Formerly something of an off of the beaten track capital, Copenhagen has spent the last few years clamoring its way up the European tourist spot ladder, and winning over many a travel critic on the way. A confident blend of ancient and modern architecture has stormed the city center, turning it into a classy, glassy and alluring place to be, while locals are slowly losing their ‘stay in’ habits and taking to the enviable cafes and restaurants, and the city’s cozy vibes bring many tourists back again and again.
It’s a city of cobbled squares, canals and glistening copper spires, mixed with fashionable designer stores like Vesterbro, where even browsing feels like it should not be free. It all comes to life during the annual Jazz Festival or you can soak up the hollering vibes of a night at the lively opera, drift down to the harbor to spot The Little Mermaid draped over a rock, explore Hamlet’s spectacular home, Kronborg Castle, or take a glance out over it all from the heights of Round Tower.
Take a canal tour, passing the city’s best sites on a gentle wave before heading out into the harbor. In a tenderly lit city center square you’ll stumble across the splendor of the royal’s winter retreat at Amalienborg Palace while shoppers will fall in love with the world’s longest pedestrian-only street, Stroget, which caters for almost any taste. Copenhagen’s museums are pretty special, too, and include The National Museum (which covers pretty much everything about Demark, right back to ancient times), and the Louisiana, a world-class center of modern art.
If it’s a big night out that you are looking for, Carlsberg and schnapps at indie mainstay Rust are the way to go. A day is best punctuated with Denmark’s pastries known locally as Vienna Bread or meals of sild which is also referred to as pickled herring. Snap a picture next to the hairy-hatted royal palace guard, head out into the pancake-flat countryside and eye the tiny rustic churches, or, if you’re here at the height of summer, take on Europe’s biggest rock festival as Roskilde.
It’s all very cultured, colorful and varied, and no longer a city hiding in its well-developed shell. It is also not European classic, but fascinating, nonetheless.
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