This royal city of Denmark is Scandinavia's largest and liveliest metropolis, home to world-class art museums and stunning castles as well as buzzing bars and cafes that line the winding streets of this pedestrian-friendly town. Copenhagen has for centuries been a favorite haunt of writers, sailors, and odd characters; it's most famous habitués including Hans Christian Andersen, the modern philosopher Kierkegaard, and the Danish monarchy, which is the oldest in Europe.
The only Scandinavian capital located on the continent of Europe, Copenhagen enjoys a high quality of life for its residents, with Danes routinely surveyed as some of the happiest people in the world. The progressive populace rides bikes to work and shares a tolerant ethos, welcoming travelers with kind smiles and offers of help. The street life of Copenhagen sparkles, whether one finds it on the shopping walkway of Stroget, the music filled smokehouses of Christiania, or the intimate cobblestone streets and harbor of the centuries-old city. The art, history, culture, and fairy-tale quality of this Scandinavian gem is filled with the richness of the past and the promise of the future.
The attractions of the city of Copenhagen are as varied as the people of Denmark themselves. There are numerous art museums featuring modern art, ancient architecture, and also local painters; in fact the city itself is somewhat of a Danish museum with its multitude of castles, palaces, fortresses, and churches. Amalienborg Palace is the residence of Queen Margrethe II, set on a charming cobblestone square and home to the royal family since 1794. Nearby is Christianborg Palace, the seat of Danish government that is situated on an island in central Copenhagen and features the ornate Renaissance "Reception Chambers.”
Most visitors to Copenhagen also find themselves lured to Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park over a century old whose daring roller coasters, peaceful gardens, picnic pavilions, carnival games, stage shows and eight zillion twinkling lights delight the young and old, particularly during the holiday season when the park takes on a particularly magical air.
Nearby is the central square of Radhuspladsen, the gateway into the heart of the city that brims with lively bars, restaurants, and cafes. Stroget, the world's longest pedestrian mall, is a busy street with plenty of shops to stroll from high-end boutiques to cheap souvenir stores. Nyhavn Canal, built over 300 years ago for trades people to transport their goods, leads to the area of Christiania, a "free town" and alternative community with independent political and educational system and thriving music scene. And no visitors will want to miss a photo op with the Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen's calling card beauty on the waterfront dedicated to one of the city’s most beloved residents, Hans Christian Andersen.
Copenhagen Strand: very central, friendly staff, rooms a bit dated but very clean
Hotel Guldsmeden: Bali-inspired boutique hotel, close to train station, charming
Hotel Kong Arthur: romantic, large suites, fantastic breakfast spread, very comfortable
Nimb Hotel: world-class hotel with fabulous rooms, excellent service & luxurious rooms