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==Districts==
 
==Districts==
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If entering the city by car through the highways, you won't meet a citylimit-sign, saying just "København"(Copenhagen), but instead there stands "Storkøbenhavn", which means Greater Copenhagen. While the traditional Copenhagen is centered in a small area just around the water-way between Zealand and Amager, consisting of some different small boroughs, all together with at least 500.000 inhabitants, Copenhagen has through the fingerplan since the end of WWII expanded across other towns, which today are distinctive municipalities, all together creating the greater Copenhagen area, giving the whole city the 1 million population mark. What's very notable of this is the town of Frederiksberg, which is part of Greater Copenhagen, but actually a city of it's own, inside Copenhagen(the 5th largest in Denmark). Other of these municipalities are too numerous to explain as every single district, so they are just summed up as whole suburban areas, like the boroughs of the city core:
 
   
 
   
 
{{Regionlist
 
{{Regionlist
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'''Autumn''' and '''winter''' have a profound effect on the city. The vibrant summer life withers and the streets go quiet, as most Copenhageners go directly home from work. This is where the Danish concept of ''hygge'' sets in, roughly translating into coziness. It is the local way of dealing with the short dark days. Friends and families visit each other for home cooking and conversations by candlelight with quiet music on the stereo. In week 42 the Danes have an autumn holiday, with many events taking place, such as the night of culture. The height of winter is December, where Christmas brings some relief to the short days, with lights and decorations everywhere, in the streets, shops and in peoples' windows. Tivoli opens its doors for the Christmas markets, and most Danes go on a drinking rampage, with the very Danish and traditional Christmas lunches, with work and family.
 
'''Autumn''' and '''winter''' have a profound effect on the city. The vibrant summer life withers and the streets go quiet, as most Copenhageners go directly home from work. This is where the Danish concept of ''hygge'' sets in, roughly translating into coziness. It is the local way of dealing with the short dark days. Friends and families visit each other for home cooking and conversations by candlelight with quiet music on the stereo. In week 42 the Danes have an autumn holiday, with many events taking place, such as the night of culture. The height of winter is December, where Christmas brings some relief to the short days, with lights and decorations everywhere, in the streets, shops and in peoples' windows. Tivoli opens its doors for the Christmas markets, and most Danes go on a drinking rampage, with the very Danish and traditional Christmas lunches, with work and family.
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===People===
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Being a small big city in a mostly agricultural land, the Copenhageners are mostly ordinary Danes with a big city attitude, which gives the city a more provincial feel. It is still a mix of different people from a lot of places in the World, mostly Danes from other parts of Denmark, a few people from the neighboring countries(germans and swedes) and many Middle Eastern immigrants. The whole city-area is still yet divided in wealth, with the more wealthy inhabitants in the North and inner City neighborhood and the Middleclass and less well-off people in the other neighborhoods south and west and on Amager. This is usually characterized by neighborhoods consisting of both normal parcel houses and larger apartment-building complexes close to each other. Despite the stereotypes, as with most danes the Copenhageners are friendly and happy to help tourists.
  
 
===Tourist information===
 
===Tourist information===
 
Copenhagen's official tourist agency is ''Wonderful Copenhagen''
 
Copenhagen's official tourist agency is ''Wonderful Copenhagen''
  
* <listing name="Copenhagen Right Now" alt="" directions="Across from Tivoli's main entrance, near the central station" address="Vesterbrogade 4A" phone="+45 70 22 24 42" email="touristinfo@woco.dk" fax="45 70 22 24 52" url="http://visitcopenhagen.com/tourist/about_copenhagen/tourist_information" hours="Jan-Apr M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM; May-June M-Sa 9AM-6PM; July-Aug M-Sa 9AM-8PM,Su 10AM-6PM; Sep M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Oct-Dec M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM" price=""></listing>
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* <listing name="Copenhagen Right Now" alt="" address="Vesterbrogade 4A" directions="Across from Tivoli's main entrance, near the central station" phone="+45 70 22 24 42" url="http://visitcopenhagen.com/tourist/about_copenhagen/tourist_information" hours="Jan-Apr M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM; May-June M-Sa 9AM-6PM; July-Aug M-Sa 9AM-8PM,Su 10AM-6PM; Sep M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Oct-Dec M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM" price="" lat="" long="" email="touristinfo@woco.dk" fax="45 70 22 24 52"></listing>
  
 
==Get in==  
 
==Get in==  
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==Get around==  
 
==Get around==  
[[Image:S-train diagram (dec 2011).svg|thumb|420px|Map of S-trains and Metro in the Copenhagen area, as of December 2011 (current)]]
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[[Image:S-train diagram (dec 2011).svg|thumb|420px|Map of S-train (sans Metro) in the Copenhagen area, as of December 2011 (current)]]
 
[[Image:Cph_habour_transportation.png|thumb|420px|Map of harbour bus lines in the canals and inner habour, with districts marked in the background (pre-October 2011, not current)]]
 
[[Image:Cph_habour_transportation.png|thumb|420px|Map of harbour bus lines in the canals and inner habour, with districts marked in the background (pre-October 2011, not current)]]
  
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The range of a single zone can be roughly translated to around seven minutes in the Metro or fifteen minutes in a bus, but always check the zone maps in the stations, some stations are closer to zone borders than others. Ask locals if help is needed, as the zone system can be complex for visitors. Night buses work all night (1AM-5AM daily) and the price of ticket is the same as during the day.
 
The range of a single zone can be roughly translated to around seven minutes in the Metro or fifteen minutes in a bus, but always check the zone maps in the stations, some stations are closer to zone borders than others. Ask locals if help is needed, as the zone system can be complex for visitors. Night buses work all night (1AM-5AM daily) and the price of ticket is the same as during the day.
  
A ten-trip ''klippekort'' gives you a discount of around forty percent and can be bought in kiosks and ticket offices. You can also purchase a day pass starting at 130 Kr Alternatively, buy a '''Copenhagen Card''' [http://visitcopenhagen.dk/], which gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs 229 Kr for 24 hours, 459 Kr for 72 hours. Note that on Sundays and Mondays many museums are either free or closed, thus possibly making the card of less value on those days.
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A ten-trip ''klippekort'' gives you a discount of around forty percent and can be bought in kiosks and ticket offices. Note that these cards are being phased out and will no longer be sold after 30, June 2013 this is done to promote the electronic ''rejsekort'' system which is already in use. Old ''klipperkort'' can still be used for one more year. You can also purchase a day pass starting at 130 Kr Alternatively, buy a '''Copenhagen Card''' [http://visitcopenhagen.dk/], which gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs 229 Kr for 24 hours, 459 Kr for 72 hours. Note that on Sundays and Mondays many museums are either free or closed, thus possibly making the card of less value on those days.
  
 
For regional trains, S-tog and Metro a ticket must be bought and timestamped before boarding the trains. For buses, tickets can be bought from the driver but not ''klippekort'' which must be purchased beforehand. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket is 750 Kr (600 Kr for buses) and ticket conductors are common both in S-trains and Metro. More information about price and tickets at  movia [http://movia.dk/].
 
For regional trains, S-tog and Metro a ticket must be bought and timestamped before boarding the trains. For buses, tickets can be bought from the driver but not ''klippekort'' which must be purchased beforehand. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket is 750 Kr (600 Kr for buses) and ticket conductors are common both in S-trains and Metro. More information about price and tickets at  movia [http://movia.dk/].
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The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Copenhagen is on a bike. Forty percent of Copenhageners use their bike everyday and the city has been designed to cater for cyclists with separate bicycle lanes on most larger roads. Cyclists are often allowed to ride both ways in one-way streets. Be careful if you are not used to biking in a busy city as this is a common means of daily transportation and the locals drive fast and without room for much leeway. Don't expect to get a warning when someone wants to overtake you. Always keep to the right and look behind you before you overtake someone — otherwise you could cause some nasty accidents.   
 
The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Copenhagen is on a bike. Forty percent of Copenhageners use their bike everyday and the city has been designed to cater for cyclists with separate bicycle lanes on most larger roads. Cyclists are often allowed to ride both ways in one-way streets. Be careful if you are not used to biking in a busy city as this is a common means of daily transportation and the locals drive fast and without room for much leeway. Don't expect to get a warning when someone wants to overtake you. Always keep to the right and look behind you before you overtake someone — otherwise you could cause some nasty accidents.   
  
As an alternative to the city bikes you can '''rent a bike''' and these are far more comfortable. Among others Rent a Bike Copenhagen [www.rentabikecopenhagen.dk] on a side-street to Gothersgade on Adelgade 11, less than five minutes from Kgs. Nytorv Metro Station in downtown Copenhagen. They rent bikes on a daily basis. Their prices start at 75 Kr pr. day or 295 DKK pr. week. At Højbro Plads (next to McDonalds at Strøget) you can find rickshaws for hire with a driver, who will often be trained in providing tourist information as you stroll along. A variety of bike tours are offered by Bike Copenhagen with Mike including a city tour at 10AM daily departing from Copenhagen Bikes at the main train station.
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As an alternative to the city bikes you can '''rent a bike''' and these are far more comfortable. The best company to rent bikes from is Bikify [http://bikify.dk]. Their website is very easy to use and the company is very easy to deal with. Their tours and bikes are also very cheap compared to the rest of the market which is why the company is the preferred one in Denmark.
  
 
=== By taxi ===
 
=== By taxi ===
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You can also try Vesterbrogade and [[Copenhagen/Vesterbro#Istedgade|Istedgade]] on [[Copenhagen/Vesterbro|Vesterbro]], due west of the central station, although you'll need to go a few blocks before hotels/sex shops/Thai restaurants turn into more interesting territory. Right at the border of this area, [[Copenhagen/Frederiksberg#Værnedamsvej|Værnedamsvej]] and Tullinsgade are also good bets.
 
You can also try Vesterbrogade and [[Copenhagen/Vesterbro#Istedgade|Istedgade]] on [[Copenhagen/Vesterbro|Vesterbro]], due west of the central station, although you'll need to go a few blocks before hotels/sex shops/Thai restaurants turn into more interesting territory. Right at the border of this area, [[Copenhagen/Frederiksberg#Værnedamsvej|Værnedamsvej]] and Tullinsgade are also good bets.
  
In [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]], [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro#Ravnsborggade|Ravnsborggade]] is well known for its huge number of antique stores that are excellent for bargain hunting and the next street to north, while more modest [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro#Elmegade|Elmegade]] has some small independent fashion boutiques.  
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In [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]], there has been a rappidly growing establishment of small independent craft shops and fashion boutiques the past few years. Especially Jægersborggade [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro#Jægersborggade|Jægersborggade]] at the northern side of the churchyard "Assistent Kirkegården" is worth to pay a visit, if you are looking for the open studio craftsman peek, a shop that swaps dresses, or the latest work from danish illustrator rising stars. If you are looking for second-hand artifacts and antiques [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro#Ravnsborggade|Ravnsborggade]] is well known for its huge number of antique stores that are excellent for bargain hunting. Close by [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro#Elmegade|Elmegade]] has a good mix of fashion boutiques.
  
 
Laws limit opening hours for most shops, officially to the benefit of the staff, although the "closing law" (Lukkeloven) is facing increasing unpopularity among locals. But until the opposition grows loud enough, most shops will close around M-F 5-6PM on weekdays, around 4PM on Saturdays, and rarely will anything be open on Sundays, including supermarkets! For '''out-of-hours shopping''' (apart from the ubiquitous 7-11 and small kiosks), the shops at Central Station (offering books and CDs, camping gear, photographic equipment, cosmetics, gifts) are open until 8PM daily. Large shopping centres and department stores are open on Sundays about once a month (usually the first Sunday, right after everyone gets paid) and more often during peak sale periods. The immigrant-owned grocery stores on Nørrebrogade on [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]] also tend to be open until very late in the evening.  
 
