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Copenhagen is the capital and most populated city of Denmark. It has a municipal population of 591,481 and a larger urban population of 1,280,371 (as of 1 January 2016). The Copenhagen metropolitan areahas just over 2 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund.
Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After further disasters in the early 19th century whenNelson attacked the Dano-Norwegian fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen's architecture. Later, following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the development of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre.
Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. The city is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology. Since the completion of the Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen has become increasingly integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid Statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces,Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.
Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and Copenhagen Business School. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the FC København and Brøndby football clubs. The annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. The Copenhagen Metro serves central Copenhagen together with theS-train network connecting the outlying boroughs. Serving roughly 2 million passengers a month, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, is the largest airport in the Nordic countries.
|POPULATION :||City: 583,348 / Metro: 1,992,114|
|FOUNDED :||11th century|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic, English is the predominant second language|
|RELIGION :||Evangelical Lutheran 62.0%, other Christian 28 %, Muslims 10%|
|AREA :||86.20 km2 (33.28 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1 m (3 ft) - 91 m (299 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||55°40′34″N 12°34′06″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.62% |
• Female: 50.38%
|ETHNIC :||Scandinavian 77.3 %, Others ( Faroese, German, Turkish, Pakistan) 22.7%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||1050-1778, 2100, 2150, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2450|
|DIALING CODE :||(+45) 3|
Copenhagen (Danish: København) is the capital city of Denmark and forms the moderate conurbation that one million Danes call home. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to form a small Danish metropolis, with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet small enough still to feel intimate and be safe. Although mixed in its urban scene, the city is easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund Strait, with neighbouring Sweden just minutes away, Copenhagen serves as a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Copenhagen is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with crisp electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You could feel you've seen all of Copenhagen in one day, but further exploration will have you discovering more for months.
Copenhagen has a lot to offer. Shopping, culture and nightlife in Copenhagen is amazing. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid Statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.
Tourism is a major contributor to Copenhagen's economy, attracting visitors due to the city's harbour, cultural attractions and award-winning restaurants. Since 2009, Copenhagen has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan destinations in Europe. Hotel capacity in the city is growing significantly. From 2009 to 2013, it experienced a 42% growth in international bed nights (total number of nights spent by tourists), tallying a rise of nearly 70% for Chinese visitors. The total number of bed nights in the Capital Region surpassed 9 million in 2013, while international bed nights reached 5 million.
In 2010, it is estimated that city break tourism contributed to DKK 2 billion in turnover. However, 2010 was an exceptional year for city break tourism and turnover increased with 29% in that one year. 680,000 cruise passengers visited the port in 2015.
Copenhagen's official tourist agency is Wonderful Copenhagen
- Copenhagen Right Now, Vesterbrogade 4A (Across from Tivoli's main entrance, near the central station), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Jan–Apr M–F 9:00–16:00, Sa 9:00–14:00; May–June M–Sa 9:00–18:00; July–Aug M–Sa 9:00–20:00, Su 10:00–18:00; Sep M–Sa 9:00–18:00; Oct–Dec M–F 9:00–16:00, Sa 9:00–14:00.
Although the earliest historical records of Copenhagen are from the end of the 12th century, recent archaeological finds in connection with work on the city's metropolitan rail system revealed the remains of a large merchant's mansion near today's Kongens Nytorv from c. 1020.
In disputes prior to the Reformation of 1536, the city which had been faithful to Christian II, who was Catholic, was successfully besieged in 1523 by the forces of Frederik I, who supported Lutheranism. Copenhagen's defences were reinforced with a series of towers along the city wall. After an extended siege from July 1535 to July 1536, during which the city supported Christian II's alliance with Malmö and Lübeck, it was finally forced to capitulate to Christian III.
Copenhagen lost around 22,000 of its population of 65,000 to the plague in 1711. The city was also struck by two major fires which destroyed much of its infrastructure. The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 was the largest in the history of Copenhagen. It began on the evening of 20 October, and continued to burn until the morning of 23 October, destroying approximately 28% of the city.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Copenhagen had become a thriving industrial and administrative city. With its new city hall and railway station, its centre was drawn towards the west.
As a result of Denmark's neutrality in the First World War, Copenhagen prospered from trade with both Britain and Germany while the city's defences were kept fully manned by some 40,000 soldiers for the duration of the war.
During World War II in Denmark, Copenhagen was occupied by German troops along with the rest of the country from 9 April 1940 until 4 May 1945.
Since the summer of 2000, Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö have been connected by the Øresund Bridge, which carries rail and road traffic. As a result, Copenhagen has become the centre of a larger metropolitan area spanning both nations. The bridge has brought about considerable changes in the public transport system and has led to the extensive redevelopment of Amager.
Copenhagen, like the rest of Denmark, has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is definitely the warm period from early May to late August. Current weather forecasts 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, 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 harbour 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 cosiness. 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.
