Let’s state it clearly: business travels reality is far formed colorful marketing folders of travel agencies. In fact, business travelers are mostly seeing airport waiting areas, boring hotel rooms, office buildings and other not-so-exciting settings in cities around the world. Business travel isn’t exactly a chance to SEE the world. At least not when your flights are scheduled as tightly as possible. However, when your flights are long hours apart… it’s a completely different scenario!
Generally, we hate when we have to wait long hours for our plane to take off on time, don’t we? It is a serious nuisance. You are not only at risk of missing a crucial appointment, but you also end up having too much time at the airport. And airports are not exactly the synonym for fun and entertainment. Of course, there are some rather obvious ways of passing the time at the airport – you may, for instance, visit all the restaurants or indulge yourself in duty-free shopping. Interesting for sure but it at the same time pretty costly and.. tiring.
According to us, there is only one remedy when you are bored stuck waiting for a flight: a sight-seeing trip! Especially, when the airport is close to the city centre and easy to reach by means of public transport. Just like Copenhagen Airport, we had a chance to visit during our flight to Ashburn, Virginia (USA).
In the middle of May 2019, a part of our SolDevelo team went for a business trip to the eastern part of the USA. The main purpose of this journey was to strengthen the relationship with our American client which is known to be a global communications and technology leader. We were to discuss there short and long-term plans for the project so the forecasts were optimistic – just as our spirit and attitude. Long waiting time for the connecting flight? Not a problem! We decided not to complain and use all this free time on our hands effectively. After all, one should use every opportunity to make good memories, right?
The international airport in Copenhagen is one of the oldest not only in Denmark but also in the whole Europe. It is located on the island of Amager, south of the city center, and connected to Copenhagen by road, metro and rail. Because of that, going from Copenhagen airport to Copenhagen city is quite easy. We decided to take the metro. It’s a 15 minute direct ride to the city centre – a perfect solution, especially when you are in-between your business flights and want to save time. At the airport, there are metro signs pointing you in the direction of where the metro leaves. It is very helpful and assures that you will not get lost, even if you are there for the first time in your life.
We got off the metro at Nørreport, one of the most central stops in the city. It was a very good choice and a perfect start of our small trip.
Do you know that Copenhagen has been named the world’s top city for travellers in 2019 Lonely Planet, a legendary travel guide book publisher? We are not surprised! The city astonishes you already at first sight. Known as a home to a relaxed way of living called “hygge”, it is full of beautiful views, typically Scandinavian design and architecture, bikes, historic castles and impressive statues. When there are not many tourists around and the weather improves with your every step, visiting this city may be a really unforgettable experience.
From Nørreport, we slowly headed towards the Nyhavn Canal. Walking there felt a bit like a walk around Gdansk Motława. Nyhavn is a 17th-century historic waterfront area and it is filled with calm and relaxing atmosphere. On both sides of the canal there are tall painted houses with ground floors full of bars, restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating. It must be one of the best places to relax and stop for coffee or beer in the summer. Additionally, it is there where Hans Christian Andersen, the author of the most famous fairy tales, was supposed to live at different times in his life.
Hans Christian Andersen is surely one of the most recognizable symbols of Copenhagen – another one is the statue of the Little Mermaid. Sitting on a rock next to the Langelinie promenade, it is one of the main tourist attractions there. As proof, even in the early morning hour, we encountered groups of tourists in that place. All of them took obligatory selfies with the Little Mermaid in the background. So did we 🙂
It is interesting to note that when you get up close to the mermaid statue, it will surprise you how small it actually is. But you’ll have to take a photo anyway because it’s simply one of those international identifiers – the one and only proof that you visited Copenhagen for real.
On our way back to the airport, we passed the Amalienborg Palace, which impressed us with its dignity. Even if you are not so much interested in the royal history of Denmark, Amalienborg Palace is a must on every tourist’s list of attractions. It is additionally interesting when you realise that the Danish royal family, one of the world’s oldest monarchies, still resides inside the palace. In fact, you can experience a sense of royalty just by standing on the beautiful palace square. It is there where you can watch the changing of the guards.
A peaceful stroll through Copenhagen on a chilly morning in May turned out to be a nice change from long unproductive hours spent at the airport while waiting for our transatlantic flight. Surprisingly, it is going to be one of our best moments during business trips. As one of us concluded:
The charming streets of Copenhagen, with beautiful views and the calm nearby areas, will remain in my memory for a long time.
So summing up: business travel can often be a great adventure! It can be exciting to visit different cities, see different settings and experience different cultures – even if only for a few hours. It requires a little bit of motivation, a good attitude and… a properly long waiting time in-between flights, too!