Copenhagen, Denmark: interesting facts and sights
Amalienborg is one of the most beautiful palaces in all of Denmark. It is not only a calling card of its capital Copenhagen, but also a residential home. And live in it the most important people in Denmark – Queen Margrethe and her family. The complex of palatial buildings in the Rococo style arranged facades facing each other.
Copenhagen City Hall
One of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen is the Town Hall. The building got its present appearance in 1905, and the height of its tower today is more than 105 meters – not every city can boast such a height.
The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen
One of the most famous symbols in the world of Copenhagen is the bronze Little Mermaid. The idea for the sculpture came to Carl Jacobsen’s mind. The son of the founder of the Karlsberg Brewery, impressed by the ballet “The Little Mermaid”, suggested that the ballerina, who played the lead role, should pose for the sculptor Edvard Eriksen.
The territory of Christiania consists of former military barracks and the remains of the city ramparts, built in 1617 by King Christian IV. Today these ramparts, preserved only in the territory of Christiania, are some of the finest military structures of the 17th century in the world.
Aquarium in Copenhagen
The Danes are a seafaring people, so it’s no surprise that Copenhagen is home to the largest oceanarium in Northern Europe. It opened in 2013 in the presence of the reigning Queen Margrethe II and Crown Prince Henrik.
Christianborg, a palace built of granite with a greenish copper roof, is located on the island of Slotsholmen. For 800 years it was the principal residence of the Danish kings, until a fire broke out in 1794.
The building of the Danish Architectural Center BLOX
The Danish BLOX building is a prime example of the architecture of the future. It combines not only modern forms and materials, but also an environmentally friendly approach to the use of resources. Once there was a fire on this place and nobody wanted to build there.
The first menagerie in Copenhagen was opened in 1859 by ornithologist and animalist Nils Kjarbilling in the park of Frederiksberg Palace, today occupied by the Royal Danish Military Academy. The number of exhibits was small, and most were species specific to Denmark.
Royal Library of Denmark
Lovers of ancient manuscripts will be interested in the Royal Library, a classic building with huge reading rooms and massive furniture. Here are the original manuscripts of Hans Christian Andersen.
Copenhagen’s Round Tower
The old witch in Andersen’s fairy tale “The Ognjivo” directs a retired soldier to the dungeon for a magical artifact and describes its keeper, a dog with “eyes each as big as a round tower.” Not everyone knows that a very specific Round Tower in Copenhagen is meant.
The World of Hans Christian Andersen
The exhibition begins with a gallery dedicated to the period of life of the great Danish storyteller. Here you can use three-dimensional animation to plunge into the imaginary world of Andersen’s fairy tales, where the most famous characters come to life.
The Ripley Museum Believe It or Not! in Copenhagen
The museum of English collector, journalist and researcher Robert Ripley, a lifelong collector of unusual objects includes an extensive collection of curiosities, riddles, puzzles, interesting incidents and oddities.
The Thorvaldsen Museum is next to Christianborg and is the repository of the largest collection of works by the outstanding Danish sculptor of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Bertel Thorvaldsen.
Museum of Erotica in Copenhagen
The Museum of Erotica is the first museum of its kind in the world. The collection includes: postcards, paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos, as well as pornographic films (from 1930 to the present day).
National Gallery in Copenhagen
In the collection of the National Gallery of Denmark: Hogarth, Rubens, Rembrandt. The walls of the restaurant at the museum are painted by Rex Whistler, and the bronze figures at the entrance are the work of sculptor Henry Moore.
National Museum of Denmark
Denmark’s largest cultural and historical museum was opened in 1892. The collection contains exhibits illustrating the history of Denmark since the Stone Age, the Viking period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modern history.
Carlsberg’s new glyptotheque
That business does not hinder art, his example clearly showed the “beer king” of Denmark – Carl Jacobsen. He founded not only the Carlsberg trademark but also one of the largest collections of art from antiquity to the present day which not every European capital can boast.
Copenhagen Opera House
The futuristic building separated by a strait from the Amalienborg Palace is not a seaport, but the new Copenhagen Opera House costing 500 million USD. Behind the glass facade are lobbies with magnificent chandeliers finished in marble, gold leaf, white maple, and oak.
Directly opposite Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid is Refshaleen Island. In the mid-17th century it was the main defender of the city when enemies attacked from the sea, and served as a blockhouse where battle cannons and a military garrison were hidden.
Tivoli Park in Copenhagen
One of the oldest parks in Tivoli and the third most visited in Europe, Tivoli was opened to the first visitors in 1843. Today the amusement park is a unique oasis in the center of Copenhagen and its original idea has remained unchanged for 169 years.
