If you plan to visit the splendor of Scandinavia, you have three real choices of entry: Oslo, Stockholm, or the beautiful Copenhagen International Airport. Guess which one I recommend?
I have been to numerous airports in my almost 49 years, and I have to say that CPH is my favorite thus far. Just to give you an idea of what I am comparing this to, Charles De Gaul is crap. Frankfurt, Germany is rising rapidly in my estimation. Miami sucks big time. DFW is a pain in the butt. Tampa, Florida is a gorgeous airport, but CPH outshines even that.
First off, I have to rave about how utterly spotless CPH is. This is one of the few airports in the world that has not banished smokers, and yet it is the cleanest place I’ve ever seen. Kinda shoots down the smoking-is-dirty argument, eh? I mean to tell you that they keep CPH spit-polished and absolutely gleaming. I could spend all day here just wandering about and ogling the architecture.
Speaking of things to look at, do stop and take the time to admire the Mermaid statue and read the story behind it. This is a replica of the famous Mermaid at Langelinie in Copenhagen, which has been one of Denmark’s biggest tourist attractions since being sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and put up on August 23, 1913. The replica is the same size as the real thing at about 4ft tall, but it brings out a feeling of wistfulness in me when I see it. I won’t ruin it by relating the tale, so do go have a look for yourself and discover the story behind it.
Another major point in CPH’s favor is the shopping. Yes, I said that. Look, if I’m going to have a layover of several hours somewhere, then I like to have something to do besides sit and twiddle my thumbs at the terminal. Browsing a myriad of wonderful stores is a wonderful pastime. This is also a great place to pick up those souvenirs you may have forgotten for Aunt Bessie while you await your flight out of the region. After all, they do suggest checking in 3 hours prior to your flight if you are going International, but it never takes that long so you have to do something, right? Well, there ya go.
Now, a lot of airports know they have captive shoppers and rake you over the coals on prices because of it. CPH shops do not do that. Not just the Duty Free places either; they all keep the prices within reason when compared to shopping outside the airport. Major points for that. They accept Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Euros, or credit cards for payment.
Food is all over the place here also. If you go hungry, it’s your own fault. Eateries are all around you and priced within reason. Go ahead and have one last mouth-watering Danish pastry before you leave… or heck, as soon as you land even!
As far as checking in here goes, well that is pretty dependant upon which airline you chose to fly with, isn’t it? I can say that the staff at British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France are always very congenial and efficient. Even when the lines appear long, the staff seem to have the magic touch of being able to move them along at a nice clip… and smile while they do it.
Now what about security, eh? Well, it is a much more pleasant experience at CPH than departing from ANY airport in the US, I can tell you that. They do not look at you like you are a criminal, nor do they treat you suspiciously just because they can. No. They are all very nice here and almost seem apologetic about the whole thing. You do not have to remove your shoes either.
As far as landing here goes, no need to fret about finding everything. Most Scandinavians learn English as a second language from grade school on so don’t be afraid to ask an airport employee anything. They are happy to answer. Also, the signs are mostly in Dansk, but usually have an English counterpart. They all have pictures that are easy to decipher.
Baggage claim is pretty much similar to any other airport. Which is to say easy to find, but a cat fight to elbow in to grab your bag. Heh. They have carts all over for your use so you don’t have to lug everything out yourself. Those carts are free of charge, too. I’ll give ya a tip here: Push down on the handle to get them to move. They have the break set by default; so pushing down on the handle releases that.
Parking has never been a problem here either for us. There is always a space readily available. You take a card from the machine, and then when you wish to leave, you find a different parking machine and stick your card in that and pay. You then get a receipt which will get you past the exit and out to that huge gorgeous bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden… or into Copenhagen proper should you decide to explore that a bit, and well you should. I mean, I just know you will be anxious to come see me in Sverige and all, but do take the time to hang out in Denmark a bit first. You will be glad you did.
If you need a Taxi or rental car, those can be found right off the luggage claim area, and the train to all points Scandinavian has a nice stop at this airport as well.
So, as you have figured out by now, when you are coming into or are leaving Scandinavia, do use CPH rather than the other two. Not that those other choices are bad, mind you, but just that CPH is so great that it should be part of your to do list anyway.