Cosmopolitan Copenhagen

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN: The grand Frederiksborg Castle, once a royal residence is now the Museum of Natural History.

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN: The grand Frederiksborg Castle, once a royal residence is now the Museum of Natural History.

BioM Restaurant

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN: The grand Frederiksborg Castle, once a royal residence is now the Museum of Natural History.

The Nimb Hotel, which looks out on Tivoli, has 13 guest rooms, a fine-dining restaurant, a brasserie and a bar and grill.

The modern Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, which recently celebrated its 51st anniversary.

Grand Guest Quarters: Admiral Hotel offers water views and is walking distance from the city attractions and shopping.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek’s indoor winter garden is the centerpiece of this sculpture museum.

The Ferris wheel at Tivoli Gardens.

Like the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid is a powerful symbol indelibly associated with a memorable destination for world travelers. Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s beguiling figure—inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale—has been sitting serenely on her rock in Langelinie Quay welcoming visitors to Denmark’s capital since 1913.

Just as there’s instant recognition of Copenhagen’s life-size icon, tourists coming to Scandinavia’s largest city will quickly see why its 1.1 million residents are often known as the happiest people on earth. Joie de vivre is in the air; civility is the norm; and respect for a clean and green environment is a passion in this unhurried, almost idyllic, place.

To fully appreciate this vibrant cityscape—where tradition lives in harmony with modern attitudes—visitors need to venture out along Copenhagen’s cobblestone streets, meandering lanes and grand thoroughfares. Even returning travelers will find plenty to relish anew in the architecture, art, entertainment, nightlife, design, fashion and adventurous Danish cuisine.


Getting Around

Navigating Copenhagen on foot couldn’t be easier, but you can also take advantage of an abundance of taxis and a terrific interconnecting network of trains, buses and the Metro. Be sure to purchase a cOPENhagen CARD, valid for 24 hours, which provides unlimited transportation on all public conveyances, including Metro rides to and from the airport, as well as entrance at more than 60 attractions in and around the city. (The 72-hour cOPENhagen CARD offers unlimited transportation plus admission into approximately 70 sites.) A 135-page guide, chockful of everything visitors need to know, comes with card purchase. Ask your hotel concierge for free copies of the pocket-sized City Net Guide and a city map.

To get the lay of the land, choose from options such as Open Top Tours/Hop-On Hop-Off buses; the Grand Coach Tour; CityCirkel electric buses; Segway tours; and walking excursions (guided and self-led). And, since one-third of Copenhagen’s traffic consists of bicycles, you should consider renting a two-wheeler and peddling about the extensive grid of safe bikeways.

By far, the best bet for an introductory overview of the city—even if Copenhagen is a one-day stopover—is the DFDS two-hour canal tour, departing from the Nyhavn waterfront. Open and glass-topped boats glide around waterways surrounding Køpmannæhafn (merchants’ harbor), with English-speaking guides providing expert narration.


Essential Attractions

Nyhavn. Originally a sketchy waterside hang-out for sailors patronizing bars, brothels and tattoo parlors, Nyhavn now is a picturesque blend of old timber-framed structures, outdoor cafés and restaurants.

The museum at Amalienborg Palace. The winter residence of the Danish Queen and her prince consort, the palace offers glimpses of private rooms and royal treasures.

The new opera house. Considered the world’s most modern.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. An internationally renowned art museum, containing Denmark’s largest collection of French impressionist works along with pieces representing 6,000 years of Mediterranean art.

The Danish Design Centre. Presents classic products and lighting design, including works by young innovators.

Tivoli Gardens. This park-like area has been delighting visitors since 1843. An urban wonderland, it includes a kaleidoscopic montage of pavilions, concert halls and theaters; fanciful open-air stages; and whimsical kiosks interspersed among old-time amusement rides. You’ll find glorious flowers, exotic plants and trees; spectacular lighting effects; jazz and symphonic musical events; and dining venues ranging from hot dog stands to top-rated restaurants.


Where to Stay

A member of the Small Luxury Hotels group, Nimb Hotel is a distinctive property featuring five guest rooms and eight suites, with antique furniture, original artwork, working fireplaces and unobstructed views of the Tivoli scene. No detail is overlooked by the exceptional staff. The hotel, Nimb Brasserie, the Vinotek (wine cellar), Restaurant Herman and cozy bar are all located inside Tivoli Gardens and within walking distance of center-city attractions and shopping. (; doubles from $590.)

Originally an 18th-century granary warehouse, the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel has been transformed into a modern four-star hotel. While its original rustic charms—massive brick walls and arches, and Pomeranian pine beams, pillars and posts—have been preserved, modern comforts abound in the 366 maritime-inspired rooms. The hotel’s restaurant, Salt, features an innovative seasonal menu. (; doubles from $232.)

Check it out

Acknowledged as the world’s first modern design hotel, and Copenhagen’s first skyscraper, the Radisson Blu Royal is a five-star property that features 260 fashionable guest rooms with unique Scandinavian-inspired amenities. Located close to City Hall Square, the Strøget market area and Tivoli Gardens, the hotel has two on-site eateries. (; doubles from $265.)

For more information about Copenhagen, go to For details about Denmark, go to

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) operates non-stop service from Newark.  For flight schedules and reservations, visit, or call 800-221-2350.

SAS supports environmental initiatives, including: a carbon offset program for passengers; development of faster and more fuel-efficient ways to land aircrafts; and a collaborative project with Boeing, other airlines and Yale University to create aviation bio-fuel from a sustainable non-food source.

Shop, Eat, See

Can’t get enough? Here are a few more sights to squeeze in:






BioM Restaurant

BioM Restaurant









Relax at an outdoor café; sip a coffee; linger over a glass of beer (Carlsberg and Tuborg are the local brews); or dig into a smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich).

BioM—This up-and-coming eco-friendly eatery, located in the city’s old section of Fredericiagade, serves a varied menu of modern Danish fare created from ingredients supplied by organic farmers and local fishermen.

Fiskebaren—Dinner at this award-winning restaurant, situated in Copenhagen’s meatpacking district, is a memorable treat.

Take a stroll along Strøget, Europe’s longest and oldest pedestrian-only street, where you’ll discover scores of unique finds in apparel and home-furnishing shops, art galleries, designer stores and trendy boutiques. Diehards should continue the quest in areas around Kronprinsensgade and Grønnegade.


ω Take a short drive beyond the city limits and follow the beach road along the spectacular coast, which locals refer to as the Danish Riviera.

ω Stop by magnificent Frederiksborg Castle, home to Denmark’s Museum of National History. Be sure to experience its glorious Baroque-style gardens.

ω Visit Rungstedlund, the charming house/museum of Danish writer Karen Blixen (pseudonym Isak Dinesen), author of Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass.

ω View the exhibitions at world-famous Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, then wander about its sculpture park. Enjoy panoramic views across the Sound of Øresund.


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About this article

Author: Issue: May/Jun 2011
Credits: Wooden ships, Winter Garden: Cees van Roeden; Ferris wheel: Jorgen Schytt; Castle: Luis De Almerda D’eca; Mermaid: Ukendt;
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