Difference between revisions of "Copenhagen"
Revision as of 22:46, 12 May 2009
Copenhagen (Danish: København; ) is the capital of Denmark, a bustling metropolis of 1.1 million, and one of Europe's most enjoyable cities. Situated on the island of Zealand facing the Oresund (Danish: Øresund) strait, with Sweden just minutes away by train, it is a link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia, and has a wealth of cultural and entertaining things to see and do. The city has a reputation for tolerance, reinforced by the presence of the fascinating 'free city' of Christiania, a community of people who have tried to create an equal and just consensus-governed democracy for its people. There is more to here than Carlsberg and The Little Mermaid, and a trip to the wonderful Tivoli Gardens will leave the visitor in no doubt that this is a very special city.
Copenhagen, as the rest of Denmark, has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is definitely from early May to late August, where the weather is generally warm. The current weather forecast can be checked at the Danish Meteorological Institute website
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, the Copenhageners come out of their hibernation, and flock to the city streets, parks, outdoor cafes — in a veritable explosion of life, relieved that the country's dreary and dark winters are finally over. For many locals this is the height of the year.
Summers in Copenhagen are usually warm with an average temperature of some twenty degrees, and the days are long — reaching the peak on 21 June, when the day is almost eighteen hours long. If the weather becomes too hot, you can jump in one of the free pools in the cool harbor waters downtown — 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's the locals' 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.
Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport  (CPH) is the hub for Scandinavia's largest international carrier SAS — Scandinavian Airlines . 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. 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  serves Copenhagen from London Stansted, Milan, and Berlin Schönefeld; Air Berlin  flies direct to Düsseldorf, Berlin and Palma de Mallorca; Norwegian  offers budget flights to Oslo, Stockholm, Budapest, Amsterdam and Warszawa; Cimber Sterling  operates many routes out of the airport e.g.: Newcastle, Edinburgh, Athens and Bergen. Recently Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia  has begun offering flights to a number of European destinations like Barcelona, Nice and Rome.
It takes twelve minutes by train to get from Kastrup to the central station (Hovedbanegården) in downtown Copenhagen. You need a ticket for 3 zones. Purchased from one of the automated vending machines or the ticket counter located inside the atrium, this costs 30 DKK for a single journey. The Copenhagen Metro  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 30 DKK).
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  from Budapest, Gdansk, Katowice, Prague and Warszawa and a few domestic airlines often offer cheap flights to other Swedish cities.
While links between the capital and the rest of the country are frequent and excellent, and links with Sweden have developed rapidly since the completion of the Øresund fixed link, connections to the rest of Europe are rather poor.
Buses between Zealand and Jutland are only marginally cheaper than the train, although there are considerable discounts offered Monday – Thursday. The international buses on the other hand offer considerably lower prices than the train. Travel by train, however, has been prioritized politically, therefore Copenhagen 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 leave from Toftegårds Plads, near Valby station.
Ferries run between Copenhagen Port and Oslo (sixteen hours) and Świnoujście (Poland). For details check the Get in section of Zealand. If you arriving with your own sails, Copenhagen has several marinas, the biggest of which is Svanemøllehavnen . There are no designated visitor berths but it is almost always possible to find one with a green sign. Daily charge: 75-120 DKK. Copenhagen is also a very popular port of call for cruises touring both the Baltic sea and the Norwegian fjords.
The two big hubs are the Central Station (da: Hovedbanegården/København H) with S-trains, Intercity-trains, and buses and Nørreport Station with S-trains, metro, regional trains, and buses. Travels by trains, buses and metro can be scheduled electronically through rejseplanen.dk 
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 cost DKK 21 for adults (DKK 10.50 for children under the age of 16), and can be purchased from ticket offices, vending machines and bus drivers. Two children under the age of 11 can travel for free with one paying adult. It will allow you to travel around Copenhagen in two zones (the zone where you stamped or purchased the ticket plus one adjacent zone) for an hour. You can switch freely between all trains, metro and busses within this hour, as long as you last trip starts before the time is up (your ticket will be timestamped in 15-minutes intervals).