Laws limit opening hours for most shops, officially to the benefit of the staff, although the "closing law" (Lukkeloven) is facing increasing unpopularity among locals. But until the opposition grows loud enough, most shops will close around M-F 5-6PM on weekdays, around 4PM on Saturdays, and rarely will anything be open on Sundays, including supermarkets! For '''out-of-hours shopping''' (apart from the ubiquitous 7-11 and small kiosks), the shops at Central Station (offering books and CDs, camping gear, photographic equipment, cosmetics, gifts) are open until 8PM daily. Large shopping centres and department stores are open on Sundays about once a month (usually the first Sunday, right after everyone gets paid) and more often during peak sale periods. The immigrant-owned grocery stores on Nørrebrogade on [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]] also tend to be open until very late in the evening.  
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For '''Hotels''' consider the '''Cab Inn''' [http://cabinn.com/] chain that has three hotels in Copenhagen. One is just a short walk away from Tivoli and Kobenhavn H and the other two are at Frederiksberg. Rooms go from €71 (single) to €103 (triples). The rooms are quite small but have TVs and private showers and toilets. If you are attracted to your own sex, you should be pleased to know that there are several cheap hotels specifically catering to gays and lesbians — Carsten's Guest House [http://carstensguesthouse.dk] and Copenhagen Rainbow [http://copenhagen-rainbow.dk] are two of them. In the very city center, just 500 meters from Tivoli on the mainstreet of Vesterbrogade there is a few other fairly priced options for accommodation, the Loeven hotel [http://loevenhotel.dk], the Savoy Hotel [http://savoyhotel.dk], prices around €80 for a twin room. A little further out following a side street on your left hand side, in Absalonsgade you will a youthhostel, also fairly priced allthough quite noisy.
 
For '''Hotels''' consider the '''Cab Inn''' [http://cabinn.com/] chain that has three hotels in Copenhagen. One is just a short walk away from Tivoli and Kobenhavn H and the other two are at Frederiksberg. Rooms go from €71 (single) to €103 (triples). The rooms are quite small but have TVs and private showers and toilets. If you are attracted to your own sex, you should be pleased to know that there are several cheap hotels specifically catering to gays and lesbians — Carsten's Guest House [http://carstensguesthouse.dk] and Copenhagen Rainbow [http://copenhagen-rainbow.dk] are two of them. In the very city center, just 500 meters from Tivoli on the mainstreet of Vesterbrogade there is a few other fairly priced options for accommodation, the Loeven hotel [http://loevenhotel.dk], the Savoy Hotel [http://savoyhotel.dk], prices around €80 for a twin room. A little further out following a side street on your left hand side, in Absalonsgade you will a youthhostel, also fairly priced allthough quite noisy.
  
Another alternative is to rent your own apartment, which can save you some money especially if you are traveling as a group. The rental company Apartment in Copenhagen [http://www.apartmentincopenhagen.com] rents out private apartments around the city from 85 Euros per night.
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Another on-the-rise alternative is to rent your own apartment, which can save you some money, especially if you are traveling as a group. People rent out their private homes through various websites and here you will be able to find a room or apartment for rent in all price ranges. It can be as cheap as staying in a hostel, but you get a fully equipped apartment that has authentic homely atmosphere.
  
 
==Contact==  
 
==Contact==  
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Copenhagen used to be one of the safest cities in the world and while the situation has deteriorated in recent years, it is still quite safe compared to other cities of the same size. Like any metropolitan area, Copenhagen does experience its share of crimes and recent times have seen an increase in very violent gang-related crimes on Nørrebro. While crime against strangers is mostly of the non-violent type, such as pickpocketing and petty theft, one should take precautions, in particular around busy tourist attractions, in train stations and inside the train to the airport. Due to gang-related conflict, extra precaution is advised in the neighbourhood of [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]] and in the [[Copenhagen/Vestegnen|western suburbs]], i.e., those municipalities located to the west of Copenhagen proper. However there is no evidence that gang members have targeted tourists.
 
Copenhagen used to be one of the safest cities in the world and while the situation has deteriorated in recent years, it is still quite safe compared to other cities of the same size. Like any metropolitan area, Copenhagen does experience its share of crimes and recent times have seen an increase in very violent gang-related crimes on Nørrebro. While crime against strangers is mostly of the non-violent type, such as pickpocketing and petty theft, one should take precautions, in particular around busy tourist attractions, in train stations and inside the train to the airport. Due to gang-related conflict, extra precaution is advised in the neighbourhood of [[Copenhagen/Nørrebro|Nørrebro]] and in the [[Copenhagen/Vestegnen|western suburbs]], i.e., those municipalities located to the west of Copenhagen proper. However there is no evidence that gang members have targeted tourists.
  
While '''racism''' is nowhere as rampant as certain reports will have you believe, it can occasionally be a problem for people of African or Middle Eastern descent. However, the only place you are likely to encounter this as a tourist is in the city's nightlife. If you are unfortunate enough to experience racism, it is important not to get yourself involved in a heated argument, as people who have not seen the incident will usually be quick to support the offender. This is due to a surge of problems with violence related to gangs within immigrant communities, who feel alienated by a closely knit Danish society. Walk away instead, and if you feel a need to react, report the incident to authorities who are required to investigate such cases [http://www.registrerdiskrimination.kk.dk/?sc_lang=en]. Other ethnic groups on the other hand, are not likely to encounter any problems. Of course, prudence in behavior and politeness will in most cases avert any problems and present you as the offended party, not the offender. In fact, educated Danes in major cities will in many cases interfere and defend ethnic minorities experiencing discrimination.
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While '''racism''' is nowhere as rampant as certain reports will have you believe, it can occasionally be a problem for people of African or Middle Eastern descent. However, the only place you are likely to encounter this as a tourist is in the city's nightlife. If you are unfortunate enough to experience racism, it is important not to get yourself involved in a heated argument, as people who have not seen the incident will usually be quick to support the offender. This is due to a surge of problems with violence related to gangs within immigrant communities, who feel alienated by a closely knit Danish society. Walk away instead, and if you feel a need to react, report the incident to authorities who are required to investigate such cases [http://www.registrerdiskrimination.kk.dk/?sc_lang=en]. Other ethnic groups on the other hand, are not likely to encounter any problems. Of course, prudence in behavior and politeness will in most cases avert any problems and present you as the offended party, not the offender. In fact, some Danes in major cities will in many cases interfere and defend ethnic minorities experiencing discrimination.
  
 
== Stay healthy ==
 
== Stay healthy ==

Revision as of 16:43, 30 August 2013

View from Rundetårn
Copenhagen is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Copenhagen (Danish: København) [1] is the capital of Denmark and what a million Danes call home. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to be a metropolis with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet still small enough to be intimate, safe and easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. This is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with cold electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You'll feel you've seen it all in a day, but could keep on discovering more for months.

Contents

Districts

If entering the city by car through the highways, you won't meet a citylimit-sign, saying just "København"(Copenhagen), but instead there stands "Storkøbenhavn", which means Greater Copenhagen. While the traditional Copenhagen is centered in a small area just around the water-way between Zealand and Amager, consisting of some different small boroughs, all together with at least 500.000 inhabitants, Copenhagen has through the fingerplan since the end of WWII expanded across other towns, which today are distinctive municipalities, all together creating the greater Copenhagen area, giving the whole city the 1 million population mark. What's very notable of this is the town of Frederiksberg, which is part of Greater Copenhagen, but actually a city of it's own, inside Copenhagen(the 5th largest in Denmark). Other of these municipalities are too numerous to explain as every single district, so they are just summed up as whole suburban areas, like the boroughs of the city core:

Districts in Copenhagen
Indre By
Centrum, The Medieval city - a place of many names, but it is the historical heart of Copenhagen, dotted with church spires, historic buildings, narrow alleys and excellent shopping.
Christianshavn
Originally laid out as a working class neighbourhood 300 years ago, it is now a thriving area notable for its many canals. The Freetown of Christiania is situated in the eastern section of Christianshavn, along with the old naval area, turned trendy: Holmen.
Vesterbro
This district has evolved tremendously in recent years and is now one of the hippest places to live, with cafes and bars dotted along its main artery, Istedgade.
Frederiksberg
A small town which originally formed around Frederiksberg castle, this area is still a separate municipality. Literally surrounded by the City of Copenhagen, it has preserved a special conservative, upscale feel.
Nørrebro
One of the most vibrant parts of Copenhagen, especially along the main artery, Nørrebrogade, with a mix of immigrants, students, and original working-class Nørrebro-inhabitants.
Østerbro
A cozy neighbourhood north of the center. Less vibrant than Nørrebro and Vesterbro, and less quaint than Frederiksberg, it is the home of the famous Little Mermaid statue, and the beautifully preserved Kastellet citadel. The area west of the train track is very popular with young families with small children to live in.
Amager
Once a bastion of the working class, this island with its own distinct atmosphere is booming with new development. Also home of the airport.
Northern suburbs
A visit to these green suburbs and Dyrehavsbakken, — the world's oldest running amusement park; Frilandsmuseet — the world's largest open air museum; or canoeing down the Mill River, will leave no doubt that this is an altogether different kind of suburbia. It is often colloquially known to locals as the "whisky belt", due to its often well-heeled residents.
Vestegnen
The suburbs west and south of the city, short on attractions apart from the good Arken art museum, it has some good beaches and camping opportunities.

Understand

History

If you had dropped by Copenhagen in the eleventh century you would have found yourself looking over a quite small fishing hamlet, with some lazy cattle gazing back at you while chewing fresh green grass from the meadows around the village. Looking east you would see a host of small islets protecting the small fishing harbour from harsh weather — really not the worst place to found a city. If you would rather trust the written word than the archaeologists, the earliest accounts date from the twelfth century, when a bearded clerk (or a renowned historian if you will) called Saxo Gramaticus scribbled down a few lines about the place, Portus Mercatorum, he called it, which was really just a fancy Latin version of Købmannahavn. This has since been mangled into København in modern Danish, and even further mangled into Copenhagen in English, but all it really means is "merchant harbour."

Around 1160 AD, King Valdemar handed over control of the city to the archbishop of Roskilde, Absalon, one of the most colourful characters of the Middle Ages — a curious mix of great churchman, statesman, and warrior. As the country's only city not under the king's control, Absalon saw it thrive and erected a castle on what is today Slotsholmen (the remains are still visible in the catacombs under the present day parliament). As a man of religion he also built a great church, and with those necessities taken care of, Copenhagen quickly gained importance as a natural stop between the two most important Danish cities, the old royal capital Roskilde and Lund in present day Sweden. Endowed with an enviable location on the banks of the important Øresund Strait, it slowly but steadily surpassed the old urban centers. Copenhagen's rise was greatly aided by entrepreneurial trading with friends and foes alike and by prosperous fishing which provided much of Roman Catholic Europe with salted herring for Lent. But with prosperity comes envy and in the years to follow Copenhagen was laid waste and pillaged time and time again, mainly by the German Hanseatic League, which at one point completely destroyed the city.

Wonderful Copenhagen?
In case you are wondering about exactly what is so wonderful about Copenhagen, the city's motto is taken from the Frank Loesser song Wonderful Copenhagen featured in the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen. Sung by Danny Kaye it's a bit of an evergreen, and not accustomed to Hollywood attention the city has stuck to it ever since — what also seems to have stuck is the pronunciation, but don't listen to old Danny, it's koh-pehn-HAY-gehn not koh-pehn-HAH-gehn.


