How to make the most of your time in Copenhagen for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018

Alex | 30 April 2018

It’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018 this week and all of the tech team are busy doing kube stuff. So the job of writing this blog post has fallen to me, a graphic designer who’s never been to Copenhagen and knows nothing about Kubernetes / Cloud Native. But I have seen an episode of Borgen.

For those of you heading to Copenhagen for the Con, we’ve put together a handy guide to a city Lonely Planet calls “the epitome of Scandi cool”.

MONDAY

Arrive, hopefully with a bit of time to check in, relax and explore some of Copenhagen before the Con kicks off.

To get around, you can pick up a Citypass (80DKK for 24h) for the metro/bus, though Copenhagen is also navigable by bike (see www.donkey.bike). Head to the Bella Center main lobby from 14:00 - 17:00 to register, leaving you the rest of the afternoon/evening to explore a little of what Copenhagen has to offer.

For the budget attendee there’s plenty to enjoy just by walking around; charming canals and a wealth of wonderful architecture like the Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palaces (climb the tower for a panoramic view) and the Royal Library. There’s also the famous Little Mermaid statue. If you plan doing a lot, consider the Copenhagen Card with which you can enter most of the city’s museums and attractions (54€ for 24h).

If you have time to spare, wander over the bridge to “stubbornly idealistic” Christiania and take in the quirky architecture and contemporary street art. In need of a cheap feed afterwards? Head to Copenhagen Street Food over on Papirøen for a variety of local and international options with views over the water.

In reality though, you’re probably taking a budget flight that gets in at an inconvenient time, so pick up some overpriced hotel food, go to bed and remember it’s Monday - you’re not supposed to be having a good time.

TOP TIP: You can look at stuff in the Lego shop and then (probably) buy it for cheaper on Amazon.

TUESDAY

Registration open 07:30 - 18:00.

Make the most of your time at the Con by checking out the workshops taking place on the day before the main conference. If anything piques your interest, there’s still time to register!

Should you find yourself with some free time, Glyptoteket Museum is free on Tuesdays. But make sure you’re back to the Bella Center by 17:00. There’s a series of Lightning Talks with names like “Chaos Engineering in Practice” and “Over-engineering my home with Kubernetes” which sound pretty cool even if you don’t know anything about Kube.

Women attending the Con should consider the “Empower Her” Evening Event (sometimes listed as the punnier “EmpowHer”) for cocktails and conversation, at least one of which is free when the event is sponsored by Google. Learn more and register here.

TOP TIP: Support the CNCF Scholarship Fund and help more people attend CNCF events in the future - some optional workshops carry a fee which gets put back into funds that help support access in the industry.

WEDNESDAY

08:00 Welcome Coffee - get there early to ascertain whether there’s also snacks.

09:00 Keynotes - I’m assuming the featured speakers are basically the Beyoncés of the Cloud Native world, given that tickets cost more than VIP passes at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. So you’re probably going to want to see these.

For the rest of the day the world (or at least the parts of the Bella Center where the Con is taking place) is your oyster. There’s dozens of different talks and workshops, broken down handily by topic and skill level here.

Another round of Beynotes at 17:10 is followed by the “Welcome Reception + Sponsor Booth Crawl” where there’s bound to be some free swag to complement the food, drinks and networking.

Oh and if you get into the city at all, there’s free entry on Wednesdays at Thorvaldsen Museum, where you can learn about Bertel Thorvaldsens and the Danish Golden Age, and contemporary art at Nikolaj Kunsthal.

TOP TIP: Be an academic! You can save up to $1100 on your ticket to the Con! In fact, if you have three years to spare there are many places in Europe where University tuition costs less than a KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe ticket!

THURSDAY

“Come and enjoy a short stack with The New Stack”. A free pancake breakfast from 07:30, which I think speaks for itself.

Otherwise the schedule is largely the same as Wednesday i.e. a Keynote-bread sandwich filled with whatever pickled workshops and dry-cured talks that take your fancy.

It does however close with the All Attendee Party, which promises to be the centrepiece of the Con. The venue is Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second oldest amusement park, which is said to have inspired Walt Disney.

TOP TIP: Sponsor a CNCF event for a 3% discount on tickets! Sponsor two and your discount doubles to 5%! With Cons coming up in Europe, China and North America this year, there’s plenty to choose from.

FRIDAY

Worth noting that the closing Keynotes take place on Friday morning. So don’t go sleeping in thinking “oh I’ll just skip today and catch the keynotes in the afternoon”. You’ll miss Beyoncé.

Then there’s a further series of talks and workshops running on until 17:00, making Friday’s sandwich more of a traditional Danish smørrebrød.

If you’re lucky enough to have a bit of time before your 23:55 Ryanair flight gets delayed, head to Nørrebro to check out the local bar scene. Or if the weather’s nice, you’ll find many locals picking up drinks from the shop and relaxing in one of the city’s parks.

If you’re staying the night, Copenhagen’s hottest club is Culture Box. It has everything: an underground stage, world-reknowned electronic/techno DJs, a “Berlin vibe”, people queueing. There’s also a regular Friday event called “God Goes Deep” where guest DJs play ambient music in Copenhagen Cathedral.

For a more relaxed experience, I can recommend the beer from Mikkeller. A Danish microbrewery with bars from Stockholm to Seoul to San Francisco, they have several locations in Copenhagen (though none that I’ve personally been to).

If wine is more your thing, try Ravnsborg Vinbar.

TOP TIP: If you’re really on a budget, stay home, buy a six pack of Carlsberg and follow the Con online; streams of all the talks will be uploaded. In fact, wait a bit longer and check back here, we’ll be watching them all and posting our (more serious) thoughts and favourites in due course.

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