Do note that weather in Copenhagen can be unstable and highly unpredictable. Make sure you pack clothes in case of sudden rain or spell of cold (or, in the summer, of warmth) even despite long-term forecasts telling you otherwise. An umbrella, rain coat and shoes that will withstand torrential downpour may come in handy. Copenhageners dress very well, but at the same time very practically and with the realization that rain can assault their carefully chosen styling any minute.
|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|
Copenhagen is part of the Øresund Region, which consists of Zealand, Lolland-Falster and Bornholm in Denmark and Scania in Sweden. It is located on the eastern shore of the island of Zealand, partly on the island of Amager and on a number of natural and artificial islets between the two.
By road, Copenhagen is 42 kilometres (26 mi) northwest of Malmö, Sweden.
Copenhagen is the economic and financial centre of Denmark. Statistics for 2010 show that of the 350,000 people working in Copenhagen, the vast majority are employed in the service sector, especially transport and communications, trade, and finance, while less than 10,000 work in the manufacturing industries.
Copenhagen is home to a number of international companies including A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Novo Nordisk, Carlsberg and Novozymes. The city also has successful business clusters in several innovative sectors including information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology.
Tourism is also an increasingly important sector for Copenhagen's economy, reaching record numbers in 2012 for the third year in succession.The number of room nights reached 8.1 million.
Centrum, the Medieval City — a place of many names, and the historical heart of Copenhagen, dotted with church spires, historic buildings, narrow alleys and excellent shopping.
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.
This district still has its share of sex shops and sleazy hotels, but 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.
A small town which originally formed around Frederiksberg Castle, this area is still a separate municipality. Surrounded by the City of Copenhagen, the area has preserved a special conservative, upscale feel.
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.
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.
Once a bastion of the working class, this island with its own distinct atmosphere is booming with new development. Also home of the airport.
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.
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.
Libraries offer free internet access for one hour at a time, though this often requires signing up in advance. The Hovedbibliotek (main library) has 12 freely accessible workstations and a wide selection of international newspapers, Krystalgade 15 [www]
A cheap (under DKK 20/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 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 [www].
The Tourist Information Office is located near Copenhagen Main Station (2 km 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 this office and they provide information for all possible activities in Copenhagen including museums, concerts and festivals.
Prices in Copenhagen
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.85|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€8.10|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€45.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€80.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€115.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€9.40|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€5.40|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€6.10|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€14.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€35.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.17|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.95|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.90|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€106.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€39.50|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€110.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€3.25|
67 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
308 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Kastrup Airport (CPH)
Copenhagen Airport (IATA: CPH) on the nearby island of Amager is the central hub for Scandinavia's largest international air 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 and several carriers have 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 serves Copenhagen from London Stansted, Manchester, Milan, Geneva, Paris CDG and Berlin Schönefeld. Air Berlin flies direct to Düsseldorf, Berlin and Palma de Mallorca. Norwegian offers budget flights to (among others) Liverpool, Oslo,Stockholm, Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris, Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw.
While CPH is one of Europe's busiest airports, with a flight taking off every 2 minutes on average well into the night, many facilities have limited opening hours. Little in the way of gastronomy or retail remains open after 20:00, even the CPH Apartment Lounge closes at 20:00 and the frequent fliers and business/first class passengers are required to wait in the empty terminal halls. If your flight is in the early hours, you can take advantage of the facilities (snacks, drinks, free Wi-Fi, relaxation and work facilities) of the CPH Apartment 05:00–20:00 for DKK165 (as of 2014), unless your frequent flier plan or ticket tariff covers that already.
Transport to/from Kastrup Airport
It takes 12 minutes by train to travel from Kastrup to the Central Station (Hovedbanegården) in Copenhagen city centre. You need a ticket for 3 zones which can be purchased from one of the automated vending machines or the ticket counter located inside the atrium and costs DKK42 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 centre (for the same ticket and price of DKK42).
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.
Sturup Airport in Malmö (MMX)
Consider Sturup Airport (IATA: 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, Gdańsk, Katowice, and Warsaw and a few domestic airlines often offer cheap flights to other Swedish cities. There is one daily direct bus by Gråhundbus, otherwise change in Malmö. Consider the price of transfer as most low cost destinations served at Sturup are also available at Kastrup Airport.
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.
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 inFredericia, 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).
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 DKK245.
Across the Øresund strait in Sweden, the Øresundstog 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 DKK75. Swedish Railways operates up to seven X2000 express trains from Stockholm every day (five and a half hours). An easy change in Malmö almost doubles that number and also gives you the option of a night train connection.
To continental Europe, Eurocity trains connect Hamburg with Copenhagen, up to six times per day; a single one of those trains runs directly from Berlin daily. Standard prices are €130 from Berlin and €78 from Hamburg, but it's often possible to find discounted tickets — in Denmark those are called Orange Tyskland or "sightseeing fares" which are the same price as bus.
Buses between Jutland and Copenhagen are only marginally cheaper than the train, although there are considerable discounts offered Monday to Thursday. International buses on the other hand offer considerably lower prices than the train. However, railways have been prioritized politically, so 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 terminate at Toftegårds Plads, near Valby station in the Vesterbro district.
From Jutland and Fyn the bus company EkspresRuten connects Copenhagen with Aarhus, Vejle and Odense South several times per day. There is also a stop in Roskilde.
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 882runs between Copenhagen and Fjerritslev in Northwestern Jutland once every day.