But like a phoenix, Copenhagen repeatedly rose from the ashes. When the Danes kicked out the Pope during the reformation, Roskilde lost its importance as a Roman bishopric and after taking control of the city twenty years earlier, the king moved his residence to Copenhagen. Not terribly keen on seeing their new capital laid waste once more, successive kings built massive fortifications around the city. None more so than King Christian IV, who embarked on a building rampage which not only included the ramparts still visible throughout much of the city but also many present day landmarks like the Round Tower and the stock exchange. Since then Copenhagen was besieged by the Swedes, and then famously bombarded, set ablaze, and nearly destroyed by the British vice admiral Lord Nelson, who in one of two battles for Copenhagen, famously responded to the order to withdraw by saying "You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes," and then raised the telescope to his blind eye and touted "I really do not see the signal."

Again, the city shook off its struggles and the population mushroomed during industrialization. When a cholera epidemic did a fine job of killing nearly everyone there wasn't room for, the King finally conceded that long range cannons would render its constraining walls irrelevant, and thus allowed the city to grow outside the now antiquated ramparts. But it was not long before a new modern fortification was built (known as Vestvolden today), which made Copenhagen Europe's most fortified city of the late nineteenth century.

After being subjected to yet another invasion during WWII, the whole idea of a fortified city was thrown out the window and replaced with one of the finest examples of urban planning anywhere — the Finger Plan. Copenhagen is one of few cities in the world to devise a long term plan for growth and then actually stick to it; try placing your hand over a map of Copenhagen with the palm as the city centre, and it's quite obvious why it's called the finger plan. Despite being the laughingstock of the country through the seventies and eighties when wealthy residents all moved out into the fingers, leaving behind an impoverished bankrupt city, a visit these days will prove that the Phoenix has risen once more.

Literature

  • Pelle the Conqueror (Martin Andersen Nexø, 1906-10). An epic novel in three parts and an integral part of the Danish school curriculum portraying the life of two poor Swedish immigrants — a father and son. The two last volumes take place in Copenhagen and describe the rise and the conflicts of the labour movement and global socialism which are so crucial to understanding Danish society today. All in all, it's a very good historical account of life in the city during that period, and above all, a good book.
  • Smilla's Sense of Snow (Peter Høeg, 1992). Dive into Denmark's curious post-colonial history in this international best seller. Partly set in Copenhagen, partly in Greenland, you are whirled through a murder mystery by Ms. Smilla, a half Danish Inuit brought up in poor Greenland, but now living in the kingdom's affluent and orderly capital. It is a good account of the conflicts and contrasts between two very different parts of the Kingdom, and it offers some spot-on social critique of Danish society in a very engaging way.
  • The Copenhagen Quartet (Thomas E. Kennedy). Four independent novels totaling well over a thousand pages. Each book is set against the backdrop of one of the four distinct seasons of the Danish capital: Kerrigan's Copenhagen (2002), Bluett's Blue Hours (2003), Greene's Summer (2004), and Danish Fall (2005). The novelist, an American expat, somewhat autobiographically portrays an American writer trying to come to terms with his past with the help of Copenhagen's many bars, with the Danish capital as the co-star. All of the places described in the books are real places that you can go discover.

Climate

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 2 2 5 10 15 19 20 20 17 12 7 4
Nightly lows (°C) -2 -2 -1 2 7 11 13 13 10 7 3 0
Precipitation (mm) 46 30 39 39 42 52 68 64 60 56 61 56

Averages of Copenhagen between 1961-90

Copenhagen, as in the rest of Denmark, has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is definitely the warm period from early May to late August. The current weather forecast can be checked at the Danish Meteorological Institute website [2].

Spring, while a bit risky, as no one knows quite when it sets in, can be the best time to visit the city. On the first warm day, usually in early May, Copenhageners come out of hibernation and flock to the city streets, parks, and outdoor cafes in a veritable explosion of life, relieved that the country's dreary and dark winters are finally over. Many locals consider this the high-point of the year.

Summers in Copenhagen are usually warm with an average temperature of some twenty degrees, and the days are long — reaching the a peak of eighteen hours on the 21st of June. If the weather becomes too hot, you can jump in one of the free pools in the cool harbour waters near the centre. Copenhagen's harbor is often considered the world's cleanest urban waterfront. Most of Copenhagen's annual events are held during June and July, and when the sun is out there is always life in the streets.

Autumn and winter have a profound effect on the city. The vibrant summer life withers and the streets go quiet, as most Copenhageners go directly home from work. This is where the Danish concept of hygge sets in, roughly translating into coziness. It is the local way of dealing with the short dark days. Friends and families visit each other for home cooking and conversations by candlelight with quiet music on the stereo. In week 42 the Danes have an autumn holiday, with many events taking place, such as the night of culture. The height of winter is December, where Christmas brings some relief to the short days, with lights and decorations everywhere, in the streets, shops and in peoples' windows. Tivoli opens its doors for the Christmas markets, and most Danes go on a drinking rampage, with the very Danish and traditional Christmas lunches, with work and family.

People

Being a small big city in a mostly agricultural land, the Copenhageners are mostly ordinary Danes with a big city attitude, which gives the city a more provincial feel. It is still a mix of different people from a lot of places in the World, mostly Danes from other parts of Denmark, a few people from the neighboring countries(germans and swedes) and many Middle Eastern immigrants. The whole city-area is still yet divided in wealth, with the more wealthy inhabitants in the North and inner City neighborhood and the Middleclass and less well-off people in the other neighborhoods south and west and on Amager. This is usually characterized by neighborhoods consisting of both normal parcel houses and larger apartment-building complexes close to each other. Despite the stereotypes, as with most danes the Copenhageners are friendly and happy to help tourists.

Tourist information

Copenhagen's official tourist agency is Wonderful Copenhagen

  • Copenhagen Right Now, Vesterbrogade 4A (Across from Tivoli's main entrance, near the central station), +45 70 22 24 42 (, fax: 45 70 22 24 52), [3]. Jan-Apr M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM; May-June M-Sa 9AM-6PM; July-Aug M-Sa 9AM-8PM,Su 10AM-6PM; Sep M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Oct-Dec M-F 9AM-4PM,Sa 9AM-2PM.

Get in

By plane

Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport [4] (CPH) on Amager is the hub for Scandinavia's largest international carrier SAS — Scandinavian Airlines [5]. Kastrup Airport consistently gets high marks for both design and function — this is a much more pleasant place for transit than, say, London Heathrow or Frankfurt and several carriers service direct intercontinental routes to Copenhagen, including; Air Canada, Delta, Egypt Air, PIA, Qatar Airways, Thai, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. Check-in lines can get long during peak hours however, so make sure to allocate extra time in the summer. Self-service check-in counters are available, which can cut down on wait times.

A number of low-cost carriers also fly to the airport. EasyJet [6] serves Copenhagen from London Stansted, London Gatwick, Manchester, Milan, Geneva, Paris CDG and Berlin Schönefeld. Air Berlin [7] flies direct to Düsseldorf, Berlin and Palma de Mallorca. Norwegian [8] offers budget flights to (amongst others) to Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris, Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw.

It takes twelve minutes by train to get from Kastrup to the central station (Hovedbanegården) in the city centre. You need a ticket for three zones which can be purchased from one of the automated vending machines or the ticket counter located inside the atrium and costs 36 Kr for a single journey and valid for 75 minutes from the time of purchase. The Copenhagen Metro [9] also connects Kastrup with central Copenhagen, with trains leaving every four minutes during the day and every fifteen minutes at night, taking fourteen minutes to the city center (for the same ticket and price of 36.00 Kr).

The airport has different stations for mainline trains (Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup Station) and for the metro (Lufthavnen Station), both are located within Terminal 3. Another metro station is named Kastrup but has nothing to do with the airport although it is relatively close.

For more details, see this subject under the district Amager.

Consider Sturup Airport (MMX) in Malmö, Sweden as well — it's only 40 minutes by bus from central Malmö, and from there 30 minutes by train to Copenhagen Central Station. Wizzair [10] from Budapest, Gdansk, Katowice, and Warszawa and a few domestic airlines often offer cheap flights to other Swedish cities. There is one daily direct bus by Gråhundbus (http://www.graahundbus.dk/7-besk.htm) which coincides with Ryanair schedules. For other airlines (different arrival and departure times) your other options are: https://www.p-airbus.com and http://www.neptunbus.dk/en. Consider the price of transfer as most low cost destinations served at Sturup are also available at Kastrup Airport.

By train

Train waiting at Copenhagen Central station

Links between the capital and the rest of the country are frequent and excellent. There are several trains each hour to Malmö and further to Lund and Gothenburg. There are 12 daily connections on weekdays to Stockholm. Further train services exist in the direction of Karlskrona and Kalmar. There are six fast connections to Hamburg and one to Berlin. Night trains exist for Amsterdam, Köln, Frankfurt, Basel and Prague.

From the rest of Denmark connections are frequent and numerous. In Jutland several railway branches from Aarhus/Aalborg in the North, Struer in the north-west, Esbjerg to the west, and finally Sønderborg in the south convene in Fredericia, where they connect to a main line with up to four intercity trains per hour, divided into Express and Intercity trains, which runs across Funen before crossing the Great Belt (Storebælt). From there it reaches across the length of Zealand before terminating at Copenhagen's central station. If you are going in the reverse direction without a seat reservation, be mindful that the train is often broken up at Fredericia to serve the different branches, so if you don't have seat reservation, it's a bad idea just picking a random carriage in Copenhagen. All cross belt trains are operated by DSB (Danish State Railways [11]).

From the island of Bornholm, a high speed ferry shuttles passengers to Ystad in Sweden, where the IC-Bornholm train awaits the ferry to shuttle passengers to final stretch to Copenhagen, the whole trip takes little over three hours, and a one-way combined ferry/train ticket will set you back 245 Kr.

Across the Øresund strait in Sweden, the Øresundstog [12] trains departs from various towns in Southern Sweden, and via Lund and Malmö crosses the Øresund fixed link to Copenhagen, with a stop at the airport. The journey time from Malmö to the central station is 25 minutes and trains run every ten minutes all day on this stretch, and every hour during the night. A one way ticket between Malmö and Copenhagen is 107 Kr. Swedish Railways [13] operates up to eight X2000 express trains from Stockholm every day (5 hours). An easy change in Malmö almost doubles that number and also gives you the option of a night train connection.

To continental Europe, German InterCityExpress (ICE) and Danish EuroCity (EC) trains connect Hamburg with Copenhagen, up to six times per day; two of those trains run directly from Berlin daily. The base fare is €46 from Berlin and €33 from Hamburg. There are also night train connections from Munich (fourteen hours), Basel (fifteen hours), Amsterdam (fifteen hours) and Prague (sixteen hours) operated by the German railways (Deutsche Bahn [14]).

By bus

The eight kilometre Øresund bridge leading to Malmö in Sweden

Buses between Jutland and Copenhagen are only marginally cheaper than the train, although there are considerable discounts offered M-Th. International buses on the other hand offer considerably lower prices than the train. Which, however, has been prioritized politically, and Copenhagen therefore still lacks an intercity bus terminal. Most international buses stop somewhere around the Central Station (usually next to DGI-byen), but be sure to check the exact location when you buy your ticket. Domestic long-distance buses mostly terminate at Toftegårds Plads, near Valby station in the Vesterbro district.

From Jutland bus number 888 connects Copenhagen with Aarhus and Aalborg several times per day. Journey time is five hours and fifteen minutes from Aalborg. On Zealand there are additional stops in Holbæk and Roskilde. Line 882 runs between Copenhagen and Fjerritslev in Northwestern Jutland once every day.

  • Abildskou, M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 8AM-2PM, Su 9AM-5PM, +45 70 21 08 88, [15].