The range of a single zone can roughly be translated to around 7 minutes in the metro or 15 minutes in a bus, but always check the zone maps in the stations, some stations are closer to zone borders than others. Ask local people if help is needed, as the zone system can be complex for visitors. At night (from 1 am. to 5 am.) the ticket price double, and you need to stamp for example 4 zones if you travel in 2 zones. This rule applies to all N-busses (night busses). Night charges do not apply to holders of monthly cards.
A ten-trip klippekort will give you a discount of around 40%, and can be bought in kiosks and ticket offices. You can also purchase a day pass starting at DKK 90. Alternatively, buy a Copenhagen Card , which gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs DKK 199 for 24 hours, DKK 429 for 72 hours.
In regional trains, S-tog and Metro a ticket must be bought and timestamped before boarding the trains. In buses tickets can be bought from the driver but not klippekort which must be bought beforehand. The fine for travelling without a valid ticket is DKK 600 and ticket conductors are common both in S-trains and metros. More information about price and tickets on movia.dk 
The S-train service runs from early morning to late night. Each train (apart from the F-line) runs with 10-minute intervals during the day (from 6 am. to 6 pm. on weekdays), and with 20-minute intervals on early morning and late night (The F-line has departures every 5 minutes throughout most of the day) ; C however stops at Frederikssund and not Ballerup during the day). This means that there are only a couple of minutes of waiting between each train within the city.
Loudspeaker announcement regarding S-trains are given in Danish only, so remember to ask your fellow travelers, but for the most part they are just cursory announcements.
The Copenhagen Metro runs from Vanløse, through the city centre, and branching of either to the new-town of Ørestad or to the Airport. The Metro has no timetable, and between Vanløse and Christianshavn trains run with a 4-minute interval (2-minute during peak hour). It runs from 5 am to midnight. During Thursday, Friday and Saturday night the metro runs nonstop with 15-minute intervals. The trains are controlled 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.
More information on the Copenhagen Metro website .
Going on a canal tour in 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 3 guided tours, either by a prerecorded 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, during the winter. Both companies offers 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, and uses the same tickets as buses and trains.
An option you may want to consider is a Freedom ticket which gives unlimited transportation for 2 days on both all the DFDS Canal Tour boats, as well as the double decker sightseeing buses of Copenhagen City Sightseeing for 220 DKK.
The fastest and most flexible way of seeing Copenhagen is on bike - as 40 percent of the Copenhageners use their bike everyday the city has been designed to cater for cyclists with separate bicycle lanes along 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. In Copenhagen it is a common mean 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 bicycle accidents.
In the center of the city, you can also get around by the free public city-bikes. These are specially painted by various sponsors, and are very simple bikes that you can find on special stands near some important places like the main train station, the Tivoli park, the port and some others. After you insert a 20DKK coin, you can take the bike and go where you want as long as you stay in the inner part of the city marked on a plan that you will get with the bike. When you return the bike to some stand again (not necessarily the same one), you will get your 20DKK coin back. During winter periods, though, you will not be able to find (m)any bikes, as they are being repaired in the local prisons as part of a 'community service'.
The bikes usually come with a map on which the main attractions are marked. The map also marks the borders of the city within which you are allowed to ride the bike. If you are caught outside these borders, you could be faced with a fine (around 1000 DKK).
Please don't take away city-bikes that you see somewhere not on a stand, because there are high chances that somebody will soon return for it and by taking it away, you would not only deprive him of his means of transport, but also of his 20DKK coin.
The city bikes are not the most comfortable bikes in the world (they have massive tyres), and you cannot always rely on finding one in the stands - they might be in use.
The city bikes have, however, become sort of a Copenhagen landmark. Thus president Bill Clinton  was presented with City Bike One as the city's official gift during his official visit in 1997. It was specially designed with the presidential seal  on its wheels.
As an alternative to the city bikes you can rent a far more comfortable bike than the city bikes. You can find a little bike rental shop called CPH bike rental on a side-street to Nansensgade on Turesensgade 10, 5 minutes from Norreport station. They rent out bikes on a daily basis and by that they finance the shipment of used bikes to Africa. They also arrange city tours and sell picnic baskets. Their prices start at 60 kroner for 6 hours bike rent. Another bicycle shop are at the Central Railroad Station, where prices start at 75 Danish kroner a day/ 340 kroner a 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 daily City tour at 10 AM departing from Copenhagen Bikes at the Main Train Station.
