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Sara made my trip very simple. From the flight to the motel and places to see, she was wonderful!! W...
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Denmark's shining capital city of Copenhagen is the living pulse of the country. With nearly a quarter of the country's residents living here, Copenhagen is a center for politics, education, business and culture. It's also a popular place for tourists and is considered one of Scandanavia's best cities. Copenhagen is recognized for its modern architecture, high quality of life, picturesque canals, great museums and regal history. Travelers flock to this gem of a European city because of how safe, clean, and charming the city is in addition to its variety of attractions from theme parks to sporting events to world-class museums.
Copenhagen is Denmark's largest city, located on the islands of Amager and Zealand and is connected by bridge to Malmo, Sweden, making Copenhagen a gateway from mainland Europe to the rest of Scandanavia. While it is the capital and largest city in the country, it isn't one of bustling traffic and soaring skyscrapers. Copenhagen is markedly cozy, with bountiful bike lanes, compact districts, and considered a breeze to navigate.
This modern and popular European city regularly tops lists such as best quality of life and most livable city. That said, it is one of the more expensive cities to visit. However, there is no shortage of attractions for visitors to this great city. Stroll along the Ströget for a great variety of shops to browse through. Visit the colorful buildings along Nyhavn Harbor, which is one of the city's most photographed places. Families can enjoy a day at the wonderful Tivoli Gardens theme park, which offers roller coasters and a variety of entertaining rides and attractions.
The Danes are also very proud of their local brew, Carlsberg and the city is emerging on the culinary scene with many acclaimed restaurants throughout the city. To really fit in like a local, be sure to navigate the city by bike. The majority of residents commute to work by bike, which is the leading form of transportation. Art buffs will also enjoy the great variety of museums here including the Danish National Gallery and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Copenhagen doesn't fall short with options for travelers to be entertained from lively bars to lovely parks and museum hopping. Copenhagen makes for a great getaway. Discover all that this cosmopolitan capital city has to offer with its inviting Danish appeal.
Valid passport needed for entry
Danish (English is widely spoken)
Copenhagen, Denmark, is a city with historical charm and a contemporary style that feels effortless. It is an old merchants' town overlooking the entrance to the Baltic Sea with so many architectural treasures that it's known as the "City of Beautiful Spires."
This socially progressive and tolerant metropolis manages to run efficiently yet feel relaxed. And given the Danes' highly tuned environmental awareness, Copenhagen can be enjoyed on foot or on a bicycle.
Sights—Amalienborg Palace and its lovely square; Tivoli Gardens; the Little Mermaid statue; panoramic views from Rundetaarn (Round Tower); Nyhavn and its nautical atmosphere; Christiansborg Palace and the medieval ruins in the cellars.
Museums—The sculptures and impressionist works at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and its outdoor sculpture park; paintings from the Danish Golden Age at the Hirschsprung Collection; Viking and ancient Danish artifacts at the Nationalmuseet; neoclassical sculpture at Thorvaldsens Museum.
Memorable Meals—Traditional herring at Krogs Fiskerestaurant; top-notch fine dining at Geranium; Nordic-Italian fusion at Relae; traditional Danish open-face sandwiches at Schonnemanns; the best of the city's street food, all in one place, at Reffen Copenhagen Street Food.
Late Night—The delightful after-dark atmosphere at Tivoli Gardens; indie rock at Loppen in Christiana; a concert at Vega.
Walks—Taking in the small island of Christianshavn; walking through Dyrehaven to see herds of deer; walking from Nyhavn to Amalienborg Palace; strolling along Stroget, where the stores show off the best in Danish design.
Especially for Kids—Zoologisk Have; the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace.
Copenhagen is a compact city. The old town is bordered on the west by Radhuspladsen (Town Hall Square), Tivoli Gardens and the Central Railroad Station; on the north by Orsteds Park and the Norreport Train Station; on the east by Kongens Have (Rosenborg Garden) and Kongens Nytorv; and on the south by Christianshavn.
Stroget, the lifeline stretching out from Radhuspladsen to Kongens Nytorv, is the main pedestrian shopping street. To the east of Kongens Nytorv is the old harbor area, called Nyhavn, with picturesque taverns, quaint restaurants and restored warehouses that now function as hotels lining an old canal. Beyond Nyhavn is Amalienborg Palace, home of Denmark's royal family. South of Copenhagen is the large island of Amager, once the kitchen garden of the city, where Dutch farmers taught Danes how to grow flowers and vegetables. It's now the site of Copenhagen Airport and the picturesque town of Dragor.
The old town is surrounded by four colorful residential neighborhoods. Vesterbro stretches southwest from Radhuspladsen along Vesterbrogade. Farther north along Gammel Kongevej is the independent municipality Frederiksberg, which is bordered on the north by the very hip, student-filled neighborhood of Norrebro. Finally, Osterbro stretches east of the old town along Osterbrogade. Beyond these neighborhoods are Copenhagen's suburbs and most of its parks and recreational areas.