Links from Scandinavia are fairly frequent and very economical compared to the train. Most buses arrive and depart from DGI Byen, near the southern overpass of the central station. Passengers are generally encouraged to buy tickets online, but tickets can also be be purchased at the Copenhagen Right Now tourist information desk near the central station. In the winter (Dec-Apr) Fjällexpressen [16] whisks skiers between Copenhagen and the Swedish ski resorts. When booking online, it's useful to know that Copenhagen is called Köpenhamn in Swedish.

  • GoByBus, +45 33 23 54 20 (), [17]. M-F 7:30AM-6PM, Sa 7:30AM-5PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Oslo (8½ hrs) via Gothenburg (4½ hrs) ~ 225 Kr, line 300..
  • Gråhundbus, [18]. Local operator [Greyhound Bus] with several daily connections to Malmö and once daily to Malmö Airport. Also works with partners elsewhere to Europe.
  • Swebus Express, +46 0771-218 218 (), [19]. M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Oslo (9 hrs) via Gotenburg (5 hrs) ~ 300 SEK, line 820; Stockholm (9 hrs) via Jonköping (4½ hrs) ~ 350 SEK, line 832..

From Europe there are several bus companies which offer numerous daily connections from Germany often at very competitive rates, most run via the ferries from Rødby to Puttgarden or Gedser to Rostock. Many of these services, especailly if headed to points East such as Berlin, are considerably faster than the best train connections. Most of these buses stops near DGI byen on Ingerslevsgade.

  • Swebus Express, +45 80 70 33 00 (), [20]. M-F 8AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-3PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Tickets sold at the central tourist information desk. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (7½ hrs) via Rostock (4½ hrs) ~450 SEK, line 902. [21].
  • Berolina, +30 88568030 (), [22]. (Gråhundbus ☎ +45 44 68 44 00, [23] in Denmark) Tickets are sold in the bus, but advance booking is recommended.This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (8 hrs) via Rostock (4 hrs) ~300 Kr (€40), line E55. [24].
  • Eurolines, Halmtorvet 5, +45 33 88 70 00, [25]. Daily 9AM-5PM. Tickets are sold in their office or online, in Hamburg there are connecting buses to Amsterdam and Paris. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches [26]. Most services out of Denmark have 230v plugs and wifi is avaible in Germany. Berlin (7 hrs) ~300 Kr, line 260R; Hamburg (6 hrs) via Lübeck (5 hrs) ~300 Kr, line 210.
  • Bohemian Lines, +420 416 810 054 (), [27]. Daily 8AM-8PM. Only operator welcoming bicycles to Berlin and onward for a small fee, reserve in advance. Prague (13 hrs, twice weekly via Berlin, and onwards to Brno ) ~1450 CZK (€55).
  • Autoprevoz, +387 51 317 333 (), [28]. Banja Luka (25 hrs, twice weekly) ~ 300 BAM (€150)
  • Toptourist, +45 48 25 38 37 (), [29]. Tickets can be paid on the bus, but advance booking and payment is recommended. Sarajevo via Salzburg (twice weekly) ~1000 Kr (€140) return.
The Oslo ferry docked at the DFDS terminal in the Østerbro district

From and to Poland there are a host of different bus companies each with a few weekly scheduled departures. Unfortunately the market is very fluid and routes and operators tend to change rapidly. Try Baltic Bus [30] for twice weekly connections with Gdańsk (25h30m). Agat [31] provides four round trips per week between Copenhagen and Katowice (20 hrs) in Southern Poland, and Eurobus [32] for connections with Warsaw (20 hrs via Hamburg) once per week. If any of these companies have shut down, try searching for alternatives, as there is a good chance someone else will have taken over the traffic.

By ferry or cruise ship

Ferries between Copenhagen and Oslo, Norway (16 hrs, daily; DFDS [33]). Copenhagen's spanking new ferry terminal is near Nordhavn station, and special shuttle buses (the E20 line), timed with the ferries, run between the terminal and the Kongens Nytorv square in the city centre. The previous service to Świnoujście in Poland was recently retired, but it's still possible to catch a ferry from Ystad about an hours drive from Copenhagen (bridge toll included in the ticket) or by the 4.59 PM IC Bornholm train. DFDS Seaways also run a ferry from England to Denmark,[34] Esbjerg where you can drive to Copenhagen in about 3 hours.

If you are arriving under your own sail, Copenhagen has several marinas, the biggest of which is Svanemøllehavnen [35]. There are no designated visitor berths but it is almost always possible to find one with a green sign. Daily charge: 75-120 Kr. Copenhagen is also a very popular port of call for cruises touring both the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian fjords. The port is located north of the Little Mermaid statue and is a forty minute walk from the centre (Tivoli Gardens).

Get around

Map of S-train (sans Metro) in the Copenhagen area, as of December 2011 (current)
Map of harbour bus lines in the canals and inner habour, with districts marked in the background (pre-October 2011, not current)

The two big hubs are Central Station (da: Hovedbanegården/København H) with S-trains, intercity trains and buses, and Nørreport Station with S-trains, metro, regional trains and buses. Travel by train, bus and metro can be scheduled electronically through rejseplanen.dk [36].

Tickets and the zone system

All public transport in Copenhagen, as well as the rest of the country, operates on a zone system. The smallest ticket is the two-zone ticket which costs 24 Kr for adults (12 Kr for children under the age of sixteen), and can be purchased from ticket offices, vending machines and bus drivers. Two children under the age of eleven can travel for free with one paying adult. It allows you to travel around Copenhagen in two zones (the zone where you stamped or purchased the ticket plus one adjacent zone) for one hour. You can switch freely between all trains, Metro, and buses within this hour, as long as your last trip starts before the time is up (your ticket will be timestamped in fifteen minute intervals).

The range of a single zone can be roughly translated to around seven minutes in the Metro or fifteen minutes in a bus, but always check the zone maps in the stations, some stations are closer to zone borders than others. Ask locals if help is needed, as the zone system can be complex for visitors. Night buses work all night (1AM-5AM daily) and the price of ticket is the same as during the day.

A ten-trip klippekort gives you a discount of around forty percent and can be bought in kiosks and ticket offices. Note that these cards are being phased out and will no longer be sold after 30, June 2013 this is done to promote the electronic rejsekort system which is already in use. Old klipperkort can still be used for one more year. You can also purchase a day pass starting at 130 Kr Alternatively, buy a Copenhagen Card [37], which gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs 229 Kr for 24 hours, 459 Kr for 72 hours. Note that on Sundays and Mondays many museums are either free or closed, thus possibly making the card of less value on those days.

For regional trains, S-tog and Metro a ticket must be bought and timestamped before boarding the trains. For buses, tickets can be bought from the driver but not klippekort which must be purchased beforehand. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket is 750 Kr (600 Kr for buses) and ticket conductors are common both in S-trains and Metro. More information about price and tickets at movia [38].

There is yet another unified and electronic (relatively new) alternative, if one does not want to strive with the zone system. It is called Rejsekort (Travel-card) [39].

By S-Tog

The S-train service ([40], Danish only, schedule [41]) is the backbone of the city's public transit system, and is very similar to the German S-Bahn networks and the Parisian RER system. The distinct red trains are clean, modern, and equipped with free WiFi. The system runs from early morning to late night, each line in ten minute intervals during the day (M-F 6AM-6PM) and at twenty minute intervals in the early morning and late at night. In the weekends, the trains run once an hour at night (except the F-line which runs twice an hour at night) and some of the lines are extended. Since most lines join on a single railway line through the city centre, there are only a couple of minutes of waiting between each train in the inner districts. The F and C-lines are exceptions, the F line does a half loop outside the central area, with trains every five minutes throughout most of the day. The C-line is extended to Frederikssund during day time, but scaled back to Ballerup at other times. Loudspeaker announcements regarding S-trains are given in Danish and English.

By metro

The Copenhagen Metro [42] runs from Vanløse through the city centre and branches to either the new-town of Ørestad or to the airport. The Metro has no timetable and between Vanløse and Christianshavn trains run with a four minute interval (two minutes during peak hours). It runs nonstop at night with fifteen minute intervals. The trains run automatically and are without drivers, so the doors will close at a given time, even if all waiting passengers have not entered the train. Wait for the next train instead of trying to squeeze through in the last second.

By bus

While most locals opt for bikes, Copenhagen does have a fairly extensive and efficient bus network [43]. It can be troublesome, though, for visitors to figure out what line to take to their destination as there is little in the way of network maps available at bus stops and schedules rarely include the entire route. There are several types of bus available: regular buses are simply denoted by their number, A buses are the backbone of the city's bus network which consists of six different lines with frequent departures and stops. During the day time there are no schedules as buses depart every two to six minutes. Many stops do have a small electronic display showing how many minutes are left until the next bus arrives. S buses are long express services with few stops and extend far into the suburbs, usually across the radial suburban train network or along corridors with no rail service. They can also be useful between points in the centre as they are faster than other lines. E buses are express rush-hour services of little use to travelers as they mainly service commuters. One exception is line 20E which runs between the central square Kongens Nytorv and the DFDS (Oslo/Szczecin ferries) and cruise terminals. N buses are a network of ten bus lines operating at night between 1AM-5AM daily, when normal traffic is halted, and they are much more frequent at weekends.

For sightseeing the city has recently introduced a new CityCirkel bus [44], specially geared towards tourists. It runs a circle around the inner city stopping at many of the main attractions. The small eco-friendly electric buses runs every seven minutes (M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 11AM-3PM) and can be hailed whenever one passes by if there are green dots on the the curb. On streets with heavy traffic they also use regular bus stops. You use the same tickets as all other public buses and trains. CitySightseeing [45] runs three hop-on hop-off tours around the city (map) in open-top double-decker buses. The main line leaves every 30 minutes, while the two other lines depart every hour in high season (Jun-Aug). Outside the peak season, services are halved. The price is 150 Kr for a one day ticket or 220 Kr for a two day ticket which also includes the DFDS canal tour boats.

By boat

The canal tour boats, here seen docking in Nyhavn, are an excellent way to see many of the city's attractions

Going on a canal tour of the inner harbour and canals is an excellent and easy way to see many of the city's attractions, and fortunately there are many options depending on your taste and preferences. DFDS Canal Tours operates both a unguided hop-on hop-off service, branded as the water bus, arranged into three circular trips at the northern, central and southern part of the inner harbour and canals. They also have three guided tours, either by a pre-recorded tape available in many languages, or live English & Danish commentary by a guide. Be forewarned though, after 75 minutes this can get a bit loud if you are not normally attracted to this sort of tourism. Netto-bådene offers a single fixed tour, but at a much lower price. Please note that services are scaled back considerably between October and mid-March. If you are visiting during winter, you might want to opt for DFDS' red guided tour, as it offers a heated, glass-roofed boat at this time of the year. Both companies offer starting points in either Nyhavn or Gammel Strand (opposite the parliament). A different option is the public harbour bus, which, while it doesn't enter the canals, is much faster and is an integrated part of the public transportation system using the same tickets as buses and trains.

  • DFDS Canal Tours, Nyhavn 3, +45 32 96 30 00 (), [46]. 9.30AM-8PM. Waterbus (unguided): Single 40 Kr, All day 60 Kr; Tour (guided): Single 60 Kr, All day 75 Kr. Various discounts available.
  • Netto-bådene, Heibergsgade (Nyhavn), +45 32 54 41 02, [47]. 10AM-5PM (7PM in July & August). 40 Kr.
  • Movia, Customer center at Rådhuspladen, +45 36 13 14 15, [48]. 7AM-7PM. Uses public ticketing system.

An option you may want to consider is a Freedom ticket which for 220 Kr gives unlimited transportation for two days on both all the DFDS Canal Tour boats, as well as the double-decker sightseeing buses of Copenhagen City Sightseeing.

