It is not only Norwegians who think it is wonderful to be in Denmark. The inhabitants of Copenhagen are ranked as the happiest in the world, if one is to believe in such awards. This is the most accessible city holiday for us “mountain monkeys”, if we persevere with these Danes who claim that it was they who taught the neighbors to eat with a knife and fork.
We probably endure in Copenhagen, because the Danes are both nice and sociable. According to DigoPaul, the capital of Copenhagen is slightly larger than Oslo in terms of population (approximately 1.25 million), but the city is perceived as intimate and passable nonetheless. It is easy to get there, with frequent flights to Kastrup, by train, or by one of the Danish boats. Copenhagen is safe and pleasant, and has a lot to offer that we do not find at home in Norway. Here you will find some popular sights, for inspiration before you go on a city break to “Copenhagen”.
Ten popular sights in Copenhagen
Although the travel time to Copenhagen is short for most people, it is not a stupid idea to start your stay at an outdoor restaurant in Nyhavn. Maybe with something dewy in the glass, especially on hot summer days. Nyhavn is located by the canal, which connects Kongens Nytorv with the harbor area. The colorful facades, boats, quay and outdoor seating, act as a magnet for both locals and tourists. Although crowded, a few hours in the sun in this place is a relaxing experience. If you fall in love with the area, you can just as well take in one of the many cozy hotels you will find in Nyhavn.
Tivoli is perhaps Copenhagen’s most famous sight. The amusement park opened in 1843, and has about 4.5 million visitors a year. Here it is beautiful, exciting, romantic and relaxing, at the same time. You can have fun with all sorts of weird things, go to bars, concerts, shows, eat in great restaurants, and much more. It is not only nostalgia and romance to experience at Tivoli, but also contemporary roller coasters, such as “The Demon”, with a couple of loops that make you taste the forces of gravity. The old mountain railway is still there, as it has been for now for a little over 100 years. This roller coaster is among the oldest in the world still in use. Tivoli in Copenhagen is unique in so many ways, and appeals to adults as much as to children.
According to the more than 800 inhabitants of Christiania, they live in a separate autonomous state. Since 1971, all kinds of artists, hippies, free thinkers and petty crooks have had their own little tumble place, where they do almost anything they want, largely without interference from the Danish authorities. The free town has admittedly been tried several times, but it is still there, and attracts many curious visitors to Copenhagen. Christiania is primarily for adults with a fairly liberal approach to life. You do not have to be inclined to use banned substances, you will of course also find good beer, coffee and cakes in Fristaden, but you should not be surprised if you meet someone who wants to sell you so-called “jazz tobacco”.
No, this is not Lerkendal in Trondheim, but Denmark’s most beautiful castle in the eyes of many. Rosenborg is a castle from the Middle Ages, and where the Danes kept the crown jewels. Christan IV (quarter) preferred to stay in this castle, and is said to have insisted on ending his days there. You get a guided tour for cheap money, and the castle is child-friendly in several ways. After a tour, with an introduction to the exciting history, many prefer to enjoy the surroundings of the castle’s own café, weather permitting. It is easy to get to Rosenborg, but note that there are only two entrances. One is located in Østre Voldgade, while you can also enter the castle park via the bridge over the moat, which runs from Kongens Have.
Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer who lived in the 16th century. He then contributed greatly to much of the knowledge we have today of the universe. The planetarium is state-of-the-art, and features an IMAX cinema, where you can experience over 7,500 stars, planets and galaxies on the movie screen. There are also 3D movies that teach us about dinosaurs, sea life and more. In the exhibits, you can study the surface of the planets in our solar system, send out space probes, count diamonds in the craters of Neptune, look at the stars in telescopes, and so on. The planetarium is located in the direction of Fredriksberg, where you will also find Copenhagen Zoo.
The Opera House in Copenhagen
The opera in Copenhagen was designed by Henning Larsen, and towers with its 1000 rooms spread over 14 floors. The building is located down by the harbor, not far from Amalienborg Castle. Performances at the opera are popular and worth every penny for music and theater lovers, but you can also take the day trip just to enjoy the architecture, the view of the sea, or the sculpture exhibition in the opera’s lobby.
The Danish queen Margrethe II lives at Amalienborg Castle, a facility consisting of four magnificent buildings (mansions) that enclose the elaborate castle square. In comparison, the castle in Oslo looks somewhat staggering, even though it is also a nice building. The Life Guard, or the Royal Life Guard, guards the area, and offers tough shifts that we know from other royal residences. However, the Danes are somewhat more hospitable than many others, and parts of the castle are therefore open to the public. For children it is free, while adults pay less than what a sausage and cola costs at the gas station.
The Castle and The Little Mermaid
You will not find so many symbols that are more associated with Denmark than The Little Mermaid. The statue is made by Carl Jacobsen, inspired by the ballet that was based on the fairy tale by HC Andersen. Occasionally, the mermaid is subjected to vandalism and decapitation, in the same way as our own Sinnataggen which is in Vigelandsparken, but the Danes get her back in good condition every single time. The statue itself is such a “must see attraction”, but perhaps not enough to take the trip. Combined with Kastellet, one of the best-preserved fortresses in Europe, the trip immediately adds value. The area is quiet and peaceful, offers a lot to see, and is suitable for relaxation, coffee drinking and spreading at a leisurely pace.
When you are first on a city break in Copenhagen, it may be tempting with a little excitement and fun. It can be a lot of castles and amusement parks for some, and then mystery games like you find ho s Timequest is a great alternative. Here you are locked in a mysterious room, in groups of between 2 and 6, and have an hour to find the exit. You can hardly do that without putting together all the little hints and clues you find in the room. You need to keep a cool head, think smart, and cooperate with your fellow prisoners. Timequest is not the only establishment in Copenhagen that offers such experiences, but definitely one of the better ones.
Strøget is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, and Copenhagen’s definitive center for shopping and nightlife. The pedestrian street we are mainly thinking of connects Rådhusplassen and Kongens Nytorv, right in the heart of the city, but Strøget also includes a number of side streets and other squares. The shop selection for shoppers covers everything, from cheap to expensive, and the same goes for the restaurants, cafes and bars. Stop by DØP, the sausage stall with great hot dogs, or the Copenhagen café about real Danish open sandwiches is on the wish list. If you are there for pre – Christmas shopping, you should try the Christmas beer with a “little one” next to it.