Mini Guide of Copenhagen
Canals, lakes and the sea form the backdrop to modern Copenhagen and are a reminder of the city’s heritage as a major Baltic port. This role is also reflected in the city’s name, København, a corruption of købmanne hafen or merchants’ harbour.
The city’s foundation dates back to 1167, when Bishop Absalon built a bastion on the island of Slotsholmen, today the site of Christiansborg Palace and the Danish parliament. In 1417, the city became the royal capital of a huge swathe of Scandinavia that included not just Denmark but parts of Sweden and Norway. Many of Copenhagen’s most impressive buildings were constructed during the celebrated reign of Christian IV (1588–1648). Existing monuments of the monarch’s grand building schemes include the Børsen (Stock Exchange), the Rundetårn (Round Tower) and the Palace of Rosenborg. Christian IV was responsible for Copenhagen’s canal network and for the development of Christianshavn (an island across the inner harbour) as a focus for trade and shipping in the city. In the following centuries, an outbreak of plague, two terrible fires, military attacks by the Swedes (in the 17th century) and the British (in the 19th century) caused widespread damage to the city. The central area of Copenhagen is therefore characterised by 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century architecture – buildings constructed on the foundations of the medieval streets.
Modern Copenhagen is the largest city in Scandinavia but nevertheless retains a disarmingly provincial, small-town atmosphere that is instantly appealing. Gabled houses, narrow streets and a skyline that is dominated by delicate spires rather than hulking skyscrapers are all typical of the city. Copenhagen is also, arguably, the greenest capital in Europe – much of the centre is reserved for pedestrians, strict anti-pollution laws are enforced and bikes often outnumber cars on the streets. Green spaces (including the world-famous Tivoli) abound, while, in the summer, cafés and restaurants occupy the pavements. The citizens of Copenhagen seem justifiably proud of their attractive, well-kept city and enjoy a quality of life that they are keen to share with visitors from other countries.
Copenhagen boasts theatres, museums and a lively, surprisingly cutting-edge nightlife scene. Danish cinema is increasingly making its mark on the international film circuit and Danish furniture, technology and jewellery remain at the forefront of contemporary design. The best the country has to offer can be experienced in the capital city, where design studios rub shoulders with ultra-hip bars, and modern architecture boldly occupies the space between 17th-century buildings, military installations and the sea. A road bridge to Sweden, completed in 2000, is helping to make Copenhagen a key focal point for Scandinavia, the Baltic and the rest of mainland Europe.
The climate in Copenhagen is a temperate maritime one and generally quite changeable. Winters are cold and cloudy but summers are warm and sunny. Snowfalls are common between January and March and the wettest season is over the months of August to October.
Getting There By Air
København Lufthavn (CPH)
Tel: 3231 3231. Fax: 3231 3132.
The airport is among the most modern and efficient in the world and is located just 8km (5 miles) from the city centre. The airport is the main hub serving Scandinavia and the Baltic and is the principal airport for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). International flights use terminals two and three. Terminal one handles domestic services to destinations on Jutland and Funen. Flight information is available from the airlines operating at København Lufthavn or from the airport website. Registered users can also take advantage of a new system introduced in 2002 and have messages sent direct to their mobile phones, relaying gate and boarding information, any changes or delays and the arrival time of flights and baggage. This service is available through the website. A free transit bus connects the domestic and international terminals.
Major airlines: SAS, Scandinavian Airlines System (tel: 7010 2000; website: www.scandinavian.net), located on the ground floor of the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in the city centre, is the major airline for Denmark, Sweden and Norway. There are 67 other airlines operating to and from 129 cities served worldwide, including Air France, British Airways, easyJet, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International and Virgin Express.
Approximate flight times to Copenhagen: From London is 1 hours 45 minutes; from New York is 8 hours 30 minutes; from Seattle is 11 hours; and from Sydney is around 24 hours.
Airport facilities: Branches of Danske Bank and Nordea offer currency exchange services, daily 0630-2200, and there are ATMs in the terminals. Other facilities and services include tourist information and hotel reservations in the international arrivals hall, travel agencies, a post office, duty-free shops, restaurants, a family area, childcare facilities, 24-hour first aid and left-luggage lockers, as well as saunas, showers and solarium. There is a five-star Hilton Hotel (tel: 3250 1501; website: www.hilton.dk) linked to terminal three by a covered walkway, steps and elevators, as well as a transfer hotel (tel: 3231 2455) in terminal two. Car hire is available from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
Business facilities: There are meeting facilities with 14 meeting rooms and AV equipment operated by Hilton Meetings (tel: 3244 5208; fax: 3244 5439; e-mail: cb_Copenhagenfirstname.lastname@example.org) on the fourth floor in Terminal 3. Scandinavian Airlines, British Airways, Servisair and Novia each provide executive lounges for their passengers and customers.
Arrival/departure tax: None.
Transport to the city: Copenhagen has the fastest and cheapest airport-to-city-centre rail link of any European capital ( just 13 minutes) and it costs only Dkk25.50. DSB (tel: 7013 1415; website: www.dsb.dk) trains run every 10 minutes to the city centre. Services operate Monday to Friday 0455-0035, Saturday 0535-0015 and Sunday 0635-0015. Tickets are available from the ticket office in terminal three. Public buses 12, 30, 96N and 250S (see Public Transport in Getting Around) run from the airport to the city centre and beyond until midnight daily. Tickets cost Dkk25.50 to the city centre (journey time – 20-25 minutes). Night bus 96N runs 0037-0400 from terminal three to City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). A taxi to the city centre costs Dkk180-200 (journey time – approximately 20 minutes).
Getting There By Water
Københavns Havn (Port of Copenhagen), Nordre Toldbod 7 (tel: 3347 9999; fax: 3347 9933; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.cphport.dk) is Denmark’s largest port and the most important cruise destination in Northern Europe. Most cruise ships that dock in Copenhagen are heading for the Norwegian fjords or the Baltic. These big summer cruise ships dock along Langelinie Pier, which is 15 minutes’ walk further out from Nyhavn, where the year-round ferries listed below currently dock. Ultimately, however, Langelinie Pier will accommodate all ships that dock in Copenhagen. The development of the area is well underway. The Danish state has built an extension to the Royal Library on the waterfront, a new opera house opened in January 2005 and a theatre is taking shape on an old ferry quay. New facilities in the area are extensive, including an information centre, telephones, lounges, various shops and an increasing number of pierside cafés and restaurants.
Ferry services: There are services to Oslo via Helsingborg (journey time – 16 hours) run by DFDS Seaways (tel: 3342 3342; fax: 3342 3341; website: www.dfdsseaways.com) and to Swinoujscie, Poland (journey time – 10 hours) run by Polferries (tel: 3313 5223; website: www.polferries.com).
