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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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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.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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.
The Öresund Bridge along the E20 highway runs between Copenhagen and Malmo in Sweden.
Eurolines provides extensive services to and from Copenhagen. Destinations are plentiful to other European countries and cities.
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:
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.
This card is the tourist card for Copenhagen. You get transport (also has zone restrictions), free entrances to 60 attractions and several discounts.
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.
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!
If your budget doesn't allow for regular dining at expensive Michelin restaurants, don't despair — there are plenty of other options. The cheapest are the many shawarma and pizza joints that you find on almost every street in the city. You can get a shawarma for as little as DKK 15-20 and pizzas start at around DKK 40. You can opt for take away or sit at the one or two tables that are usually available. The cheapest places can be found around Istedgade on Vesterbro and Nørrebrogade on Nørrebro. For affordable and delicious pita kebab, try Ahaaa on Blågårds Plads, or Boys Shawarma & Is for dürüm kebab on Nørrebrogade 216. For the best kebab in the city go to Shawarma Grill House Frederiksberggade 36.
If shawarma gets a little tiring, there are several Mediterranean-style all-you-can eat buffet restaurants dotted around the inner city. Riz Raz is popular, with three locations and a huge vegetarian buffet for DKK 69 (lunch) / DKK 99 (dinner). The branch on St. Kannikestræde has an infallible ability to seat and feed groups of all sizes. Nearby, Ankara on Krystalgade offers a Turkish-inspired buffet that includes meat as well as salads. Nyhavns Faergekro at Nyhavn has an original herring buffet where you can eat as much herring as you like prepared in ten different ways (grilled and many different marinades).
For breakfast and lunch try one of Copenhagen's bakeries (Bager — look for a pretzel-like contraption out front). They are numerous and the quality is excellent. Many offer ready-made sandwiches (Approx. DKK 35) such as Denmark's famous open-faced rye bread sandwiches called smørrebrød. These sandwiches are small enough to take away and eat either with your hands or with a fork and knife and a wide range of ingredients are available including some elaborate combinations for the more adventurous. Most bakeries also offer coffee, bread rolls and cakes (expect to pay DKK 8-10 for Danish pastry, here known as wienerbrød) and many bakeries offer at least some form of counter seating.
A large beer costs DKK 30-40 or so at most places in central Copenhagen, but some charge only DKK 20-30, especially on weekdays or during early hours, while fancy places obviously charge more. Unless you come from elsewhere in Scandinavia don't frighten yourself by trying to work out what this costs in your home currency. At most places the beer on tap is either Carlsberg or Tuborg. In either case there will be a choice of the normal pilsner and then a slightly redder special or classic. Some might also offer wheat or dark beer.
If you are on a budget you could follow the example of local teenagers and get primed with bottled beer from a supermarket or kiosk (DKK 3-7 for a 330 ml bottle). It is legal and very popular to drink beer in public (not on public transport, although it will be accepted if you are not showing drunk behaviour), so buy a beer, sit on a park bench or at Nyhavn and enjoy Danish life.
As for where to drink, most tourists head straight for Nyhavn but while indeed pretty, the high prices here make it a bit of a tourist trap. In good weather imitate the locals by buying beer from a kiosk and dangling your legs over the water or head elsewhere to get your drinking on. The many side streets north and south of the strøget pedestrian street are a good starting point. Other good areas are Vesterbro west of the central station, along Vesterbrogade and Istedgade and in the meatpacking district. On Nørrebro, the cluster of bars and clubs around Sankt Hans Torv and Blågårds Plads, just after the lakes, is another hotspot. For a coastal city Copenhagen has surprisingly few places where you can enjoy a water view with your beer or coffee.
Copenhagen offers all kinds of accommodation but like the rest of Denmark, prices are high. Most hotels are located in Indre By and Vesterbro. Special rates are often available on the internet or from travel agencies, so look around well ahead of time, rather than spending your holiday budget on sleeping because you booked at the last minute.