By bicycle

The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Copenhagen is on a bike. Forty percent of Copenhageners use their bike everyday and the city has been designed to cater for cyclists with separate bicycle lanes on most larger roads. Cyclists are often allowed to ride both ways in one-way streets. Be careful if you are not used to biking in a busy city as this is a common means of daily transportation and the locals drive fast and without room for much leeway. Don't expect to get a warning when someone wants to overtake you. Always keep to the right and look behind you before you overtake someone — otherwise you could cause some nasty accidents.

As an alternative to the city bikes you can rent a bike and these are far more comfortable. The best company to rent bikes from is Bikify [49]. Their website is very easy to use and the company is very easy to deal with. Their tours and bikes are also very cheap compared to the rest of the market which is why the company is the preferred one in Denmark.

By taxi

Taxis are abundant throughout the city and of a very high standard — usually a Mercedes or BMW. They are pricey though, and the wait to get one can be long on a Friday or Saturday night. You can hail a taxi on the street or call for one to come pick you up at a specific address at a specific time for a small extra fee (12-15 Kr). At crucial traffic junctures throughout the city, there are special areas where taxis hold in line to pick up customers. Except for a very long trip, it is not common (or recommended) to haggle about the price. If you wish to pay with a credit card, you must present it for the driver at the beginning of the trip. All taxis accept major international credit cards and most will accept Euro cash payment and some even list prices in Euros on the meter. Sometimes taxi drivers request you to withdraw money in an ATM when paying with card, this is mostly a scam to do the trip off-license.

Copenhagen Taxi companies

  • Amager-Øbro Taxi (Central Copenhagen) +45 32 51 51 51
  • DanTaxi (Central Copenhagen) +45 70 25 25 25
  • Taxa 4x35 (Central Copenhagen) +45 35 35 35 35
  • Taxa Selandia (Southern suburbs) +45 70 10 66 66
  • Taxinord (Northern and western suburbs) +45 48 48 48 48

Prices range 11-16 Kr per kilometer depending on the time of day and the meter flag-fall charge is 25 Kr. Generally you can trust taxis with both prices and the route taken. Because of the high flag-fall charge, it can be better financially for taxi drivers to have many trips rather than long trips, so it is therefore often in their own interest to take the shortest route.

See

Complete listings can be found in the appropriate district articles

Entrance to most museums is free once a week, mainly on Wednesdays. You can always count on the principal attractions to be well signed in English and German and for these places to be generally geared towards tourists. A good tip to see whether a smaller museum caters to non-Danish speakers, is to check whether the website has an English section. If it does, this usually means the museum has at least some English information throughout its exhibitions. Of course if you have some interest in a particular subject, such museums can be interesting even if you don't understand the sign-postings. As Danes are usually fairly fluent in English, you can always try to ask staff if they could give you a brief tour.

Art

The winter Garden at Glyptoteket

If you are into the arts Copenhagen has a lot to offer and the natural starting point is a visit to the Danish National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst, free entry, 10 kr deposit for lockers) where you can feast your eyes on blockbusters from the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Matisse. There are a number of paintings by Danish artists from the "Golden Age." For more classical art, visit Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (adult 75 kr, 20 kr or €2 deposit for lockers). In addition to works by masters like Picasso, Leger, and Matisse, this spectacular building houses a large collection of classical statues and sculptures. The winter garden here is a beautiful place to rest your legs on a rainy day. Both of these museums are conveniently located in the centre, or Indre By area.

If you are hungry for even more classic art exhibitions, an excursion north of Copenhagen to the beautiful Ordrupgaard offers you a chance to enjoy Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Gauguin. There are several other options for classical paintings but if you are ready for a change, head south to the Arken Museum of Modern Art for a world class exhibition of contemporary art, mostly Scandinavian, as well as hugely popular temporary exhibitions. However the arguably best and most visited museum in Denmark is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art located in northern Zealand with a panoramic view across the Øresund. The museum frames the sculpture park facing the sea and the interaction between art, nature and the museum architecture is quite unique. Louisiana is an international museum with a considerable collection of modern art, and hugely popular temporary exhibitions.

If you want to enjoy some local color on an art tour, The Hirschsprung Collection in Østerbro features the top-of-the-pops of Danish artists, with a particular focus on the Skagen painters. For something quintessentially Danish, breeze through the wonderfully quirky sketches of the much-loved local personality Storm P at the aptly named Storm P museum on Frederiksberg.

Science & Natural history

The iconic tower of the Copenhagen zoo

If you want your vacation to be educational, or if you want to sneak some knowledge into the kids during the vacation, there are several options to consider. The best choice for kids is perhaps the hugely entertaining, and well renowned hands-on science museum, the Experimentarium north of Copenhagen. Another popular and well-renowned institution, is the Copenhagen Zoo on Frederiksberg, counting both among both the best and oldest zoos in Europe. If you are more into stationary animals, the Zoology museum on Østerbro offers a different perspective on the subject. Elsewhere on Østerbro, a little known attraction is a display of famous physicist Niels Bohr's study room, along with a setup of his experiments (but as this is not a museum, you should have more than passing interest in the subject to bother with them). City Cetre, the University of Copenhagen runs two adjacent science museums. The Geological museum where dinosaur fossils, moon rock, and glow in the dark minerals should spark some interest in the subject for even the most school-weary kid. The Botanical Gardens on the opposite side of the street is an excellent place for a stroll in the beautiful park, even if you are not botanically inclined, and the classical palm house is a nice place to relax if it is cold outside. In poor weather, Tycho Brahe Planetarium on Vesterbro is another option and is part planetarium with an interesting astronomy exhibition and part omnimax theatre where they usually screen science films.

Architecture

Rundetårn is one of the city's most iconic buildings

An excellent start to any visit to Copenhagen is to climb the unique 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the observation platform of Rundetårn (the Round tower), one of Copenhagen's most iconic buildings. It offers excellent views and is smack in the middle of the city. If that is not high enough for you head to Christianshavn for a climb up the circular stairs on the outside of the church spire of the Church of Our Saviour. It has always been regarded as something of a manhood test to climb up and touch the globe on the summit, nearly 100 meters up in the air. And now that you're in the area, head over to the opposite side of the street to Christiania, a self-governing community that has been squatting on an old naval area since the seventies. Their inventive, brightly coloured, home built houses are spectacular, as is the relaxed atmosphere — this is truly one of Copenhagen's most unique and best attractions. Due south of Christiania the old, crooked, brightly coloured buildings and soothing canals lined with masted ships make this an excellent place to continue a stroll. Other fine examples of classical architecture include the impressive City Hall and the massive dome of the Frederikskirken colloquially known as the Marble Church. This dome, with a span of 31 meters, is one of the largest in northern Europe. Both are in the Indre By area.

For real architecture buffs, the city's main claim to fame is the modernist architecture and its native masters. Jørn Utzon (of Sydney Opera House fame) and Son is behind a trio of buildings on Østerbro's northern harbour, known as the Paustian complex. There is a fine, but expensive restaurant in one of the buildings. You can enjoy Arne Jacobsen's work by either sleeping at, or taking in the atmosphere (and great views) of the top floor lounge bar at the Royal Hotel which is one of the very few tall buildings in the inner city. Alternatively, head north to Bellavista, a residential complex and theatre near the beach, where there is even a restaurant featuring his famous furniture and his name. Lastly Henning Larsen, famous for his iconic buildings in Riyadh, is behind Copenhagen's new Opera house overlooking the harbour in Christianshavn. From here you can also catch a view of Copenhagen's latest iconic contraption, the Royal library known to locals as the black diamond, after its shiny polished black granite walls.

For more recent development, consider checking out the neighboorhood Orestad on the island of Amager south of Downtown Copenhagen. It is a relatively young and still developing area, boasting several outstanding award-winning architectural projects along with an exemplary urban design master plan. The neighborhood is well connected through the Metro/Bus system, making all buildings very easy to reach.

List of notable buildings:

-8 House by BIG (Vestamager St Metro) -Bjerget by BIG (Bella Center St Metro) -VM House by BIG (Bella Center St Metro) -Winghouse by Henning Larsen (Orestad St Metro) -Bella Center by 3XN (Bella Center St Metro) -Orestad Gymnasium by 3XN (Orestad St Metro) -Copenhagen Concert hall by Jean Nouvel (DR Byen St Metro)

History

Visit the Nationalmuseet in Indre By for many exhibits relating to Danish history, Viking weapons, Inuit costumes and stone age tools. If you want something more local, the Museum of Copenhagen in Vesterbro has exhibitions on the city's development since the middle ages. Another option is Frilandsmuseet in the northern suburbs — a huge and attractive open air museum with old buildings collected from all over the country. Or for a live version of old Denmark, you can visit the old town of the tiny fishing hamlet of Dragør on the southern tip of Amager with its fantastic old yellow buildings and cobblestone streets. For something more off the beaten path, paddle up the small Mølleå river in the northern suburbs through charming old eighteenth and nineteenth century mills.

Royal Copenhagen

Amalienborg palace is Copenhagen's royal residence

The four identical classicist palaces of Amalienborg, make up the main residence of the Danish royal family. The octagonal courtyard in the centre is open to the public and guarded by the ceremonial Royal Guard. The relief takes place every day at noon and is a highlight for any royalist visiting the city. There is also a small royal museum on the premises. Rosenborg Palace is a small but pretty renaissance palace, surrounded by the lovely King's Garden which is one of the most lively parks of the city. The palace both serves as a museum of Royal history and as a home for the crown jewels which are on display in the catacombs beneath the castle. A closed-off wing of Rosenborg serves as barracks for the Royal Guard, and every day a detachment marches through the Copenhagen city center between Rosenborg and Amalienborg for the changing of the guard. Unusual for a well-founded democracy, the palace that houses the parliament, Christiansborg, is also a royal palace. It is usually possible to visit the Royal reception rooms, stables and the old court theatre here. And for entertainment of royal stature, you can try to arrange tickets to watch a play in the beautiful Royal Theatre facing Kings New Square. All of these sights are in the inner city. If you are hungry for more, head north, where the park around Sorgenfri palace is open to the public, or have a picnic on the huge open plains in front of the Eremitage Palace in the Dyrehaven park which formerly served as the king's hunting castle.

Design

Denmark is world-famous for its design tradition, and while the term Danish design has been devalued over the years due to much misuse, it is still a world-recognized brand. The natural starting point is a visit to the Danish Design Center in Indre By, with temporary and permanent exhibitions, showrooms, and workshops relating to the world of Danish design, in a building designed by famous architect Henning Larsen. Not too far away, Kunstindustrimuseet is home of a nice collection relating to the study of design and its history in Denmark. Also in the same district, Royal Copenhagen runs a museum display of its famous porcelain from the early beginnings at its flagship store. Meanwhile Cisterne on Frederiksberg is an enticing museum showing modern glass art, in the intriguing catacomb like cisterns under a large park. Meldahls Smedie on Christianshavn is run by the Royal Danish school of architecture, which organizes exhibitions including final projects from students of the school here.

Do

Beach life

Havnebadet, a large pool area in the clean waters of the inner harbour, is hugely popular on sunny days

In the inner harbour, water quality has improved so much in recent years that it is possible to go for a swim from early June to late August in one of the two harbour baths: Copencabana on Vesterbro or Havnebadet at Island Brygge on Amager. When it is sunny these are packed with people from all walks of life enjoying the sunshine and taking a dip. The municipal administration has put a lot of money and effort into the facilities and this is an excellent opportunity for blending with the locals at their best.

If you fancy a proper beach, the closest are located at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund and the newly erected Amager Strandpark (The Lagoon), on Amager near the Lergravsparken metro station. If the weather is not going your way, you can opt for DGI Byen [50] which is a leisure centre and excellent swimming pool near the central railway station or the Østerbro swimming pool, modeled after a Roman bath (on Østerbro).

