Copenhagen City Guide travel tourist sightseeing attractions information

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Copenhagen History & Overview

It is thought that Copenhagen’s origins date back to the 9th & 10th century called Havn (Danish for harbour) was established. ) By the 12th century’s it had developed significantly and was acquired by the Bishop of Absalon. Historians attribute 1167 as year Copenhagen was founded when the port was fortified. It subsequently became a important trading port and commercial centre. To reflect this it was renamed Copenhagen – Copen being the Danish word for commerce. In 1254 it was officially given the status of a city. Between 1658 and 1659 Swedish forces unsuccessfully laid siege to the city.

In 1801 the British Navy under Admiral Parker attacked the Danish Navy in the city’s harbour. When ordered to stop the attack Lord Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye so as to ignore the order. The British returned in 1807 and used cannon to bombard the city erasing it to the ground and killing hundreds of people. In the mid 19th century .the city was expanded and new homes were built around the lakes

By the beginning of the 20th century the sprawling city had incorporated lone towns such as Frederiksberg in its path. In April 1940 Nazis troops occupied the city and remained there until May 1945. The city has grown dramatically since WW2 and is now a populated metropolitan area. In 2000 the 4km straight of sea between Copenhagen and Malmo Sweden was breached by the Oresund Bridge and Tunnel. The connection provides both travellers with option of rail and road transport though the uptake of the latter is lower than expected due to high tolls. Some shops now accept Danish or Swedish currency.

Sightseeing & Attractions In Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a really compact city with an efficient transport system which makes it relatively straight forward to navigate  around all the major sightseeing and attractions. This charming Scandinavian city has a population of just under 550,000 . There is plenty of cultural and historical splendour on display with fascinating Art and History museums along with monuments dedicated to Danish national heroines.
There are monuments to commemorate the life and achievements of men such as genius writer Hans Christian Anderson and much reference to and celebration of arguably Denmark’s most famous king, Christian IV. Get ready to explore this wonderful city which has become a favourite destination amongst culture vultures and history enthusiasts all over the globe.
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Radhuspladsen, 14 1550 Central  Copenhagen [no website]- The Town Hall Square lies in the very heart of Copenhagen and is the cultural epicentre of the city.  The buildings design and interior is simply breathtaking.  You can climb the tower and absorb the splendid skyline views of the Danish capital. It’s an ideal way to begin your sightseeing tour of Copenhagen and is conveniently located round the corner from Central Station. They are well known for hosting live concerts and screening high profile Danish football matches here.  It was allegedly built sometime  between 1812 and 1905.  One of the main attractions of this historic site is the statue of infamous Danish Children’s writer Hans Christian Anderson is in one corner of the square. They are open 10 am till 4 pm and the price of admission is free.
Rosenborg Castle Copenhagen Oster Voldgade 4A 1350  – Rosenborg Castle was initially built as an opulent summer House back in 1606.  The building was designed and built in a Dutch  Renaissance style  and was expanded several times until it reached its current size in 1624. A main attraction of the castle is an exhibit which displays the royal crown jewels and  the Danish Crown Regalia. The castle provides much insight in to  the life of iconic Danish King Christian IV.  The castle was officially opened to the public in 1838 and has become an incredibly  popular attraction ever since. Guided tours of the castle  are available  from 10 am till 4 pm. Free admission for children aged between 0 and 17 years, 50 KR for Students with a valid ID card and  80 KR for adults. website http://dkks.dk/english

Thorvaldsen Museum Copenhagen, Beterl Thorvaldsens Plads 2  This Museum is dedicated to the work of a single artist, Bertel Thorvaldsen. Thorvaldsen was a Danish Icelandic sculptor who is revered as one of the countries national treasure’s.  Most of his work took place in the 19th century and he spent the majority of his working years away from Denmark, in the Italian capital of Rome. The structure was built between 1838 and 1848 with the funds coming from a generous public collection. The majority of his art is designed in a neo-classical style.   Amongst the main features are masterpiece Marble statues and paintings of Ancient Greek and Egyptian antiques.   They are Open 10 am to 5 pm. Entry 40 DKK but free on Wednesday’s. website http://www.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/

Denmark National Museum, Copenhagen Ny Vestergade 10 – The Danish National Museum is the country’s largest  museum of Cultural history.  It depicts the history of Denmark as well as many other foreign countries. The museum is ideally situated in the city centre near Stroget. The museum details almost 15,000 years of Danish history from the Viking warriors to the  the Middles ages and hunters of the Ice age. There are fascinating exhibits which chronicle  the life and times of Danish Folk from the Middle ages up until the year 2000. The foreign collections include  enchanting artefacts from Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome. Open Tues-Sun 10am till 5 pm.  Admission free.website http://natmus.dk/
Caritas Well, Gammeltorv Copenhagen – Caritas is the oldest remaining fountain in Denmark built by King Christian IV in 1608.  It is arguably the countries’ most impressive Renaissance monument. They have a unique and  special tradition which dates back to the early 18th century where the fountain sprays Golden apples to celebrate the Danish Queen’s birthday or their constitution day. The fountain’s figures depict the two theological virtues of  love and charity. This unique statue displays a  pregnant woman spraying water from her breasts whilst her little boy urinates in to the basin.