Do note that many international hotel chains only maintain token presence in Denmark with a singular high-end business hotel in Copenhagen, or are not present at all. For example, large French hotel groups Accor and Group du Louvre eschew Denmark completely, which means the popular inexpensive Ibis and Campanile hotels are nowhere to be found in Copenhagen. On the other hand, local Scandinavian chains such as Scandic, Radisson BLU, First Hotels and Nordic Choice Hotels (the usual Choice Hotels - Comfort, Quality and Clarion - as found in other countries but with some local twists) are very well represented throughout the Copenhagen region.
|Absalon Annex||Helgolandsgade 15||Hotel||83|
|Adina Apartment Hotel Copenhagen||Amerika Plads 7||Hotel||-|
|B&B Linda||Rebildvej 27||guesthouse||-|
|Bed and Bath||Fossgårdsvej 11||guesthouse||-|
|CABINN City||Mitchellsgade 14||Hotel||80|
|CABINN Metro||Arne Jacobsens Allé||Hotel||-|
|CABINN Scandinavia||Vordoffsvej 55||Hotel||-|
|City Public Hostel||Absalonsgade 8||Hostel||77|
|Danhostel Copenhagen Amager||Vejlands Allé 200||Hostel||81|
|Danhostel Copenhagen City||H.C.Andersens Boulevard 50||Hostel||83|
|Danhostel Copenhagen Downtown||Vandkunsten 5 1467 Copenhagen C||Hostel||86|
|Hotel Ansgar||Colbjoernsensgade 29||Hotel||66|
|Hotel Copenhagen||Egilsgade 33||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Euroglobe||Niels Ebbesens Vej 20||Hotel||75|
|Hotel Jorgensen||R'mersgade 11||Hostel||71|
|Hotel Loeven||30 Vesterbrogade||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Maritime||Peder Skrams Gade 19||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Nebo Copenhagen||Istedgade 6||Hotel||71|
|Hotel Rossini||Gammel Jernbanevej 27||hotel||-|
|Hotel Sleep2Night||Industrivej 19||Hotel||79|
|Royalty Hostel||Tornestykket 9||hostel||-|
|Saga Hotel||Colbjoernsensgade 18-20||Hotel||68|
|See Copenhagen||Eriksholmvej 28||guesthouse||80|
|Sleep-in Green||Ravnsborggade 18, baghuset||Hostel||-|
|Sleep-in-Heaven||Struenseegade 7 2200 Copenhagen||Hostel||86|
|Southern Cross Hostel||Amagerbrogade 218B||hostel||-|
|Stay in Copenhagen||Slotsherrensvej 19 Vanløse||guesthouse||-|
|The Hostel Belægningen||Vestre Kvartergade 22||hostel||-|
|Wakeup Copenhagen||Carsten Niebuhrs Gade 11||hotel||40|
|Danhostel Copenhagen Bellahøj||Herbergvejen 8 2700 Brønshøj||HOSTEL||80|
|YMCA Interpoint||Valdemarsgade 15||Hostel||-|
|Rent a room Copenhagen||Amagerbrogade 4||Guesthouse||-|
|Studio Radmandsgade||Radmandsgade 40 D, 2200 Kbh N||Apartment||-|
|CPH Apartment||Westend 11 1661 københavn v||Apartment||-|
|Generator Hostel Copenhagen||Adelgade 7||Hostel||88|
|Copenhagen GO Hotel||Englandsvej 333||HOTEL||-|
|BBLighthouse||Fyrvejen 29 B Gilleleje||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|Acacia House||Rybjerg Alle 42 Herlev||Guesthouse||-|
|Danroom Studio Apartment||Peter ipsens alle 1,1.ap.8||Apartment||-|
|Woodah Hostel||Abel Catherine's Gade 1-3||HOSTEL||83|
|Sara B&B||Halmtorvet 16, 1.th||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Absalon Hotel||Helgolandsgade 15 Vesterbro||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Amager||Amagerbrogade 29||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Windsor||Frederiksborggade 30||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Rye||Ryesgade 115 Østerbro||Hotel||-|
|Lavilla Guesthouse||Røde Mellemvej||Guesthouse||-|
|Urban Bed and Breakfast||Amagerbrogade 17 1 tv||Guesthouse||-|
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.
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 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.
Ask moshimoshineko a question about Copenhagen
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 Misle a question about Copenhagen
Lived here all my life, so just ask away.
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