Magazines, blogs posts and internet postings describe Copenhagen as a city with vibrant, rich and fast-paced culture. Home to close to 1.3 million people, Denmark’s capital and largest city, now my home, boasts with its busy metropolis, fascinating architecture, world-class educational institutions, Michelin-starred restaurants, and trend-setting fashion.
Originally a Viking fishing village, Copenhagen, whose name was derived from low German, Kopenhagen or “merchant’s harbor”, became Denmark’s capital in the early 15th century. It played important commercial, strategic and defensive roles following centuries, leaving the region with magnificent landmarks hallmarking its beautiful history.
Now let’s leave history and zoom into the now. In Copenhagen, coming as a tourist you’ll find lots of things to do, both land and water-based. Located in the eastern coast of Zealand and a little bit of Amager, the hyggelig (nice, cozy) city offers a wide variety of fun-filled adventure for tourists and locals. Every day you will find batches of tourist from all over the world exploring the city.
Personally speaking, the best way to go around the city if you’re a foreigner (and knows no one around here) is by guided tour, usually in small groups with other tourists. Tours like this offers you a quick view of the city specifically best if you’re staying for only a number of days. You can experience channel (canal) tours, ride on hop on- hop off buses, take a walk or bike around. Transportation is also not a hassle as the city is commuter-friendly with its 24/7 bus and train service.
Copenhagen offers you numerous things to experience depending on your field of interest. Going to places that has most people, world-famous attractions like The Little Mermaid by H.C. Andersen, Dyrehavsbakken, the world’s oldest amusement park, or Tivoli, the second oldest, probably top the list. The last two places offers thrilling adventure that one wouldn’t want to miss.
If you like shopping there is Strøget which is the city’s longest shopping street queuing signature shops, excellent restaurants, bookstores, and a bunch of cool entertainment from magicians and street musicians. There are also outlets like Illum and Magasin that houses fine-quality products ranging from designer clothes, bags, jewelry and perfume. Going out, don’t forget to drop by Royal Copenhagen shop for a world class, hand-made porcelain tableware for souvenir. The price isn’t cheap, though, but the quality is in no question.
Want a quick taste of fine-dining or just a taste-test of Danish delicacy? Head to Papiroein (Paper Island) by Christianshavn or Torvehallen just outside Nørreport station and grab a bite of Danish and Asian street foods combined. If you’re too picky to eat at a covered market, there are a lot of restaurants that you can choose from ranging from European, American to Asian-fusion.
The city is surrounded with a number of castles and beautiful structures. In Amalienborg lives the Danish Royal Family, the oldest monarch in the world with Queen Margrethe as it’s head. Other magnificent architectures to note also include the Rundetår (Round Tower), Rosenborg Castle, Christiansborg Palace, Frederik’s Church, Borsen (Stock Exchange), Rådhuspladsen which are located around the city. No need to worry about getting lost as the city is so easy to navigate through, be it through walking, biking or taking a public transport.
In Copenhagen there are endless things to experience and enjoy. Just remember to plan your must-see/try list well and you’ll get an awesome Danish experience like no other.