If you asked me for a list of things that make me smile, I would start by listing off delicious ice cream, cute bicycles, aesthetically-pleasing buildings, good coffee, the smell of fresh flowers… Now come to think of it, I could probably find all these things and more in the capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen! I guess that why I couldn’t stop smiling when I visited this Scandinavian hot spot. In fact, if it weren’t for the ridiculously pricey cost of living (and that’s coming from an Australian) I probably would have taken up permanent residency in this place. So here is my list of Top 5 you just MUST visit Copenhagen!
1. They ride bikes. EVERYWHERE.
In a place where cars are the lowest in the road food chain, bicycle paths, bicycle racks, even bicycle traffic lights seem to dominate everywhere you go! There is no shortage of places of hire yourself a two-wheeled friend and it really is the best way to get around and see the city.
2. The food is just so unbelievably delicious.
The only thing better than a danish? A danish danish. Along with these traditional pastry squares of heaven, Copenhagen rocks some of the best ice-cream around (check out Vaffelbageren at Nyhavn for waffle cones so fresh that you actually watch them make it), mind-blowing bagels (I still have dreams about the bagels from The Bagel Co, Gothersgade ), and a plentiful array of traditional Nordic cuisine (smorgasbords are a very popular style of eating here). Eating out it pricey, so its lucky that the price does actually equal really great food.
SEE ALSO: My recipe for blueberry cream cheese danishes
3. There are so many nice parks to explore
Copenhagen is littered with beautiful expanses of green to break up its metropolitan area. With rose gardens, lakes and botanic gardens to explore, you’ll never fall short of a place to have a picnic or a stroll. You may even find yourself walking through a park called Frederiksberg Have and casually encounter an elephant enclosure in the middle of the park. AN ELEPHANT ENCLOSURE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PARK. Outrageous, but this city seems to pull outrageous off quite nicely.
Lets set the scene. Its your average Sunday afternoon, we are sitting by the waterfront at Nyhavn eating some icecream. Suddenly, a group of 30 men dressed as Vikings come storming through, acting out a full battle scene and proceeding to jump in to the freezing-cold water and hijack a nearby ship , all in the name of a very elaborate and hilarious spectacle. This is the kind of weird that occurs in Copenhagen, and once you spend a little time here, you begin to see that this city has more quirks than you think.
Take Christiania as another example. Christiania is a wacky self-governing ‘free town’ located in the city center of Copenhagen. The place is characterized by a very alternative culture and the free dealing of marijuana, and despite efforts of the local authorities, has not yet been shut down. Instead, it attracts hundreds of curious tourists walking through each day. It is worth a visit to see such a unique phenomenon with your own eyes, especially as you are disallowed to take photographs in the main street. You’ve literally got to see it to believe it!
5. It is a beautifully-designed city
Known as one of Europe’s design capitals, the whole city reflects the keen eye the Danish have for design. Geometric, rich textures and a restrained but aesthetically-pleasing color palette really do characterize Copenhagen. Nyhavn is a perfect exemplar of the strong stylistic element running throughout the city. This visual appeal makes the place a dream to explore and photograph.
You better be booking your flights up. Copenhagen is waiting for you!