A Weekend in Copenhagen

February 28, 2017

A Weekend in Copenhagen – What to do

Not many places can call themselves ‘The Happiest City in the World’ and actually produce the paperwork to prove it. Copenhagen is definitely one that can, whilst also boasting many other qualities. Hygge is a word that’s recently found its way into the English vernacular, and it perfectly describes the Danish capital’s laid back, cosy, and contented atmosphere.

Effortlessly cool and contemporary, with the Danish taste for good design, Copenhagen offers culture, history, and fun in one neat package.


A land of fairy tales

Copenhagen even manages to make the usually gaudy fairground a classy and cultured affair, namely the Tivoli Gardens. Dating back to 1843, Tivoli offers twinkling lights, classic amusement rides, and musical performances, all set in a fairy tale glade of pavilions and flower gardens. In the summer months there are free open-air concerts held on Fridays, usually hosting Danish rock bands though occasionally an international star. Events and celebrations happen throughout the year, and firework displays are held every Saturday evening, making Tivoli one of Copenhagen’s most loved and popular attractions.

Copenhagen was home to one of Denmark’s most famous sons, and one of the world’s foremost writers of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen. The city’s most famous landmark is dedicated to his story The Little Mermaid, sat on her rock in the harbour near the castle. It’s an obligatory visit, but go early in the morning or at dusk to avoid the crowds jostling for a picture.

For a little more storybook magic, head to Rosenborg Castle in the middle of the city. Once home to Danish royalty, this elegant palace features soaring turrets and towers in true fairy tale fashion. Each room is dedicated to a monarch from Christian IV to Frederick VII. While the kings and queens may have moved out, the Danish crown jewels remain down in the Treasury, which is well worth a visit.


Art and artistry

Denmark’s National Gallery offers an impressive collection of artwork for those in the mood for culture, with works from the medieval period through to the ‘Golden Age’ of the 19th century, with masterpieces from Rubens, Rembrandt, Matisse, and many more. The gallery is just across the road from Rosenborg Castle in the city’s museum district. You’ll also find the Natural History Museum, and the Botanical Gardens here, so there’s plenty to be seen.

A paragon of modernity, Copenhagen is also home to a stunning collection of modern art in its Louisiana gallery, with works from Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Lichtenstein. It’s a 30km train ride north of the city, but it’s well worth a trip.

If you appreciate a bit of artistry in your food, and your wallet can take the hit, a trip to Noma is a must. Regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world, Noma serves up Scandinavian produce in extraordinary dishes. Be sure to book well, well, in advance, as turning up on a whim isn’t really an option with Noma’s waiting list. If you want something a little more relaxed, and affordable, head to Grams Laekkerier, a seemingly unimposing yet fabulous spot for lunch.


History and hygge

Denmark’s National Museum provides a fascinating and extensive history of Danish civilisation, from Stone Age tools to an 18th century Copenhagen apartment. The exhibits are always interesting and engaging, detailing Denmark’s rich history as well as other cultural influences. There’s alsoa delightful Children’s Museum.

The old heart of the city is picture-perfect.Browse the shop windows, relax with a coffee, or admire the elegant and colourful architecture. There’s the classically-structured Amalienborg, and the stately Christiansborg palace, home of the Danish parliament, and plenty of charming cobbled streets and squares to explore.

You’ll find the atmosphere friendly and relaxed, with little of the urban clamour you get in other capitals and big cities. When in Copenhagen, the best thing you can do is simply hop on a bike and enjoy it.


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