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DAZZLING DENMARK: Copenhagen, here we come – 5 things to do

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EDITOR’S BLOG. It’s been settled, we’re off for a weekend to Copenhagen in October. I’ve been there many times before. But the Danish capital is the closest Swedes have (save, perhaps, London) that can be sorted into the “European continent” category of travel destinations. It was once said about Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city in the southern part of the country, just across the Öresund strait, that the best thing about Malmö is its closeness to the Danish capital. That might say more about the Swedish city, back then running low on self esteem and good future prospects, rather that about Copenhagen.

But the truth is, there really is something special about Copenhagen, Denmark and the Danish, isn’t there?

 

For starters, there is Christiania. For decades, this drug liberalism experiment has been running free in the midst of the capital. Founded in 1971, Christiania is still home for people with alternative lifestyles, to be sure including more than only drug liberalism. But Copenhagen has not let itself be defined by Christiania’s sometimes dubious reputation as a heaven for drug users. Rather, what characterizes the Danish capital is modern architecture, good design, fashion and a special joy of life, sometimes channeled through clichés like the Danish meaty, red sausages, cigarettes and generous amounts of beer.

Residents have their boats close to home in Copenhagen.

 

True or not, the Danish seem a happy people, despite its present problems with failing banks and a housing bubble. For example, Copenhagen boasts not one, but two theme parkes. Compared to the far northern parts of Europe and the rest of Scandinavia, Copenhagen seems to be better situated, too, closer to the Continent and the real world. Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Copenhagen

A flight from London, Oslo, Stockholm or northern Germany to Copenhagen takes just over en hour. So, for countrymen out of these places, Copenhagen is the obvious weekend getaway spot.

Here are the five best things in Copenhagen:

• The bars & restaurants

The website Worldsbestbars lists over twenty bars in Copenhagen worth visiting. But while many tourists spend most of their time in the Nyhavn harbor area, the best bars are located a few minutes walk inland from the water. Nørrebro is one of the city’s best drinking quarters, with bars like the Oak Room. Many other bars and restaurants are found on the central district between Nørrebro and Nyhavn, and, in any case, all of them are within walking distance.

I’ve had some of my best dinners in Copenhagen, exquisite Asian food like sushi for example. As the Danish are fond of The Good Life, they like good food too. The Vietnamese restaurant Lélé is strongly recommended.

• The amusement parks

Of Copenhagen’s two amusement parks, Bakken, arguably the world’s oldest, and Tivoli, the later is probably the most visited these days, nicely put in the middle of Copenhagen and within walking distance to everything else. (Bakken is a few kilometers north of the city center.) A good way to experience the Tivoli is actually to go there in the winter and have warm glüwine, warm, spicy wine, to warm your frozen soul.

 • Louisiana Art Museum

If you have a car, or else time to venture outside Copenhagen by other means of transportation, the Louisiana Art Museum is well worth a visit. Here, som of the world’s most notable artists show their work and the gallery constantly change its exhibition so that there is always something new to experience. The museum can be found about 50 kilometers north of Copenhagen, along the coast.

• Christiania

Also easy to get too by foot, Christiania in Copenhagen is actually more than a sanctuary for drug users. Underground artists show and sell their work, you can have lunch or dinner, and stroll around the neighborhood of Christiania that was once a regiment of the Danish navy.

• The Öresund strait

If you go in summer, swimming in the Øresund strait between Denmark and Sweden is a necessity. There are numerous beaches around the city, although you may have to get on a bus or take the car to get to them. One of the finest is the Amager Beach Park (Amager Strand).

 

 

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.