Bornholmstrafikken (tel: 5695 1866; fax: 5691 0766; website: www.bornholmstrafikken.dk) runs daily ferry services between Køge, some 45km (28 miles) south of Copenhagen, and Ronne, on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic (journey time – 7 hours).
Ferry companies have been unable to compete with the transport services on the new bridge over to Sweden. The closest ferry service between Denmark and Sweden runs across Øresund between Helsingør (Elsinore) and Helsinborg and is operated by Scandlines (tel: 3315 1515; website: www.scandlines.dk).
Transport to the city: The port is a 10 to 15-minute walk from the centre of Copenhagen, 4km (2.5 miles) from the Central Station and 15km (9 miles) from the airport. Bus route 26E passes along Havnegade past the ferry terminal and taxis are readily available.
Getting There By Road
Motorways are designated by the letter ‘E’ followed by two digits, main roads by two digits on a yellow background and minor roads by three digits on a white background. The speed limit is 110kph (68mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on main roads and 50kph (31mph) in urban areas. Drivers must keep their headlights switched on at all times during the day. Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seatbelts. The maximum legal alcohol to blood ratio is 0.05%.
An International Driving Permit is not required but may be preferable if the national driving licence is not in English. Although not necessary, Green Card insurance is recommended. The legal driving age in Denmark is 18 years.
The Danish Road Directorate operates a Traffic Information Centre (tel: 7010 1040) offering traffic information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Emergency breakdown service: Dansk Autohjælp A/S 7010 8090
Routes to the city: Highway E20 (with a connection to E45) crosses Denmark from west to east and intersects with E47 and E55 to the southwest of Copenhagen. The E47 runs south to Rødbyhavn, with ferry connections to Germany. The toll bridge across the Store Bælt between Sjælland and Fyn charges Dkk200 for cars. The construction of the Øresund 16km (10-mile) bridge and tunnel complex, between Sjælland in Denmark and Scania in Sweden, was completed in 2000. It costs Dkk125 to cross the bridge. Odense is located in Fyn, on the E20, connecting with the E45 highway in Jylland, which travels north to Århus and Aalborg.
Approximate driving times to Copenhagen: From Odense – 1 hour 30 minutes; Århus – 3 hours; Aalborg – 3 hours 40 minutes; Malmö – 40 minutes.
Coach services: The coach station is located in front of the Sofitel Plaza Hotel, Bernstorffgade. Eurolines Scandinavia, Reventlowsgade 8 (tel: 3388 7000; website: www.eurolines.dk) operates bus services with connections to more than 500 towns and cities in Europe, among them big cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Hamburg, Paris, Munich and London.
Bus company Abildskou A/S (tel: 7021 0888; website: www.abildskou.dk) runs services from Aalborg and Århus to Copenhagen. Fjerritslev-København (tel: 7010 0033) links the capital with various destinations in Jutland. Aalborg buses are operated by Thinggaard Rutebiler (tel: 7010 0030). Bus tickets often include the price of ferry crossings, where applicable.
Getting There By Rail
Danish State Railways – DSB (tel: 7013 1415; website: www.dsb.dk) operates punctual, clean and well-equipped trains. Intercity trains are fitted with sockets for radios and computers and mobile phones are available for hire in first class. Fax facilities are also provided.
All international trains arrive in and depart from Hovedbanegården central station (tel: 7013 1415), located on Bernstorffsgade near the Tivoli. Facilities include currency exchange (Danske Bank and Forex), a post office, shops, fast-food outlets and a supermarket.
Rail services: Direct trains run from Copenhagen to various European destinations, including Stockholm, Oslo and Hamburg; all require seat reservations.
InterCity Lyn Express trains offer a direct connection between Copenhagen and other major Danish centres, such as Odense (journey time – 1 hour 15 minutes), Fredericia (journey time – 2 hours 30 minutes), Århus (journey time – 3 hours 30 minutes), Esbjerg (journey time – 3 hours 30 minutes) and Aalberg (journey time – 5 hours 10 minutes). There are also frequent regional train departures to cities in the surrounding area, including three trains an hour to Helsingør (Elsinore).
Transport to the city centre: The Central Station is on the southwestern edge of the Old City. From here, there are S-train connections to Vesterport, Nørreport and Østerport and other stations in the metropolitan area. Numerous bus routes pass the station and taxis are readily available.
The Metropolitan Transport Company – HT (tel: 3613 1415; website: www.hur.dk) runs the urban transport system. Information on trains can also be obtained from the Danish State Railways (see Getting There By Rail). There is an integrated bus and urban train network, known as S-tog (tel: 7013 1415; website: www.dsb.dk/s-tog), as well as the first sections of Copenhagen’s new Metro (tel: 3311 1700; website: www.m.dk), with 17 stations currently in use.
Buses and trains run daily 0500-2430 and there are additional night buses from City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) to the suburbs. There is a harbour bus service (lines 901 and 902) connecting the Royal Library’s Black Diamond building on Christians Brygge with Nordre Toldbod, with stops along the waterfront, including Nyhavn. The shuttle operates daily 0600-1800/1900 throughout the year (weather permitting), six times an hour, and tickets cost Dkk34.
The Metro opened in 2002 and runs from 0500 to 2400 from Mondays to Wednesdays, all night on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and then until 2400 on Sundays. The expansion of the Metro is continuing and the link to the airport is due for completion by 2007. The trains are fully automatic, but that doesn’t mean they are unmanned. There is a Metro steward on every train, whose job it is to check the tickets, provide information and help passengers.
Tickets for the Metro, the buses and the trains are all the same. Fares are calculated on a zone structure indicated on coloured maps at stations and bus stops. The price of a ticket depends on the number of zones travelled through (minimum two zones). Tickets begin at Dkk17 and are available for purchase from the bus driver, at ticket offices or vending machines at stations and at the bus terminus at City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen). Fares are doubled if you board the metro or night buses between 0100 and 0500.
Discount cards (klippekort) for 10 journeys (calculated according to the number of zones you travel but generally saving around 40%) and 24-hour tickets (Dkk100) are available at stations, at the bus terminus or from the tourist information office. It is cheaper per journey to use a discount card than to buy a ticket. The Københavnkortet (Copenhagen ‘Plus’ Card; see Passes in Tourist Information) entitles the holder to free, unlimited travel on buses and trains in the metropolitan area, as well as discounts on car hire, canal and harbour tours and express ferries to Sweden. Tickets and discount cards must be held throughout the journey and are subject to inspection.