Amusement parks

The Tivoli amusement parks main entrance at nighttime


Amazingly, the two oldest functioning amusement parks in the world, with the two oldest roller coasters, are both located in Copenhagen and they are distinctively different. Bakken or Dyrehavsbakken is the older of the two, set in a beautiful beech forest near Klampenborg north of Copenhagen. This gives it a special atmosphere and it is a lot less touristy than its counterpart — Tivoli — which is located smack in the city center in a beautiful park surrounding a lake.

Annual events

  • Crafts Fair [51](16 - 18. august 2012) is held in August - thursday-satyrday - every year outdoor at Frue Plads in central Copenhagen. The Crafts Fair has more than 130 exhibitors,all members of the Danish Arts and Crafts Association, showing unique and small series of handmade Arts and Crafts in all categories: ceramic, glass, jewelery, textile, mixed media.
  • Copenhagen Fashion Week [52] (2-6 February 2011) is held in February and August. Copenhagen is fast emerging as a global fashion centre, with a host of both up-and-coming and already well established names. For two weeks each year more than 1,000 exhibitors and 50,000 guests come together and celebrate their accomplishments with lavish parties, catwalks at city landmarks, and three trade fairs.
  • CPH:PIX (Copenhagen International Film Festival) [53] (14 April - 1 May 2011) is a brand new film festival held in April and is the result of a merger between Copenhagen's two popular long running festivals — the Night Film Festival and the Copenhagen International Film Festival. It will feature 170 screenings competing for the grand prize of €50,000.
  • International Workers Day on 1 May is a major event in Copenhagen. The main festivities are held in Fælledparken on Østerbro and they attract over 100,000 visitors in what has lately become a 50/50 mix of a gigantic party and a political rally with speeches, happenings, and concerts. Two travelling amusement parks also set up their gear for the day, one by the main entrance at Trianglen and one in the eastern part of the park.
  • CPH Distortion [54] (1-5 June 2011) is held in the first week of June and is longest and wildest party you could ever go to. Over 60 parties in five days in each of the city districts, outdoors on the city streets and squares, in the clubs and three seriously huge parties. Over 32,000 people usually partying away between Wednesday and Sunday.
  • Zulu Sommerbio [55] Held in July and August, Danish television station 'TV2 Zulu' plays open air films in various parks and squares of Copenhagen. There are movies in both Danish and English and they are free to watch. You can buy beer and popcorn.
  • Copenhagen Jazzfestival [56] (1-10 July 2011) is held in early July and features ten days of jazz everywhere in Copenhagen — parks, cafes, clubs, and theatres. Usually a few headline acts are on the program but there are more than 800 concerts to choose from and the real attraction is often the obscure concerts you bump into randomly in a park or square somewhere in the city.
  • Grøn Koncert [57] (24 July 2011) held in late July, is a one day music festival in Valby Parken near Åparken station. It is a major event in Copenhagen with over 40,000 attending. There is usually an international headline act, along with several major Danish bands and the atmosphere is quite unique with people having picnics and beers on a huge field of grass in the park. Tickets are sold through Billetnet, both online and at post offices.
  • Stella Polaris [58] (7 August 2011) held the first weekend in August, is a big, free, chill-out event in one of the city parks. Top international DJs spin chill-out tunes on the decks, while people are relaxing in the sun and drinking beer. And the afterparty in one of the major clubs usually attracts some international headline acts.
  • RAW [59] (TBA, August 2011) held in early August is Scandinavia's largest clubbing event. The organisers rightly pride themselves in carefully selecting high quality acts and more importantly the broad range of genres represented to make this an event with broad appeal to everyone in the Copenhagen nightlife scene.
  • Strøm [60] (13-20 August 2011) also held in August is an annual electronic music festival, running in its third year. It is a gathering of the best promoters and vibrant venues Copenhagen has to offer, mixed up with events at squares, concert halls, or unusual locations throughout the city.
  • Copenhagen Pride [61] (14-21 August 2011) A lavish LGBT parade. The week leading up to the parade is usually full of community events and parties. Count on the City Hall Square (Rådhuspladen) changing its name to Pride Square during the week and hosting live acts, concerts and debates.
  • Night of Culture (Kulturnatten) [62] (14 October 2011) is held in mid-October, on the last Friday before the school holiday in week 42. You buy a badge for 70 Kr and get access to major museums, exhibitions, churches, libraries, schools, organizations, the parliament and other cultural attractions including some places that are not open to the public during the rest of the year. Open from 6PM to midnight. Attracts about 100,000 people.
  • MIX Copenhagen - LGBT Film Festival [63] (19-28 October 2012) Held in Week 43, Ten days of gay and queer cinema at its very best with more than 130 screenings of the world's best feature films, short films, and documentaries with gay or queer relevance, culminating in a champagne party on the final day, when the best film of the year receives its award.

Learn

There are four universities in Copenhagen:

  • University of Copenhagen This is the largest university in Denmark. The university has a large selection of studies which are placed in eight different faculties. The faculties are located around the city and the main building is located in central Copenhagen.
  • Technical University of Denmark This university teaches technical sciences and is located in the suburb Lyngby north of Copenhagen.
  • IT University of Copenhagen This university teaches information technology studies and is located on Amager.
  • Copenhagen Business School This university teaches business studies and is located in Frederiksberg.
  • Aalborg University Copenhagen This university teaches programs within humanities, social science and engineering and is located in Sydhavn.

Buy

The 1.1 kilometre Strøget, along with its pedestrianised side streets, is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe and Copenhagen's premier shopping area

Strøget is one of the largest pedestrian malls in the world which links City Hall, Kongens Nytorv, and Nørreport station. Impeccably dressed Copenhageners breeze through high-end fashion and design stores when not zig-zagging through the hordes of tourists during the summer and Christmas seasons. Your fellow visitors can make it all feel rather touristy at times but if nothing else, it is great for people watching. If all this strange outdoor shopping takes you too far from your usual habitat, head for Magasin du Nord (on Kongens Nytorv) or Illums (on Amagertorv) for more familiar surroundings. There is even a real American style mall complete with a gargantuan parking lot out on Amager. Appropriately, it is called Fields.

If you would rather sample smaller and more personal stores, the quarter of narrow streets surrounding Strøget in the old city (colloquially known as Pisserenden and the The Latin Quarter), has a fantastic, eclectic mix of shopping. This ranges from quirky century-old businesses to the ultra hip in a wide range of fields. It is also much less crowded than Strøget, though unfortunately no less expensive.

You can also try Vesterbrogade and Istedgade on Vesterbro, due west of the central station, although you'll need to go a few blocks before hotels/sex shops/Thai restaurants turn into more interesting territory. Right at the border of this area, Værnedamsvej and Tullinsgade are also good bets.

In Nørrebro, there has been a rappidly growing establishment of small independent craft shops and fashion boutiques the past few years. Especially Jægersborggade Jægersborggade at the northern side of the churchyard "Assistent Kirkegården" is worth to pay a visit, if you are looking for the open studio craftsman peek, a shop that swaps dresses, or the latest work from danish illustrator rising stars. If you are looking for second-hand artifacts and antiques Ravnsborggade is well known for its huge number of antique stores that are excellent for bargain hunting. Close by Elmegade has a good mix of fashion boutiques.

Laws limit opening hours for most shops, officially to the benefit of the staff, although the "closing law" (Lukkeloven) is facing increasing unpopularity among locals. But until the opposition grows loud enough, most shops will close around M-F 5-6PM on weekdays, around 4PM on Saturdays, and rarely will anything be open on Sundays, including supermarkets! For out-of-hours shopping (apart from the ubiquitous 7-11 and small kiosks), the shops at Central Station (offering books and CDs, camping gear, photographic equipment, cosmetics, gifts) are open until 8PM daily. Large shopping centres and department stores are open on Sundays about once a month (usually the first Sunday, right after everyone gets paid) and more often during peak sale periods. The immigrant-owned grocery stores on Nørrebrogade on Nørrebro also tend to be open until very late in the evening.

Flea markets

Nørrebro Flea Market is Denmark's longest and narrowest. It stretches for 333 metres on one half of the sidewalk by the wall of the Assistens Cemetry on Nørrebrogade. Here you may find a Royal Porcelain Christmas Plate, a Chesterfield chair or plain or downright rubbish. Open from 4 April until 31 October on Saturdays 06:00 - 15:00.

The oldest flea market in Copenhagen is on Israels Plads, close to the Nørreport S-Train Station. Here private individuals as well as professional dealers sell all kinds of old stuff, antique furniture, His Masters Voice gramophones and objets d'art. In 2009, the flea market celebrated its 35 year anniversary. Open from 18 April until 10 October on Saturdays 08:00 - 14:00.

Eat

Please look for general restaurant listings in the appropriate districts.

On a budget

For a hearty and traditional Danish lunch, try out the delicious Smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches

If your budget doesn't allow for regular dining at expensive Michelin restaurants, don't despair — there are plenty of other options. The cheapest are the many shawarma and pizza joints' that you find on almost every street in the city. You can get a shawarma for as little as 15-20 Kr and pizzas start at around 40 Kr). You can opt for take away or sit at the one or two tables that are usually available. The cheapest places can be found around Istedgade on Vesterbro and Nørrebrogade on Nørrebro. For affordable and delicious pita kebab, try Ahaaa on Blågårds Plads, or Boys Shawarma & Is for dürüm kebab on Nørrebrogade 216. For the best kebab in the city go to Shawarma Grill House Frederiksberggade 36.

If shawarma gets a little tiring, there are several Mediterranean-style all-you-can eat buffet restaurants dotted around the inner city. Riz Raz is popular, with three locations and a huge vegetarian buffet for 69 Kr (lunch) / 99 Kr (dinner). The branch on St. Kannikestræde has an infallible ability to seat and feed groups of all sizes. Nearby, Ankara on Krystalgade offers a Turkish-inspired buffet that includes meat as well as salads. Nyhavns Faergekro at Nyhavn has an original herring buffet where you can eat as much herring as you like prepared in ten different ways (grilled and many different marinades).

For breakfast and lunch try one of Copenhagen's bakeries (Bager — look for a pretzel-like contraption out front). They are numerous and the quality is excellent. Many offer ready-made sandwiches (around 35 Kr) such as Denmark's famous open-faced rye bread sandwiches called smørrebrød. These sandwiches are small enough to take away and eat either with your hands or with a fork and knife and a wide range of ingredients are available including some elaborate combinations for the more adventurous. Most bakeries also offer coffee, bread rolls and cakes (expect to pay 8-10 Kr for Danish pastry, here known as wienerbrød) and many bakeries offer at least some form of counter seating.

Pølsevogn

For something quintessentially Danish, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without trying out a pølsevogn (see image on the right), literally "sausage wagon", where you can get your hands on several different forms of tasty hot dogs with a free selection of various toppings for next-to-nothing by local standards. It is also one of the few places where you are expected to socialize with the other guests. To blend in, remember to order a bottle of Cocio cocoa drink to wash down your hot dog. At night, when the wagons are put into storage, 7-11 stores (which are open 24/7) take over the business of satisfying your hot dog craving. They offer other eat-and-walk items like pizza slices or spring rolls.

Also, remember to look out for the term dagens ret on signs and menus — this means "meal of the day" and often translates to a filling plate of hot food for a reasonable price.

And finally, if your budget gets really small, buy some of your food in the supermarket. But watch out, prices can vary a lot depending on which supermarket you are going to. "Netto" (e.g. close to Nørrebro metro station) is the one you should look for. Irma, with a lot of fresh and delicious food, is (even for danes) a little expensive.