Once in the capital of Denmark – Copenhagen – the vast majority of tourists immediately rush to the main and iconic sight for the locals – the Little Mermaid by Edward Ericson. After taking enough pictures of Hans Christian Andersen’s heroine, travelers are usually lost, because most tourists in Copenhagen only know her. However, Copenhagen, like many ancient cities, has a lot of other interesting objects on its territory.
Once in Copenhagen, each traveler is soon imbued with its uniqueness and the ability to combine the most contradictory qualities: a peaceful quietness with a lively, modernity with a breath of antiquity. A city of incredible museums, Andersen’s tales and bicycle rides.
Christiansborg Palace is a majestic Baroque building, the political center of the modern state: it houses the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Royal Reception Rooms.
The residence of the royal family is the Amalienborg Palace, also known for its museum, where you can see exhibitions about three generations of the ruling dynasties. A special delight is the ritual changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place in the palace at noon. Rosenborg Palace, perfectly preserved since the times of King Christian IV, now houses a museum with impressive collections of weapons, furniture, jewelry and dining utensils.
A popular attraction in Copenhagen is the enormous Town Hall Square and Town Hall itself, the facade of which is painted with scenes from Scandinavian mythology.
Another popular attraction in Copenhagen is the enormous Town Hall Square and the Town Hall itself, the facade of which is painted with scenes from Scandinavian mythology. From Town Hall Square you can walk to New King’s Square along Europe’s longest pedestrian street Strøget (“Promenade”). Here are a huge concentration of cafes, restaurants and stores.
In Copenhagen, there are more than six dozen museums of all kinds of subjects. National Museum – the largest cultural-historical museum in Denmark – covers a huge layer of history and culture of the country, starting with the Stone Age. Nearby is the Glyptoteka gallery, with its admirable collection of paintings and sculptures from all over the world.
Copenhagen has a variety of museums! Museum of the Post and Television, Guinness World Records, the Navy Museum, Viking Ship Museum, Museum of jokes and gags “Believe it or not,” the Experimentarium and even the first of its kind Museum of Erotica.
And, of course, we can not avoid mentioning the most famous in Europe Museum of Modern Art Louisiana, which collected the world’s masterpieces of painting, sculpture, architecture, and even the music and literary works.
However, the first thing that arises in the minds of many people when they mention Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid, one of the most beautiful symbols of the city. The bronze Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the port, near the pier of Langelini, silent and motionless, but so beloved by tourists from all over the world. After all, many adults have not grown out of fairy tales, and how can you forget the magical stories of Hans Christian Andersen, read them at least once. And be sure to get to Andersen’s Fairytale World, where the tale never ends.
In addition to this museum, families with children will find other attractions in Copenhagen. Here is the world-famous amusement park Tivoli with breathtaking lights, fireworks, fountains, pierced with relentless music, mesmerizing atmosphere. Also in Copenhagen, you will find a wonderful zoo where animals are free to walk in their enclosures, and the Blue Planet Oceanarium, which is home to rare marine life.
Copenhagen also has a city within the city: the Christiania district was formed in 1971, when many homeless people moved here from the streets of the city – without any special permission, of course. They declared themselves a free city, pay no taxes, and even sell light drugs on the streets of Christiania.
We could talk and write endlessly about Copenhagen and its busy life, its sights that would take a long time to see. There are many beautiful churches and churches, large and charming parks, picturesque harbors, wonderful streets, which you can ride a bike or just walk forward, smiling, never ceasing to be surprised, succumbing to their charm, and understand that you can never forget it all.
Copenhagen is the capital and the largest city of Denmark, built on the islands of Zeeland, Slotsholmen and Amager in the Øresund Strait, which connects the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. In ancient Danish, the city’s name means “harbor for merchants.” Copenhagen is home to 615,993 people, and together with the suburban areas, its population is about 1.5 million (2018).
Save on your trip to Copenhagen!
Every year the Danish capital becomes a leader in various world rankings. It has been recognized as the healthiest city on the planet, thanks to the fact that Copenhageners lead a healthy lifestyle. The main city of Denmark has the best ecology among the other European capitals. About half of the residents of Copenhagen move through the streets on bicycles and use two-wheeled transport all year round, even in winter and on rainy days. The city has more than 400 km of bicycle paths and 2 thousand bike rental centers for tourists.