There are five major taxi companies in the city –Taxa 4 x 35 (tel: 3535 3535), Codan Taxi (tel: 7025 2525; website: www.codantaxi.dk), Hovedstadens Taxi (tel: 3877 7777), Ryvang Bilen A/S (tel: 3918 1818) and Taxamotor (tel: 3810 1010 or 70333 8338; website: www.taxamotor.dk). All taxis are licensed and can be booked by telephone or hailed in the street. The initial rate is Dkk19 when hailed in the street and Dkk32 when you book over the phone, plus Dkk10.20 per kilometre between 0700 and 1600, Dkk11.20 between 1600 and 0700, Dkk13 Fri-Sat between 2300 and 0700 and Dkk11 on Sundays and national holidays. Most taxis accept credit cards but visitors should inform the driver at the beginning of the trip. It is not customary for customers to tip the driver (a service charge is included in the fare), but to round up the final amount instead.
There are also cheaper cycle taxis, like a backwards rickshaw with space for two passengers at the front, available from Copenhagen Rickshaw (tel: 3543 0122; website: www.rickshaw.dk). Cycle taxis can be ordered by telephone, hailed in the street or found at dedicated ranks in the centre, such as Tivoli, City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) or Kongens Nytorv. They operate within a 14-zone system and the price starts at Dkk25 for a journey in zone one.
Limousine services are provided by VIP Limousine Service (tel: 3542 4020; fax: 3542 4066; website: www.denmarklimo.com), where a limousine costs Dkk760 per hour (minimum of two hours). Copenhagen Limousine Service (tel: 7026 0601; fax: 7026 0605; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.cph-limo.dk) charges from Dkk550 per hour for a sedan. Stretch limos or Rolls Royces are available from Luxcars ApS (tel: 7020 1023; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.luxcars.dk) for Dkk1,200 for the first hour and DKK450 for any additional half hour.
Driving in the City
Copenhagen is remarkably and refreshingly free of traffic. Environmental awareness and the compact nature of the city means that many residents prefer to cycle, walk or rollerblade.
Parking meters are in operation in large sectors of the Old City. These are contained within three parking zones, where parking fees are payable: the Red Zone (Dkk20 per hour Monday to Friday 0800-2000 and Saturday 0800-1400), the Green Zone (Dkk12 per hour Monday to Friday 0800-1800 and Saturday 0800-1400) and the Blue Zone (Dkk7 per hour Monday to Friday 0800-1800). Tickets are available from coin-operated parking meters, which are colour coded to indicate which zone you are in. Beyond the three coloured zones, parking is free, although for two hours only, Monday to Friday 0800-1900.
Multi-storey car parks in the city are open 0600/0800-2000/0000. Some are closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Self-drive cars are only rented to people over the age of 21, who hold a valid driving licence and an international credit card. Individual car companies may impose their own age restrictions. The prices given below, which reduce significantly for multi-day hire, include unlimited mileage, tax and insurance, although customers should check details of insurance cover.
Avis (tel: 3373 4099 or 3326 8080; fax: 3373 4090; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.avis.dk) hires out small cars from Dkk495 per day. Hertz (tel: 3317 9000; fax: 3317 9086; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.hertzdk.dk) charges from Dkk680 per day for people with residence outside of Denmark. driveon.net (tel: 3393 0393; fax: 3393 0350; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.driveon.net) and Europcar (tel: 3355 9900; fax: 3355 9933; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.europcar.dk) charge from Dkk425 and Dkk380 per day respectively for a small or economy car. At the top end of the range, non-Danish residents over 26 years can hire luxury cars from Luxcars (tel: 7020 1023; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.luxcars.dk), starting from around Dkk1375 per day for a BMW.
Cycling is the preferred method of transport for many of Copenhagen’s residents and there are cycle routes along all the major streets, through some of the city’s most scenic areas. Between April and September, the city provides its visitors with free bicycles to get around. There are 110 City Bike Parks (website: www.bycyklen.dk) located around the city, where bikes can be collected for a Dkk20 deposit. Several companies hire bicycles for trips outside the city, including Københavns Cyklebørs, Gothersgade 157 (tel: 3314 0717), for Dkk60 per day with a deposit of Dkk200 and Københavns Cykler, Central Station (tel: 3333 8613), for Dkk75 per day, with a deposit of Dkk500. ID is required. Bikes can be taken along on trains and the metro, except during rush hour.
Copenhagen’s role as a traditional north European transport and trade hub has been strengthened by the economic rise of the Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which joined the EU in May 2004, as well as by the democratisation of Eastern Europe. The completion of the fixed road link across the Øresund to Sweden has further cemented Copenhagen’s strength in the region.
Greater Copenhagen is home to over 40% of companies registered in Denmark and these companies accounted for almost half of total turnover of all Danish companies and again, almost half of national exports in 2004. Unemployment in the city, at a rate of 6.5%, is only slightly higher than the national average of 5.9%.
Denmark’s strong economy is characterised by a balanced state budget, low interest rates, low inflation and a stable currency. The generous state welfare system results in high taxes but also provides an excellent climate for education and research. The 985,000-strong workforce in the Greater Copenhagen region tends to be well educated, computer literate and multi-lingual. The IMD/World Economic Forum consistently votes the Danes as the best workforce in Europe. A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers study concluded that the city is the most favourable place in Northern Europe to establish an e-business centre, owing to favourable labour and property costs.
Copenhagen’s business strengths lie particularly in energy, design, information technology, biotechnological and medical research, telecommunications, environmental technology and tourism. A recent medico-health sector development is the cross-border initiative with Skane Regional Federation Council, to promote foreign investment in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technical industries. The project is centred on the so-called Medicon Valley, which brings together a high concentration of academic institutions, industry and investment organisations. International companies based here include Pharmacia & Upjohn, Astra Draco and Gambro. Medicon Valley is a company in the Øresund region, which is the new up-and-coming business district (website: www.orestad.dk).
Denmark leads the world in terms of environmental awareness, with a high proportion of GDP devoted to environmental protection. The first European ministry of the environment was established here in 1975 and the EU Environment Agency is still here today. The Union of International Associations lists Copenhagen as the eighth most popular congress venue in the world.
Business hours are Monday to Friday 0800-1700 and punctuality for appointments is essential. The dress code is relatively formal – a tie for men and suits for both men and women. Business contacts should shake hands on arrival and departure with business cards exchanged after introduction. Most Danes, particularly those in the international business community, speak excellent English and often speak German and French too.
Business visitors are well looked after, with the provision of lunch, taxis and accommodation, as necessary, and often provided with a day programme too. Nearly all meetings are non-smoking venues but moderate alcohol consumption over a business lunch or dinner is not inappropriate.
