Copenhagen City Guide

Copenhagen City Guide

Our guide to Copenhagen - a city with great museums, a rich history and delicious cuisine.

Sights

Uncover the city's rich history

Denmark's capital has a history stretching as far back as the 11th century, and over time it has grown to become a modern cosmopolitan city, but still retains a certain historic charm.

Its history is celebrated through fabulous structures such as Rosenborg Castle- a beautiful Dutch Renaissance building that stands proudly within the country's oldest royal garden. The castle is 400 years old and when visiting you'll be able to see some of the possessions from some of the kings who lived here throughout history, as well as the Danish Crown Jewels.

The beautiful Rosenborg Castle

The beautiful Rosenborg Castle

Christiansborg Palace can be found smack in the middle of Copenhagen, and is home to the Danish parliament (The Folketing), the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court. On a sunny day, it's particularly lovely to walk around the palace gardens, and to see the Riding Complex, where royal horses are trained.

For an extensive lesson in Denmark's history, head to the National Museum. This beautiful building houses a fantastic timeline taking you through Danish history, and boasts items from the Stone Age, as well as Viking weaponry and a 3,500-year-old Sun Chariot. It's a great place for kids, as there are regular children's activities held in the main foyer and an excellent Children's Museum.

Enjoy Modern Art

Copenhagen's art scene is thriving, with a great selection of small galleries dotted across the city, we suggest poking your head into these as you pass by, to see local works of contemporary art. The ARKEN Museum of Modern Artin south Copenhagen has one of the best collections of modern art in Denmark.

The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

On top of its changing exhibitions, the museum's collection boasts works from Damien Hurst, Clare Woods and Ai Weiwei, as well as international, Danish and Nordic artists. The museum building itself was created to portray a stranded ship, and was designed by architect Søren Robert Lund.

The home of Denmark's National Gallery

The National Gallery of Denmark is a truly great place to admire art from all over the world. Well-curated collections of European, Danish, Nordic and International Art are strengthened by interactive screens, which tell you about specific works of art and their history.

The National Gallery of Denmark

The National Gallery of Denmark

You'll find works of art from many of the prominent masters here, with works from over 700 years of art history. If you're a fan of art, it's worth setting aside the best part of a day to explore all the museum has to offer. There's a café for hungry stomachs, and the museum offers a great selection of activities and workshops for children.

Explore Danish Architecture

Sitting alongside the river, the Danish Architecture Centre is a great place to grab a bite to eat whilst enjoying views over the harbour and the city, explore the impressive gift shop, which has the most in-depth collection of architecture books in Copenhagen and also sells some beautiful items of Danish design. If you visit during the summer, you can take one of the architecture tours of the city.

Walk into the wild

If your schedule isn't too packed with all of the cultural delights Copenhagen has to offer, it's got plenty of other fantastic things to see and do. The city's zoo is a great place to take kids, and the whole family will enjoy the educational displays, exotic animals, and the importance it puts on nature conservation.

Also worth visiting is the aquarium, Den Blå Planet. The largest aquarium in northern Europe, The Blue Planet is housed in a beautiful building, the shape of which resembles a whirlpool. Inside you'll find an array of oceanic creatures from sea otters, to hammerhead sharks and even piranhas! Be sure to check out the programme for the day of your visit, to ensure you don't miss any displays.

A city with a difference

A particularly interesting building is Copenhagen's Round Tower (Rundetårn). It stands as Europe's oldest astronomy tower and observatory, and gives visitors a really interesting look into its history, as well as boasting its own gallery space. To reach the top, you'll have to walk up the spiral ramp, a cobbled pathway with beautiful whitewashed walls, to reach the exhibition space and then the observatory at the top.

The walkway up to The Round Tower

The walkway up to The Round Tower

It's a wonderful structure standing at 42 meters tall, and you get some great panoramic views of the city from the top. Another beautiful part of the city are the Botanical Gardens, in the city center. They've got a beautiful selection of old greenhouses and over 13,000 species of plants.

Where to eat

If there's one thing Copenhagen has become famous for, it's the great selection of restaurants the city has to offer. You don't have to break the bank to eat well here, although there are many high-end restaurants if you want to splash out. Existing as part of the larger Cofoco chain, Höst is a perfect example of the city providing high-quality, reasonably priced food in a stylish and comfortable setting.

The service here is impeccable - you'll be talked through every detail of the tasting menu and suggested wine to match. If you're willing to spend more, Copenhagen is home to restaurant Noma. Four-time-winner of the World's 50 Best Restaurants award, it serves up contemporary interpretations of Nordic cuisine.

Where to stay

Accommodation in Copenhagen used to be an expensive affair, but as the city's popularity has increased, there's been a boom in affordable hotels, and like most things in the city, the standard of quality is high. One great mid-range hotel is the Hotel Kong Arthur. Set back from the main street, you feel a sense of royalty when approaching the building and the décor is unique and stylish.

There's an in-house spa, and the facilities are free if you book through the hotel's website. Another reasonably-priced hotel is Hotel Østerport. It's a close distance to the Central Station and many main tourist sites, like Tivoli Gardens, and you'll get a fresh breakfast buffet and free Wi-Fi thrown in, too.

Getting there and around

Europe is just a 35 minute journey with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, so it's never been easier to take a city break!

Book your journey

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Photo Credits:
The beautiful Rosenborg Castle - Image by Flickr user Dennis Jarvis
Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish parliament - Image by Flickr user Troels Dejgaard Hansen
The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art - Image by Flickr user News Oresund
The National Gallery of Denmark - Image by Flickr user Catherine Wilson
The walkway up to The Round Tower - Image by Flickr user Susanne Nilsson
Copenhagen's Nyhavn Canal is a great place for a walk - Image by Flickr user Dennis Jarvis

All pictures licensed for commercial use at time of publication.

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