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Copenhagen

Photo © Eleritz

Travel Guide Europe Denmark Zealand Copenhagen

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Introduction

Den Lille Havfrue - The Little Mermaid: Closer View

Den Lille Havfrue - The Little Mermaid: Closer View

© All Rights Reserved StephenJen

The waterside city of Copenhagen has been the capital of Denmark for 600 years yet it is as modern and lively as its history is long and fascinating. The largest city in Denmark is located on the island of Zealand and is located on the east coast of Denmark. The proverbial "all roads lead to" certainly seems to apply more to Copenhagen than to Rome, as Danish roads, trains and even bicycle paths all seem to end up in the middle of the city. And with good reason. Copenhagen is a great travel destination contains a charm that make it one of Europe's most enjoyable and livable cities.

Whether you are in search of architecture, culture, cafés, entertainment, museums, a bustling nightlife or just a first class restaurant, Copenhagen seems to have it all. With its location as the gateway between mainland Europe and Scandinavia, it is also conveniently located for a weekend getaway. It is small enough to walk around and explore on foot, but large enough not to feel that you are visiting the same street 5 times a day. This, strict anti-pollution laws and a lot of car free streets also help explain the large number of bicycles that make up Copenhagen street traffic.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Christianshavn - famous for its many canals and the 'free city' of Christiania.
  • Frederiksberg - small town originally formed around Frederiksberg Castle.
  • Holmen - North of Christianshavn and location of Copenhagen's opera house.
  • Indre By - Downtown Copenhagen this is the oldest part of the city and is dotted with churches and historic buildings.
  • Kastellet
  • North West
  • Nørrebro
  • Østerbro - north of the centre
  • Vesterbro

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Sights and Activities

The Little Mermaid

Small Little Mermaid

Small Little Mermaid

© All Rights Reserved sfoshee

One of the most recognisable landmarks of Copenhagen is the statue of The Little Mermaid. It is situated in the harbour of the city, which means it's a pretty long walk (30 to 45 minutes) from the centre of Copenhagen to the statue. If you don't feel walking that far, note that most of the channel tours have a route that takes you along the statue. The statue was placed in Copenhagen in 1913, as a gift from Carl Jacobsen, who was impressed by the performance of the little mermaid that he had seen earlier. The statue was made by Edvard Eriksen. The face of mermaid is that of Ellen Price, who had the lead role in the ballet that Carl Jacobsen had seen. The statue in the harbour is a copy, of an original that is stored in a secret location. For good reasons as the one in the harbour has been vandalised several times.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a museum in the middle of Copenhagen founded by Carl Jacobson (yes, the same one as mentioned above), who named it after one of his breweries. In 1882 Jacobson started the museum, first in Valby, but soon the collection was moved to Copenhagen, where a new museum was built and completed in 1897. The Glypotek has a large collection of statues dating from Etruscan times, till modern. Famous names among the artists are Rodin and Jean Baptiste. Apart from the large collection of statues, it also has a collection of paintings, focusing impressionism and postimpressionism.

Tivoli

Tivoli is the world famous amusement park and gardens in the centre of Copenhagen and one of the oldest amusements park in the world. Besides the rides, there are many places to have a drink, or something to eat. There are also several performances. In the evening the park is illuminated, which gives it a special feel. The only downside is the pretty steep entrance fee.

Other sights

Nyhavn Houses

Nyhavn Houses

© All Rights Reserved Eleritz

  • Christiania - is a community of people trying to create a fair and equal consensus-governed democracy for its people. They arrange their own guided tours.
  • Copenhagen Zoo is located in Frederiksberg.
  • Nyhavn is located on one of the canals, and is one of the places to go for a drink.
  • The Canals run throughout the city. If you are in Copenhagen for just a short while, taking one of the tours is perfect. It also takes you to the little mermaid, without the long walk.
  • The Rundetarn is a tower, that you can climb, but unlike others it has no stairs. From the top you have a nice view over the city.