- Abildskou, M–F 8:00–17:00, Sa 8:00–14:00, Su 9:00–17:00, .
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 on-line, but tickets can also be purchased at the Copenhagen Right Now tourist information desk near the central station. In the winter (Dec-Apr) Fjällexpressen whisks skiers between Copenhagen and the Swedish ski resorts. When booking on-line, it's useful to know that Copenhagen is calledKöpenhamn in Swedish.
- GoByBus, , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 7:30–18:00, Sa 7:30–17:00, Su 9:00–18:00. Oslo (8.5h) via Gothenburg (4.5h), line 300. c. DKK225.
- Gråhundbus. Local operator Greyhound Bus has several daily connections to Malmö and once daily to Malmö Airport. Also works with partners elsewhere to Europe.
- Swebus Express, , e-mail: [email protected].M-F 8:00–18:00, Sa 9:00–15:00, Su 9:00–18:00. Oslo (9h) via Gotenburg (5h) c. SEK300, line 820; Stockholm (9h) via Jonköping (4½ hrs) ~ SEK350, 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, especially 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, , e-mail: [email protected].M-F 8:00–18:00, Sa 9:00–15:00, Su 9:00–18:00. Tickets sold at the central tourist information desk. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (7.5h) via Rostock (4.5h) ~SEK450, line 902.
- Berolina, , e-mail: [email protected].(Gråhundbus +45 44 68 44 00, in Denmark) Tickets are sold in the bus, but advance booking is recommended. This company does not allow bicycles on board their coaches. Berlin (8h) via Rostock (4h) ~DKK300 (€40), line E55.
- Eurolines, Halmtorvet 5, . Daily 9:00–17:00. 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. Most services out of Denmark have 230V plugs and Wi-Fi is available in Germany. Berlin (7h) c. DKK300, line 260R; Hamburg (6 hrs) via Lübeck (5h) c. DKK300, line 210.
- Bohemian Lines, , e-mail: [email protected].Daily 8:00–20:00. 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 ) c. CZK1450 (€55).
- Autoprevoz, , e-mail: [email protected]. Banja Luka (25h, twice weekly) c. BAM300 (€150)
- Toptourist, , e-mail: [email protected]. Tickets can be paid on the bus, but advance booking and payment is recommended.Sarajevo via Salzburg (twice weekly) c. DKK1000 (€140) return.
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 for twice weekly connections with Gdańsk (25h30m).Agat provides four round trips per week between Copenhagen and Katowice(20h) in Southern Poland, and Eurobus for connections with Warsaw (20h 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
Copenhagen's spanking new DFDS Seaways Terminal (Dampfærgevej 30) is close to Nordhavn station. City bus line 26 stops at the entrance of the ferry terminal, it also stops at Copenhagen Central Station, Town Hall Square and Østerport Station.
There are two regular connections straight into Copenhagen's harbour. The most known is from Oslo, Norway, with daily departures, and an over night trip that takes 16 hours. It is marketed as a cruise line, and occationally a cruise round-trip fare can be less expensive than a one-way fare, that begin at €181 (incl. car €206). The other ferry connection is the less known roundtrip-connection to Fredericia, Denmark and Klaipėda, Lithuania. Since the latter is a Ro-Ro freight line, you need to contact DFDS for more information.
If you are arriving under your own sail, 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: DKK75-120. 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).
Transportation - Get Around
Copenhagen has an extensive, yet notoriously complicated and hard to crack, public transportation system. Once you get your bearings, however, you will find it a very comfortable way to explore the city and get around.
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.
The zone system
One of the most perplexing feature of the public transportation system in Copenhagen is the zone system. The whole city, as well as the surrounding region is divided into fare zones. 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.
Tickets and fares
The number of available ticket types may be bewildering - below is a quick overview:
- Single-ride tickets — price depending on the number of zones your travel through, the cheapest is the two-zone ticket which costs DKK 24 for adults (DKK 12 for children under the age of sixteen). 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 starting from the time you stamp it. 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).
- 10-journey discount travelcard — gives you a discount of around forty percent and can be bought in kiosks and ticket offices. This replaces the previous klippekort
- 24-hour ticket — enables you unlimited rides throughout the entire system and all zones for DKK 130. You don't need this, though, if you do not intend to leave Copenhagen itself over those 24 hours — then you can do with the cheaper City Pass (see below)
- City Pass — gives you unlimited ride in zones 1-4 (including Copenhagen Airport) for 24 hours (DKK 80) or 72 hours (DKK 200). Perhaps the most reasonable choice if you intend to stay in the city itself (and not the remote parts of Copenhagen region) and use the public transit to get around.
- CPH Card — gives free transport throughout the region and free admission to 60 museums and sights. The card costs DKK 229 for 24 hours or DKK 459 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
- 7-day FlexCard
Tickets for children aged 15 or younger generally cost half the price of adult tickets. Night buses incur the same fares as day buses, there is no supplement.
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) [www]. It may be a poor choice for most tourists: the card itself costs a non-refundable DKK80, must be bought with DKK100 credit and won't work (needs more money added) once the stored credit falls below DKK70.