The heart of Copenhagen is ringed by a series of lakes to the northwest and by the inner harbour to the southeast. It is characterised by narrow and predominantly pedestrian streets lined with gabled houses, enticing shops and cafés. The huge Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) lies at the western end of the central area. From here, a series of pedestrianised streets (Strøget) extend as far as Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square). The castles of Rosenborg and Amalienborg and the seaman’s district of Nyboder are to be found in the area to the north and east of Kongens Nytorv. Slotsholmen Island, the site of Absalon’s original bastion, lies to the southwest. The inner harbour separates the main part of the city from Christianshavn. This island was first developed in the 17th century, when Christian IV offered tax incentives to encourage merchants, shipbuilders and tradesmen to settle there.
In the 20th century, Denmark has achieved international renown for its contemporary design. Arne Jakobsen’s furniture graces cool bars and cafés worldwide (not least in Copenhagen). In the city, the architectural heritage of Christian IV is supplemented by daring modern buildings, including the glittering waterfront extension to the Royal Library, known as the ‘Black Diamond’, and the brand new Opera House, which opened in January 2005.
Wonderful Copenhagen Tourist Information – ‘ Copenhagen Right Now’
Bernstorffsgade 1 (at the entrance to Tivoli)
Tel: 7022 2442. Fax: 7022 2452.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 0900-1800 (May-Jun); Mon-Sat 0900-2000, Sun 1000-1800 (Jul-Aug); Mon-Fri 0900-1600, Sat 0900-1400, Sun closed (Sep-April)
Use It (Youth Information Centre)
Tel: 3373 0620. Fax: 3373 0620.
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 1100-1600, Thurs 1100-1800, Fri 1100-1400 (15 Sep-14 Jun); daily 0900-1900 (15 Jun-14 Sep).
This is a separate tourist information office for young, budget travellers, although a good deal of information useful to all ages and budgets is contained on their website.
The Copenhagen Card is valid for either 24 or 72 hours (Dkk 199 and Dkk429 respectively for adults, Dkk 129 and Dkk249 for children up to 15) and provides free admission to more than 60 attractions, as well as free travel on all buses and trains and a comprehensive guide that includes maps and detailed information on more than 100 museums, sights and other services. These cards are available from travel agencies, hotels, railway stations or at the main tourist information office.
Rundetårn (The Round Tower)
In the streets to the north of Strøget is the Rundetårn, the oldest observatory in Europe. Built by Christian IV in 1642, the building forms part of a scholastic complex that also includes a university library (now an exhibition hall) and student church. A 209m-long (686ft) spiral ramp leads to the top of the tower 35m (115ft) above the street, from where there is a good view over the old parts of the city.
Tel: 3373 0373. Fax: 3373 0377.
Transport: Bus 5A, 7, 14, 16, 17, 24, 43, 84; S-train or Metro to Nørreport.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 1000-2000, Sun 1200-2000 (Jun-Aug); Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700 (Sep-May).
Admission: Dkk20; concessions available.
One of the most famous European amusement parks, Tivoli is a charmingly bizarre mixture of the natural and the artificial. Georg Carstensen designed it as a pleasure ground for the masses, and Christian VIII, the then King of Denmark, eventually gave his royal permission for the amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen. ‘When the populace are enjoying themselves they forget about politicking,’ the widely travelled Carstensen reasoned. When it opened in 1843, visitors had a choice of two amusements – a horse-drawn carrousel and a rollercoaster. Today, there are 25 rides, as well as games and arcades, two theatres, an open-air stage and a museum. Of the four rollercoasters, the ‘Bjergrutschebanen’ (the Mountain Roller Coaster) is the oldest (dates from 1914) and still the most popular. The Tivoli Boys Guard Band parade through the gardens at 1730 and 1930 on weekends and public holidays, with a full orchestra, stagecoach and horses. Crowded, pricey and unbelievably kitsch, Tivoli remains strangely appealing, particularly at night when the trees are illuminated with lanterns. Numerous concerts and special events are held here every summer (April to September), as well as a Christmas market in December.
Tel: 3315 1001 (ticket centre).
Transport: Bus 1, 2A, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 28, 29, 30 or 39; S-train to Central Station.
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 1100-2300, Fri 1100-0100, Sat 1100-2400 (mid-Apr-mid-Jun and mid-Aug-mid-Sep); Sun-Thurs 1100-2400, Fri and Sat 1100-0100 (mid-Jun-mid-Aug).
Admission: Dkk75; concessions and discount schemes available. Rides cost one, two or three Tour Tickets (Dkk15 each).
Nyhavn (New Harbour) is an inlet off the Inderhavnen, towards Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square). Brothels and bars serving the visiting sailors once used to dominate this seedy area, but now the multicoloured, 17th-century gabled buildings accommodate bustling restaurants and pavement cafés serving traditional Danish food beside a pedestrian thoroughfare and the masts of traditional yachts. Hans Christian Andersen lived at three different houses here and on his birthday (2 April) may still be encountered here, in the form of a person in costume wandering the streets.
It is a very pleasant walk from Nyhavn along Bredgade to Churchill Park or along the waterfront beyond the Admiral Hotel (both routes passing Amalienborg Castle), to the spot in the northeast of the city where Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid) stares wistfully out to sea. Erected in 1913, the statue commemorates the Hans Christian Andersen heroine and has become a global symbol of Copenhagen. Despite being decapitated a few times and being rather smaller in stature than might be imagined, the mermaid remains perennially popular with visitors.
Tel: 3347 9924.
Transport: New harbour bus service (tel: 3613 1415); or bus 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 28, 29, 31 or 41.
Den Lille Havfrue
Transport: Bus 1, 6; S-train to Østerport.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle)
Built between 1606 and 1634, Rosenborg was the chief residence of Christian IV and the main royal palace until the end of the last century. This redbrick, Dutch Renaissance-style palace displays the Crown jewels and other royal treasures, dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, on the ground floor. In 1999, the Rosenborg Tapestries, woven especially for the banquet room of Rosenborg in the late 1600s, were returned to their original location after some years at Christiansborg Castle. The gardens (Kongens Have) surrounding the palace were laid out in 1606 and are some of the most attractive in the city.
Øster Voldgade 4A
Tel: 3315 3286. Fax: 3315 2046.
Transport: Bus 5A, 10, 14, 16, 42, 43, 184, 185, 150S, 173E or 350S; S-train and Metro to Nørreport.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1600 (May and Sep); daily 1000-1700 (Jun-Aug); Tues-Sun 1100-1400 (Nov-Apr). Closed 18-26 Dec.
Admission: Dkk65; concessions available.
Amalienborg Slot (Amalienborg Palace)
This palace has been the winter residence of the Danish royal family since 1794. The four identical Rococo palaces face each other across the octagonal Amalienborg Slot, where the changing of the guard takes place each day at noon when the family is in residence. A museum, featuring some of the private chambers and royal treasures dating from 1863-1947, is open to the public.
