The CodeGarden Guide to Copenhagen

Note: this post is over a year old, it's very likely completely outdated and should probably not be used as reference any more. You have been warned. :-)

A few years ago, Morten wrote a great blog post about coming to Copenhagen for CodeGarden. Although I had been there the year before, I did learn a lot of things that were unclear to me the first time.

As you may or may know, Morten and I are now colleagues at Umbraco HQ and I actually moved to Denmark and I found some more tips to share for the people coming to Codegarden 13.

CodeGarden is a festival, not just a tech conference. This means that there will be social interaction. As scary as that may sound to a nerd, you’ll soon feel right at home.

So the first thing I would recommend is: Don’t go home on Friday afternoon. There will be a lot of people going out for drinks and/or food on Friday and this is where you’ll not only talk more about the great stuff you’ve learned, but also a great opportunity to have a lot of fun.

Public transport

If you arrive in the airport, you have two options: the train to Copenhagen central station or the metro to one of the stops in the city center. Google Maps is excellent at telling you where you need to go in public transport, for example this is their advice for getting from the Cabinn hotel to the CodeGarden venue: http://goo.gl/maps/e8Enx. On your smartphone there’s also the option to get directions for public transport, highly recommended.

When you come out of the gate, you walk straight ahead for about 200 meters and you can buy tickets (more on that in a minute) to the right side (either from the machine or at the booths).
If you were to continue walking a little further, there’s an escalator going down on the left side, trains arriving there go to central station. If you want to take the metro however you go straight ahead upstairs and walk another 500 meters or so.

Tickets

I highly recommend getting a Flexcard for zones 1, 2 and 3. That should get you around most of Copenhagen for just 298DKK (ticket is valid for a week). zone 1 is city center, zone 2 is where the CodeGarden venue is and zone 3 is where the airport is.
The other option is to get a “Klippekort” for 3 zones, you can have 10 rides on that one and it costs 200DKK. It’s a bit of a waste though, as you’ll mostly be travelling in zones 1 and 2.

The public transport site http://www.rejseplanen.dk/ has an English option. So it’s easy to plan your trips there ahead of time. They also have apps for smartphones that work great and can also be used in English.

Other transport

Taxi’s are pretty affordable in Copenhagen and they accept credit card payments for all major credit card companies.
If you have your smartphone with you: Click A Taxi is a really nice app for ordering a taxi at the place that you are right that moment. You’ll be waiting for about 5 minutes, most of the time even less.

But to get the full Copenhagen experience you should really rent a bicycle or use the free Copenhagen City Bikes: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/transport/bike-city-copenhagen

Hotels

I’ll list some of the hotels that are popular:

  • https://www.cabinn.com/ - I usually stay here. It’s the cheapest option and they have the ugliest hotels. Rooms are clean and (let’s face it) all you really need is a bed and a warm shower, that’s what they provide (and not much more than that). Cabinn Express and Cabinn Scandinavia are really close to the CG13 venue as well.
  • https://www.wakeupcopenhagen.com/ - Also a popular destination for CG attendees, I’ve not stayed there myself, but I hear it’s nice and clean.
  • http://www.tivolihotel.dk/ - Next to the WakeUp, it’s more luxurious and includes free ticket to amusement park Tivoli. It’s super nice, but you pay quite a bit more for it.
    • Note: Both WakeUp and Tivoli hotel are pretty far away from the metro, so you’ll have to take busses, they’re fine but it’s a bit more difficult to know where you have to get on and off. The drivers are friendly though, ask them to warn you when they arrive at your stop.
  • http://www.operahotelcopenhagen.com/ - Opera is nice, it’s in the heart of Copenhagen near Nyhavn, a popular hangout for CodeGarden attendees, and also close to city center.
  • http://www.brochner-hotels.dk/hotellerne/kong-arthur/ - Also pretty luxureous and not very cheap. This hotel includes a spa that you can use any time you want.


Internet / 3G

If you’re anything like me, you hate being in a strange city without Google Maps. At all post offices (there is one at Copenhagen central station) you will be able to buy and “Oister 1 uges” SIM card (not sure if they offer micro SIMs now) that you can use for one week. It include 10 gigs of data and it just 99DKK. The only tricky thing is that you need to activate it online. Here’s a guide I put together a few years ago: https://docs.google.com/a/sebastiaanjanssen.nl/document/d/1X-hwfdpjeYGKvS5RbI4W9DOVKWh8HpYjgt1kf7OQLxw/edit

CodeGarden Venue

CodeGarden is held at the beautiful Kedelhallen in the lovely Frederiksberg area of Copenhagen.

At the venue you should expect to get free coffee, tea and water. Lunch is provided and there’s a bar where you can buy snacks and other drinks if you like. Make sure to bring cash for that as not all cards are accepted at the bar.

Dinner is provided on the second day of CodeGarden where you will also be able to join the FAMOUS Umbraco Bingo with fantabulous prizes to be won.

In the neighborhood of the venue there’s also shops and little restaurants where you can have a meal if you want to get away from the nerds (but you will not want to, trust me).

There’s WiFi at the venue that usually works most of the time, but it will be slow and sometimes it just stops working until someone can reset the router. So only count on being able to tweet and definitely don’t expect to download that 20 megabyte Word file your colleague is sending you.

And that brings me to the last point: bring your laptop (there are power outlets you can use), but don’t sit with your laptop open all day. You’ll definitely miss out on the interaction and content of the sessions and that’s just a shame, there’s so many great things going on. Make sure you’re not needed for client work, your colleagues should know you’re at a festival, having a good time and learning loads. Make sure they don’t disturb your experience (as I said, it’s not a regular conference, there’s plenty going on to keep you occupied and learning).

Questions? Make sure to comment! Hope to see you in lovely Copenhagen this summer!

Sebastiaan Janssen

Dutch guy living in (and loving) Copenhagen, working at Umbraco HQ. Lifehacker, skeptic, music lover, cyclist, developer.

 

5 comments on this article

Avatar for Craig Cronin Craig Cronin | April 3 2014 00:05
Hi Sebastiaan, I came across this post last year and wanted to check if there are going to be any updates to the information. Thanks really helps.

Avatar for Blake Smith Blake Smith | March 27 2015 15:29
Thank you so much for writing this post! This is really helpful! :)

Avatar for Phil Dye Phil Dye | February 15 2013 21:31
Getting from the WakeUp hotel to the venue can be done without buses, by walking 5 mins up the road to the central station, a couple of stops on almost any train, to Norreport (from memory) and then the metro a couple of stops.

I've done that the last couple of years, and its quick enough and cheap with a klippekort.

Avatar for Pete Duncanson Pete Duncanson | February 22 2013 16:07
My biggest tip is to expect to stay out in the evenings and make the most of engaging with people at every opportunity. Don't be the guy who goes back to the hotel to get some spreadsheets finished off, that is not fun and you'll miss out on so so so much. Learning how others talk, think and work can really be helpful when you next have a problem and you are back at work in the real world. If you buy someone a pint you are likely to get a much more helpful response the next time you need them to help you debug a problem via the forums :)

I've seen those who do come out afterwards and those that head straight back at the end of each day. The former always say they had a great time and learnt so much, the latter nearly always complain they didn't get much out of it. Come with the right mindset and you'll have a blast and learn a ton of good stuff. Strap in though, its a full on couple of days!

See you there

Pete

Avatar for Tim Payne Tim Payne | May 21 2013 09:13
Pretty much what Pete said! I came to my first Codegarden 3 years ago, having just started using Umbraco. I knew no one in the community at all, but made lots of friends very quickly at the various sessions and especially in the evenings!

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