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. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket is DKK 750 (DKK 600 for buses) and ticket conductors are common both in S-trains and Metro. More information about price and tickets at [www].
The S-train service ([www], Danish only, schedule [www] ) 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 6:00–18:00) and at twenty minute intervals in the early morning and late at night. In the weekends, the trains run 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 mostly given in Danish only, so remember to ask your fellow travellers for help. For the most part though they are just cursory announcements. Bikes can be taken for free on the S-train and special bicycle compartments exist in the train.
The Copenhagen Metro 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.
One interesting feature resulting from the lack of drivers on trains is the fact that both ends of the trains have large windows with unbscured views, and the trains are accordingly fitted with rows of seats facing them. This can be an extra treat to the visitors travelling on the Metro — enter the train with the exit next to the front end and try to get a seat in one of the three front rows. Some sections of the tracks are less interesting than the others, e.g. the one in the centre runs underground (that said, tunnels are lit up and can be quite amazing to witness the first time you see them), or the section towards the airport. On the other hand, the overground section of the M1 line on Amager is rather picturesque.
Copenhagen has a fairly extensive and efficient bus network. 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. That said, many stops do have a small electronic display showing how many minutes are left until the next bus arrives.
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 seven different lines with frequent departures and stops. During the day time there are no schedules as buses usually depart at least every ten minutes. They are also operating at night.
- 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.
- N buses are a network of ten bus lines operating at night between 1:00–5:00 daily, when normal traffic is halted, and they are much more frequent at weekends.
You are expected to board the bus using the front exit and immediately show your ticket to the bus driver (be it a paper ticket or a one you received as an SMS to your phone), or validate it if you have not done so before (e.g. when you intend to ride on a single-ride ticket or you're travelling with a rejsekort). You can also purchase the ticket from the driver. The front exits are for boarding only — alight using other doors only.
CitySightseeing 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 DKK 150 for a one day ticket or DKK 220 for a two day ticket which also includes the DFDS canal tour boats.
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 an 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, , e-mail:[email protected]. 9.30–20:00. Waterbus (unguided): Single DKK 40, All day DKK 60; Tour (guided): Single DKK 60, All day DKK 75. Various discounts available.
- Netto-bådene, Heibergsgade (Nyhavn), . 10:00–17:00 (19:00 in July & August). DKK 40.
- Movia, Customer center at Rådhuspladen, . 7:00–19:00. Uses public ticketing system.
An option you may want to consider is a Freedom ticket which for DKK 220 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.
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.
Bycyklen is Copenhagen's new bike-sharing scheme, launched in 2014. The idea is pretty simple — you can rent a bike from a stand, ride around and return at the same or any other stand at the city, paying for the time you used the bicycle. The bicycles are all-new and equipped with an electric motor to help you go uphill, as well as a tablet with GPS so that you can browse the map and find your route while not getting lost. For occasional users, the hourly rate is 25 DKK, and the only way to pay is by setting up an account and letting Bycyklen charge your credit card. A mobile phone is required, and currently (as of May 2014) registration is only possible for mobile phone users from several Western European countries.
As an alternative to the city bikes you can rent a bike and these are far more comfortable. You can find a little bike rental shop called CPH bike rental [www] on a side-street to Nansensgade on Turesensgade 10, five minutes from Norreport station. They rent bikes on a daily basis and use the proceeds to finance the shipment of used bikes to Africa. They also arrange city tours and sell picnic baskets. Their prices start at DKK 60 for six hours bike rent. Another bicycle shop is at the Central Railroad Station, where prices start at DKK 75 a day/340 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 city tour at 10:00 daily departing from Copenhagen Bikes at the main train station.
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 (DKK 12-15). 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.
Prices range DKK 11-16 per kilometer depending on the time of day and the meter flag-fall charge is DKK 25. 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.
Copenhagen Taxi companies
- Amager-Øbro Taxi (Central Copenhagen) +45 32 51 51 51
- Codan Taxi (Central Copenhagen)+45 70 25 25 25
- Taxa 4x35 (Central Copenhagen)+45 35 35 35 35
- TaxaMotor A/S (Central Copenhagen) +45 70 338 338
- Ballerup-Værløse-Herlev Taxa (Northwestern suburbs)+45 44 85 35 35
- Taxa Selandia (Southern suburbs)+45 70 10 66 66
- Taxinord (Northern Suburbs) +45 45 83 83 83
- Vest-Taxa (Western Suburbs)+4543 45 45 45
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
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, 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 Elmegade has some small independent 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 5–18:00 on weekdays, around 16:00 on Saturdays, and rarely will anything be open on Sundays, including supermarkets! For out-of-hours shopping (apart from the ubiquitous 7-Eleven and small kiosks), the shops at Central Station (offering books and CDs, camping gear, photographic equipment, cosmetics, gifts) are open until 20:00 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.
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 Cemetery 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.
On a budget
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 manyshawarma and pizza joints that you find on almost every street in the city. You can get a shawarma for as little as DKK 15-20 and pizzas start at around DKK 40. 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 DKK 69 (lunch) / DKK 99 (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 (Approx. DKK 35) 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 DKK 8-10 for Danish pastry, here known as wienerbrød) and many bakeries offer at least some form of counter seating.
