A laidback, contemporary city overflowing with creativity and culture; Copenhagen is racing its way up everyone’s lists of desirable destinations. If the moreish Danish pastries aren’t enough to have you begging to return, then the royal history, vibrant arts scene and dreamy architecture certainly will. Hire a bike to fit in with the locals and follow your senses through this Nordic gem.
Ever visited a vintage theme park before? Now’s your chance. Copenhagen’s star attraction Tivoli is utterly charming. Fluffy candyfloss, alluring popcorn stands, carnival games, stage shows, vibrant rides, fireworks and childish giggles all make up this dreamy Adventureland. Dating back to 1843, Tivoli is the second-oldest theme park in the world and the history of the park shines through in every detail. Georg Carstensen was inspired by gardens and parks he had visited abroad, and when he first opened the Tivoli gates guests were awestruck. The most famous of these guests was Hans Christian Anderson, who was inspired by this storybook garden to write his fairy tale the ‘Nightingale.’ Tributes to Hans Christian Anderson make up only a few of the enchanting attractions.
One of the most charming features of Tivoli is its position dominating the city centre. Situated directly opposite the central train station, the delightful screams from thrill seekers at Tivoli ring through the air throughout Copenhagen throughout each day. The tallest vibrant rides create part of the beautiful city skyline and faces grinning with glee can always be spotted leaving the park. As night falls, romantic Tivoli glistens under the moonlight and fairy lights and even more action unfolds. Live music, fireworks and film screenings are available nightly and there are a wide selection of unique themed restaurants to ensure the dreamy experience continues.
Nyhavn fronts the postcards purchased by every visitor to Copenhagen. Originally a busy commercial port packed with sailors and docked ships, Nyhavn is now a tourist hot spot. The strip of colourful houses lining the canal (featuring in the cover photo) now house charming cafes, restaurants and art galleries. When the sun is shining, people watching at Nyhavn can fill your day perfectly. Hans Christian Andersen lived on this stunning quayside for most of his life at various numbers and it is here he wrote his famous fairy-tales ‘The Tinderbox’, ‘Little Claus and Big Claus’, and ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ More recently, Nyhavn has filled the big screens in ‘The Danish Girl.’ Starring award-winning Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, most of the action took place in the colourful houses as the crew had full access to the entire harbour. To get a taste of the stunning culture of Copenhagen, ‘The Danish Girl’ is a must-see.
The Danish are undeniably stylish so to dress to impress for your trip to Copenhagen a pair of these modern round lens Polaroid sunglasses are essential.
Continuing up the harbourfront for around a kilometre in the strong sea winds, you’ll eventually reach a busy green space. In one particular spot, crowded by the sea edge will be many tourists eager to catch a picture of the Little Mermaid monument. After attending a ballet performance of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale ‘The Little Mermaid’, Carl Jacobsen, the Danish beer baron, eagerly commissioned the skilled sculpture, Edvard Eriksento create a statue in tribute. Whilst the Mermaid is one of the prime attractions of Copenhagen, don’t expect to be overwhelmed, in fact prepare yourself to be largely underwhelmed as she is small in size and largely misshapen. Never the less, an amble up the harbour is pleasant and the Mermaid is another of Copenhagen’s tributes to one of its greatest citizens, the talented Hans Christian Andersen.
A hippy haven, Freetown Christiania is incomparable. Its roots go back to 1971, when squatters took over the area, an abandoned military camp and the hippie revolution erupted. The area was self-governing, completely independent of the Danish government and existed under these special conditions for 40 years. Despite turmoil over the years, a shooting took place only last year and conflict continues over the drugs trade today, the foundation remains and now the area is thriving and completely unique. DIY homes, little cafes, galleries, music venues, lush green spaces and bustling bars make up the area. The vibrant and creative street art characterises this little community and handmade goods are sold everywhere. The marijuana stalls remain, selling a wide range of joints, hash and cookies and lining the famous ‘Pusher St.’ Wandering through Christiania on a later afternoon is both riveting and relaxing if you follow the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ of the area indicated by signs, e.g. no cameras.
Colourful and innovative, these Ray Ban cateye sunglasses from the new Blaze collection are summery and stylish and ideal for urban exploring.
The museums in Copenhagen are varied and exciting. For an exploration into Danish culture and history, wander the National Museet which houses exhibitions full to the brim of antiquities and artefacts from centuries ago as well as temporary exhibitions. The latest temporary exhibition is quirky and unique. Named ‘Cosplayer- Manga youth!’, the exhibition focuses on Japanese pop culture and its influence in the media and Danish culture. With photo booths and fancy dress opportunities, you can design yourself Manga style. For a deeper look into Danish style, the Design Museum is essential. Housed in the 18th Century Frederiks Hospital, the design museum has an extensive collection of silver, textiles and iconic design pieces from modern icons like Arne Jacobsen and Kaare Klint.
The Rosenborg Slot is an impressive 17th-century enchanting castle and is an exciting way of looking at the royal history of Copenhagen. Built by King Christian IV for his summer home but due to feeling cramped, as is possible in a gigantic castle, he built a larger palace in Fredensborg. Rosenborg became a museum, open to the public to showcase the magnificent furnishings, crown jewels, royal regalia and fine art.
The Meat Packing district is modern Copenhagen at its finest. Once home to the city’s meat industry, the area is now rammed with trendy nightlife spots and high quality restaurants that are creative with the space. A range of popular foodie spots are open all day and on weekends the food market runs offering almost too much choice of delicious goods! The area is also home to riveting art galleries and photography spaces that are perfect for wandering to work up an appetite.
Eating in one of Copenhagen’s delicious food spots, wandering the vintage shops, grabbing a moreish Danish pastry from one of the huge bakeries, time flies by in this exciting and modern city.
What excites you the most about visiting Copenhagen?