Michelin dining

For a city of its size, Copenhagen has a good number of Michelin starred restaurants located mostly in the inner city. Noma and Ensemble offer rare and exciting Danish cuisine, while Kong Hans Kælder and restaurant MR are the places to go for fine French dining. In other districts, Frederiksberg is home of the French/Danish restaurant Formel B and far away in the Northern suburbs Søllerød Kro is a traditional inn also offering fine French dining.

Christianshavn is the home of the only starred Italian restaurant, Era Ora and Kiin Kiin on Nørrebro is a rare high class Thai restaurant. Finally, on Østerbro, Paustian's fusion and alchemist kitchen is an altogether different way of dining.

Brunch

Brunch is a Copenhagen institution, especially during the summer, and it is not unusual to hear a serious invitation for a morning brunch together with the ritual goodbye hug when a long night out in town draws to a close. In this way, brunch is intrinsically linked to the second local obsession of drinking. Food and fresh air is a great cure for hangovers as Copenhagernes have long since discovered.

Most cafés offer brunch, at least on weekends, for upwards of 80 Kr., often with a theme: American and French are especially widespread. One of the most popular options is O's American Breakfast [64] at two locations in central Copenhagen.

Drink

Nyhavn is a popular place to go for a drink in the summer
The Nyhavn canal at night

A large beer costs 30-40 Kr or so at most places in central Copenhagen, but some charge only 20-30 Kr, especially on weekdays or during early hours, while fancy places obviously charge more. Unless you come from elsewhere in Scandinavia don't frighten yourself by trying to work out what this costs in your home currency. At most places the beer on tap is either Carlsberg or Tuborg. In either case there will be a choice of the normal pilsner and then a slightly redder special or classic. Some might also offer wheat or dark beer.

If you are on a budget you could follow the example of local teenagers and get primed with bottled beer from a supermarket or kiosk (3-7 Kr for a 330 ml bottle). It is legal and very popular to drink beer in public (not on public transport, although it will be accepted if you are not showing drunk behaviour), so buy a beer, sit on a park bench or at Nyhavn and enjoy Danish life.

As for where to drink, most tourists head straight for Nyhavn but while indeed pretty, the high prices here make it a bit of a tourist trap. In good weather imitate the locals by buying beer from a kiosk and dangling your legs over the water or head elsewhere to get your drinking on. The many side streets north and south of the strøget pedestrian street are a good starting point. Other good areas are Vesterbro west of the central station, along Vesterbrogade and Istedgade and in the meatpacking district. On Nørrebro, the cluster of bars and clubs around Sankt Hans Torv and Blågårds Plads, just after the lakes, is another hotspot. For a coastal city Copenhagen has surprisingly few places where you can enjoy a water view with your beer or coffee.


Drinking dictionary

  • Cafés are equally ready to serve coffees or beer and wine but they usually close around midnight and music is subdued to allow for conversations. They also serve food.
  • Bodegas are your average local watering holes, somewhat equivalent to a pub, with prices often much lower than bars and cafés. The clientèle is often a bit shady and you may have people staring at unfamiliar customers but behave nicely and they usually warm up to you. Try to have someone teach you the local træmand, meyer, or snyd dice games for a fun night.
  • Pubs are just that, pubs, the familiar English, Irish, and Scottish-themed exports that often do not have much in common with the actual pubs in those countries other than exported beer and interiors.
  • Bars are what locals tend to call everything with loud music that do not have a cover charge. Packed at weekends but more quiet at other times.
  • Clubs, or discotheques as they are often still referred to here, are bars that have a cover charge and have a dance floor. Often only open Th-Sa.
  • Morgenværtshus. If you can get away with pronouncing this when you'll need it, you will be asking directions to a shady establishment full of people hell bent on not ending the night just yet. They usually open around 5AM and "classics" include the 24 hour Hong Kong in Nyhavn, Café Guldregn on Vesterbro and Andy's in the city centre.


Clubbing

You can check for club listings in the various districts

The club scene is vibrant in Copenhagen, but most clubs are only open Th-Sa. Note that most locals have a party at home with friends or frequent their favourite bars, before they head out for the clubs, so they rarely get going until after midnight and close around 5AM. Most clubs have a 40-80 Kr cover charge and the ones that don't are rubbish more often than not. Also expect an additional 10-20 Kr for cloakrooms. Most clubs maintain a minimum age of 20 or 21, although they are not required to do this by law. Expect a draft beer, or basic drinks, to set you back 40-50 Kr — a bit more than bars usually charge.

Visitors who want to indulge Su-W will probably have to hunt around to find a place with some action but there are some options:

  • Sunday — Rub'a'dub Sundays [65] is a popular dance hall/reggae club (currently on hold until mid 2010 when the Stengade 30 venue will be back in business)
  • Monday — The Scottish pub on Rådhuspladsen (City Hall) hosts a backpackers night, which is sometimes quite lively.
  • Tuesday — Elektronisk Tirsdag (Electronic Tuesday) [66] plays nice electronic tunes on Gefährlich on Nørrebro .
  • Wednesday — You could either go for Midweek Brakes [67] at Kødboderne 18 on Vesterbro or the popular International Night [68] for resident exchange students on Stundenterhuset in Indre By.
  • Thursday - Is tricky, there is no set place to go, but most clubs and bars will be open and often offer discounts on beers and cocktails and free entrance. Also concerts with bands of varying popularity at Nørrebro's Drone Bar as well as open mike nights at both branches of Cafe Retro [69](found in Nørrebro and Indre By).

Gay and lesbian

For its size, Copenhagen has a rather large gay scene with a good handful of bars and dance clubs located in the center of the city within walking distance from each other, some of the better ones include Club Christopher in Indre By. VELA, the only bar/lounge in town that is targeted at lesbians is on Vesterbro.

Live venues

Most of the music venues in Copenhagen also double as nightclubs so watch for them under the club sections in the different districts. Tickets for almost every event in Denmark and Copenhagen are sold through Billetnet [70] which has both online sales and a counter available in all post offices. But apart from headline events, tickets are usually also sold at the entrance. Expect to pay 100 Kr and upwards.

The major music venues in Copenhagen are Parken stadium on Østerbro for the biggest stars. Copenhagen/Indre_By, Copenhagen Jazzhouse obviously hosts Jazz concerts and The Rock is the spiritual home of the local rock and heavy metal scene. Vega on Vesterbro is a major venue with concerts of almost every genre by national and international acts. Nørrebro has two venues: Rust's stage mainly hosts mainstream rhythmic music and Global, as its name would imply, provides a stage for world music. Southwards on Christianshavn, it is no surprise that the Operahouse plays Opera and not to be missed, the different venues of Christiania are a powerhouse of Denmark's alternative and underground culture.

Sleep

Hotel listings are available in the appropriate districts.

Copenhagen offers all kinds of accommodation but like the rest of Denmark, prices are high. Most hotels are located in Indre By and Vesterbro. Special rates are often available on the internet or from travel agencies, so look around well ahead of time, rather than spending your holiday budget on sleeping because you booked at the last minute.

If you are looking for something unique, Copenhagen has a few surprisingly little known options. Fancy sleeping in an old fort? Then look no further than Flakfortet on its very own island out in the sound. Stylish rooms, classic and rather tastefully integrated into the environs of the old fort. Staying here does though exclude spending your evenings in the city, as the last ferry leaves in the late afternoon. You can also opt for the Dragør Fort on Amager although they haven't pulled it off quite so nicely. In the same area, consider the old and historic beach front Dragør Badehotel in a classic building with great views over Øresund and a nearby beach, but also a fair deal of transportation time to the sights in the city centre. (Although it is close to the airport.)

In the same genre, and with the same drawbacks, is Skovshoved Hotel in the northern suburbs. This is an historic beach hotel with nice views and a fantastic restaurant. You can get even closer to the water on the floating houseboat hotel CPH Living moored in Christianshavn . If you're a rad hipster and would rather sample some of the design for which the city is rightly famous, consider Hotel Fox where young Danish and international artists have individually decorated and furnished the rooms. Other hip options are Hotel Twentyseven and Skt Petri Hotel located near the arty cocktail lounges of the Indre By area. Or you could always max out your credit card and splurge at the timeless five star classics of D'Angleterre or Hotel Nyhavn.

On a budget

Copenhagen is an expensive city but it is possible for budget travellers to find reasonably priced accommodations. For those on an ultra low budget there are two free, but completely basic, camping grounds along the Mølleå river where you can camp for one or two nights. While camping elsewhere is no big sin, it is not legal either. There are plenty of commercial camping grounds available but if you are not used to Scandinavian price ranges, even these could seem expensive (50-200 Kr). The closest camping sites are at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund and there is also a summer-only camping ground in the outer part of Nørrebro within the city proper. If you prefer modern comforts consider one of the hospitality exchange networks. Couchsurfing.com for instance, is quite popular with the Copenhagers, who provide 6,000 available hosted stays in the city, giving you the added bonus of having a local to point you to the great spots.

There are a few hostels available and the cheapest are two summer-only (July-Aug) hostels in Vesterbro: YMCA Interpoint and Sleep in fact. Here you can overnight in basic dormitory bunk beds from as little as 100 Kr. On Nørrebro the two sleep-in hostels are slightly more expensive but still a bargain compared to the general price range. The national hostel system Danhostel [71] which is part of Hostelling International, run four hostels within reasonable distance of the the centre, but they are not exactly party locations if that is what you are looking for.

For Hotels consider the Cab Inn [72] chain that has three hotels in Copenhagen. One is just a short walk away from Tivoli and Kobenhavn H and the other two are at Frederiksberg. Rooms go from €71 (single) to €103 (triples). The rooms are quite small but have TVs and private showers and toilets. If you are attracted to your own sex, you should be pleased to know that there are several cheap hotels specifically catering to gays and lesbians — Carsten's Guest House [73] and Copenhagen Rainbow [74] are two of them. In the very city center, just 500 meters from Tivoli on the mainstreet of Vesterbrogade there is a few other fairly priced options for accommodation, the Loeven hotel [75], the Savoy Hotel [76], prices around €80 for a twin room. A little further out following a side street on your left hand side, in Absalonsgade you will a youthhostel, also fairly priced allthough quite noisy.

Another on-the-rise alternative is to rent your own apartment, which can save you some money, especially if you are traveling as a group. People rent out their private homes through various websites and here you will be able to find a room or apartment for rent in all price ranges. It can be as cheap as staying in a hostel, but you get a fully equipped apartment that has authentic homely atmosphere.

Contact

Libraries offer free internet access for one hour at a time, though this often requires signing up in advance. The Hovedbilbiotek (main library) has 12 freely accessible workstations and a wide selection of international newspapers, Krystalgade 15 [77]

A cheap (under 20Kr/hour) internet café is in Copenhagen Central Station. Moreover, a lot of bars, cafés, McDonald's, and petrol stations offer WiFi hotspots for people with notebooks, though these are a little more expensive than internet cafés. OpenWiFi [78] maintains a list of hotspots in the city.

If you are travelling with your own laptop, you could also jump on a S-train, which all have free WiFi. But since you need to activate your account through an email confirmation, it's a good idea to register beforehand, which can be done on the Gratis Danmark website [79].

The Tourist Information Office [80] is located near Copenhagen Main Station (2 mins walk) and is worth a visit. The staff are really friendly and they speak many languages. It is possible to book hotels using PC terminals directly from within this office and they provide information for all possible activities in Copenhagen including museums, concerts and festivals.