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Events and Festivals

  • Copenhagen Jazz Festival (06 Jul 2013 - 15 Jul 2013) - For ten days, a quarter of a million visitors flock to Copenhagen for the well respected Jazz Festival that play roughly 1,000 concerts per year. It is a major music event that is a jazz extravaganza that spills out into the parks and street cafes. Often the concerts are free!
  • Stroget Santa Parade - Many flock to the streets of Copenhagen in July dressed in their most festive Santa gear for the big Santa Parade. It begins at the Copenhagen Town Hall Square and ends at Amagertorv, where Christmas-in-July is celebrated. Address: Stroget main shopping street
  • Night of Culture (12 Oct 2013) - This annual event allows visitors to experience Copenhagen's culture in a unique way. Roughly 300 museums, churches, galleries, political institutions, the Carlsberg brewery, exhibitions, musical venues etc are made available to visitors specially for this evening, and they stay open until midnight or beyond! It attracts about 75,000 visitors who move through the streets exploring all that the city has to offer.
  • Copenhagen Fashion Festival - Being Scandinavia's fashion capital, Copenhagen hosts Northern Europe's largest fashion event. It runs for 3 days at the beginning of February and large parts of Copenhagen are transformed into a fashion mecca of shows, exhibitions, concerts, trend shows and parties.
  • Copenhagen Carnival (17 May 2013 - 19 May 2013) - This is Copenhagen's biggest annual festival of world music and is a hugely exciting event! The streets of Copenhagen are filled with music tents, pumping Latino music, thousands of fun samba dancers, South American rhythms, colourful parades, crazy costumes and street performers. There are also eight stages of various music genres to check out! Fælledparken has concerts, workshops, activities and stalls for unlimited fun and festivities.
  • Roskilde Festival (05 Jul 2013 - 08 Jul 2013) - It's the largest North European culture and music festival where a huge list of international and Scandinavian artists, bands and acts play. It is one of the six biggest music festivals in Europe and attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors to Denmark. Music goes on for four days and it is a big mix of organic food, partying, concerts, art and installations. All profits go to humanitarium and cultural purposes as well!

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Weather

Being located near the water, Copenhagen has a temperate maritime climate which although changeable is not very prone to extremes. Average winter temperatures in the coldest months of January and February lie around freezing point (a few degrees above during the day, a few below zero at night) and May to September sees highs of around 30 °C, with averages between 18 °C and 22 °C. Temperatures at night are still around 13 °C or 14 °C at night. The wettest time of the year are the summer and fall months of July through October. Although some winters might have like 30 days of snow coverage, other years go by withouth significant snow at all.

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Getting There

By Plane

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is located in the suburb Kastrup some 8 kilometres south of the city centre of Copenhagen and is the busiest airport in Scandinavia, serving more than 20 million passengers in 2006. It serves destinations all across Europe and some intercontinental ones as well. There is a total of three terminals - named 1, 2 and 3 - with Terminal 1 being purely domestic and the other 2 international.

Getting to and from the airport is easy and options numerous.

  • Metro: Since September 2007 the Copenhagen Metro line M2 has provided a direct link between the airport (station named "Lufthavnen") and the inner city in only 14 minutes. The trip covers 3 zones and will cost you 28,50 DKR (a little less than €4) for a one-way ticket.
  • Rail: The airport also has a train station placed right below terminal 3 serving Copenhagen Central. It's on the Øresund Railway Line and is served by Øresundstogene, the main way to get into the city centre, and to Helsingør, to Malmö and other Swedish cities. Danish intercity trains terminate at this station, going to places in Denmark such as Esbjerg, Århus, Frederikshavn and Padborg, where connections are available for trains to Germany. Also, SJ operates X2000 high-speed trains to Stockholm and to Gothenburg. On the Danish side the fare structure is the same as with the Metro, so the trip to Copenhagen Central will cost you the same.
  • Bus: Numerous buses also serve the airport, but unless your destination isn't served by a train/metro station they will for the most part not be preferable, as they are not a cheaper alternative. Night bus 96N may be useful, however, as it runs Monday-Wednesday night between the airport and the city when the Metro does not. Movia buses 5A, 35, 36 and 96 N and Gråhundbus line 999 all stop at the airport. Furthermore bus 888 is the express-bus to Jutland which also stops at the airport. Movia bus 2A stops near the airport. There are long-distance buses to Sweden.
  • Taxis are to be found outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. For passengers going to Sweden by taxi, there are special taxis outside Terminal 3, however some regular taxis also accept trips across the bridge. By car, the E20 runs right by the airport. The E20 uses the Oresund Bridge to Sweden. There are almost 10,000 parking places available at the airport and numerous options with rental car companies like Hertz and Avis.

By Train

Copenhagen Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård or København H) is the main station in Copenhagen and Denmark. It is located in the heart of the city only a street away from City Hall Square and all trains that go through Copenhagen call at this station (except the S-tog ring line F that bypasses the inner city completely). The entire country can be reached through Copenhagen Central and it is also well-connected to the other Scandinavian countries Sweden and Norway with Oresund trains departing for Malmö every 20 minutes. Trains to Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Trondheim and even Kiruna in far northern Sweden depart from Copenhagen Central as well as many trains for many other smaller destinations in both countries.