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-Eleven 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.
Copenhagen has 13 Michelin starred restaurants, which is a huge number for a city of its size. This includes both Italian, French, thai and of course the new Nordic cuisine. The new Nordic cuisine is headed by world renowned noma, that has two Michelin stars and have been number one in San Pellegrinos "The Worlds 50 best restaurants in 2013" in both 2010, 2011 and 2012. But tables can be extremely difficult to get. But if you still want to try thew new Nordic cuisine is Relæ and Kadeau great options, both with one Michelin star. All three of them use traditionally Nordic ingredients and give new takes of classic Nordic dishes. Marv&Ben can be recommended for cheaper non-Michelin starred experience in the Nordic cuisine. Manfred og Vin is another possibility, Relæ's little sister, located just opposite to Relæ offer a relaxed atmosphere but still playful and delicious organic food, wine and beer with strong Nordic roots. It is also fine just to go for a glass.
Geranium and noma are the big international stars in Danish cuisine. Geranium's head chef, Rasmus Koefod, won the Bocuse d'Or (World Championship for chefs) in 2011, and Geranium currently has two Michelin stars. The restaurant is located on 8th floor of the national soccer stadium in Østerbro. But don't get frightened by that; there is a beautiful view over the nearby park and most of Copenhagen. The focus is more classic French than Noma, but there are still strong new Nordic vibes.
The new Nordic movement have been so strong that it is almost impossible to find a Michelin starred restaurant in Copenhagen without at least some strong Nordic directions. One of the only exceptions is Era Ora, a classic Italian one Michelin starred restaurant. That is famous for a fantastic (though expensive) wine menu and delicious Italian treats. If the wallet is not that heavy, Formel B a strong choice. Besides from most other top restaurants is there no expensive tasting menu or the traditional starter, main and dessert. Here costs all of the 20 dishes the same and you can choose one, two or all twenty.
A fun story is that the only Thai restaurant in the guide is located in Copenhagen, and with a Danish owner. The restaurant Kiin Kiin is located in the hip and a bit trashy neighbourhood Nørrebro. An affiliate was actually opened in Bangkok a few years ago. Aroii is one of Kiin Kiin's sister restaurants in Copenhagen, it is located in the same building and offers highly delicious thai food, for much cheaper prices. Also possible for take away.
Other Michelin starred restaurants include: Kong Hans Kælder, which opened in 1976 and has had only have three head chefs in that time. In these almost 40 years Kong Hans Kælder has been a front runner for top gourmet in Copenhagen, it is still the place to go. The focus is changing from the classic French cuisine to a new healthy paleo-inspired cuisine, probably the only Michelin starred restaurant in the world to go in that direction.
Other one Michelin stars: Kokkeriet, Restaurant AOC, I Søllerød Kro,Grønbech&Churchill and Den Røde Cottage Other top picks include: 1. Th. The restaurant is decorated as a normal living room, giving the experience as being to dinner at a friends house. You pay a fixed amount before, and everyone is included. So you don't get a check afterward. A fantastic place. Mielcke & Hurtigkarl (which has been "cheated" out of a Michelin star for many years, at least according to Danish food critics) Marchal at luxury hotel D'Angleterre. A newly opened restaurant by rising star head chef Ronny Emborg. Alberto K, a rising star in the Copenhagen culinary environment. Restaurationen, a former Michelin star. But the owner lowered the tempo and still serves delicious food and gives top service. Bror, Rebel, Pony, Pluto,Clou and Congo are all newly opened but show huge potential.
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 DKK 80, often with a theme: American and French are especially widespread. One of the most popular options is O's American Breakfast at two locations in central Copenhagen.
Sights & Landmarks
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 (often German also) 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.
A visit to the Nationalmuseet in Indre By is a must-do for the many well-arranged exhibits relating to the Danish past and modern culture. In practice, this means everything from Danish prehistory (amazing Bronze Age weapons and burials), through to the Viking Age (runestones, precious hoards, swords and jewellery) and into the modern period (a vast section is devoted to the Story of the Danes from 1660-2000). If you want something more localised, 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.
If you are into the arts, Copenhagen has a lot to offer. A natural starting point is a visit to the Danish National Gallery(Statens Museum for Kunst, free entry, DKK10 deposit for lockers) where you can feast your eyes on blockbusters from the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Matisse. There are also a number of paintings by Danish artists from the "Golden Age". Across the Royal Gardens lies Scandinavia's biggest collection of Islamic art, the David Collection (Davids Samling) which has free entrance. It also has a smaller collection of Danish paintings including some by Hammershøi and Willumsen. It's a ten-minute walk through the Royal Gardens but you might have to know the address beforehand, since the museum is a bit of a hidden treasure. For a hard-to-beat appreciation of Classical (Greece / Rome) and Near Eastern art (Egypt / Mesopotamia / Anatolia / Iran), visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which also has an extensive section devoted to 19th century French and Danish art, with works by masters like Picasso, Leger, and Matisse. The Winter Garden inside the Glytotek is a beautiful (and very warm!) 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 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, arguably the 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 colour on an art tour, The Hirschsprung Collectionin 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 and Natural History
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 Centre, 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, the 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.