Complete listings can be found in the appropriate districts
Entrance to most museums are free once a week, mainly on Wednesdays. While you can always count on the main attractions to be well versed in the English and German languages, and geared towards tourists, a good tip to see if the many, smaller museums, listed throughout this guide caters to non Danish speakers, is to see if the website has an English section - if it does, this usually means the museum has at least some English information throughout it's exhibitions - of course if you have some interest in a particular subject, such museums can be interresting even if you don't understand the sign postings - and as Danes are usually fairly fluent in English - you can always try to ask staff if they could give you a brief tour.
If you are into the arts Copenhagen has a lot to offer, the natural starting point of which, is a visit to the Danish National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst), where you can feast the eye on blockbusters like Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse. There are a number of paintings by Danish artists from the 'Golden Age'. Continuing in the classical arts a visit to Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, the spectacular building houses paintings from masters like Picasso, Leger and Matisse and a large collection of classical statues and sculptures, and the winter garden is a beautiful place to rest your legs on a rainy day. Both of these museums are conveniently located in the Downtown area. If you are hungry for even more classic art exhibitions an excursion north of Copenhagen to the beautiful Ordrupgaard, which offers you a chance to enjoy Monet, Renoir, Degas & Gauguin. There are several other options for classical paintings if you have not yet tired, but if you are ready for a change, head south to the Arken Museum of Modern Art for a world class exhibition of mainly Scandinavian contemporary modern art, as well as hugely popular temporary exhibitions. If you want to enjoy some local colorite on an art tour, The Hirspung collection on Østerbro features the top of the pops of Danish artists, with a special focus on the Skagen painters, and 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
If you want your vacation to be educational, or if you want to sneak some knowledge into the kids heads 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 of the best, and oldest, Zoo's 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 them). In Downtown, the University of Copenhagen runs two adjacent science museums, namely the Geological museum where the Dinosaur fossils, moon rock and glow the dark minerals should sparkle some interest in the subject for even the most school wary kid, while 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's cold outside. If it is poor weather, Tycho Brahe Planetarium on Vesterbro is another option, part planetarium with an interesting astrology exhibition, part omnimax theatre, where they are usually screening science films.
An excellent start of 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, for an excellent view over the city, as any good starting point, it's smack in the middle of the city. If that's not high enough to get your bearings, 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 somewhat of a manhood test to climb up and touch the globe on the summit, nearly a 100 meters up in the air. And now that you're in the area, head over the opposite side of the street, to Christiania, a self governing community that has been squatting an old naval area since the seventies, and their inventive, brightly coloured, homebuilt houses are spectacular, as is the relaxed atmosphere, it's truly one of Copenhagen's most unique and best attractions. Due south of Christiania, the districts old, crooked and brightly coloured buildings and soothing canals lined with masted ships, makes it an excellent place to continue a stroll. Other fine examples of classical architecture includes the impressive City hall and the massive dome of the Frederikskirken colloquially known as the Marble Church, with a span of 31 meters. the dome is one of the largest in Northern Europe, both are in the downtown area.
However for real architecture buffs, the city's main claim to fame is the modernist architecture and it's 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, or sucking in the atmosphere (and great views) of the top floor lounge bar, in the Royal Hotel, one or the the Inner city's very few tall buildings, or head north to Bellavista, a residential complex and theatre near the beach, where there is even a restaurant featuring both 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 habour on Christianshavn, from where you can also catch a view of Copenhagen's latest iconic contraption, The Royal library known to locals as the black diamond, from it's shiny polished black granite walls.
Visit the Nationalmuseet in downtown 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 on Vesterbro have 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 visit the old town of the tiny fishing hamlet of Dragør on the southern tip of Amager, with it's fantastic old yellow buildings and cobblestoned streets, for a live version of old Denmark.
The four identical classicist palaces of Amalienborg, is the main residence of the 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 12 o'clock noon, and is a highlight for any royalist, there is also a small royal museum on the premises. Rosenborg Palace is a small, but pretty, renaissance palace, surrounding 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 is on display in the catacombs beneath the castle. Unusual for a well founded democracy, the palace that houses the parliament, Christiansborg, is also a royal palace. It's usually possible to visit the Royal reception rooms, stables and the old court theatre here. And for entertainment of royal stature, you can try and arrange tickets to watch a play in the beautiful Royal Theatre facing the 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 used to serve as the kings hunting castle.
