Copenhagen – our essential guide


Known as the “Venice of the North,” Copenhagen has experienced growing success in terms of tourism in recent years. The Danish capital combines works of modern urban planning with examples of traditional architecture. This human-scale Scandinavian city promotes a sustainable lifestyle, attracting many cutting-edge designers, artists and chefs for these reasons. From the attractions of the old town to the most authentic charismatic neighborhoods-there is truly much to discover. Whether you want to try the new Nordic cuisine or ride a bike along its canals, you’ll find something to explore in the Danish capital. Let’s look below at the best activities to put on your schedule in Copenhagen, even for a short weekend.

Nyhaven: a show of colors on the water
A list of the best things to do in Copenhagen can only begin in Nyhaven, a neighborhood of colorful 17th-century buildings. At one time this area was mostly frequented by sailors looking for casual company for the night, but today it is full of upscale restaurants and attractions. As one might expect, it is necessary to face crowds of tourists looking for the perfect shot. Being such a renowned place, moreover, the restaurants-while very nice-are not the best in town. Don’t let these two aspects deter you, because Nyhavn is a little gem: you will find a lively atmosphere here, especially in the summer months. One of the typical activities is to look for Hans Christian Andersen’s mansion. The surprise is that there are as many as two: No. 67, where he lived until 1864, and No. 18, at which he stayed from 1871 to 1875 and now houses a themed gift store. If you find yourself visiting during the day, stroll along the canal and admire the pastel-colored houses and old boats. If, on the other hand, you arrive in the evening, this is the right neighborhood for a romantic evening, to the notes of jazz you’ll hear coming from the clubs in the background.

The magic of Tivoli
In contrast to modern amusement parks, which typically require a half-day trip to reach, Tivoli Gardens is within walking distance of Copenhagen Station. It is a true national cult site, so famous and popular that Walt Disney used it as inspiration for his designs. Opened back in 1843, here you will find one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters and some 30 other spectacular rides. The park hosts fireworks displays in the summer and for the holiday season. The Tivoli Gardens are the second oldest operating amusement park in the world: despite the admission fee, which can be expensive, you really can’t miss the chance to see them, especially in the evening when they are lit up with beautiful lights that add to their charm.

A tour of the canals of Northern Venice
One of the most worthwhile ways to get to know the Danish capital is on board a boat, especially in summer. The city’s canals are always kept well cleaned, and it is not unusual to find someone taking the plunge. Even if you don’t want to face the North Sea firsthand, you can’t help but notice that the water seems to have a calming effect: the locals appear very relaxed, and the presence of a natural element like water is no accident. Take advantage of the many canals for a relaxing visit while making the most of your time. Moreover, by renting a private boat, you will experience a truly unique sense of freedom. Alternatively, you can cross the canals in a sustainable electric boat that, with clear instructions and recommended routes, you can maneuver on your own.

The eclectic atmosphere of Vesterbro’s Kødbyen
Copenhagen is a safe and clean city, full of creative spaces popping up just about everywhere, particularly in the west. If you decide to explore it, don’t miss the district called Kødbyen: you’ll find a concentration of bars, restaurants, art galleries, and nightclubs all in the latest fashion. This is a very active district, where there is always something interesting going on, from exhibitions to street food markets. For a completely local and alternative snack, try fresh and and creatively prepared seafood at Kødbyens Fiskebar.

Observe the city from a beer bottle
After a few days, but also a few hours, in the city, you’ve probably realized that beer dominates life in Denmark. Similarly from Hellerup a beer bottle dominates the horizon in the city. Built in 1888, the giant Tuborg is an observation tower that once included Denmark’s first elevator. Commissioned by Tuborg Breweries, it was originally located in downtown Copenhagen but was soon moved to its current location in Hellerup. If you have time on your hands, don’t miss the chance to take a photo next to this bizarre monument, which would require as many as 1.5 million regular beer bottles to fill.


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