Tel: 3312 0808. Fax: 3393 3203.
Transport: Bus 1, 6 or 10; S-train to Østerport.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1600 (May-Oct); Tues-Sun 1100-1600 (Nov-Apr).
Admission: Dkk50; concessions available.
Nationalmuseet (National Museum)
Housed in a 17th-century royal mansion, the National Museum is the country’s premier historical and cultural institution. Permanent collections include the history of Denmark from the Ice Age to 2000, Egyptian, Greek and Italian antiquities and a survey of indigenous populations. There is also an interactive children’s museum.
Fredriksholms Kanal 12
Tel: 3313 4411. Fax: 3347 3333.
Transport: Bus 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 10, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 550S or 650S.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700.
Admission: Dkk50; concessions available; free admission to permanent exhibitions on Wed.
Statens Museum for Kunst (Royal Museum of Fine Art)
The Royal Museum of Fine Art houses Denmark’s largest art collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Brueghel and Rubens, works by Titian, Mantegna and Picasso, and an excellent Matisse collection. The museum reopened in 1999, after renovation and expansion.
Tel: 3374 8494. Fax: 3374 8404.
Transport: Bus 6A, 14, 40, 42, 43, 184 or 185; S-train to Østerport or Nørreport /Metro to Nørreport.
Opening hours: Tues and Thurs-Sun 1000-1700; Wed 1000-2000.
Admission: Dkk50; concessions available; free on Wed. Temporary exhibitions charge extra.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was built by the Carlsberg brewer, Carl Jacobsen, between 1897 and 1906. Today, it houses a superb collection of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, Impressionist masterpieces and Danish and French art by Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is undergoing a major programme of renovation and rebuilding. Parts of the museum will be closed to the public, but it will be reopened in late June 2006.
Dantes Plads 7
Tel: 3341 8141. Fax: 3391 2058.
Transport: Bus 1A, 2A, 15, 65E and 33; S-train to Kobenhavn H.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1600.
Admission: Dkk20; concessions available; free Wed and Sun.
Christiania Free Commune
On the eastern edge of Christianshavn, situated on the derelict site of a former military barracks, Christiania, the ‘Free City of Copenhagen’, is a working experiment in alternative lifestyles and communal living. First occupied in 1970, it is now home to about 1,000 people and several hundred dogs. Once away from the drug vendors, clothes stalls and eco-cafés, the area is seductively rural, with picturesque farmhouses and wooden cabins overlooking the calm waterways of the Stadsgraven. Guided tours can be arranged (see Tours of the City).
Tel: 3295 6507.
Transport: Bus 8 to Prinsessegade.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Admission: Free; Dkk30 per person (guided tours).
Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory
The exquisite craftsmanship behind Royal Copenhagen porcelain and an opportunity to see how Flora Danica tableware is made is provided by a tour of the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory in Frederiksberg. It is housed in one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Copenhagen, a Renaissance house dating from 1616.
Søndre Fasanvej 5
Tel: 3814 9297.
Transport: Bus 1, 14 or 39.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1600.
Admission: Dkk40; concessions available.
Experimentarium is Denmark’s only science centre, which opened in 1991 in the old bottling hall of the Tuborg Brewery. Visitors of all ages can interact with about 300 entertaining and informative sound and water exhibits and experiments. The centre also stages science demonstrations, workshop activities and special exhibitions.
Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup
Tel: 3927 3333. Fax: 3927 3395.
Transport: Bus 6, 21 or 650S; S-train to Hellerup (then bus 21 or 650S) or Svanemøllen (then bus 6 or 650S).
Opening hours: Mon and Wed-Fri 0930-1700, Tues 0930-2100, Sat and Sun 1100-1700.
Admission: Dkk115; concessions available.
Guinness World Records Museum
Visitors can experience over 500 outstanding world records, from the tallest man to the most poisonous frog, and try what it feels like to drive at 500kph (311mph) or take on the world’s best fighter. You might even bump into Harry Potter, the latest addition to the museum because of his phenomenal success.
Tel: 3332 3131. Fax: 3332 3183
Website: www.guinness.dk or www.topattractions.dk
Transport: Bus 1, 6, 10, 31, 7E, 15E, 17E or 29; S-train or Metro to Kongens Nytorv.
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 1000-1800, Fri-Sat 1000-2000 (Sep-May); daily 0930-2200 (Jun-Aug).
Admission: Dkk80; concessions available.
Carlsberg Visitors Centre & Carlsberg Museum
Carlsberg is, according to its own long-running marketing campaign, ‘probably the best lager in the world’. Whether or not visitors agree with that claim, the Visitors Centre is an intoxicating experience. The tour details the history of the brewery, as well as the modern processes of the brewery, with a route through the production plant. At the end, there’s a chance to sample the finished product. There is also a Carlsberg Museum, in a beautiful house dating back to 1882, where extensive exhibits relate more to the cultural and historical relevance of the family and the brewery.
Carlsberg Visitors Centre
Gamle Carlsbergvej 11
Tel: 3327 1314 or 3327 1282.
Valby Langgade 1
Tel: 3327 1273.
Transport: Bus 6 or 18; S-train to Valby.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1600 (Visitors Centre); Mon-Fri 1000-1500 (Museum).
Tours of the City
In summer (May/June to September), there are various specialist walking tours; information is available from Wonderful Copenhagen. For example, it is possible to step back in time and walk the streets with Hans Christian Andersen (tel: 3284 7435; cost: Dkk75 for 90-minute tour) or with the nightwatchman on one of the Old Nightwatchman’s Rounds (tel: 3964 4894; cost: Dkk50 for 90-minute tour).
Throughout the year on Saturdays and Sundays, Copenhagen Walking Tours (tel: 4081 1217; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.copenhagen-walkingtours.dk) operate two-hour English-language tours costing around Dkk100. These start from Bernstorffsgade and cover a range of interests, such as ‘Highlights of the Old City’, ‘Rosenborg Castle’, ‘Historic Copenhagen’ or ‘Romantic Copenhagen’. Between June and August, they also operate on Thursdays and Fridays.
Guided tours of Christiania, the ‘Free City of Copenhagen’ (tel: 3257 9670; fax: 3257 6005; website: www.christiania.org), depart from the main gate, at 1500 Saturday and Sunday only. The tours are guided by a resident of the commune, take approximately 90 minutes and cost Dkk30 per person; group tours can be booked at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax (minimum Dkk180).