Denmark is world famous for its design tradition, and while the term Danish design has been victim of inflation over the years, it's still a world recognized brand. The natural starting point is a visit to the Danish Design Center in downtown, 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 it's history in Denmark, Also in the district Royal Copenhagen runs a museum display of it's famous porcelein from the early beginnings at it's 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 changing exhibitions including final project's from students of the school here.
The Association of Authorized Guides is the semi official entity, which offers an academic approach to ensure their guides are qualified, they offer "authorized" guides to take you through the city in 24 languages. History Tours gives special focus on history and the historical sights throughout the city. Visitors who enjoy doing things in their own pace, will appreciate the approach of Audiowalks  who allow you to follow a pre-recoded tour using a mp3 player though themed pod casts. If you want to see a different side of Copenhagen, other than the usual monuments and museums, CPH:COOL  offers you personal tours to see the best of the city's shopping, design and culture, that tourists don't usually get to see. Another option is to go on one of the guided Canal tours (see details in the Get around section), or for the ecologically aware, talk to one of the many bike taxis that's lined up in the inner city during the summer, the bikers are often very knowledgeable about the sights, and can give you a good alternative tour of the city, and you can negotiate the price for longer trips.
In the inner habour, water quality has improved so much in recent years that it's possible go for a swim, from early June to late August, in one of the two harbor baths; Copencabana on Vesterbro or Havnebadet at Island brygge on Amager. When it's sunny, during the summer, they are packed with people from all walks of life, enjoying the sunshine, and taking a dip. The municipal administration has put alot of money in effort in to the facilities, so they are quite good, and it's an excellent opportunity for blending with the locals, at their best. If you fancy a proper beach, the closest of these 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  - a leisure centre and excellent swimming pool near the central railway station, or the Østerbro swimming pool, modelled after a Roman bath (on Østerbro)
Amazingly the two oldest still functioning amusement parks, with the two oldest still running roller coasters, are both located in Copenhagen, and they are distinctively different. Bakken or Dyrehavsbakken are the oldest of the two, the setting in a beautiful beech forest near Klampenborg north of Copenhagen, gives it a special atmosphere - and it's a lot less touristy than it's counterpart - Tivoli - which is located smack in the city center, in a beautiful park surrounding a lake.
Check out Strøget , a pedestrian mall linking the streets of Østergade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, and Frederiksberggade that runs through the center of the city from Rådhuspladsen to Kgs Nytorv and Nørreport. You won't find any Copenhageners here who aren't working in the shops or just passing through, and the place is very touristy - but also loaded with excellent up-scale Scandinavian fashion shops and design stores (e.g. Georg Jensen, Illum and Royal Copenhagen)
Visit Fields , the biggest shopping centre in Scandinavia. Take the train to the Airport (Kastrup/Airport) or Malmö and get off at Ørestad Station or go by the Metro to Vestamager and get off at Ørestad station (though it should be noted that most, if not all, of the shops at Fields can be found on Strøget as well).
Good bets for quality one-stop shopping in the inner city: department stores Illum (on Amagertorv on Strøget, at the end of the shopping street Købmagergade which runs south from Nørreport st.) and Magasin du Nord (on Kongens Nytorv at the end of Strøget; you can enter direct from the Metro station).
For less mainstream shopping, some good areas to find interesting small boutiques are: around Studiestræde and Vestergade just north of the Rådhuspladsen end of Strøget; inner Nørrebro around Ravnsborggade and Sankt Hans Torv (walk north from Nørreport station and turn right on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th street after crossing the lake) and a place very much worth visiting - Nansensgade 5 minutes from Nørreport Station, an old street with trees on either sides that has its own special community of Nansensgade-inhabitants.
Take a walk north from the station towards the lakes and turn left one block before the lakes); Vesterbrogade and Istedgade in Vesterbro (walk west from the main station on one of these roads -- you'll need to go a few blocks before hotels/sex shops/thai restaurants turn into more interesting territory); Østerbro around Classensgade and Willemoesgade (these come off the main road Østerbrogade directly across from the eastern end of the easternmost city lake, Sortedams Sø).
Best bets 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, 7 days a week. Large shopping centres and department stores (e.g. Fields, Fisketorvet, Illum, Magasin) open on Sundays around once a month (usually the first Sunday, right after everyone gets paid!) and more often at peak sale periods.
