There are many reasons to visit Copenhagen. This lively city has a picturesque harbour, a theme park, great shopping, delicious food and a beach just three miles away. There is something for everyone to enjoy all year round, and with an airport and good train links, it's easy to get there too.
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and has a population of nearly 8 million people. It is located on the east coast of the country and is just across the Oresund Bridge from Sweden. In the 10th century it was just a small Viking fishing village, but it has grown and expanded to today's busy hub of culture, finance, tourism and gastronomy. Copenhagen is well known for its sweet pastries, herrings, rye bread and beer, so make sure you try these tasty treats while you are there.
Some of the must-see sights include The Little Mermaid statue, which is a tribute to the famous Dane Hans Christian Andersen, and Nyhavn, or New Harbour, where visitors can tuck into traditional food beside the water. Tivoli Gardens is the more popular one of two theme parks in the city and a lovely family day out. There are some interesting art museums and a Danish design store called Illums Bolighus for those who like the finer things in life. Just a few miles away is Amager Strandpark beach where swimming, kayaking and kitesurfing are just some of the activities to enjoy.
As with most capital cities in Europe, there are many events and festivals that take place in Copenhagen throughout the year. A Jazz Festival takes place at the beginning of July that attracts large crowds, and the beer festival in May is popular too. Roskilde Festival is a huge live music event that takes place at the end of June.
Things to Do
The list of things to do in Copenhagen is long and varied. In the summer months, city walks and al fresco lunches are part of the experience. In the colder weather, Christmas markets and warm fires can be enjoyed. Whatever your length of stay or budget, there is something you will love to do in this great city.
Take a selfie with The Little Mermaid
You cannot visit Copenhagen without taking a photo of this delightful statue on the edge of the harbour. The Little Mermaid is the most recognised site of the city and is displayed in honour of the author Hans Christian Andersen. The statue was vandalised several times in the past, often as a political statement, but she has been refurbished and visitors flock to see her. There is a nice promenade walk behind the statue.
Visit the harbour at Nyhavn
The colourful old buildings and cobble stone streets of this canal-side area give the place a magical atmosphere. This is where Hans Christian Andersen lived and wrote many of his tales. It is the perfect place to stop for lunch, dinner or a drink in a wide choice of places with indoor and outdoor seating. You can also hop on a canal boat tour from here and take a trip around the city on the water.
Family fun at Tivoli Gardens
This theme park opened its doors in 1843 and has a mixture of modern, high-tech rides and old-fashioned nostalgia rides like a classical carousel. The most popular attraction is a rollercoaster built over 100 years ago. There are also stages where live shows take place, restaurants, bars and a beautiful garden. There is so much to see, you might need more than one day's visit. The park is right in the heart of the city, close to the main station.
Buy some Nordic style
For Scandinavian chic, spend the afternoon in the Amagertorv area, the oldest part of the city, and walk along Stogert. There are home design stores where the Danish look can be purchased to take back home with you, from sofas to rugs to trinkets. The Ilum department store is here, and there are many other shops and boutiques as well. When you need a break from shopping, there's a range of coffee shops and places to eat.
Have fun at the beach
A capital city with a nearby beach is the perfect destination. Visitors reach Amager Strandpark by bicycles hired from the city centre -- it takes just 15 minutes to ride there. At the beach you can enjoy mini golf, kayaking, rollerblading, kitesurfing or you can just sit on the sand and relax. In the summer local people spend a lot of time at this beach, so it's a great place to people watch, but it's also nice to take a stroll here in the winter.
Calendar of Events
Copenhagen is home to several events, festivals and conferences throughout the year. There are a few events which happen annually and attract large numbers of visitors from around the world.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival. In July, more than 100 different venues across the capital, including parks, restaurants, clubs and theatres, hold jazz music events. The whole family is encouraged to join in and day tickets give you access to all the events taking place over 24 hours.
Christmas markets. From late November to the end of December, Copenhagen holds many Christmas markets. The most magical is the one at Tivoli Gardens, where there are hundreds of stalls decorated with glittering lights. Pick up gifts, crafts and traditional food items, and tuck into Danish winter snacks.
Roskilde Festival. This huge music event takes place at the end of June each year 35 km outside of Copenhagen, but there are also shuttle buses available from the city centre. The festival lasts for a week, but day tickets are available. Roughly 100,000 people go along, and on-site camping is on offer.
Beer Festival. There is a beer festival that lasts for three days in May. Enthusiasts from all over Europe sample many different beers and traditional Danish snacks like open sandwiches. In September there is a relative newcomer called the Beer and Whisky Event which promises to grow in popularity.