Copenhagen Excursions (tel: 3266 0000; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.sightseeing.dk) organises a number of bus tours around the city, lasting from one to two and a half hours and starting at Dkk100. The company also operates the Open Top Tours, one-hour, hop-on, hop-off multilingual tours of all the main sights in the centre of Copenhagen.
Boat tours through the harbour and canal networks around Christianshavn and Slotsholmen explain the importance of water in the life and history of the city.
DFDS Canal Tours (tel: 3296 3000; fax: 3296 9350; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.canal-tours.dk) operates multilingual guided tours of the harbour and the canal; boats depart every half hour daily April to October from Nyhavn or Gammel Strand. Tours last about 50 minutes and cost Dkk50. They also operate hop-on hop-off Waterbus tours without guides. There are two routes, which both depart from Nyhavn; a one-day pass for both routes costs Dkk45. The same company also offers a two-hour two-course ‘Dinner Cruise’ taken on-board an elegant restaurant boat, offering a two-course menu while cruising through historic maritime Copenhagen.
Netto Boats (tel: 3254 4102; website: www.netto-baadene.dk) offers a one-hour guided tour of the harbour and canals for Dkk30. Boats depart frequently April to October from outside Holmens Church, opposite the Old Stock Exchange, and from Nyhavn.
City Safari (tel: 3323 9490; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.citysafari.dk) offers a number of themed bicycle tours, including ‘The Historic Copenhagen’. They last for three hours and cost Dkk250. More extensive tours include ‘Round Carlsberg’, ‘In the Footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen’ or ‘The Big Architecture Ride’ (all Dkk320 and four and a half hours). Most tours operate May to September. They are in Danish and English and start from the Danish Centre for Architecture in the Gammel Dok Storehouse on Christianshavn (credit cards not accepted).
Kayak Sightseeing (tel: 4050 4006; fax: 3254 1440; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.kajakole.dk) offers guided tours of Copenhagen’s waterways in kayaks with professional instructors, which depart from the canal behind the opera building on Holmen and last from 90 minutes to three hours, costing between Dkk165 and Dkk210.
For a Half Day
Bakken: Located at Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg, in the northern suburbs of Copenhagen and accessed by S-train C to Klampenborg, the Bakken amusement park (tel: 3963 3544; fax: 3963 0138; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.bakken.dk) provides an attractive and low-cost alternative to Tivoli. The oldest amusement park in Europe is open daily from March/April to August, most days staying open 1400-2400. It boasts wooded parkland and herds of deer as well as the usual rollercoasters and various rides. Admission to the park is free and all rides are charged at different prices, although it is possible to get a single one-day ‘ticket’ for all the rides in Bakken in the form of a wristband costing Dkk239.
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: This museum (tel: 4919 0719; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.louisiana.dk) is set in lovely parkland, on the North Zealand coast, 35km (22 miles) north of Copenhagen. It houses a world-class collection of modern art by artists such as Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Picasso and Andy Warhol. Humlebæk-Louisiana Station is a 36-minute train ride from Copenhagen. Drivers can take the picturesque coastal road, ‘Strandvejen’. The museum is open daily 1000-1700 (until 2200 on Wednesday) and admission costs Dkk76 (concessions available).
Arken Museum of Modern Art: Located at Skovvej 100, in the Køge Bugt Strandpark, this museum (tel: 4354 0222; fax: 4354 0522; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.arken.dk) was designed by Danish architect Søren Robert Lund to blend into the dune landscape of Ishøj Strand. The museum café affords beautiful views across the bay. Public transport from Copenhagen is by S-train (to Ishøj Station) or bus 128. Admission costs Dkk60 (concessions available) and opening times are Tuesday to Sunday 1000-1700 (until 2100 on Wednesday).
For a Whole Day
‘Castle Tour of North Zealand’: Copenhagen Excursions (tel: 3254 0606; fax: 3257 4905; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.cex.dk) organise this seven-hour tour for Dkk420. It includes a visit to Kronborg Slot in Helsingør (Elsinore) (claimed as the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet) Fredensborg Slot, the royal summer residence and the Frederiksborg Slot in Hillrød, a Renaissance palace, built by Christian IV and now a museum.
Roskilde: Roskilde, the oldest town in Denmark, is situated about 10km (6 miles) west of Copenhagen – a 30-minute train journey from the city. It is famed for its Viking heritage, as the Roskilde Museum, Sankt Ols Gade 18 (tel: 4631 6500; website: www.roskildemuseum.dk) reveals. The museum is open daily 1100-1600 and admission costs Dkk25. The local tourist information office at Gullandsstræde 15 (tel: 4631 6565; fax: 4631 6560; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.destination-roskilde.dk) can provide details of other interesting sites, such as the Domkirke, Ledreborg Castle and the Roskilde Fjord.
Denmark has an impressive history in many kinds of sports and has won many international prizes and medals over the years. Football and handball are the favourite team sports. FC København (tel: 3543 3131; website: www.fck.dk) is the local football team, playing at the national stadium, Parken, Øster Allé 50 (tel: 3543 3131; website: www.parken.dk). However, Brøndby IF, from the residential suburb Brøndby in the western part of greater Copenhagen, has been more successful internationally. They are both among the country’s foremost clubs, and the local derby matches between them draw big crowds. Brøndby plays at Brøndby Stadion (tel: 4363 0810).
Tickets for sporting events are advertised in the Copenhagen papers. They can be bought direct from the venues or from BilletNet (tel: 7015 6565; website: www.billetnet.dk).
Badminton: Courts are available for hire at Dkk55 per hour (rackets an extra Dkk25), at Grøndal Centret, Hyidkildevej 64 (tel: 3834 1109).
Fitness Centres: S.A.T.S. Parken, Øster Allé 42 (tel: 3555 0078; website: www.sats.com), charge Dkk150 for one training session, as do the other S.A.T.S. outlets: Scala, Vesterbrogade 2E (tel: 3332 1002), Falconer Hotel, Falkoner Allé 9 (tel: 3810 9070), Amager, Englandsvej 28-30 (tel: 3259 1310) and Nørrebro, Bragesgade 8 (tel: 3581 2781).
Golf: The Copenhagen region is a paradise for golfers, with 86 golf courses. The greater Copenhagen area alone has 35 courses, ranging from 9 holes over 18 holes to 27 holes. Enthusiasts can practise their swings for Dkk120 per hour at the pay-and-play Copenhagen Indoor Golf Centre, Refshalevej 177B, Store Stålhal (tel: 3266 1100; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.cigc.dk). Facilities include an 800m (2,624ft) put-and-chip course, 60 driving ranges, a shop and a café. Pay and play at around Dkk150-200 is also available at a number of centres including Nivå Golf Pay and Play, Løvbjerggardsvej 1, Kokkedal (tel: 4914 8888; website: www.nivaa-golfklub.dk), Smørum Golfcenter, Skebjergvej (tel: 4497 0111; website: www.smorumgolfcenter.dk) and Havreholm Slot, Klosterrisvej 4 (tel: 4975 8600; website: www.havreholm.dk).