Plus size clothing can found in the following shops H&M (Fields and Strøget), Nannaxl in Fisketorvet, or Venus & Mars XL in Fields. Søstrene Nielsen is a upmarket store a few blocks off the upmarket end of Strøget.
The 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, down right rubbish. 4 April - 31 October 2009 every Saturday at 06:00 - 15:00.
The oldest flea market in Copenhagen is the one on Israels Plads, close to the Nørreport S-Train Station. Here private individuals as well as professional dealers put all kinds of old stuff, antique furniture, His Masters Voice grammophones, and objets d'art up for sale. In 2009 the flea market celebrates its 35 year anniversary. 18 April - 10 October 2009 every Saturday at 08:00 - 14:00.
For a city its size, Copenhagen has an impressive number of Michelin starred restaurants. Most of them are located in the inner city Noma, Ensemble, The Paul and Geranium offers something as rare as exiting 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 French/Danish restaurant Formel B, far away in the Northern suburbs Søllerød Kro is traditional Inn also offering fine French dining. Christianshavn is home of the only stared Italian restaurant; Era Ora, and Kiin Kiin on Nørrebro is something as rare as a high class Thai restaurant. and finally on Østerbro Paustian's fusion and alchemist kitchen, is an altogether different way of dining.
On a budget
If your budget doesn't really allow for regular dining on expensive Michelin restaurants, don't dispair, there is plenty of other options. Nothing cheaper than the many Shawarma and Pizza joints that you can find on almost every street in the city, you can get a Shawarma from as little as 15 DKK (2,5 USD) and Pizza's usually start from 40 DKK (7 USD), and you can often opt for both take away, or the one or two tables usually offered to sit by, the cheapest places can be found around Istedgade on Vesterbro and Nørrebrogade on Nørrebro
If Shawarmas get 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 70 DKK (12 USD - Grilled meat can be ordered off the menu). The branch on St. Kannikestræde has an infallible ability to seat and feed groups of all sizes. Near by Ankara on Krystalgade offers a Turkish-inspired buffet which includes meat as well as salads.
For breakfast and lunch try one of Copenhagen's Bakeries (Danish: Bager - Look for a Pretzel like contraption out in the front), they are numerous and the quality is excellent. Many offer ready-made sandwiches (around 35 kr), 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 a fork and knife, and a wide range of ingredients are available, including some elaborate combinations for the more adventurous. Most bakeries also offers coffee, bread rolls, and cakes (expect to pay 8-10 kr for Danish pastry, here known as 'Wienerbrød'), and several bakeries have at least some form of counter seating.
Natur bageriet - Natural bakery. All types of breads and pasteries and they are all organic. Also many choices for vegetarians, wheat and gluten free options and vegans. Two locations Frederiksborggade 29 (close to norreport station)and Istedgade 98 ( close to hovebanegard station) http://www.naturbageriet.dk/
For something quintessentially Danish, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without trying out a Pølsevogn (see image on the right), literally meaning Sausage Wagon, where you can get your hands on some of the different forms of tasty hot dogs, with free selection of various toppings, for next to nothing by local standards. It's also one of the few places where you are expected to socialize with the other guest. 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 is open 24/7) take over the business of satisfying your hot dog crave, and various other eat and walk items like pizza slices or spring rolls.
And finally, 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.
Brunch is a Copenhagen institution and most cafes will offer it at least on weekends for upwards of 80 kr.
The main tourist area is around Nyhavn while another popular area with many cafes and restaurants is around the old University.
For a range of interesting bars and cafes head to Nørrebro (north and across the lakes from Nørreport station.) From the main street Nørrebrogade either turn left on Blågårds Plads (try Props for a cosy glass of wine on rickety chairs, or Cafe Apotek for interesting imported beers, quirky decor and cheap live music) or right onto Fælledvej to Sankt Hans Torv (as well as the obvious places on the square, there are plenty of places on small streets around, from traditional Danish pubs to trendy cocktail bars and microbreweries).
