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Copenhagen for First-Timers

Photo by Roman Boed

Renaissance splendour, waterside romance, flair for design

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“An open, green and liveable city, Copenhagen is celebrated for its quality of life – for its bicycles, contemporary design and Nordic-centred cuisine. One of Europe’s major cruise destinations, the city also offers a historic skyline and waterside modern architecture. North of the city you will find royal heritage, rolling woodlands and romantic seaside towns.”

These ideas are from Visit Denmark.


City Classics

A royal, historic city, Copenhagen is romantic at any time of year.

Rosenborg Castle. Renaissance castle built in Dutch Renaissance style as a country summerhouse in 1606.

Nyhavn Harbour. Famed for its sun-kissed waterside restaurants and vintage sailing ships, Nyhavn Canal was home to the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.

The Little Mermaid statue. The embodiment of the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen – and the symbol of the city. The statue is located by the harbour promenade, Langeline, close to the cruise ships.

Tivoli Gardens. One of the world’s most magical classic amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens, located in the heart of Copenhagen, filled with restaurants, rides, parades, winter stalls and concerts.


Green Copenhagen

Topping the smart-city rankings, Copenhagen is a green and liveable city. Explore the city like the Copenhageners – by bicycle, kayak and on foot. Copenhagen has world-class bicycle infrastructure so you can explore by pedal power.

Urban beaches and Harbour Baths. Sandy beaches stretch to the south and north of the city. There is also a 5-km sandy urban beach, Amager Strand, just 10 minutes by metro from downtown, complete with water sports and activities. The Copenhagen Harbour Baths at Islands Brygge is also a great place to enjoy a cool fresh dip.

The Blue Planet. Copenhagen’s new aquarium, the Blue Planet, is Denmark’s national aquarium and the largest in Northern Europe.


Design and Shopping

A go-to city for deisgn and fashion, Copenhagen offers boutique shopping and inspiring showrooms for Danish design and crafts.

The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC). Features exhibitions on architecture and urban design, located in a heritage waterside warehouse.

Shopping for Design. Copenhagen’s pedestrianised square-mile city centre offers boutique shopping, department stores and no shortage of design showrooms. Illums Bolighus is the city’s main design store. Close by you find Hay House, Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen.


The Arts and Culture

Classical ballet, modern art, music festivals – Copenhagen celebrates the arts with contemporary museums by the coast and new harbourside landmarks.

The Royal Danish Ballet. One of the world’s most renowned classical companies with a unique Bournonville tradition.

The Black Diamond. The Royal Library in Copenhagen features exhibtions, collections and a chamber music concert hall. The old library building also features the Danish Jewish Museum.

Kødbyen and Vega. Located in the happening district of Vesterbro, Kødbyen is the city’s 1930s meatpacking district. Here are galleries mix with butchers, eateries and nightclubs spring alive in the evening. Vega is a 1950s worker’s culture centre turned multi-storey concert and clubbing venue.


Creative Cuisine

Copenhagen features a wide range of restaurants that draw creative inspiration from Nordic and international cuisine.

For more information, Visit Denmark.


More Scandinavia Itineraries

Finland for First-Timers … Design districts and reindeer safaris, from the midnight sun to the Aurora Borealis
Helsinki for First-Timers … A vibrant but laid-back city
Stockholm for First-Timers … Discover Sweden’s vibrant capital city, one step at a time


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