All over the world Copenhagen is known as the city of Hans Christian Andersen. The Danish capital hospitably welcomes travelers from different countries and is considered the most visited city in Scandinavia. Copenhagen has many narrow streets, green parks and well equipped embankments. Interestingly, in its central part there are no lampposts at all, and lanterns are suspended from special extensions. Beautiful canals and colorful buildings of Copenhagen reminiscent of Amsterdam, but unlike the capital of the Netherlands, there is not a large crowd of people.
Copenhagen is one of the oldest European cities. In its historic center has preserved many interesting churches, castles, palaces and museums. Modern architecture is in perfect harmony with the old buildings, and the city has implemented many solutions aimed at making life Copenhageners comfortable. The cobblestone sidewalks have smooth asphalt walkways that are easy to roll a stroller or a grocery cart on.
The city prides itself on the high standard of living of its residents. Copenhagen has many fashionable boutiques and large shopping centers. In the center of the city is Europe’s longest pedestrian street Stroget, whose regulars have become entertainment and shopping enthusiasts.
Streets in Copenhagen Streets in Copenhagen
History of Copenhagen
Originally on the shore of the Øresund, there was a small fishing village called Havn, which translates as “quay” or “harbor. Its inhabitants were engaged in fishing and trading with neighbors. Gradually the settlement grew into a city, and in 1343 by decree of the Danish King Valdemar I the Great it was declared the capital of the country.
During the Middle Ages, Copenhagen was involved in wars with neighboring countries. There were devastating epidemics of plague and great fires. The flow of ships crossing the strait increased year by year. Along with it increased the tolls that ships paid for passage from sea to sea, so the city grew rich. When Denmark was ruled by King Christian IV (late XVI – early XVI century), in Copenhagen, were built many new churches and civic buildings, and some of them have survived to this day.
In 1801, near the city took place the famous naval battle with the British. Despite the fact that Denmark lost it, history has preserved the names of brave heroes and sailors. Six years later, the British shelled Copenhagen, and many buildings were damaged.
Map of Copenhagen 1888 Copenhagen in 1900 Field Marshal Montgomery greets the Danes shortly after the liberation in May 1945
By the end of the 19th century, the old fortifications were no longer needed to defend the city. Copenhagen’s industry was booming, and the population grew rapidly with the arrival of villagers to work. The beginning of the last century brought big changes in the city – the first streetcars and cars were started in the streets of Copenhagen. There were more and more of them, and in 1928 to regulate the increased traffic, the first traffic lights were installed in the Danish capital.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Copenhagen experienced mass unemployment, and its inhabitants experienced great problems due to shortages of housing and goods. During World War II, the city was under Nazi occupation. Today, Copenhagen is a thriving cultural and economic center of the country, attracting a large number of tourists.
Geography and climate
The main city of Denmark is built on three islands – Zealand, Amager and Slotsholmen. The latter was the site of the first settlement, from which Copenhagen grew. The city blocks cover an area of 86.4 km² and are located on the shore of the sea strait Øresund, which divides the two countries – Denmark and Sweden, and connects the two seas – the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream, the climate in Copenhagen is maritime, with minor fluctuations in temperature throughout the year. Winters in the city are mild, and summers are usually cool, with average temperatures of +20. +23 °С.
Copenhagen in June Copenhagen in winter
Sights of Copenhagen
The Little Mermaid sculpture is considered the hallmark of Copenhagen. It is dedicated to the heroine of one of the famous fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. The figure of the girl was made in human height by Danish naturalist sculptor Edvard Eriksen in 1913. It is known that the sculptor posed his wife. And the son of the founder of the Carlsberg brewery, Carl Jacobsen, ordered the famous monument. The Little Mermaid is installed at the entrance to the city harbor, and the subway station Osterport is closest to it.
The center of the historic part of Copenhagen is a spacious Town Hall Square. On it rises a beautiful building made of red brick in the style of “northern art nouveau” at the end of XIX – beginning of XX century. It is the Town Hall, which is 105.6 meters high. The majestic building is used even today for administrative purposes. There is an equestrian statue of Bishop Absalon in front of the entrance.
Town Hall Square Stroget pedestrian street Copenhagen’s waterfront in the evening
From Town Hall Square begins the Stroget pedestrian area, popular with citizens and tourists. In Danish its name is translated as “to walk”. Curiously enough, Stroget is the oldest and longest promenade in Europe. It stretches for 1.5 km and is surrounded by a large number of restaurants, eateries, small cafes, souvenir shops and boutiques. The lively street does not subside even at night, and you can always find musicians, artists and clowns on it.