Vesterbro, Christianshavn (including Christiania), and Copenhagen/Frederiksberg are other good, relatively lively areas to explore. Østerbro is quieter but there are some 'nice' places: the French cafe on the north side of the lake is a great place to enjoy a quiet beer while looking at swans; Panzon on Rosenvængets Alle (near Trianglen) is a good place to splurge on a glass of wine. In the central shopping area head south of Strøget to parallel-running Strædet where there are a number of cosy cafes. If you stay near Nørreport Station it is worthwhile to pay a visit to the bar/cafe Bankeråt in Ahlefeldtsgade, the "interior decoration" supplied by a local artist who places stuffed animalheads on dressed up mannequin dolls - eyecatching. Very popular place with the locals.
Note that Danish 'cafes' are equally ready to serve coffees or beer and wine. 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. A large beer costs 40-50 DKK or so most places in central Copenhagen, but some places on charge DKK 20-30, especially on weekdays or early hours. Unless you come from elsewhere in Scandinavia don't frighten yourself by trying to work out what this costs in your home currency. 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 DKK 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 Nyhavn and enjoy the Danish life.
If you want to watch some rugby or Manchester United there are some expat Irish/British pubs in the inner city. The Globe on Nørregade has a cosy library and does good food; The Dubliner near Amagertorv on Strøget (main walking street) is cavernous and raucous. Or try McGinty's, an authentic Scottish pub, on Vester Voldgade just 100m from the Town Hall Square, expecially pay it a visit when Manchester United plays as it is the Danish hangout for the Danish fans.
For a coastal city Copenhagen has surprisingly few places where you can enjoy a water view with your beer or coffee. Nyhavn is rather crowded and touristy (imitate the locals on a sunny day by buying beer from a kiosk and dangling your legs over the water). There are a couple of swanky places on Langelinie (near the little Mermaid) and the cafe at the base of the Black Diamond has a lovely outlook over the canal. In spring and summer a few cafes on the north side of the city lakes put out tables, chairs and blankets(!) by the water for beer-drinking and swan-watching.
For the beer hunters out there, Copenhagen has a few excellent specialty beer bars:
Copenhagen by night
Copenhagen has a very active nightlife where the party goes on all night. Start an evening by drinking beers or cocktails in one of the trendy spots around Istedgade on Vesterbro, or Studiestræde or Gothersgade in the city center. For late night clubbing, most places will be half empty before 1-2 am. and stay open until 5-6 am. Some areas where a number of night clubs can be found is Boltens Gård in Gothersgade and Rådhuspladsen (main city square). Night clubs usually charge DKK 40-80 for entrance and additional DKK 10-20 for cloakrooms. A pint of beer will normally cost you around DKK 40-55. Most nightclubs have age retrictions of minimum 18-20 years on Wednesday-Friday and 20-23 years on Saturday. It is also possible to get more infomation and a full list of clubs on the mobilephone on the address wap.mobileclubbing.net.
The clubscene is vibrant in Copenhagen, but most clubs are only open Thursday to Saturday. Note that most locals have a party at home with friends, or frequent their favorite bars, before they head out for the clubs, so they rarely get going until after midnight. Below is a breakdown of the main clubs in different genres. Most clubs have cover charge, and the ones that don't are rubbish more often than not. 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 DKK - a bit more expensive than bar prices.
Gays & lesbians
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.
Mosts of the music venues in Copenhagen also doubles as nightclubs - so watch for them under the club sections in the different districts. Tickets for almost every even in Denmark and Copenhagen are sold through Billetnet which both has online sales, and a counter available in all post offices. But apart from headline acts, tickets are usually also sold at the entrance. Expect to pay from 100 DKK and upwards.
The Major music venues in Copenhagen are Parken stadium on Østerbro for the biggest stars. In Downtown, 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 one of the major venues, with concerts of almost every genre, by major national and international acts. Nørrebro has three venues; Stengade 30 is a hangout for the alternative and indie scene, Rust's stage is mainly host for mainstream rhythmic music, and Global is it's name would imply, provides a stage for world music. Southwards on Christianshavn, it's no surprise that the Operahouse plays Opera, and not to be missed, the different venues of Christiania is a powerhouse of Denmark's alternative and underground culture.
Copenhagen offers all kinds of accommodation but like the rest of Denmark, prices are high. Most hotels are located in Indre By (e.g. the Radisson-SAS which was designed by Arne Jacobsen). Special rates are sometimes available on the internet or from travel agencies, so look around.