Rundetarn, Copenhagen Kobmagergarde 52 A 1150  – Rundetarn is a 17th century Tower. The architectural style of this Round structure is Baroque. the construction took five years from 1637 and 1642.  It was one of many projects undertaken by Denmark’s   17th century king Christian IV.  It’s initial use was as an Astronomical observatory and   its contemporary use is as an observation Tower. In 1902 a Beaufort Car became the first motor vehicle to  ascend the Tower. In more modern times Thomas Olsen set a world record time of 1 minute 48.7 seconds when he cycled round the building on a Unicycle in 1989. The library Hall which is located above the Church is often utilized for musical concerts and Cultural exhibitions. website http://www.rundetaarn.dk/

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek  Dantes Plads 7 1556 Copenhagen – This historic museum finished being built in 1882. The Museums collection of art is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen who was the son of the founder of the legendary Carlsberg Breweries. The main attraction of the museum is  the antique sculpture of ancient Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Egypt and Rome. The Museum boasts an impressive collection of French impressionist and Danish non-Impressionist paintings. There are fascinating work from the likes of Renoir, Edgar Degas and the incomparable Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. They have a large auditorium which hosts classical music concerts where internationally acclaimed musicians such as Sergei Lieferkus and German Jonas Kauffman have performed this venue.  Opening hours are 11 am till 7 pm and the price of entry is 75 DKK, 50 Per person for groups of 10 or more people and free admission on Sunday’s website http://www.glyptoteket.dk/
Kronborg Castle outside Elsinore on the edge of Zealand and 4Km from Sweden was built in the 15th century not only as form of defence against invaders but also to oversee the shipping using the waters between the countries. The castle was built by King Eric of Pomerina who exacted a toll from ships using the waters.The castle was rebuilt in 1638 following a fire nine years earlier.
The Viking Ship Museum though 30km from Copenhagen at the Roskilde harbour is worth a visit as it is home of five five viking ships raised from the harbour’s sea bed. The ships all offer contrasting insights into the breadth of purpose and design of Viking Ships. The sculpture of
The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen’s Harbour is reportedly Denmark’s most photographed attraction. The 1913 bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen is dedicated to the lead character of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.

The Amalienborg Palace Amalienborg 1257 Copenhagen The palace is the winter home of the Danish Royal Family. It is regarded as an outstanding example of Rococo architecture first built in the mid 18th century. Originally built as Town Mansions for Copenhagen’s socially well heeled it was bought by the Danish Crown in 1794 and transformed into four palaces. There is a daily ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony at noon.website http://www.copenhagenet.dk/cph-amalienborg.htm

The National Gallery Statens Museum for Kunst Sølvgade 48-50 1307 Copenhagen Locally known as the Staten’s Museum for Kunst, near the Botanical Gardens has a Danish and European air about it. Its collection of paintings and drawings, accompanied by sculptures span 700 years. website.http://www.copenhagenet.dk/cph-map/cph-gallery.asp

Tivoli Gardens in the centre of the city near City Hall Square is one of Copenhagen’s most popular attractions especially for families. Established in 1874 as a open air pantomime theatre it now also serves as am amusement park – with a three loop roller coaster (the Demon) and the Golden Tower which will bring you back to earth faster than you may think! The open air stage regularly offers classical music and ballet with rock concerts on fridays. Hungry visitors have the choice of 30 restaurants and not all hamburgers. All set in a very garden like setting. More info see website  http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-3355.htm

Stroget Shopping , Copenhagen – Stroget,is arguably Copenhagen’s most notorious street filled with expensive and exclusive designer boutiques   and ideally situated near most of the City’s major sightseeing and attractions. Both of the city’s top Department stores are located on Stroget, both  Illum and Magasin Du Nord. The beautiful Caritas Fountain  sprays Golden apples on constitution day and on the birthday’s of royal figures.  It has the distinction of being the largest pedestrian shopping area on the continent. Stroget was created 50 years ago in 1962 as the city was dominated by all the cars driving through and required a shopping area that pedestrians could use. A typical summer day sees an estimated 250,000 shoppers frequent this reputable street.

Restaurants In Copenhagen

Det Lille Apotek (Store Kannikestræde 15; Tel: 3312 5606) at nearly 300 years of age is thought to be Copenhagen’s oldest restaurant. This moderately priced establishment – once frequented Hans Christian Andersen – offers traditional Danish cuisine in a very relaxed quaint atmosphere enhanced by the leaded windows and wood panelling. The house specialty is ‘Stone Beef’ which diners can cook themselves on a lava stone. The menu also offers a good choice of schnitzel, steaks and sea foods. Another decently priced establishment is Cafe Sorgenenfri ( 8 Brolæggerstræde; Tel: 3311 5880 ) which opens from 11am 8pm. It is popular with locals and can be very busy at lunchtime. Good beer and a decent sandwich is the order here, but in spite of its informality you may need to book!