Albeit not as well served, there are also trains to continental Europe, mainly Germany, with trains to both Hamburg and Berlin departing several times a day. Sleeper trains to farther away cities like Munich, Amsterdam and Basel, Switzerland also serve Copenhagen Central.

By Car

The Öresund Bridge along the E20 highway runs between Copenhagen and Malmo in Sweden.

By Bus

Eurolines provides extensive services to and from Copenhagen. Destinations are plentiful to other European countries and cities.

By Boat

Sweden

Poland

Lithuania

Norway

  • Color Line between Hirsthals and Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Kristiansand and Larvik.
  • DFDS Seaways between Oslo and Copenhagen.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

A great advantage of the Danish transport system is that when you buy a ticket for a ride, it is valid in all forms of public transportation and until your destination. Copenhagen is divided into zones. The centre is Zone 1. If you are planning on taking advantage of the Copenhagen Public Transport then there are a few options to choose from depending on your budget and the duration of your stay. There is a minimum ticket of 2 zones and there is a choice between 10 trips at one time (called a klipkort), a 24-hour-ticket or a Copenhagen Card.
Tickets are available from the ticket machines in stations and at Seven Elevens. If you wish to purchase a bus ticket, you can do so directly from the bus driver. Just don't forget to bring coins!

10 Trip Card - Klipkort
A klipkort is a slim card that you must have punched at the machines before you board any type of transport. As there is a minimum of 2 zones, you punch once and have one hour to arrive at your destination within 2 zones. Dito for 3 zones klipkort and more. If you wish to use a klipkort to get to the airport, you must punch in as many times as it is required. So, with a 2 zone klipkort leaving from zone 1, you must punch your klipkort twice, because in your travel from the centre of Copenhagen to the airport you will travel through 3 different zones. The more times you punch, the more time you get to arrive at your destination too:

  • 1 klip = 1 hour
  • 2 klips = 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 3 klips = 2 hours

24-Hour Ticket
There are 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour tickets to be bought. Normally this means that there are limitations in which zones you are able to go to. It can be a viable option if you don't like walking or get tired easily.

Copenhagen Card
This card is the tourist card for Copenhagen. You get transport (also has zone restrictions), free entrances to 60 attractions and several discounts.

By Foot

Copenhagen is an extremely easy city to get to know by foot, because it is small. After a day walking around it becomes familiar. It is also very easy because all the main attractions aren't too far from each other. The sidewalks are not even though, so bring comfortable shoes. Your ankles will most definitely feel the pain otherwise. Although bikers and drivers are respectful, it is always safer to just look out for bikes and cars.

By Bike

Biking Copenhagen is extremely viable and the most fun way to see the city. The hotels tend to provide bikes, there are a few city bikes which you can rent cheaply or you can rent a bike for a day. There are bike racks everywhere, the city is safe and there are bike only lanes.
Don't forget to signal when you are about to stop!

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Eat

Cafés

  • Cafe Norden - In the heart of the city on Strøget. A bit pricey, but with a great selection of tasty desserts.
  • Den Franske - Coloured lights outside, with a great view over one of the lakes, they serve some of the best nachos in town.
  • Thé á la menthe - Moroccan food and tea in a very cosy setting. Address: Kompagnistræde 29, 1208

