Copenhagen Essentials:

How big is Copenhagen?
Copenhagen is the largest city and capital of Denmark, and it covers an area of around 88 square kilometres.
How many people inhabit it?
Right now around 1,700,000 people live in the Greater Copenhagen area.
What are the language and the currency?
The official language is Danish, but English and German are widely spoken too. The currency in use is the Danish Krone (DKK).
  • The Little Mermaid looks out over the waves
The Little Mermaid looks out over the waves The popular Nyhavn area The entrance to the free town of Christiania The grave of Hans Christian Anderson

Things to see in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens
What is Copenhagen's number one attraction?
Tivoli Gardens is Copenhagen's top spot.
What's so great about it?
Lots of things apparently, at least if the 4.5 million people who visit this amusement park each year are to be believed. Tivoli is one of the world's oldest amusement parks. It opened in 1843, and is said to have been the inspiration behind Disneyland. Today, it boasts the highest carousel in the world, many other rides, 40 restaurants, 2 theatres, 3 open-air stages, and Europe's longest tropical saltwater aquarium.
Anything else which shouldn't be missed?
No visit to Copenhagen is complete without a trip to see the Little Mermaid, one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's version of the Little Mermaid, the statute was created by Edvard Eriksen and was unveiled to the public in 1913. Today, she still wistfully looks out towards the harbour, as hordes of visitors flock to have their picture taken with her. On top of that, you could take one of the canal tours. They'll take you all over the city from Nyhavn to Christianshavn, and along the way you'll hear a whole lot about Copenhagen's history. In Christianshavn, you'll find the free-town or commune of Christiania. This is a great place to visit for a taste of alternative lifestyles. Live music is often performed here too, and you’ll find lots of stalls selling handmade products, food and drink. Copenhagen is known for being the home of Carlsberg beer, so it might be a good plan to visit the Carlsberg Visitors Centre while you're in town. There's a lot more to this attraction than just the free samples at the end, although they definitely sweeten the deal. For stunning views across the whole of the city, you can climb the Round Tower on Købmagergade. Opened in 1642, it's Europe's oldest functioning observatory and is still used by astronomers today.
On average how much does it cost to get into Copenhagen's top museums?
Two of the very best Copenhagen has to offer in the way of museums are free. These are the Statens Museum for Kunst (The Danish National Gallery) and the National Museet (Denmark’s National Museum). The NY Carlsberg Glypotek, another of the city's famous art museums, offers free admission on Sundays.
Where can you find Copenhagen's finest architecture?
All over really. Copenhagen's a great spot for lovers of medieval architecture. Some of the more impressive sights include the spiral spire of Our Saviour’s Church in Christianshavn. In terms of more contemporary design, Copenhagen has lots to offer including the Black Diamond, which houses some of the Royal Danish Library collection.
That all sounds great, but what if I need some retail therapy?
Copenhagen has some excellent shopping opportunities. You can wander along the various streets that make up the Strøget area, filled with designer names and top brands. Huge department stores like Illum and Magasin du Nord are known for their wide selection of products. You'll also find flea markets at various locations around the city. From antique treasures to old toys, there are lots of things on offer here, often at a great bargain.