If you are looking for something unique, Copenhagen has a few surprisingly little known options - fancy sleeping in an old fort? look no further than Flakfortet on it's very own island out in the sound. Stylish rooms, classic and rather tastefully integrated in the environs of the old fort, but staying here excludes spending your evenings in the city, as the last ferry leaves late afternoon - you can also opt for the Dragør fort on Amager, though they haven't pulled it off quite so nicely. In the same area, consider the old and historic beach front Dragør Badehotel which gives you good views, a historic building, a great view over Øresund and a nearby by beach, but also a great deal of transportation to the city centre (albeit it's close to the airport). In the same genre - and with the same drawbacks - is Skovshoved Hotel in the Northern suburbs - historic beach hotel, with nice views and a fantastic restaurant. Opening in 2009, you can get even closer to the water on the floating houseboat hotel CPH Living on 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, or the other just generally hip options of Hotel Twentyseven and Skt Petri Hotel, which are all naturally located near the arty fartsy cocktail lounges of the downtown area. Or you could always max out your credit card and splurge at timeless 5 star classics of D'Anglerre and Hotel Nyhavn.
On a budget
Copenhagen is an expensive city, but it is possible for budget travellers to find reasonably priced accommodation. For the 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 while 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 those could seem expensive (50-200 DKK). The closest camping sites are at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund, and there is also a summer only camping ground in outer part of Nørrebro, within the city proper. If you prefer modern comforts consider one of the Hospitality exchange networks, couchsurfing.com for instance, has more than a 1000 available hosts in the city, and gives you the added bonus of having a local pointing you to the great spots.
There are a few Hostels available, the cheapest are two summer only (July-August) hostels on Vesterbro YMCA Interpoint and Sleep in fact where you can overnight in basic dormitory bunk beds from as little as 100 DKK, 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 which is part of Hostelling International run 4 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  chain, they have 3 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 Euro (single) to 103 Euro (triples). The rooms are quite small but a TV and private shower and toilet are included.
Gays & Lesbians
Libraries offer free internet access for one hour at a time, though this often requires signing up in advance. A cheap (under 20DKK/hour) internet café can be found at Copenhagen Central Station. More over, a lot of bars, cafés, McDonald's and petrol stations offer wi-fi hotspots for people with notebooks, though these are a little more expensive than internet cafés The following places offer free wi-fi access.
A complete list of hotspots is kept up-to-date by pocketfreak.dk . 'Gratis' is Danish for 'free'.
The Tourist Information  is located near Copenhagen Main Station (2m walk) and is worth a visit. The staff are really friendly and they speak almost all languages. It is possible to book hotels using PC terminals directly from within the Tourist Information. They provide information for all possible activities in Copenhagen - museums, concerts, festivals etc.
For Low Budget Travellers it is recommended to have a look at the Copenhagen on Low Budget Guide  that is available for free at the Tourist Information. This page has been removed and all information can only be had from Visitcopenhagen website. However, the first page of the now defunct site says it has collected materials into a brochure that is available in youth hostels.
Although Denmark is a member of the European Union, the currency is still the Danish Krone, which is pegged to the Euro. In Copenhagen many of the major restaurants and hotels frequented by tourists, and in Nyhavn and Tivoli, accept Swedish kronor and Euro, but it's not common practice anywhere else. On the other hand credit cards are widely accepted, although this is usually limited to Visa cards or Mastercard. Supermarkets will normally only accept Danish credit cards, also known as Dankort. Other credit cards like American Express, Diners, JCB and Unionpay are not widely accepted outside the tourist industry, but they certainly get you further in Copenhagen, than in the rest of the country.
Copenhagen used to be one of the safest cities in the world, and while the situation has deteriorated in recent years, it's still generally a safe city compared to other cities the same size. Like any metropolitan area, Copenhagen does experience its share of crimes, and recent times has 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 the necessary precautions, in particular in the neighbourhood of Nørrebro and in the western suburbs, i.e. those municipalities located to the west of Copenhagen proper.
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 night life. If you are unfortunate enough to experience racism, it's 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, due a surge of problems with violence related to immigrant community gangs, who feel alienated by a closely knit Danish society. Instead walk away, and if you feel a need to react, report the incident to authorities, who are required to investigate such cases. Other ethnic groups on the other hand, are not likely to encounter any problems.