holiday in Copenhagen?
This is a pretty, compact and welcoming Danish city, especially for pedestrians
It has an active cultural scene, good museums and enough historic
buildings to satisfy the most demanding tourist.
The general ambience is laid-back but the night life is energetic, and life is reasonably affordable in Denmark, unlike other more costly Scandinavian
- The city, like the rest of Denmark, can
be extremely chilly, even in summer time.
- It's not exactly a low cost destination.
Best: May-June; the sunniest months of the year though not the warmest which are July and August. Summer average temperatures range from lows of 7C (44F) in May to highs of 20C (67F) in mid summer.
Worst: January, February; chilly, grey, many attractions are closed. Winter temperatures range from -2C (28F) to 2C (36F).
Current temperature and time in Copenhagen.
Attractions and activities
***Stroget, the world's longest pedestrian
shopping mall, is a lively chain of five streets, lined by shops,
restaurants, daily markets, stalls, and street performances. The
most interesting area is around the two squares Gammeltorv and Nytorv
(meaning old and new).
**Tivoli Gardens, a famous amusement park featuring flower gardens as well as rides
and attractions, running for over 150 years.
**Rosenborg Slot, an elegant castle
of fine Renaissance brick work, with a basement where the Danish
Crown Jewels are kept.
*The Little Mermaid, (picture top left)
the world famous bronze statue. The mermaid itself is not as impressive
as its fame, but walking by the sea and around the Kastellet is
*The Amalienborg Palace can be visited,
and the guard changes, in style, at 12 noon.
*Christiania. This alternative 'free
state' is a fascinating social experiment. No photos.
can swim at Amager Strandpark, or Dragor beaches near the airport
- 20 minutes by bus.
***Frederiksborg Slot, An imposing Renaissance castle in
a scenic location in the town of Hillerod, 40km/25m northwest of
Copenhagen (30 minutes by train). The inside, a national museum,
has over 70 rooms with magnificent interiors and antiquities.
Highlights are the Knights Hall and the Coronation Chapel.
If you like castles, there is another one, **Kronborg Slot
( Shakespeare's inspiration for Hamlet's castle) in Helsingor.
There is also the *Karen Blixen Museum (the author of 'Out of Africa')
in Rungsted near Helsingor.
*Mon, one of three islands off Zealand's south coast, is famous
for its 5,000 year-old white chalk cliffs (**Mons Klint). It also
has some historic sights -Neolithic era- and nice beaches.
Odense, a large industrial town in Funen island, attracts tourists
because it is the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen. The town
is not as enchanting as his tales, and it's 3 hours
from the capital.
For beaches, try Hornbaek, Gilleleje, Koge, or Bornholm island.
Please check festival dates, some are not yet confirmed.
late May, 3 days, *** Carnival, parades, dancing, and other festivities.
Carnival time is good weatherwise, but beware of crowds.
June **Midsummer Eve, people get together for beach bonfires.
Early July, 10 days, The Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
late August-early Sept, *The Golden Days Festival, an arts festival
featuring Denmark's 'Golden Age' 1800-1850. Every two years, next
event in 2004.
Nov/Dec Christmas in Tivoli, special events for Christmas
The city has vigorous culture programs throughout year, and especially
in the summer there are many free concerts and plays in the parks
and gardens - Tivoli, for instance.
There are lots of late-opening cafes and bars as well as clubs for
See 'Copenhagen This Week' a free guide from tourist offices for
Museums & Galleries
**Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the city's best art gallery. It has a fine collection of Etruscan artefacts (the biggest and best in Europe after Italy), as well as great master's works.
**Charlottenborg, a gorgeous baroque palace showing contemporary art.
*National Museum, an exhibition focusing on Danish history, including the Viking era.
There's no shortage of hotels, but booking
ahead is essential for the cheaper hotels in peak season (July-August).
One way not to spend a fortune is taking a package.
Never cheap in Denmark, but Copenhagen has more choice of food at a better
price than other Scandinavian capitals.
Many of the restaurants offer high standard, good value, set-menu
or eat-as-much as-you-can meals.
Try some of traditional open sandwiches (Smorrebrod) and real Danish
pastry! The city's most hip and popular dining areas are around
Kongens squares. Also the waterfront Nyhavn (picture top right)
has a lively drinking scene along side a canal, with outdoor cafes
and restaurants backed by colourful 18thC buildings.
An obvious place to go shopping is Stroget, excellent for
fashion, houseware, silver (Georg Jensen) and famous porcelain (Royal
Also try the newer pedestrianized street, east of Stroget called
Straedet, especially for antiques.
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