Going out in Copenhagen

Copenhagen's famous Carlsberg beer
Where are most of the bars found?
Copenhagen's a pretty big city, so you'll find a wide selection of different bars, gastro pubs, clubs and live music venues scattered around all over. Some of the most popular spots are in the city centre, Vesterbro, and also in Nørrebro around the Blågårds Plads area. Check out the Straedet area, which is comprised of two main streets, Kompagnistraede and Laederstraede, for some great choices for a night out. There are lots of places in the Strøget area too, and around the Rådhuspladsen, close to City Hall and Tivoli. In Vesterbro, much of the nightlife can be found along Enghavevej, Istegarde and Vesterbrogade, the area's three main streets.
Do I need to carry my ID with me when going out?
It's generally a good idea to have some ID with you but you probably won't be asked to show it often, if at all.
Where would you recommend?
If you're looking for a small bar with a lively atmosphere, then The Moose on Svaertegade is a great choice. It's interesting inside, with lots of things scribbled all over the walls, and it has a long happy hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, lasting from 9pm until closing time. Backpackers should totally check out Monday and Tuesday nights at The Scottish Pub on Rådhuspladsen. You can sample the drinks offers and rub shoulders with fellow travellers from all over the world. Vega on Enghavevej is one of the best places in Copenhagen to see live music. A huge number of well-known international bands play here, as well as lots of locals acts. It's also got a bar and a club and is a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
Anything else I need to know?
Instead of heading to a bar, you could do like many of the locals do on warmer evenings and nights, and buy some of Denmark's famous Carlsberg beer from one of the many kiosks around. You can enjoy this sitting along the canal in the Nyhavn area or in many other parts of the city.

Eating Out in Copenhagen

The traditional 'polser'
Is it expensive to eat out in Copenhagen?
It can be, as Copenhagen's a Scandinavian city and these tend to be that little bit more expensive. However, there are many ways you can keep the cost of your meal down. For example, keep an eye out for the great value buffet offers on many restaurant menus. Another good way to keep the cost down is to keep an eye out for the tourist menus or daily specials offered by a lot of places.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
There's no one main area where all the best places to eat can be found. However, you'll find a lot of restaurants in the Straedet area, along Kompagnistraede and Laederstraede. Nyhavn is also filled with restaurants.
Are international cuisines well represented?
Yes. Alongside classic Danish dishes, you can choose from a whole host of international flavours, including Italian, Indian, Japanese and more.
Any places you'd recommend?
Conditori & Café Hans Christian Andersen at Vesterbrogade in the city centre is a great place to try one of the dishes Denmark is known for, the Danish pastry. Lots of different kinds are offered, including a delicious cinnamon variety. You can enjoy other tasty treats and cakes here with a pot of coffee, which can be refilled at no extra charge. Sandwiches and salads are also available. Along with its central location in Strøget, Copenhagen's major shopping area, Mama Rosa also boasts a large menu filled with Mexican and Italian dishes. Lunch specials are offered daily at reduced prices and set menus are also available. Colourful tablecloths and potted chilli plants continue the Mexican theme, and you can sit both inside and outside. One of the best buffets in the city is offered by Riz Raz on Kompagnistraede in the Straedet area. The difference here is that this all-you-can-eat buffet is all vegetarian. You can fill up on salads and hot dishes of all kinds, and for the carnivores, there are some meat dishes on the main menu too.
What times do restaurants close?
Lots of places open until 12am, so you should have no trouble finding a place to eat at a time that suits you.
Anything else I need to know?
If you don't fancy sitting in a restaurant, a tasty and cheap alternative is to try a Danish favourite called 'pølser'. Available from a large number of stands across the city, this traditional sausage is served with a bun, ketchup and mustard.

Transport in Copenhagen

A public city bike
How many different modes of public transport are there in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen has a pretty impressive public transport system, with a network of buses and trains serving the city and surrounding areas. The three main forms of transport are buses, the S-Train, and the Metro. With all the trains on its network passing through Central Station, the S-Train is a great way to get around. It runs on 10 lines at regular intervals. Day tickets and multiple journey tickets can be purchased. The Metro runs on 2 lines, with services operating every day from 5am-12pm. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays services continue throughout the entire night. Single tickets cost 20 DKK with multi-ride passes available too. Don't panic if you can’t see anyone behind the wheel; these metro trains are driverless.
Will I need to use public transport at all?
Well, it is possible to walk to a lot of the city's attractions and many of the main shopping streets are pedestrianised. At the same time, if you want to visit some of the city's neighbourhoods like Christianshavn or Nørrebro it can be quicker and easier to use public transport.

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  • Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011
  • Comments: 0
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