If you walk from Stroget in the north direction, you can come to one of the legends of the Danish city – the Round Tower or Rundetårn. The brick building for the observatory of the city university was erected in the middle of the XVII century. On the upper tier, at a height of 36 meters, there is a revolving dome, which became a great place to look at the streets and squares of Copenhagen. Interestingly enough, there are no stairs inside the ancient tower and visitors go up a 209-meter-long winding brick ramp. Horse and wagon riders used to be able to climb the tower. In 1716 the Russian Emperor Peter the Great visited it, and at the beginning of the last century a car drove up the Round Tower.
Copenhagen Round Tower Climb inside the tower At the top of Rundetårn Carousel Star Flyer
To experience the romantic atmosphere of Copenhagen, it’s worth a trip to the magnificent Tivoli Park. The park area is located to the south of Town Hall Square, next to the Central Station, and covers over 8 hectares. It was arranged in the middle of the XIX century, and today is one of the most visited parks in Europe.
Tivoli Park offers exciting rides and the world’s largest merry-go-round, the Star Flyer, which reaches a height of 80 meters. There is also a popular pantomime theater and a large concert hall. The park is open daily during the warm season, from mid-April to mid-September. In addition, it receives visitors during the Halloween and Christmas celebrations – from mid-November to the end of December.
In Copenhagen, opened about 60 museums. Especially popular among tourists are the museum of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, museum of erotica, National Gallery, museum of beer “Carlsberg”, wax museum and the National Museum of Denmark with the largest collection of cultural and historical exhibits.
Cult of the bicycle
In no other city in the world do bicycles enjoy the facilities and privileges that Copenhagen does. Despite the weather, most of the city’s inhabitants and tourists prefer it as a means of transport. The streets of Copenhagen and its immediate suburbs have more than 400 km of wide bicycle paths on which people not only ride bicycles but also on segways.
Cyclists set the tone for public traffic and are responsible for it. The city has a whole system of fines that are imposed on negligent owners of two-wheeled vehicles. It’s illegal to ride hands-free here, and you’ll have to shell out money if the lights weren’t turned on or reflectors were missing after sundown. The big fines are for riding two people on the same bike, faulty brakes, running red lights, maneuvering against the flow of traffic, and talking on the phone while driving.
Bicyclists sometimes enjoy more rights than pedestrians. Unlike the wide bike lanes, the sidewalks in Copenhagen are quite narrow. If a pedestrian hesitates and steps onto a bicycle lane and negligently causes a cyclist to fall, he or she faces a serious fine. In addition, pedestrians are fined if they climb one of the bicycle racks built on city streets.
Care for cyclists in Copenhagen is evident everywhere. The staircases are equipped with bicycle racks that make it easy to take the vehicle up and roll it down. And, of course, there’s bicycle parking in every part of the city.
The cult of the bicycle in Copenhagen
Traditions and quirks
If in Russia there is a tradition to hang locks on bridges “for good luck,” in Copenhagen on the bridges you can see children’s pacifiers. Parents arrange a special “rite” of farewell to the pacifier for three-year-old babies. Used pacifiers are usually hung on park trees or bridges.
The same “signature” benches are installed in different places in the city and even at the airport. They are small, neat benches with two planks for sitting and dashingly twisted metal armrests.
On one of the towers of the town hall there are unusual images of the weather forecast. If the figure of a girl on a bicycle appears, citizens can be assured that it won’t rain. And the girl with an umbrella in her hands warns local residents of the impending inclement weather.
In Copenhagen are very popular sandwiches of white and rye bread, which are usually eaten not with the hands, but with a knife and fork. Traditional open sandwiches – smörrebröd – are large in size and hearty. Two or three can replace a full meal. These sandwiches are made with complex fillings in layers of fish, shrimp, meat, vegetables, and cheese. The smörrebröd is served with beer or Danish vodka, aquavit.
Smörrebröd sandwiches Carlsberg beer
Drinking beer in public is a Danish tradition. In Copenhagen, as in the rest of the country, there are a lot of fans of this drink. The Danes prefer the local brands Tuborg and Carlsberg. Here it is allowed to drink beer straight from the bottle in the parks or on the street. Such behavior is part of Danish culture and is not condemned.
Restaurants and cuisine
Much influence on the modern Danish cuisine had a southern European culinary tradition. But the basis of the local cuisine remained fish and seafood. The Danes love to eat mussels, shrimp, lobsters and crabs. Fish and seafood are indispensable for the first and second courses of restaurant menus, and it is easy to notice that cooks give preference to raw seafood and dishes with fresh herbs and vegetables.
Fresh seafood at Torvehallern Market Sushi Scallops with red spinach and nuts Lobster Pork ribs
Copenhageners also enjoy various meat dishes, and especially those made with pork. The city’s restaurants and eateries serve pork liver with fried onions, pork ragout with red cabbage, pork liver pate, and pork cooked with apples and prunes.