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. The top of the Round Tower 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 is regarded as something of a test of manhood 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 Halland 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.
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 aroundSorgenfri 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.
Denmark is world-famous for its design tradition and, while the term Danish designhas been devalued over the years due to much misuse, it is still a world-recognized style. A 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.
Museums & Galleries
List of museums in and around Copenhagen
|Amalienborg Museum||1 Amalienborg Slotsplads|
1257 København K
|Copenhagen||Art, antiquities, historic site||Located in Amalienborg Palace, the royal palace, displays the Chronological Collections of the Glücksburg monarchs|
|Amber Museum||Nyhavn||Copenhagen||Design and natural history museum||A combined shop and museum of amber|
|Arken Museum of Modern Art||100 Skovvej|
|Ishøj||Art||A permanent collection of modern art and large changing exhibitions|
|Assistens Cemetery||Nørrebro||Copenhagen||Art||Historic cemetery, burial place of many famous people, small museum dedicated to the artist Germin Stilling in former stables|
|Bakkehuset||23 Rahbæks Allé|
|Frederiksberg||Historic house||A historic house associated with the Danish Golden Age of the early 19th century|
|Blue Planet Aquarium||Kastrup||Tårnby||Aquarium||Aquarium with 4,000,000 water|
|Brede House||Brede||Lyngby-Taarbæk||Historic House||A country house built in 1795 today managed by the National Museum as a historic house museum with interiors typical of its time|
|Brede Works||Brede||Lyngby-Taarbæk||Industrial history||Located in the largest listed Danish industrial complex, permanent and special exhibitions about industrial cultural history|
|Carlsberg Visitor Centre||Carlsberg||Copenhagen Municipality||History||Historic site, interactive experience centre|
|Charlottenborg||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Art||Located in a historic building, large exhibition space for modern art|
|Church of Our Saviour||Christianshavn||Copenhagen Municipality||Religious||Lutheran church, access to the corkscrew spire|
|The Cinameteque||City Centre||Copenhagen||Film||National Danish film museum with three auditoriums|
|The Cisterns||Søndermarken||Frederiksberg||Art||Located in a complex of abandoned, underground cisterns, hosts a permanent and special exhibitions of glass art|
|Copenhagen City Museum||Vesterbro||Copenhagen||History||Exhibitions about the history of Copenhagen|
|Copenhagen Zoo||Frederiksberg||Frederiksberg||Science||All-round zoological garden with Elephant House designed by Sir Norman Foster|
|Customs and Tax Museum||Østerbro||Copenhagen||History||History of customs and taxes in Denmark|
|Danish Architecture Centre||Christianshavn||Copenhagen||Design||Changing exhibitions about architecture and urban planning|
|Danish Jewish Museum||Slotsholmen||Copenhagen||History||Based at the Royal Danish Library in galleries designed by Daniel Libeskind, documenting Jewish history in Denmark|
|Danish Maritime Museum||Helsingør||Helsingør||Cultural history||Museum dedicated to the maritime history of Denmark located in an underground museum building designed by Bjarke Ingels Group around a former dry dock|
|Danish National Gallery||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Art||National collection of art from the 14th century to the present day|
|Danish Police Museum||Nørrebro||Copenhagen Municipality||Cultural history||A former police station from 1883, now a museum dedicated to the history of the Danish Police Fore and crime in Denmark|
|David Collection||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art, applied arts||Located in two Neo-classical town houses, extensive collection of Islamic Art and Danish and European fine and applied arts|
|Den Frie Udstillingsbygning||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art||Contemporary art exhibitions|
|Design Museum Denmark||Frederiksstaden||Copenhagen||Design||Located in the 18th-century Frederick's Hospital, Denmark's national museum for design, both modern and historic|
|DieselHouse||South Docklands||Copenhagen||Technology||Interactive experience centre with diesel technology as the main theme|
|Experimentarium||Tuborg Havn||Gentofte||Technology||Located in a former building of the Tuborg Brewery, science centre with interactive exhibitions, changing exhibitions|
|Finn Juhl House||Klampenborg||Gentofte||Historic house||Operated by Ordrupgaard, modernist house designed by Finn Juul with most of its furniture for his own use|
|Fotografisk Center||Carlsberg||Copenhagen||Photography||Exhibition space dedicated to Danish and International art photography|
|Frederiksborg Museum||Hillerød||Hillerød||Art. historic site||Located at Frederiksborg Castle, art collection illustrating Danish history combined with historic interiors|
|Frieboeshvile||Kongens Lyngby||Lyngby-Taarbæk||Local||A former Rococo country house, now hosting the local historic collections for Lyngby-Taarbæk municipality|
|Gammel Holtegård||Holte||Rudersdal||Art||Located in a former country house designed by architect Lauritz de Thurah for his own use, changing art exhibitions|
|Heerup Museum||Rødovre||Rødovre||Art museum||Biographical museum dedicated to the oeuvre of the artist Henry Heerup|
|Hirschsprung Collection||20 Stockholmsgade|
2100 København Ø
|Copenhagen||Art||Large collection of Danish 19th- and early 20th-century art with come provinence furniture|
|Nivaagaard||Nivå||Fredensborg||Art||Permanent painting collection and changing exhibitions|
|J.F. Willumsens Museum||Frederikssund||Frederikssund||Art||Dedicated to the works of the artist Jens Ferdinand Willumsen|