Founded in the 11th century as a fishing village in what was then a remote corner of Denmark, Copenhagen gradually became the country's uncontested political, economic and cultural center. Bishop Absalon was the first to recognize the importance of its location on the Baltic Sea. In the 12th century, the Viking warrior-cleric built the first fortress to defend the area against pirates and planned a compact city behind its ramparts. By the time of his death, the city was a vital military post and a thriving trade center.
In the 15th century, the city's position as Denmark's powerhouse was solidified when the royal family made its permanent home there and the University of Copenhagen was founded. During Christian IV's 60-year rule in the 17th century, the city began to acquire its current shape, with the construction of many spectacular buildings—some of which still stand, including the Round Tower built in 1642.
After a series of disasters—both natural (fires and the plague) and man-made (wars with Sweden)—Copenhagen emerged in the middle of the 19th century as a modern city. It also became the capital of Denmark, which ratified its first constitution in 1849. The city's busy harbor and rapid industrialization fueled growth outside the old city walls.
About the same time, Copenhagen's artisans began making a name for themselves with silver and porcelain. A distinctly Danish sense of style that fuses aesthetics and function reached its fullest expression in the 20th century. The clean, elegantly modern lines of Danish design have since captured the world's attention and have spread from home furnishings (Fritz Hansen) to electronics (Bang & Olufsen) to toys (Lego building blocks) to architectural and interior design.
This modern style is evident in projects around the city, such as the harbor-area development, the Oresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden, the Opera House and the metro. Yet Copenhagen retains a distinct old-world charm with its combination of attractive buildings, relaxing canals and busy streets.
Copenhagen was not Denmark's first capital; that was Roskilde, which is about 19 mi/30 km west of Copenhagen and was the traditional burial site of Danish kings and queens.
Denmark is the oldest continuous monarchy in Europe. Queen Margrethe II, the current monarch, can trace her lineage directly to Gorm the Old, who ruled the Danes in the 900s.
In 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex unions.
The Radisson Collection Royal Hotel is the world's first designer hotel and was designed in the 1950s by Arne Jacobsen, the father of Danish Modernism. He designed the original building and all its furnishings—including the iconic Egg chairs in the lobby. The guest rooms have since been redecorated, but one—room 606—has been preserved with all of its original furnishings and may be booked for overnight stays.
When Hans Christian Andersen came to Copenhagen from his childhood home, Odense, he lived in the Nyhavn district of the city. He originally intended to become a ballet dancer, and so he spent a great deal of time at the Royal Theatre on Kongens Nytorv.
Almost every Danish brewery brews its own special beer, called julebryg, for Christmas time. It is available from the first Friday in November and is quite strong.
Every evening, 110,000 light bulbs turn the Tivoli Gardens into an Asian fairy-tale palace.
More than 20,000 people commute across the Oresund bridge to or from neighboring Sweden to work. Before the bridge was opened, only 1,500 crossed the strait by ferry.
Copenhagen is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world. Nine out of 10 people in Denmark own a bicycle, and nearly half of all Copenhageners cycle to work or school every day. Be careful to not walk on the bike lanes, which can look a lot like sidewalks.
Cruise ships dock at Langelinie Pier, which is located near the Little Mermaid statue just north of the old town, and at the Freeport Cruise Terminal, which is north of Langelinie Pier.
Langelinie Pier is within walking distance of Amalienborg Palace, Kongens Nytorv and Town Hall Square. It has several outlet shops, cafes and a Cruise Information Center, where cruise passengers can get free tourist information. Cruise passengers can also reach the city center by taxi; the hop-on, hop-off buses, which stop at the pier; or on trains from Osterport station, a 15-minute walk from the pier.
The Freeport Cruise Terminal, which handles fewer ships than Langelinie, has restrooms, a kiosk that sells soft drinks and phone cards, and a waiting lounge with internet access. The Freeport Cruise Terminal is not really within walking distance of the city center. Cruise passengers can reach the city center by taxi or on trains from Nordhavn station, a 15-minute walk from the terminal.
Cruise lines offer a mixture of bus, walking and, in some cases, bicycle tours of Copenhagen. Most tours offer a quick introduction to Copenhagen's highlights, including Tivoli Gardens, Rosenborg Palace and Amalienborg Palace. The central location of Langelinie Pier also makes it easy for cruise passengers to tour Copenhagen on their own by foot, bus and boat. Bus 26 goes from Langelinie Pier to Kongens Nytorv, the Central Railroad Station and Town Hall Square. Canal tours make a stop by the Little Mermaid and make it easy to get to Nyhavn.
Theme tours may include a castle tour of North Sealand that takes in Kronborg (Hamlet's Castle) and Frederiksborg Castle; an architectural tour of Copenhagen that covers both the old (landmark structures built during the reign of Christian IV, the "Builder King") and the new (modernist designs of Arne Jacobsen and Henning Larsen); or longer excursions to Odense, the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen, or Rungsted, the home of Baroness Karen Blixen (also known as Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa).
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