Cope

Money

Although Denmark is a member of the European Union, the currency is still the Danish Krone, which is pegged to the Euro at a rate of about 7.45 Kroner per Euro. In Copenhagen, Nyhavn, Tivoli, and many of the major restaurants and hotels frequented by tourists accept Swedish Kronor and Euros, although it is not yet common practice elsewhere. Banks are ubiquitous, so exchanging currencies will in most cases not present any major difficulties. Exchange offices are also becoming increasingly widespread, especially Scandinavian chains such as Forex and X-change, which often have decent rates and charge no commission unlike those on strøget which offer low rates and a very high commission. Using the exchange machines present at some banks is not recommended, though, as these charge a fee of 25 kroner (US$4.50 or €3.35).

Credit cards are widely accepted, although this is usually limited to Visa and/or Mastercard. Many supermarkets and small shops will normally only accept the widespread local Danish debit-card, also known as the Dankort. But acceptance of the two major international credit cards is increasing rapidly. Other credit cards like American Express, Diners, JCB, and Unionpay are accepted in some but not all shops in Copenhagen, especially in Strøget, the main shopping district. When accepted, a transaction fee (mandated by credit card companies, not shops) of 0.75 to 4.00 % of the amount will usually be charged on credit cards issued by foreign banks.

Almost all ATMs accept major international cards, including all the ones mentioned previously. Therefore it is worth noting that although some shops may not accept all credit cards, an ATM capable of doing so will in most cases be less than 200 meters away, particularly in central Copenhagen.

Press

The Copenhagen post [81] is the country's sole English language newspaper, it's published weekly on Saturdays, and is available at many bars and cafés, as well as for sale in the Magasin department store, and the kiosks at the Central, Vesterport, Østerport, and Hellerup stations for 20 Kr.

Embassies and consulates

  • Ar-flag.png Argentina, Borgergade 16, +45 33 15 80 82. M-F 10AM-1PM.
  • As-flag.png Australia, Dampfærgevej 26, +45 70 26 36 76, [82]. M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM.
  • Au-flag.png Austria, Sølundsvej 1, +45 39 29 41 41. M-F 9:30PM-noon.
  • Be-flag.png Belgium, Øster Allé 7, +45 35 25 02 00, [83]. M-Th 9AM-12:30PM - 1:30PM-4:30PM (F 3:30PM).
  • Br-flag.png Brazil, Ryvangs Allé, 24, +45 45 39 20 64 78, [84]. M-F 9AM-3PM.
  • Bu-flag.png Bulgaria, Gamlehave alle 7, 2920 Charlottenlund, + 45/39/64 24 84, 63 38 72, [85]. M-F 8:30AM-noon & 1PM-4:30PM.
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, Kristen Bernikowsgade 1, +45 33 48 32 00, [86]. M-F 8:30AM-noon & 1PM-4:30PM.
  • Ch-flag.png China, Øregårds Allé 25, +45 39 46 08 89, [87]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • Cu-flag.png Cuba, Kastelsvej 19, 3tv, +45 39 40 15 10, [88]. M, W & F 9AM-noon.
  • En-flag.png Estonia, Aurehøjvej 19, +45 39 46 30 70, [89]. M, W & F 10AM-noon.
  • Fi-flag.png Finland, Sankt Annæ Plads 24, +45 33 13 42 14. M-F 9AM-noon & 1PM-3:30PM.
  • Fr-flag.png France, Ny Østergade 3, 2nd floor, +45 33 67 01 64, [90]. M-F 8:30AM-12:30PM.
  • Gm-flag.png Germany, Stockholmsgade 57, +45 35 45 99 00, [91]. M-F 9AM-noon except W 1PM-4PM.
  • Gh-flag.png Ghana, Egebjerg Allé 13, +45 39 62 82 22, [92]. M-Th 9AM-1PM.
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Bornholmsgade 3, +45 33 34 60 48, [93]. M-F 10AM-noon.
  • Ic-flag.png Iceland, Strandgade 89, +45 33 18 10 50, [94]. M-F 9AM-4PM.
  • In-flag.png India, Vangehusvej 15, +45 39 18 34 44, [95]. M-F 9:30AM-noon.
  • Id-flag.png Indonesia, Ørehøj Alle 1, +45 39 62 44 22, [96]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • Ei-flag.png Ireland, Østbanegade 21, +45 35 47 32 00, [97]. M-F 10AM-12:30PM-2:30PM-4PM.
  • Is-flag.png Israel, Lundevangsvej 4, +45 88 18 55 00, [98]. M-F 10AM-1PM.
  • It-flag.png Italy, Gammel Vartov Vej 7, +45 39 62 68 77, [99]. M 10AM-noon & 2PM-4PM Tu-F 10AM-noon.
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, Pilestræde 61, +45 33 11 33 44, [100]. M-F 9AM-noon & 1:30PM-5PM.
  • Lg-flag.png Latvia, Rosbæksvej 17, +45 39 27 60 00, [101]. M-Th 10AM-noon.
  • Lh-flag.png Lithuania, Bernstorffsvej 214, +45 39 63 62 07, [102]. M-F 9AM-1PM & 2PM-4PM.
  • Mk-flag.png Macedonia, Skindergade 28, A, 1.th., 1159 Copenhagen, +45 39 766 920 (, fax: +45 39 766 923), [103].
  • My-flag.png Malaysia, Clipper House, Sundkrogsgade 19, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, (+45) 4911 8308. Appointment Required.
  • Mg-flag.png Mongolia (consulate), Bolbrovej 20, +45 32 52 44 27, [104]. By appointment only.
  • Np-flag.png Nepal, Svanemøllevej 92, +45 44 44 40 43, [105]. M-F 10AM-1PM.
  • Nl-flag.png The Netherlands, Toldbodgade 33, +45 33 70 72 00, [106]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • Nz-flag.png New Zealand, Store Strandstræde 21, 2.tv, +45 33 37 77 02, [107]. M-Th 10AM-2PM.
  • No-flag.png Norway, Amaliegade 39, +45 33 14 01 24, [108]. M-Th 08.30AM-4PM,F 8:30AM-3:30PM.
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, Valeursvej 17, +45 39 62 11 88, [109]. M-F 10AM-noon, except W 3PM-5PM.
  • Pl-flag.png Poland, Richelieus Alle 12, +45 39 46 77 00, [110]. M-F 9AM-2PM, except W 1PM-6PM.
  • Po-flag.png Portugal, Toldbodgade 31, +45 33 13 13 01, [111]. M-F 10AM-4PM.
  • Ru-flag.png Russia, Kristianiagade 5, +45 35 38 23 70, [112]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • Sn-flag.png Singapore, Snorresgade 20, +45 32 54 83 60. By appointment only.
  • Ks-flag.png South Korea, Svanemøllevej 104, +45 39 46 04 00, [113]. M-F 10AM-noon.
  • Sf-flag.png South Africa, Gammel Vartov Vej 8, +45 39 18 01 55, [114]. M-F 9AM-noon.
  • Sp-flag.png Spain, Kristianiagade 21, +45 35 42 22 66. M-Th 9AM-5PM,F 9AM-2.30PM.
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden, Sankt Annæ Plads 15 A, +45 33 36 03 75, [115]. M-F 10AM-noon, W also 2AM-4PM.
  • Sz-flag.png Switzerland, Amaliegade 14, +45 33 14 17 96, [116]. M-F 9:30AM-12:30PM.
  • Tw-flag.PNG Taiwan, Amaliegade 3, 2F, +45 33 93 51 52, [117]. M-F 10AM-1PM.
  • Th-flag.png Thailand, Norgesmindevej 18, +45 39 62 50 10, [118]. 9AM-11.45AM.
  • Tu-flag.png Turkey, Rosbæksvej 15, +45 39 20 27 88, [119]. M-F 9AM-1PM & 2PM-5PM.
  • Up-flag.png Ukraine, Toldbodgade 37A, +45 33 16 16 35, [120]. M,W,F 10AM-1PM,Tu 3PM-5PM.
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, Kastelsvej 38, +45 35 44 52 00, [121]. M-F 9AM-12:30PM & 1.30PM-3PM to 15:00.
  • Us-flag.png United States, Dag Hammarskjölds Allé 24, +45 35 55 31 44, [122]. M-F 8:15AM-11:15PM.
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, Toldbodgade 31, +45 33 93 63 11, [123]. 9AM-1PM.
  • Vm-flag.png Vietnam, Bernstorffsvej 30C, + 45 39 18 26 29, [124]. M-F 10AM-1PM.

Stay safe

As elsewhere in Europe and Denmark dial 112 for emergencies, and 114 non emergencies relating to the police.

Copenhagen used to be one of the safest cities in the world and while the situation has deteriorated in recent years, it is still quite safe compared to other cities of the same size. Like any metropolitan area, Copenhagen does experience its share of crimes and recent times have seen an increase in very violent gang-related crimes on Nørrebro. While crime against strangers is mostly of the non-violent type, such as pickpocketing and petty theft, one should take precautions, in particular around busy tourist attractions, in train stations and inside the train to the airport. Due to gang-related conflict, extra precaution is advised in the neighbourhood of Nørrebro and in the western suburbs, i.e., those municipalities located to the west of Copenhagen proper. However there is no evidence that gang members have targeted tourists.

While racism is nowhere as rampant as certain reports will have you believe, it can occasionally be a problem for people of African or Middle Eastern descent. However, the only place you are likely to encounter this as a tourist is in the city's nightlife. If you are unfortunate enough to experience racism, it is important not to get yourself involved in a heated argument, as people who have not seen the incident will usually be quick to support the offender. This is due to a surge of problems with violence related to gangs within immigrant communities, who feel alienated by a closely knit Danish society. Walk away instead, and if you feel a need to react, report the incident to authorities who are required to investigate such cases [125]. Other ethnic groups on the other hand, are not likely to encounter any problems. Of course, prudence in behavior and politeness will in most cases avert any problems and present you as the offended party, not the offender. In fact, some Danes in major cities will in many cases interfere and defend ethnic minorities experiencing discrimination.

Stay healthy

Emergency Rooms (ER) are called Skadestue in Danish, as with many other health related terms and phrases, the English term may not be understood by some Danes — but conveniently Hospital is the same in Danish. Hospitals with 24 hour Emergency Wards near the city centre include:

  • Amager Hospital, Italiensvej 1, Amager, +45 32 34 35 00, [126].
  • Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 7C, Nordvest, +45 35 31 23 73, [127].
  • Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 3A, Frederiksberg, +45 38 16 35 22, [128].

The public healthcare system also maintains doctors on call outside normal office hours, calls are screened by medical personnel, and doctors dispatched only when deemed necessary.

  • Lægevagten, +45 70 13 00 41. M-F 4PM-8AM,Sa-Su all day. From 250 Kr, Free for EU citizens.

There is a 24 hour pharmacy in central Copenhagen, and 3 additional ones in the suburbs.

  • Steno Apotek, Vesterbrogade 6C (Just by the Radisson Royal hotel, near the Central station), +45 33 14 82 66, [129]. regular hours: M-F 8.30AM-8PM,Sa 8.30AM-5PM. There is a 15 kr service charge outside those times..

Get out

  • Malmö, Sweden, Sweden's third largest city, with a lovely historic city centre and cosy squares is just a short, convenient train ride away.
  • Elsinore (Helsingør) The old city centre with well preserved houses is one of the biggest in Denmark, and famous Kronborg castle, home of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
  • Hillerød — A small town dominated by its huge palace, but also offers baroque gardens and a laid back city centre.
  • Roskilde — Denmark's ancient capital and a World Heritage site, with a famous cathedral full of the tombs of ancient kings, and the fantastic Viking museum. Home to one of the Big Four European music festivals, Roskilde Festival, which attracts up to 110,000 visitors each year in July.
  • The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the outstanding museum of modern art in Denmark. It's located in the small town of Humlebaek which is 35km north of Copenhagen via motorway E47/E5 or 35 minutes with DSB rail from the Central Station. When you use the train, special combination tickets for the rail fare and museum entry fee are available.

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