|HDMS Peder Skram||Holmen||Copenhagen||Ship||A decommissioned frigate of the Royal Danish Navy, now open to the public|
|HDMS Sehested||Holmen||Copenhagen||Ship||The last fast attack boat in the Royal Danish Navy|
|HDMS Sælen||Holmen||Copenhagen||Ship||A decommissioned submarine of the Royal Danish Navy, now open to the public|
|Jægerspris Castle||Jægerspris||Frederikssund||Historic house||Museum in Baroque manor house and former royal residence associated with King Frederick VII and Countess Danner, sculpture park|
|Karen Blixen Museum||Rungsted||Hørsholm||Biographical, historic house||Former family home of author Karen Blixen, also exhibiting a collection of her paintings and drawings|
|Kastrupgård||Kastrup||Tårnby||Art, applied arts, historic site||Permanent and changing art exhibitions, a collection of artefacts from Kastrup Værk|
|Kronborg Castle||Helsingør||Helsingør||Historic site||Historic interiors and artefacts as well as changing exhibitions|
|Kroppedal||Taastrup||Høje-Taastrup||Astronomy, archaeology, ethnology||National museum of Danish astronomy, also has an archaeological unit, and an ethnological unit specializing in modern society|
|Kunstforeningen||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art||Based in a Rococo town house, changing exhibitions of Danish and International art, mainly contemporary but occasionally historical|
|Lightvessel Gedser Rev||Nyhavn||Copenhagen Municipality||Ship||Defunct lightvessel, now opened to the public|
|Little Mill||Christianshavn||Copenhagen Municipality||Historic house||Operated by National Museum, originally a windmill but transformed into a private home in 1917, intact, interiors|
|Louisiana Museum of Modern Art||13 Gl. Strandvej|
|Fredensborg-Humlebæk||Art||Denmark's most visited museum, large permanent and changing exhibitions and sculpture garden|
|Marienlyst Castle||Helsingør||Helsingør Municipality||Historic house||Palacial residence which formerly served as a royal pavilion of Kronborg Castle|
|Medical Museion||City Centre||Copenhagen||History||History of medicine|
|Munkeruphus||Dronningmølle||Gribskov||Art||A Colonial Revival-style former country house now playing host to changing exhibitions of art, crafrs, design and architecture|
|Museum of Hunting and Forestry||Hørsholm||Hørsholm||History||History of hunting and forestry|
|Museum of Music||City Centre||Copenhagen||Cultural history||History of Music|
|National Museum of Denmark||City Centre||Copenhagen||History, archeology, ethnology||National collections of archeological finds and historic objects. Ethnological exhibits.|
|National Museum of Photography||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Photography||National Danish collections of photographs, changing exhibitions|
|Natural History Museum of Denmark||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||History||Includes the Zoological Museum, Geological Museum, Botanical Museum and Central Library, and Botanical Gardens|
|North Atlantic House||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Art, culture||Cultural history of Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands|
|Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Art||Significant collections of classical antiquities, Danish and European 19th- and 20th-century art, French impressionism partecularly well represented|
|Nyboder Memorial Rooms||City Centre||Copenhagen Municipality||Art||Exhibition about everyday life in the Nyboder naval quarters from 1631 to the present day|
|Open Air Museum||Kongens Lyngby||Lyngby-Taarbæk||Historic||A collection of more than a hundred rural buildings from around Denmark as well as reconstructed period gardens and old Danish breeds of farm animal|
|Ordrupgaard||Ordrup||Gentofte||Art||Located in a historic in a former country house with an extension by Zaha Hadid, exhibits a significant collection of Danish and French art from the 19th and early 20th century as well as changing exhibitions|
|Post & Tele Museum||City Centre||Copenhagen||History||Postal and telecommunications history, stamps, letters, artefacts|
|Resistance Museum||City Centre||Copenhagen||History||Exhibition about the Danish resistance movement during World War II|
|Danish Revue Museum||Frederiksberg||Frederiksberg||Cultural history||Museum dedicated to Danish revue, based in a former country house from the late 19th century|
|Rosenborg Museum||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art, antiquities, historic building||A Renaissance castle built by King Christian IV, displays the Chronological Collections of the Danish Oldenburgmonarchs, including the Danish Crown Regalia|
|Roskilde Cathedral||Roskilde||Roskilde||Religious||Lutheran cathedral, exhibition about its history with artefacts, models and reconstructions|
|Round Tower||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art, historic site||A 17th-century observatory, changing art and other exhibitions in the attached Library Hall located above Trinity Church|
|Royal Danish Arsenal Museum||Slotsholmen||Copenhagen||Military||Collections of historic weapons and military artefacts|
|Royal Cast Collection||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art||Located in an 18th-century former warehouse of the Danish West India Company, comprises more than 2,000 plaster casts of sculptures and reliefs from around the world|
|Royal Danish Naval Museum||Christianshavn||Copenhagen||Military||History and artefacts of the Royal Danish Navy|
|Royal Life Guards Museum||City Centre||Copenhagen||Art||Located in Rosenborg Barracks, history and artefacts of the Royal Life Guards from 1658 to the present day|
|Royal Stables and Carriage Museum||Slotsholmen||Copenhagen||History||The Danish royal family's stables and collection of carriages at Christiansborg Palace|
|Rudolph Tegner Museum||Dronningmølle||Gribskov||Art||Purpose-built museum for works by sculptor Rudolph Tegner, located in an area of protected heatherlands|
