- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Copenhagen, Denmark
As the world faces crisis and abrupt climate change, it is almost impossible to find a nice place to live in. But for Copenhagen, Denmark it’s a different story. One of the oldest cities in Europe is still one of the cities that is considered to have the best quality of life. Copenhagen is situated on the islands of Zealand and Amager.
The country’s capital is evenly occupied by both an urban and a metropolitan population. Although it’s one of the very densely populated areas in all of Europe, Copenhagen is one of the most visited of the Nordic countries with over 1 million tourists per year. It’s one of the more highly developed countries as it is a major regional center of business, media, science and culture.
Copenhagen is considered a very liveable place because of its cleanliness. It’s considered as one of the very environmentally friendly cities because its harbour can be swum in and about a third of the city’s people use bicycles as their means of transportation. In their downtown area, the places to visit and to be entertained at are the Tivoli gardens and the Town Hall Square.
Things to see in Copenhagen
Amalienborg Slot (Amalienborg Palace)
This formal compound of four identical rococo palaces has been the winter home of the Danish royal family since 1794. The residencies, each occupied by a different generation of the monarchy, face each other across the octagonal Amalienborg Slot, where the changing of the guard takes place each day at noon when the family is in residence. A museum, featuring some of the private chambers and royal treasures dating from 1863-1947, is open to the public. Highlights include a collection of royal fans and a striking bible bound in gold, presented to Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Lovisa in 1866.
Carlsberg Visitors Centre and Carlsberg Museum
Carlsberg is, according to its own long-running marketing campaign, 'probably the best lager in the world'. Whether or not you agree, the Visitors Centre is an intoxicating experience. The tour details the history and modern processes of the brewery, with a route through the production plant. At the end, there's a chance to sample the finished product. There is also a Carlsberg Museum, housed in a beautiful building dating back to 1882, where exhibits relate more to the cultural and historical relevance of the family and the brewery. The site also includes a sculpture garden and, needless to say, a bar.
Statens Museum for Kunst (Royal Museum of Fine Art)
The Royal Museum of Fine Art houses Denmark's largest art collection, including a hefty selection of Danish work from 1750 to 1900. The museum also has some fantastic international holdings, including paintings by Rembrandt, Brueghel, Rubens and Titian. French art of the early 20th century is well-represented too with a selection of Picassos and Matisses. The museum, which already incorporates a high-design café, will also have a wonderful outdoor space when its new garden opens in summer 2014.
Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid)
This bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous aquatic heroine, The Little Mermaid, may be small but it attracts thousands of visitors to its home at Langelinje Pier. The spot for Copenhagen’s most visited attraction is down by the harbour where sailors were said to be traditionally drawn by the siren songs of mermaid-like creatures. To find the statue, walk from Nyhavn towards the Amalienborg Palace and just keep going until you see the crowds. Visit in the early morning or late evening to avoid throngs of tourists.
One of the Europe's top amusement parks, Tivoli is a bizarre mixture of the natural and the artificial. It opened in 1843, with a horse-drawn carousel and a rollercoaster. Today, there are 256 rides, plus games, arcades, two theatres, an open-air stage and a museum. Of the four rollercoasters, the 'Rutschebanen' is the oldest (it dates from 1914) and still the most popular. The Tivoli Boys Guard Band parade through the gardens at 1730 and 1930 on weekends and public holidays, with a full orchestra. Crowded, pricey and unbelievably kitsch, Tivoli remains strangely appealing. It hosts numerous special events in the summer, as well as a Christmas market in December.
Open Air Museum
The Open Air Museum allows guests to visit all of Denmark without ever leaving Copenhagen. This unique outdoor park is heavy on the country’s rural history, with a charming collection of houses, mills and farmhouses dating from the 17th century to recent times. The different styles of architecture that distinguish the Danish provinces can be seen in a stroll through its 86 acres and a visit is a welcome escape from the intensity of the city crowds.
Guinness World Records Museum
Visitors here can experience over 500 of the most peculiar world records through interactive challenges and displays, from the tallest man to the most poisonous frog. Exhibitions allow guests to see what it feels like to drive at 500kph (311mph) or take on the world's best fighter. Harry Potter, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson are all the subjects of their own dedicated displays and there are large sections devoted to sport and the world of toys. Perhaps the most entertaining sight, though, is the spectacle of more than a million dominoes toppling over.