Sailing: It is possible to hire boats from the Danish Boating Industry Association (tel: 7022 8150; fax: 7022 8155; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.danboat.com).
Squash: Nørrebrohallen, Bragesgade 5 (tel: 3583 1001; website: www.noerrebrohallen.dk) provides squash courts for Dkk80 per hour. It is also possible to book squash courts at Svanemøllehallen, Østerbrogade 240 (tel: 3920 7701), but they must be booked one week in advance, and the price is Dkk70 per hour.
Swimming: Public pools include Frederiksberg Swimming Baths, Helgesvej 29 (tel: 3814 0404), Vesterbro Swimming Baths, Angelgade 4 (tel: 3122 0500) and Øbro-Hallen, Gunnar Nu Hansens Plads 3 (tel: 3525 7060). Good beaches near the city include Bellevue and Charlottenlund to the north and Amager Beach and the Beach Park to the south. There is an open-air pool in Fælledparken, Borgmester Jensens Allé 50 (tel: 3539 0804).
Tennis: Booking in advance is necessary at all venues. Indoor and outdoor courts are available for hire for at Dkk130-150 per hour at B93, Svanemølleanlægget, Ved Sporsløjfen 10 (tel: 39 27 18 90). Hotel Mercur, Vester Farimagsgade 17 (tel: 3312 5711), allows non-residents to use its outdoor courts for Dkk130 per hour. Københavns Boldklub, at Pile Allé 14 (tel: 3630 2300) and Peter Bangsvej 147 (tel: 3871 4150), charges Dkk120-175 per hour, with an additional Dkk100 per person fee for non-members.
Windsurfing: Nautic Surf and Ski, Amager beach (tel: 3284 8300), is open all year round.
The main international chains and designer boutiques are located around Strøget, interspersed with cafés and restaurants. Magasin du Nord, the largest department store in Scandinavia, is situated on Kongens Nytorv. Intriguing second-hand and antique shops are thick on the ground in the Sankt Hans Torv area, while flea markets abound at Israel Plads and Gammel Strand every Saturday.
Shopping hours are normally Monday to Friday 0930/1000 until 1730/1900 and Saturday 0900-1600. Danish shopping hours have now been extended to allow shops to stay open daily 0600-2000 and smaller outlets at weekends. Most shops are closed on Sundays. Outside normal shopping hours, various kiosks around town are open for the sale of tobacco, newspapers and sweets. Bakeries, florists and confectionery shops remain open most of the time. The Central Station Supermarket is open until late in the evening, as well as all day Sunday. The sale of alcohol from retailers is forbidden after 2000.
Typical gifts include Royal Copenhagen porcelain, Scandinavian crystal and amber jewellery. Silver jewellery by designers such as Georg Jensen is also a good option. Contemporary Danish design can be found at Illums Bolighus, Amagertorv 10, Paustian, Kalkerbrænderilobskaj 2, and Interstudio Shop, Dampfærgevej 10. Families might like the plastic classics Lego and Duplo, which are also Danish creations.
VAT (MOMS) of 25% is charged on most goods, including hotel and restaurant bills. Nationals of countries outside the EU and Scandinavia can claim this back at the airport; but only on individual items worth over Dkk300 which have been purchased from shops displaying Global Refund Denmark (website: www.globalrefund.com) or Tax Free International emblems. Items must be declared and stamped by customs authorities on departure from the EU.
Copenhagen is undergoing something of a cultural renaissance, with the new Royal Opera House (website: www.operahus.dk) opened in January 2005, on Holmen, just across the water from the royal palace of Amalienborg, and a new theatre planned for opening on Kvæsthusbroen in 2008.
Det Kongelige Teater (The Royal Theatre), Kongens Nytorv (tel: 3369 6933 (information) or 3369 6969 (box office); website: www.kgl-teater.dk), has been at the heart of the city’s cultural life since the 18th century. The old stage dates from 1874 and is located on the site of a royal theatre since 1748. The Royal Theatre, with its opulent circular auditorium, has long been home to The Royal Danish Theatre, Royal Danish Opera and Royal Danish Ballet. The opera and ballet have now moved to the new Royal Opera House on Holmen, even though they are still involved in productions at the Royal Theatre. Please note: call the Royal Theatre for details of performances at the new Royal Opera House, and to book tickets.
Tickets for almost all cultural events and performance in the city are sold by BilletNet (tel: 7015 6565; website: www.billetnet.dk) at post offices or online. Copenhagen This Week (website: www.ctw.dk) and the Wonderful Copenhagen tourist information website (www.visitcopenhagen.dk) both provide information on cultural events. The Copenhagen Post (website: www.cphpost.dk) is a weekly newspaper, costing Dkk15, which provides Danish news in English, with information on current concerts, films and shows.
Music: Despite the best efforts of numerous Danish composers, it is Danny Kaye’s song, ‘Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen’ from the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen that buzzes maddeningly in people’s heads when they visit the city.
Founded in 1925, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (website: www.dr.dk/rso) is one of the oldest radio symphony orchestras in the world. Closely affiliated to the Symphony Orchestra is the Danish National Choir, founded in 1932 (website: www.dr.dk/rk). They both perform at the DR Concert Hall, Julius Thomsens Gade, Frederiksberg (tel: 3520 3040).
The Royal Danish Opera perform both at the city’s new Opera House, Ekvipagemestervej 10 (website: www.operahus.dk) and at Det Kongelige Teater (The Royal Theatre; see above). The Royal Danish Orchestra traces its ancestry to the Royal Trumpet Corps of 1458 and, as such, it is the oldest orchestra in the world. They perform at the Tivoli Koncertsalen (Tivoli Concert Hall), Vesterbrogade 3 (tel: 3315 1012; website: website: www.tivoli.dk). This is the city’s largest classical music venue, with seating for approximately 1,900 people. The hall was decorated by leading Danish artists and stages over 100 concerts, operas and ballets throughout the season (April to September). There are also daily recitals and concerts in the winter garden at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (see Key Attractions).
Theatre: Det Kongelige Teater (see above) has three stages: the Gamle Scene (Old Stage) at Kongens Nytorv, the Stærekassen (New Stage) at Tordenskjoldsgade 5, and the Turbinehallerne (Turbine Halls), Adelgade 10, in a former power station. Between them, they host classic and contemporary drama, opera and dance performances.