|St. Ansgar's Museum||Frederiksstaden||Copenhagen||Religious||Located in connection with St. Ansgar's, the Catholic cathedral in Copenhagen, sizable collection of artefacts linked with the church and the Catholic congregation, and Liturgic artefacts|
|Storm P Museum||Frederiksberg||Frederiksberg||Biographical||History of Danish cartoonist, writer, animator, illustrator, painter actor and humorist Robert Storm Petersen and collections of his works|
|Theatre Museum in the Court Theatre||Slotsholmen||Copenhagen||Theatre Museum||The museum seeks to document the history of professional theater through collections of pictures, letters, costumes, props and models of theater buildings and set designs.|
|Thorvaldsens Museum||Slotsholmen||Copenhagen||Art, biographical||Purpose-built museum dedicated to the works and collections which Bertel Thorvaldsen brought back from Rome|
|Tycho Brahe Planetarium||Vesterbro||Copenhagen||Planetarium||Exhibitions about astronomy, an IMAX theatre and a star projector|
|University Botanical Garden||City Centre||Copenhagen||Natural history||27 glasshouses and more than 13,000 species of plants|
|V1 Gallery||Vesterbro||Copenhagen||Art||Contemporary art gallery|
|Viking Ship Museum||Roskilde||Roskilde||Maritime, history||Display of recovered remains of Viking ships|
|Worker's Museum||City Centre||Copenhagen||History||History and artefacts relating to workers in Copenhagen|
|Æbelholt Abbey Museum||Hillerød||Hillerød||Antiquities, historic site||Displays the remains of an Augustinian monastery|
|Øregård Museum||Hellerup||Gentofte||Art, history, historic house||Located in a Neoclassical former country house, holds a collection of around 3,000 pictures from the Copenhagen and hosts changing art and historic exhibitions|
Things to do
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 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).
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 orDyrehavsbakken 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.
Festivals and events
- Crafts Fair (13-15 August 2015). Held every year in August — Thursday-Saturday — outdoors at Frue Plads in central Copenhagen. The Crafts Fair has more than 130 exhibitors, all members of the Danish Arts and Crafts Association, exhibiting unique and small series of handmade Arts and Crafts in all categories: ceramic, glass, jewelery, textile, mixed media.
- Copenhagen Fashion Week (3-8 August 2014). 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). (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 Trianglenand one in the eastern part of the park.
- CPH Distortion. (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. 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. (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. (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 (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 (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 (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 (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) (14 October 2011). Is held in mid-October, on the last Friday before the school holiday in week 42. You buy a badge for DKK 70 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 18:00 to midnight. Attracts about 100,000 people.
- MIX Copenhagen — LGBT Film Festival (TBA October 2011). 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.
Copenhagen has one of the highest number of restaurants and bars per capita in the world. The nightclubs and bars stay open until 5 or 6 in the morning, some even longer. Denmark has a very liberal alcohol culture and a strong tradition for beer breweries, although binge drinking is frowned upon and the Danish Police take driving under the influence very seriously. Inner city areas such as Istedgade and Enghave Plads in Vesterbro, Sankt Hans Torv in Nørrebro and certain places in Frederiksberg are especially noted for their nightlife. Notable nightclubs include Bakken Kbh, HIVE, Jolene, The Jane on Gråbrødre Square, Karriere Bar, KB3, Rust, Vega Nighclub, Culture Box and Gefährlich, which also serves as a bar, café, restaurant, and art gallery.
A large beer costs DKK 30-40 or so at most places in central Copenhagen, but some charge only DKK 20-30, 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 (DKK 3-7 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 strøgetpedestrian 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.
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 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 DKK 100 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. Christiania's most famous venue is Loppen which has hosted many (mostly rock) acts that later grew in popularity to play bigger venues like Vega for far larger prices.
Things to know
Although Denmark is a member of the European Union, the currency remains the Danish krone (DKK), which is pegged to the euro (€) at a rate of about €1=DKK7.50. In Copenhagen, Nyhavn, Tivoli, and many of the major restaurants and hotels frequented by tourists accept Swedish kronor and euro, although it is not yet common practice elsewhere and they often use bad exchange rates. 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 DKK25 (approx. €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.
The Copenhagen post 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 DKK20.
Safety in Copenhagen
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 [www]. 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.
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, .
- Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 7C, Nordvest, .
- Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 3A, Frederiksberg, .
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, . M–F 16:00–8:00, Sa-Su all day. From DKK 255, 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), . regular hours: M-F 8:00–20:00,Sa 8:30–17:00. There is a DKK 15 service charge outside those times.