Copenhagen is an international city beloved by millions of visitors from around the world. The city’s public transportation system is envied around the world and if there is something interesting to see, there's usually a way to get there. Buses, trains, taxis and the Metro move around and through the city in amazing synchronicity. Residents walk, cycle and drive through and around these moving entities harmoniously.
There are plenty of SAS flights to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, for travellers from major cities around the world. Leaving the airport, visitors are just a short ride away from the city center. Walking along the canals, travelers may wonder if they have been dropped into the 18th century unawares.
Walking and bicycling will get you around quite efficiently, as residents know, and walking tours of the city are enlightening. Most tourists know about the Tivoli Gardens since this site attracts over four and a half million visitors annually. It is a great amusement park for family fun.Enjoy sipping coffee at a café along the waterfront watching people come and go. Once the caffeine kicks in, you'll be ready for some serious shopping while sightseeing at the same time.
What to see and do
Strøget is a good starting point to get a feel for the city and its pedestrian traffic. Strøget, a pedestrian zone, has a little bit of everything and is known as the longest shopping area in Europe for non-vehicular traffic. Streets in and around the area are home shops for clothing, shoes, souvenirs and gifts as well as large, upscale department stores.
Amagertorv, a large central square in this district, is hard to miss and is the site of the Stork Fountain. The 400-year-old square is worth a look. For an excellent view of the square and the rest of the city, it is worth the climb up to the top of the Round Tower, or Rundetårn, also in Strøget. The centuries-old observatory offers a lovely panoramic view of this thousand-year-old city that started out as a little fishing village.
Many centuries-old buildings and residences have survived in this capital city. Look around the Indre By district, or inner city. It is the historic center and its three lakes make it quite picturesque. It is calming and relaxing to watch the ducks float, swim and forage for food on the smooth surface of the lake - and after climbing the Round Tower, you may need to rest.
Families that love Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales may enjoy his museum on Rådhuspladsen 57. The department store Magasin du Nord is home to his apartment from 1827 on the third floor at Vingårdsstræde 6. The Little Mermaid, from his fairy tale, is an endearing statue perched on a boulder overlooking the water in the northeast section of Frederiksstaden. Read a few of his stories and take the kids to see the author's statue next to city hall.
In a city that thrives on the constancy of water from the sea and the many canals that run through it, there are several opportunities to take advantage of water travel. Netto Boats fill up with a lot of tourists and traverse the canals, pointing out architecture, historical information and monuments along the way. Tours are given in four languages, including English. More on museums in Copenhagen
Rosenborg Castle, or Slot, is a well-preserved tribute to King Christian IV who had it built in the early 1600s. The Dutch Renaissance structure looks like it popped right out of a fairy tale and it even holds the crown jewels. Other Royal Danish Collections are also housed in this castle that sits in the northwest area of Frederiksstaden. Many interesting aspects of Danish culture representing the last 400 years or so will fascinate visitors of all ages.Amalienborg Palace, the ideal of Danish Rococo architecture, was built in the 1700s. Visitors can view the changing of the Royal Guard ceremony daily at noon. The Royal Guard band accompanies the guard patrol when the queen is in residence. The palace is her main residence and the flag is raised when she is present. It is quite the challenge to find a cleaner and more manicured courtyard than the one at the palace.
Dining in Denmark
is not just satisfying - it's dream-fulfilling. There are many restaurants that serve traditional Danish food. Seafood is a desirable choice on these menus. Many restaurants have specials on fresh oysters or whatever fresh fish comes in that day. There are more Michelin stars here than any other Scandinavian city. A number of dining establishments have at least one star in Copenhagen.
Pastries are plentiful, especially where coffee is served. Tourists can indulge guilt-free as they burn off the calories with all of the walking and cycling around town. Hot dogs are popular for lunch or an afternoon break. Rye bread, open-faced sandwiches and pickles are typical lunch fare as well. The Danes have turned sandwich-making into an art, using salmon, capers, cucumber and dill, raw beef and other delightful ingredients.Noma
, widely known as the world’s best restaurant with two Michelin stars, has an imaginative menu and many recommendations from diners and city publications. Dishes are characterized as New Nordic Cuisine. It's not inexpensive, but it is unique and has been in business for a decade. Noma is on Strandgade 93 right on the waterfront in an old warehouse.Søllerod Kro
, with a Michelin star, was established in 1677 and is still a vibrant and delicious dining locale. A record of 335 years is astounding. The building and its surrounding pond, woods, church and castle remain the same and diners experience living history while they enjoy a superb lunch or dinner. It seems impossible to continue operating a restaurant for such a long time, but here is proof.Restaurant Viva
on Langebrogadekaj 570, is a boat moored in the harbor that wisely kept the boat decor. Dinner is served with an international flair and superb fish and shellfish dishes are recommended. The top deck has outdoor dinner service and there is a bar and lounge area on the boat.
is not difficult to find in town. The dance clubs start spinning the tunes at around midnight, but there are excellent evening diversions that open much earlier.
NASA is a nightclub at Gothersgade 8F that offers up live bands and drinks. It has a dressed-up young crowd that likes to party. There are jazz bars, blues bars and discos in town as well, so there is no lack of late-night activity. This is the cosmopolitan side of the city that is not so evident in daylight.Visit "the most livable city in the world," according to Monocle Magazine, and take in the satisfying lifestyle that is so accessible. A visit may not be long enough, but it's a good start.
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