Edited by Jose Morales
Travelers are highly attracted to Europe. Especially those with interest in learning the history behind the cultural and political association of some European countries. These relationships make the travel between countries fascinating, especially when feeling that one has “conquered” those territories. Denmark – officially named the Kingdom of Denmark – is part of Scandinavia, along with Norway and Sweden. These countries have strong ties with their languages, culture, and history.
Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, was established early in the 1400s and consolidated itself as the center of the region during the 1600s. During its earlier years, the capital suffered national bankruptcy, plagues, fires, and other calamities. After this period of catastrophes, the city rose from its ashes, and in the early 1800s, the “Danish Golden Age” came to fruition. This extraordinary creative age led to the neoclassical architecture characteristic of Copenhagen.
WHEN IN COPENHAGEN
To begin exploring Copenhagen, it is extremely easy to get to the city via train from the airport. Copenhagen is home to the largest airport in the Nordic countries. Widely known as CPH, the airport is an international hub and a paradise for some retail therapy while departing or connecting in Copenhagen.
If you are in Copenhagen only for a short stay and are looking to explore the essential points of the city, it is recommended to take one of the hop-on-hop-off bus routes. Otherwise, if you have more time in your hands, the city is connected by efficient public transportation that includes boat routes. In addition, and if you want to ride like a local, most hotels offer bicycles. With these, you can go from one point of interest to another within a span of 10 to 15 minutes.
The New Harbour (Nyhavn) is Copenhagen’s most famous canal and is identified as the capital’s entertainment district. This area has restaurants and bars where people enjoy the sun while trying the local cuisine. The waterfront is lined with brightly colored townhouses built in the 17th and 18th centuries, making the area the most iconic in Copenhagen, and one of the most recognized scenes in the world.
Langelinie is a park, pier, and promenade that also serves as the home to the famous Little Mermaid sculpture created by Edvard Eriksen. The statue was unveiled in 1913. It pays homage to the story by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, and which Disney brought to life in their animated film. The Little Mermaid has become a symbol of the city.
Another essential stop while in Copenhagen is the City Hall Square. The square hosts various celebrations and events, and it serves as the focal point for measuring distances from the capital. Copenhagen’s most important businesses also have their headquarters in this area, with various museums, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs located in the vicinity.
While in Copenhagen, visiting the Tivoli Gardens is a must. Simply known as “Tivoli,” the park is opened to the public for entertainment and recreation. It hosts the world’s second-oldest amusement park, which first opened in 1843. The “Rutschebanen” makes Tivoli one of the most popular seasonal parks in the world, as it is one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation. The park hosts a theatre and pantomime events, performing arts shows, concerts, exhibitions, and a hotel inside the enclosure.
If you would like to pay a visit to the Royals, head to Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish royal family. Built in 1760, the palace offers multiple exhibitions on the monarchy, which include private belongings of the family and the history of the country. It is comprised of 4 buildings with exquisite rococo interiors. The changing of the guard happens daily at noon at the octagonal courtyard, after the guards walk through the streets of the city from the barracks at Rosenborg Castle.
Rosenborg Castle was built in 1624 in the Dutch Renaissance style. Originally built as a country retreat, and then becoming a royal residence, the castle holds the Rosenborg Collections, which include the Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia. Its royal gardens, “Kongens Have,” are the oldest in Denmark and a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
The street food markets in Copenhagen attract locals and tourists alike, with amazing selections of craft beers, cocktails, desserts, and unlimited food options. These culinary playgrounds have been created to serve as a space for creativity and innovation. One of the most famous of these food markets is the “Reffen,” where food entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their culinary arts at a local level, but in quite an international scene.
Before or after visiting Copenhagen’s famous street food markets, there are other important places that one cannot miss. The Danish Jewish Museum, the Copenhagen Opera House, and the Tycho Brahe Planetarium are just a few. These places are regarded as part of the capital’s most iconic points.
Copenhagen is considered a truly green city, implementing sustainable solutions to match Denmark’s high quality of life. From eating organic to staying in sustainable hotels, its citizens are considered climate-friendly, and in 2014, Copenhagen was named Europe’s Green Capital. – GM
GUILD MAGAZINE - THE TRAVEL ISSUE