Copenhagen Travel Guide

A relaxed, picturesque capital, Copenhagen is supremely well-organised and celebrated for its liberal outlook and eco-friendly attitude. Anyone fortunate enough to holiday in Copenhagen will testify to the fact that the lovely Danish capital is one of Europe's most impressive urban destinations. Its attractions are many, and easily accessible on foot, centuries of rich and interesting history show in its architecture, and there are a number of splendid upmarket shops. The are also far more Michelin-starred restaurants than in any other Scandinavian city. Visiting foodies may enjoy one of the city's gastronomic tours, too. They are two to four hours long and cover anything from Scandinavian cuisine to hygge: the hard to describe but easy to experience Danish obsession with getting cosy.

A holiday in Copenhagen is a magical experience for children and anyone who is young at heart, thanks to its wonderful Tivoli funfair and the association with Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. In addition to enjoying the carefully well-preserved city centre, much of which dates from the late 18th century or earlier, culture vultures travel to Copenhagen to enjoy its many theatres, arts events and music concerts. The Danes have refused to compromise their traditional city centre with skyscrapers and the old city is blessedly free of high-rise buildings, creating an authentic old-world atmosphere.

Best time to visit Copenhagen

A summer holiday in Copenhagen (June to August) is ideal, especially for those intent on making the most of Tivoli Gardens, the city's popular amusement park, and the pavement cafes on the pretty squares. A Copenhagen holiday is also magical in the run-up to Christmas, when the snow-covered city takes on a fairytale aspect and it is fun to shop for gifts in the Christmas markets.

What to see in Copenhagen

-The heart of the city, Christiansborg Palace is the hub of Danish government and chock full of history.

-The iconic Little Mermaid statue in Langelinie Harbour is one of Copenhagen's most famous sights.

-Copenhagen is rich in world-class museums, including the Copenhagen City Museum.

-Rosenborg Castle is the historic seat of Danish royalty and houses the crown jewels.

What to do in Copenhagen

-For a taste of Copenhagen's liberal 'hippy' culture visit Freetown Christiania.

-A stroll or a boat ride down the historic Nyhavn Canal is a must.

-For thrills, spills and fresh air, Tivoli Gardens can't be missed.

-Bakken Amusement Park, said to be the oldest in the world, is a must for families travelling with kids.

Beyond Copenhagen

Popular excursions and daytrips from Copenhagen include visits to Frederiksborg Palace, in North Zealand; the UNESCO-listed Kronborg Castle, in Helsingor, immortalised in Shakespeare's Hamlet; the island of Bornholm, known as the 'Pearl of the Baltic'; the historic city of Aarhus, on the east coast of Jutland; and the beautiful island of Funen (Fyn), with its capital Odense, the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen. Families travelling with kids should be sure to visit Legoland Billund, the original Legoland Park.

Getting there

Copenhagen Airport, situated five miles (8km) southeast of Copenhagen city centre, on the island of Amager, is the biggest airport in Scandinavia and the point of entry for the majority of visitors to Denmark.

Did you know?

-Copenhagen was once a fortified city, with only three entrances.

-There is only one high-rise building in Copenhagen's city centre: the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, built in 1960.

-Copenhagen has been rated as one of the world's top cities for cyclists.