Copenhagen has come a long way from its 10th-century origins as a Viking fishing village, but it’s still a port town at heart – and an extremely elegant one at that. From the colourful 17th-century townhouses that overlook picturesque Nyhavn Harbour and the canals that criss-cross the city, to the famed Little Mermaid statue, water is never far away. Copenhagen holidays attract a diverse crowd – couples on romantic trips drawn by its beautiful architecture and spire-studded skyline, fans of Denmark’s innovative design and culinary scenes, and families seeking fun at its kitsch fairgrounds.
Holidays to Copenhagen must include a visit to Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest operating amusement park in the world, jam-packed with thrilling rides and twinkling lights at night. Also high on the list are taking in the city’s superb architecture, exploring on-the-up neighbourhoods, such as Nørrebro and Refshaleøen, admiring world-class art and eating prettily plated Nordic cuisine. While there’s plenty to keep you busy at all hours, it’s worth slowing down and taking time to drink a pint of beer on a cobbled pavement, pootle around on a bike or window-shop at its many fashionable boutiques. The most relaxing way to tour the city is by taking a boat trip and puttering along one of its ancient canals – the way people have been seeing Copenhagen for centuries.
The ridiculously photogenic waterfront is lined with brightly coloured 17th-century houses and charming wooden boats – it’s the ideal spot to order a beer or coffee, and watch the world go by.
Successive castles and palaces have been built on this 52-acre island since the 12th century. It remains the seat of government and an architectural marvel.
Statens Museum for Kunst
The vast collections (more than 260,000 pieces) in the National Gallery of Denmark will introduce you to the country’s idyllic landscapes, gracious style and exacting sense of design.