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Absalon AnnexHelgolandsgade 15Hotel82
Adina Apartment Hotel CopenhagenAmerika Plads 7Hotel-
B&B LindaRebildvej 27guesthouse81
Bed and BathFossgårdsvej 11guesthouse84
CABINN CityMitchellsgade 14Hotel-
CABINN MetroArne Jacobsens AlléHotel-
CABINN ScandinaviaVordoffsvej 55Hotel-
City Public HostelAbsalonsgade 8Hostel76
Danhostel Copenhagen AmagerVejlands Allé 200Hostel79
Danhostel Copenhagen CityH.C.Andersens Boulevard 50Hostel83
Danhostel Copenhagen DowntownVandkunsten 5 1467 Copenhagen CHostel84
Hotel AnsgarColbjoernsensgade 29Hotel81
Hotel CopenhagenEgilsgade 33Hotel79
Hotel EuroglobeNiels Ebbesens Vej 20Hotel69
Hotel JorgensenR'mersgade 11Hostel71
Hotel Loeven30 VesterbrogadeHotel77
Hotel MaritimePeder Skrams Gade 19Hotel79
Hotel Nebo CopenhagenIstedgade 6Hotel68
Hotel RossiniGammel Jernbanevej 27hotel-
Hotel Sleep2NightIndustrivej 19Hotel77
Royalty HostelTornestykket 9hostel-
Saga HotelColbjoernsensgade 18-20Hotel79
See CopenhagenEriksholmvej 28guesthouse83
Sleep-in GreenRavnsborggade 18, baghusetHostel-
Sleep-in-HeavenStruenseegade 7 2200 CopenhagenHostel81
Southern Cross HostelAmagerbrogade 218Bhostel-
Stay in CopenhagenSlotsherrensvej 19 Vanløseguesthouse-
The Hostel BelægningenVestre Kvartergade 22hostel84
Wakeup CopenhagenCarsten Niebuhrs Gade 11hotel84
Danhostel Copenhagen BellahøjHerbergvejen 8 2700 BrønshøjHOSTEL77
YMCA InterpointValdemarsgade 15Hostel78
Rent a room CopenhagenAmagerbrogade 4Guesthouse81
Studio RadmandsgadeRadmandsgade 40 D, 2200 Kbh NApartment77
CPH ApartmentWestend 11 1661 københavn vApartment-
Generator Hostel CopenhagenAdelgade 7Hostel86
Copenhagen GO HotelEnglandsvej 333HOTEL79
BBLighthouseFyrvejen 29 B GillelejeGUESTHOUSE80
Acacia HouseRybjerg Alle 42 HerlevGuesthouse79
Danroom Studio ApartmentPeter ipsens alle 1,1.ap.8Apartment-
Woodah HostelAbel Catherine's Gade 1-3HOSTEL81
Sara B&BHalmtorvet 16, 1.thGUESTHOUSE-
Absalon HotelHelgolandsgade 15 VesterbroHotel-
Hotel AmagerAmagerbrogade 29Hotel-
Hotel WindsorFrederiksborggade 30Hotel-
Hotel RyeRyesgade 115 ØsterbroHotel-
Lavilla GuesthouseRøde MellemvejGuesthouse-
Urban Bed and BreakfastAmagerbrogade 17 1 tvGuesthouse-

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Keep Connected

Internet

While Internet cafés are present in most larger cities, they are usually not geared for tourists and hence they can be a bit tricky to find. Hotels usually provide both wireless internet and computers with internet access, but whether this service is provided for free, varies greatly. Many cafés and bars also provide free wireless internet for paying customers, even when it is not signposted, so it is always a good idea to ask. A lot of the McDonalds restaurants in Denmark have a couple of internet terminals available for their customers. The easiest way to get online is often the public library, as there is one in almost every town. Public libraries are usually centrally located, well signposted (look for Bibliotek) and always free. There can be a bit of waiting time to get a free computer though, but there will normally also be some sort of reservation system in place.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 112. Denmark's international phone country code is 45. The prefix for international dialing is "00" or '+' (on a mobile phone). Bring your own unlocked GSM phone to make calls. Prepaid SIM cards are available at most shops and international calling can be reasonably priced. Any prepaid credit is generally only valid for calls made in Denmark, but can be purchased in small amounts to avoid waste when you leave. International collect calls are not allowed from phone booths, which are all ran by the TDC company. You should be able to make international call with the prepaid SIM cards anyways.

Post

Post Danmark A/S is Denmark's national postal service, and has a good reputation regarding service, speed and reliability. Sending a standard letter or postcard (up to 50 grams) costs 5 DKK within Denmark, 8 DKK to other European countries and 9 DKK outside Europe. Parcels up to 1 kilogram start at 75 DKK within Denmark, but are mostly 200 DKK or more to all other countries. The website has details about more prices and also about the opening hours of post offices, which vary widely from region to region but are usually open from around 9:30am until 5:00pm, 5:30pm on Thursdays. Most are open on Saturdays until 1:00pm. Apart from the post offices, some kiosks and newsagents sell stamps as well, and you will find postcards in many places. National and overseas mail must be placed in the red letterboxes that you will find almost everywhere. Collection times are posted on the letterboxes. As an alternative for sending parcels internationally, you might consider companies like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx, as they are fast, reliable and competitively priced in general.

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Quick Facts

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Population
678,873
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 55.676294
  • Longitude: 12.568116

Contributors

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Copenhagen Travel Helpers

  • moshimoshineko

    I'm currently 5 months in into a 2 year stay in Copenhagen, so I have seen all the popular sights and know how to get around. And most importantly, where to get decent food for what I call "Scandinavian cheap" (never as cheap as you want it to be, but it's as cheap as it gets here)

    Ask moshimoshineko a question about Copenhagen
  • Misle

    Lived here all my life, so just ask away.

    Ask Misle a question about Copenhagen

This is version 55. Last edited at 8:31 on Feb 21, 14 by Utrecht. 113 articles link to this page.

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