Tyvenkokkenhanskoneoghendeselsker! locally know as ‘Tyven’ ( Magstr. 16, Tel: 3316 1292 ) is a contemporary restaurant with a reputation for slightly off the wall seven course meals. Baked cod in coffee apparently is not uncommon! Though a little adventurous the quality of food is good and the combinations are refreshingly successful. The desserts are even more intriguing. Not open lunch times..

Cafe Ketchup ( Pilestr. 19, Tel: 3332 3030) also offers patrons decent food and reasonable prices. In some ways it is a little ‘bohemian’ especially in the cafe area. Here the fare includes spring rolls, smoked salmon or cod. Early birds can also sample their brunch’ which includes yogurt, toast, turkey and bacon up until 1pm. The restaurant area offers more traditional food – the marinated duck with sun dried tomatoes and fennel salad is not to be missed..

For an exceptional treat Husmanns Vinstue ( Larsbjørnsstr. 2, Tel 3311 5886 ) should not be missed. This 120 year old restaurant is situated in a building that is nearly 300 years old. With thick wooden tables and a low ceiling It is a rare example of what eating out in Copenhagen use to be like. This establishment which is only open during the day specialises in herring dishes whether curried, fried marinated or spiced. Other options include an excellent roast beef and potato salad or smoked eel with scrambled eggs. Walt Disney is one of its former patrons. Another excellent restaurant only open during the day and is Iva Davidsen ( Store Kongensg. 70, Tel 3391 3655 ) which is often frequented by the famous. It is renowned for its smoked duck and horseradish-spiked cabbage salad. If the ‘HC Anderson’ sandwich which combines bacon, liver pate and tomatoes is anything to go by all their sandwiches are fairy tales!

Noma ( Strandgade. 93, Tel 3296 3297) has established itself as one of Copenhagen’s leading restaurants. Essentially the food is Scandinavian but in a broad context. The Jutland lamb and Scallops from the Faroe Islands are accompanied by a selection of herbs, wild berries and exceptionally fresh vegetables. Frankly patrons are spoilt for chance and the seven course meze menu is the answer!. If you can withstand this temptation (many can’t) there is an excellent ‘a la carte’ menu as well. Expensive but well worth it.

Krunch (Oresundsvej 14, Tel 3284 5050) primarily offers organic food of a high quality in a family friendly environment. Fare includes both meat and vegetarian main courses in a four course menu that reflects the seasonal produce. Contemporary with a French bias.

Visitors to Tivoli in the summer are  spoilt for choice but  Promenaden (Vesterbrogade 3, Tivoli; Tel: 3375 0770 ) is one to consider. This two floor establishment includes a bar and a cafe , sausage bar and sandwich bar. The last two are very fairly priced. The cafe offers a good choice of international food including steaks, pasta and barbecue spare ribs. Open from midday to midnight.

Clubbing In Copenhagen

Like many Scandinavian cities, Copenhagen can be very expensive to doss in. Most bars in particular seem to have a very high mark up on wine and in some of the more plush establishments the cocktails prices can seriously damage your credit card if not your health.

For our detailed clubbing guide for Copenhagen with club reviews please follow this link 

 

Crime & Personal Safety & Security in Copenhagen Denmark

Crime in Copenhagen is low. Visitors may be the targets of pickpocket and occasionally bag snatchers especially in the summer.

Cautionary Note Re The Christiania “Free State” In Copenhagen

The ‘Free city of Christiana’ was founded in September 1971 by a group of hippies who moved into the former Administrated military barracks on the Island of Amager Copenhagen. In 1989 laws were passed by the Danish Parliament which legalized the occupation and exempted the occupants who had become widely known as Christianians from the Danish laws on heritage and environment conservation. In 1991, Christiania became a “free zone”, and a degree of autonomy was given to the residents. In return each citizen has to pay a monthly a fee currently 1,600 Danish Kr (215 €) towards public costs including electricity, heating, child-care road maintenance, and other public expenditure.

The Christianians have their own communal laws. These including the banning of cars and liberal use of soft drugs. The centre of the area became known as ‘Pusher Street’ where hash and skunk were until a police operation in 2004 readily available. Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are banned. Christiania officially has a population of 878 about 150 of these are children. The present Danish Government wants to abolish the areas ‘free’ status and in May 2007 a demonstration against this proposal resulted in a riot. The future of Christiania remains unresolved and the the possibility of further demonstrations against any change in its status.

Official Copenhagen Tourist Board http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/

Copenhagen Denmark Weather Forecast

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monthly average and extreme temperatures Copenhagen Denmark:
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sun hours per day

Temperatures
Average Daily
Records
Minimum
Maximum
Lowest
Highest
January
1
-2
2
-24
10
February
2
-3
2
-20
14
March
4
-1
5
-18
19
April
5
3
10
-9
22
May
8
8
16
-2
28
June
8
11
19
3
33
July
8
14
22
8
31
August
7
14
21
6
31
September
5
11
18
1
27
October
3
7
12
-4
20
November
1
3
7
-7
14
December
1
1
4
-11
12
extreme cold
hot

 

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