Hope you all got settled and hopefully you have lots and lots of fun in the introduction week!
Last semester, I did a feature about useful apps for you guys (it's one of the first posts in the archive). I don't have any additions to this, however, there are some things, that I will tell you (in my best motherly voice) because I think it'll make it easier for you to have fun while you're here.
I am going to cover 3 topics:
and... well now I forgot the third, but it'll re-appear at some point. Maybe it'll just be random tips.
Anyway. Here we go:
Copenhagen LOOOVES bikes. This means mainly two things, except for less pollution from traffic and people getting lots of exercise:
1) Bikes are KINGS of the street and 2) since we love them, there are many of them everywhere.
1) means that please, please, please, look out for bikes when crossing streets. It's for your own good, because even if they will stop, they will yell at you, which is not very fun (maybe if you don't understand what they yell) - and if they don't stop, well. That hurts. More on you than on the cyclist.
1) also means that because bikes rules the streets, many cyclists in Copenhagen gives this many f***s for the general rules of behavior in traffic: 0. They cross streets even if the light is red, they ride on the sidewalks and many things that are even worse. This is dangerous to pedestrians, people in cars, but also other cyclists. Therefore, remember to get a HELMET! I knew two of the international students last semester who had some pretty nasty bike accidents - one because a motorcycle hit him (he only damaged his bike, because he wore a helmet), and one, who was drunk, riding his bike without a helmet. He took a fall on his face and he looked scary for a long time. Awesome photos to post on facebook for your friends, but you don't want to freak out grandma with your awesome Danish photos because you fell on your bike.
Another motivation for you to remember to wear a helmet is that if you damage your teeth while falling on your bike (or in any other way - even though falling on your bike is one of the main causes for people to damage their teeth by accident), the cost of fixing them again is not covered by your yellow card with your CPR number on. And dentists are RIDICULOUSLY expensive in Denmark. If your helmet fits right, the risk of your face hitting the ground in a bike crash is minimized drastically. :)
2) means that because the bikes are everywhere, they are easy accessible for people who want to steal them. Therefore, spend the money on a proper bike lock. Maybe even two. Lock your bike to something, because the worst thing next to paying all your money to a dentist will be to pay for new bikes over and over again. Bikes also get stolen on Campus, so watch out. :)
The public transportation system in Denmark is excellent and efficient. But it's super expensive as well. Therefore, learn some basic stuff about the tickets, so you can save some money:
* Klippekort are the 10-stamp tickets. It is always cheaper to buy these instead of a single ticket.
* You can combine the klippekort stamps. If you need 5 zones and have one 2-zone klippekort and one 3-zone klippekort, you can stamp one time on each card: 3+2=5
* Klippekort is not personal. If you are two people going 2 zones, just stamp one time for each person on one Klippekort. Or you can borrow a Klippekort from your friend if you forgot to buy one. Yay!
* Since the bus and train companies are phasing out the klippekort, you may not be able to buy them throughout the time you're staying here. There are two solutions: Stock up on them! You can use them throughout 2013. Or get a Rejsekort instead.
* Rejsekort is the personal travel card. BUT YOU NEED A CPR number to get the one with best discounts. Once you have your CPR number, get a card here: http://www.rejsekort.dk/koeb-rejsekort/sammenlign-rejsekort/rejsekort-personligt.aspx. I know the activation system with calling them with your personal information seems very unnecessary and silly, however - that's how it is. The price of travels with Rejsekort is at least as cheap as with Klippekort.
* Rejsekort is cheapest in off-peak periods.
* Rejsekort works everywhere in Denmark - as long as there are at least 50 kroner on it.
I just realized their webpage is only in Danish. Oh Denmark, why are you not more international? Is it really true that non-Danish speaking residents can not get a Rejsekort like this without Google Translate (I'll call them and tell them it's not good enough. :P)
The secret third topic
I have completely forgotten this. Well... The rest was a lot of information, so I guess we're set for now.
And I think my motherly voice could use some work.
Wait! It was...
Places where you should not roam around drunk and alone in nighttime
Copenhagen does not have some "rotten areas" as such, but these places can be uncomfortable to hang out at alone in the dark because certain gangs hang out there. Stay away from Blaagårds Plads (at night), Mjølnerparken (at all times) and the far-from-central end of Tagensvej (at night). I could mention some other ones, but these are important as they are central and you might just end up there if you get lost. If you do, just go away from there calmly and let people mind their own business. Not saying this to scare you or anything, and except from Mjølnerparken, all the places are just fine in daylight. :)
Ok, hope you can use my advice. I'll continue by writing some recommendations on where you get the best cake in Copenhagen! Yay!
Happy Introduction Week,