Dining in restaurants in the city is not cheap, so many travelers buy food in chain supermarkets or eat street fast food. Mobile pölsevogne kiosks selling Danish hot dogs or sausages (pölser) have become an organic part of Copenhagen’s culture. They are usually made with pork, but there are also chicken sausages and even vegetarian versions of the dish.
Other popular tourist spots are buffet-style eateries. There you can have a hearty meal for a reasonable price, but not all of them are of good quality and taste.
The Torvehallerne food market is not a bad, inexpensive place to eat. Market eateries and cafes offer travelers coffee, hearty sandwiches, and delicious Danish porridge with added fruits and berries. The market is open daily at Frederiksborggade, 21.
Hotdog buffet Fast food kiosk Street cafes Waterfront café Danish pastries
Denmark’s famous Danish pastries are called “Viennese” (wienerbröd) in Denmark itself, and the places where they are made bear “Bager” signs. The scones in Copenhagen are delicious, and in the morning the streets are filled with the scent of freshly baked bread. Some bakeries operate as cafes, setting up tables for guests. In such places you can have a good rest and a good breakfast.
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Selected hotels from hotellook
Copenhagen’s public transport system is considered one of the best in Europe. It covers not only the historic center, but also a large agglomeration of the Danish capital, commonly referred to as Greater Copenhagen.
Through the Central Station (station København H) the high-speed trains S-trains, popular among citizens and tourists, go. They take passengers around Copenhagen and its suburbs. Electric trains are not connected with the Copenhagen metro, but now the railway network is expanding, and this situation is planned to correct.
The capital’s metro is so far the only one in the country. It opened in the fall of 2002 and after a few years of work for the safety, stability and comfort of the Copenhagen metro was recognized as the best subway in Europe. The subway consists of two branches: green M1 and yellow M2, on which there are 22 underground and overground stations. Lines stretch for 21 km and every day serve about 130 thousand passengers. It is interesting that the city subway operates around the clock with an interval between trains from 2 to 20 minutes.
Children under 12 years old ride the subway for free, and for children under 16 years there is a 50% fee. Bicycles and dogs require separate tickets. Exceptions are guide dogs and small dogs, which are carried in bags and containers.
Copenhagen’s central bus station is located on Town Hall Square. The bus stops are easy to find by the yellow signs, and the buses themselves come in a variety of colors. Buses serving passengers from 5.00 am to 1.00 am are called day buses or Dagbusser, and their design necessarily includes yellow. Machines working from 1.00 am to 5.00 am are called night or Natbusser. During the day the interval between buses, as a rule, does not exceed 5-7 minutes and at night – 15-20 minutes.
Tourists arriving in Copenhagen actively use bus routes with the letter “N”, which follow the historic city center. In addition, travelers are very popular with an unusual form of public transport – yellow colored bus boats Havnebusser, which ride on the water park and the Copenhagen canals.
The Copenhagen Card is a convenient way to travel on the subway, buses and S-tog trains not only in the city, but also in the metropolitan suburbs. These cards are issued for a day, two, three and 120 hours, and the price depends on the length of their validity. A nice bonus card – free visits to museums in Copenhagen and discounts on ferries between Denmark and Sweden. To find out the current price, points of sale and other useful information about the card, visit the official website at www.copenhagencard.com.
BMW i3 from DriveNow
For those who like to ride in a rental car, Copenhagen has a system called DriveNow, which is synchronized with public transportation. Travelers can rent a BMW i3 electric car in one part of the city and leave it in another. DriveNow monitors traffic and can offer drivers convenient parking lots, and to save time, places to transfer to public transportation.
How to get there
Direct flights to Copenhagen are available from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. From other major cities in Russia you can fly to Copenhagen through these three cities, as well as with a change in one of the European cities – Prague, Frankfurt am Main, Rome, Paris, Vienna, Helsinki, Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Oslo, Tallinn, Riga and Kiev.
International Airport “Kastrup” (Copenhagen Airport) is located on the island of Amager, 8 km from downtown Copenhagen. It has three terminals between which run a free shuttle service. From the airport to the city by cab, bus, metro (line M2) or train.
The subway station “Lufthavnen” is located at the end of Terminal 3. Bus stops to Copenhagen are located near the exits of all terminals. The bus route number 5A goes to the city center, works even at night, and buses on it leave at intervals of 10-15 minutes. The electric trains from the airport take passengers to the Central Railway Station in 15 minutes.