the Admiral Hotel near Nyhavn, hosted by her company, Crus et Domaines de France, a wine producer and distributor specializing in Bordeaux wines. They supply retailers, restaurants and supermarkets in Denmark, too. There’s a post coming up with some recommendations for wines that you can buy locally here, so watch this space for more on that! For now, here are some impressions from the tasting, where we may or may not have sampled no less than 19 (!!!) different wines! Cheers!

When we entered the suite, we didn’t waste too much time admiring the gorgeous view over the rooftops of the Copenhagen’s inner city, with the marble church (“Marmorkirken”) on the right, but instead turned our undivided attention to the stars of the afternoon - the wines. We started out with the whites:


I mean, just take a look at all these bottles! We didn’t go through all of them, though!


Being the total pro that I am (not!), I even took notes during the tastings. They were all tidy and legible in the beginning, but towards the end, they just say things like “cognac barrels” and “meat!!!”

We sat facing this beautiful “honor guard” of red wine bottles, of which we also got to taste a couple.


An amazing afternoon, and I can’t wait to tell you a bit more about some of my favorites among the wines we tasted. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you can easily get your hands on them!

An open letter to Movia and DSB

Normally, I’m all for being positive. But it’s Monday, and nobody likes Mondays, so what better day for a little rant.

The public transportation system in the Copenhagen metropolitan area consists of three main means of transport: busses, S-trains, and the metro (underground). There are also regional trains and boat busses, but the first three really carry most of the load. S-trains and the metro are run by DSB, while the company in charge of bus traffic is called Movia. Here’s my open letter to them, admittedly a quite ranty one.


Dear Movia and DSB,

First off, let me say that I have accumulated quite a bit of experience with both of you over the last 2.5 years I’ve been living here. Since I’ve had a quite serious back injury two years ago, I’ve given up biking (not very reluctantly, to be honest!) - which (a) makes me total a weirdo in Copenhagen, and (b) puts me entirely at the mercy of the public transportation system.

My commute to and from work takes at least 45min one-way, and that’s when everything runs perfectly smoothly. Here’s the catch, though: it NEVER does. Well, okay, maybe not never. But it so rarely does that I explicitly notice when it does, and it puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day. And that for a city that is so frequently praised for its great public transport!

via dinby.dk

After three instances of cable theft at the same station in a row, I have to ask you, DSB, how difficult can in be to increase security and ensure that doesn’t happen any more? And why are there no better emergency plans in place to replace cancelled trains? Instead, every incident of cable theft, every tree fallen onto the tracks, every tiny bit of snow seems to lead to a full-scale disruption of the train system.

Plus, while you are super strict with checking people’s tickets (where I had a very impolite run-in with one of your ticket inspectors on the metro, who was incredibly condescending once he realized I was not Danish - but I was in the wrong, so I’ll let that one slide), yet you never actually enforce bike rules on your S-trains. Every morning, I witness people cramming their bikes into over-crowded trains, people stepping on and off the train with their bikes at Nørrebro, even though that’s not allowed during rush hours. When I try to tell one of these people that what they’re doing is wrong, there is no room for their bike, and they should wait for the next train, I’m met with incomprehension, anger, and a bike wheel rolling over my foot. Trains are made for people, and if you have these rules in place, it’s your job to properly enforce them!

And Movia, you’re unfortunately no better. At first, I was super thrilled to see that most bus stops have displays that show how far out the next bus is - what a great invention! I quickly realized, though, that these displays do not have any connection whatsoever to reality, and that “Movia minutes” don’t have a lot in common with the actual, standard, 60-second minutes we all know. The fact that your busses plan their no-shows precisely when I would need them most (when it’s pouring down, freezing cold, or I really have to be somewhere) doesn’t help.

But the one thing I really can’t forgive the both of you is the completely messed-up ticketing system. You had a great thing going with the “klippekort” - something that was also great for visitors and tourists, by the way. Instead, you’ve moved everything to your app (which requires internet access, something foreign visitors don’t usually have). And don’t even get me started on the infamous “rejsekort” - to this day, I don’t understand why you didn’t just buy the London Oyster card system, which works perfectly fine, and instead decided to develop your own solution. To say it was off to a rocky start is the understatement of the century - for weeks, the news were full with customers complaining about the system being down, them being charged for nothing, and the cards checking in and out on their own while supposedly safe in people’s pockets. The rejsekort also made for a fun bus ride, where one of the blue buttons had a malfunction and kept saying “CHECK UD! CHECK UD! CHECK UD!” for 25 minutes straight. It was one of those moments where you’re not sure whether you should laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably, or go on a murderous spree!

via bookcoverings.com

And finally, despite all of these mishaps, malfunctions, and general screw-ups, you still seem to think it’s okay to raise prices yet again - with the oil price falling, mind you! I would tend to disagree.

Movia, DSB - I really hope we can work out our differences and become friends. After all, we are dependent on each other - me more on you than the other way around, as after all, you are still in a privileged monopoly position. I will try to stay calm and keep my cool, but I hope you guys can work on your issues, too. Otherwise I’ll just have to buy a car!

(Not so much) Love,


Here are some helpful links for you, dear readers (who are NOT Movia or DSB):