Originally a Viking fishing village, Copenhagen is definitely a feast for the senses with its perfect mix of the old and the new blended with unique gastronomical delights. The storybook streetscapes of Copenhagen is lined with well preserved historical medieval buildings as well as internationally recognized urban design architecture. It is also a haven for food lovers like myself having a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the number one restaurant in the world for 4 years, NOMA. The city is definitely a gourmet destination… one of the many reasons why I want to keep coming back.
The Danish capital is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, with bicycles actually outnumbering its inhabitants. Aside from it being a healthy way to commute, it is also the most eco friendly way to do so. Coming from California where cycling is normally a sport or a way to exercise, it was very interesting for me to see men and women all dressed up in suits and dresses, pedaling their way to work or a date or just about anywhere.
Den Lille Havfrue
The most popular icon and tourist attraction of the city is this statue of the Little Mermaid. According to legend, this site used to be the home of the mermaids.
Right next to the harbor and the Little Mermaid Statue, this citadel is a beautiful public park and historical site which still serves as an active military area. I love the mix of the red colored buildings, the cobblestone streets and the windmill standing right at the center.
This is probably my favorite place in Copenhagen. I’m in love with these medieval townhouses lining up on each side of the harbor. This waterfront has been around since the 17th-century and it is a beautiful place to be at both in the day and night.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “Thumbelina” and of course “The Little Mermaid”… these were some of my favorite fairytales written by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen who used to live in this building in Nyhavn. The window of his exact room is labeled with his name making it very helpful for curious people like myself. It was the closest I could get to knowing the author of my favorite childhood stories who taught me important life lessons at such a young age!
Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Palace)
The castle grounds dates back to 1167 when the first castle on the site was built. The ruins of the first castle grounds were excavated and preserved and are open to the public including some areas of the palace.
The Danish monarch still uses some parts of the palace to this day. It is also the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court of Denmark.
This central square dates back to the Middle Ages and used to be the premier marketplace of the city since the 14th century. Today, it stands as a historical square with several notable buildings and is also a place for High end shopping.
The Royal Danish Playhouse
Copenhagen Opera House
Sitting right by the harbor, across from the Amalienborg Palace, this lavish opera house is the national opera house of Denmark and one of the most modern opera houses in the world. It was a gift to the city from the shipping magnate Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller.
I must admit, my curiosity of Danish History started after watching the movie En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair) which focused on the life of Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Great Britain which featured this setting. Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family and consist of four palaces. Changing of the guards happen daily at noon and two of the four palaces are open to the public.
Frederik’s Kirke (Frederick’s Church)
Located in line with Amalienborg, Frederick’s Church famously known as the Marble Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia. Statues of prominent theologians and ecclesiastical figures surround the building.
The castle is open to the public as a museum of royal collections and artifacts including the Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia. The Coronation Carpet and the Throne Chair of Denmark can also be found here.
Kongens Have (The King’s Garden)
Also known as Rosenborg Castle Garden, it is the country’s oldest royal garden and is a popular retreat for the people of Copenhagen especially on beautiful summer days like this one.
As I wandered through the streets, I kept wondering what their secret is to always being named the happiest country in the world. It definitely was one of the most relaxed countries I’ve visited and the Danes are one of the most pleasant people I’ve met.