Another major venue is Det Ny Teater (The New Theatre), Gammel Kongevej 29 (tel: 3325 6005; fax: 3321 5006; website: www.detnyteater.dk). The Pantomime Theatre in Tivoli stages a pantomime daily April to July, usually revolving around the strange relationship between Pierrot and Harlequin.
Dance: The Royal Ballet performs at Det Kongelige Teater (see above). Founded at the end of the 18th century, under the Italian choreographer Galeotti, the company achieved its heyday in the 19th century under August Bournonville. The main venue for contemporary dance is Dansescenen, Øster Fælled Torv 34 (tel: 3543 8300; fax: 3543 8110; website: www.dansescenen.dk).
Film: Danish films are now attracting worldwide interest. The director Lars von Trier has achieved international acclaim for films such as The Kingdom (1994), Breaking The Waves (1996), The Idiots (1998), Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Dogville (2003). Festen (1999), directed by the Danish Thomas Vinterberg, was also a huge success.
The annual Copenhagen Night Film Festival (tel: 3345 4749; website: www.copenhagenfilmfestival.com) features films from across the world. Cinema is very popular in the city and most films are shown in the original language with Danish subtitles. Two of the main multiplexes showing the latest blockbusters and action films are CinemaxX Fisketorvet, Kalvebod Brygge 57 (tel: 7026 0199), and Imperial, Ved Vesterport 4 (tel: 7013 1211). Independent films, shorts and European classics are more the staple repertoire of Cinemateket, Gothersgade 55 (tel: 3374 3412), and Grand Teatret, Mikkel Bryggers Gade 8 (tel: 3315 1611).
Cultural Events: The Copenhagen International Jazz Festival (tel: 3393 2013; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.jazzfestival.dk) is held for 10 days annually in July. The biggest event of the festival is Giant Jazz, in the Circus building, an extravaganza with some of the world’s top musicians. Rock is covered in the June Roskilde Festival (tel: 4636 6613; fax: 4632 1499; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.roskilde-festival.dk) at Roskilde. Despite the tragedy in 2000, when fans of grunge band Pearl Jam were crushed to death in the crowd, the Roskilde Festival remains one of the most important and popular rock and pop festivals in Europe.
The biannual Golden Days in Copenhagen Festival (tel: 3542 1432; fax: 3542 1491; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.goldendays.dk), in September, includes exhibitions, concerts, ballet and drama celebrating the Danish Golden Age (1800-50), spearheaded by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard. The annual Kulturnatten or Copenhagen Night of Culture (tel: 3325 7400; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.kulturnatten.dk) is the night (usually in August, September or October) when locals and visitors wearing a Culture Badge can attend special events in the city’s museums, galleries, churches, theatres, concert halls, bookshops and cafés.
Literary Notes: Needless to say, Hans Christian Andersen is Copenhagen’s most famous literary son. His fairytales, such as the Little Mermaid (1837) and the Ugly Duckling (1843), are globally recognised. More recently, Peter Høeg has achieved international acclaim for his novel Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (1992), part of which is set in the city. Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the author of Out of Africa (1938), lived a short distance from Copenhagen. Her home at Rungsted Strandvej 111 is now a popular museum – the Karen Blixen Museet (tel: 4557 1057; fax: 4557 1058; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.isak-dinesen.dk).
Nightlife in Copenhagen changes fast and starts late, things rarely get going on Friday and Saturday night until after midnight. The city has an ever-changing range of clubs, restaurants and bars catering to all tastes – from pop to cutting-edge dance music or world-class jazz or pop. The city also has a surprise up its sleeve in the form of several popular DJ/bar/restaurant ‘hybrids’ that change mood and function over the course of an evening. There is no one defined nightlife area, although both Nyhavn and Boltens Gaard are popular.
There are late licensing hours in Copenhagen with cafés typically open until 0100 or 0200, bars close between 0200 and 0500 and clubs close around 0500. The minimum age for drinking is 18 years. A beer costs Dkk25-50, while a gin and tonic averages around Dkk50. In general, the dress code for most places is not strict.
Copenhagen This Week (website: www.ctw.dk) and the Wonderful Copenhagen tourist information website (www.visitcopenhagen.dk) both provide further nightlife information.
Bars: A wide range of nightlife venues defy conventional categorisation, such as Ultimo, Hovedvagtsgade 8, Café Ketchup, Pilestræde 19, BarStarten, Kapelvej 1, and the trendy Zoo Bar, Kronprinsensgade 7. In the daytime, they may function as cafés or restaurants but, in the evening, they become restaurants and/or bars, DJs will appear and suddenly everybody will be on the dancefloor. Stereo Bar, Linnésgade 16a, Israels Plads, is a much-loved pre-club joint, with funky 70s decor and an eclectic music policy from easy listening to drum’n’bass. Rather more underground is Stengade 30, Stengade 18, in Nørrebro, which blends the best of Danish and overseas rock and dance acts. The Dubliner, Amagertorv 5, Strøget, is a genuine Irish restaurant and music pub with nightly live Irish folk/rock music, Irish barmen and a very friendly atmosphere. Café Victor (see Restaurants) also has a friendly bar area, which is popular with visiting celebrities.
Casinos: Casino Copenhagen, Amager Boulevard 70 (website: www.casinocopenhagen.dk), is open daily 1400-0400 for American and French roulette, blackjack and stud poker. A dress code applies and photo ID is required for entrance – entrance is only for those 18 years and older. Admission costs Dkk80 per day.
Clubs: The two top clubs in the city are Rust, Guldbergsgade 8 (website: www.rust.dk) and Vega, Enghavevej 40 (website: www.vega.dk), which are both extremely popular and draw top international DJs and live acts. The Vega complex is housed in a magnificent 1950s trade union building, while Rust is spread over three floors with a cocktail bar, main bar and large dancefloor. Park Diskotek, Østerbrogade 79 (website: www.parkcafe.dk) close to Parken, the national sports stadium, runs a disco ballroom with DJ music in an authentic 1970s atmosphere. The city’s thriving gay scene focuses on Pan Disco, Knabrostræde 3 (website: www.pan-cph.dk), with three floors of lively music, as well as Sebastian, Hyskenstræde 10, and Heaven, Kompagnistræde 18. For pure dance clubs, head for Boltens Gaard and the Zero Nightclub and Lounge, Gothersgade 10B, and Blue Buddha, Gothersgade 8F, which was started as a reaction against the high bar prices in the clubs, offering cheap cocktails and beers. If you’re still going when the sun is up, head to Club Blue Note, Studiestræde 31, which opens at 0500 and serves up techno and house until breakfast.
Live Music: Copenhagen is one of the major European jazz centres with excellent clubs throughout the city and a festival in July (see Cultural Events in Culture). The Copenhagen Jazz House, Niels Hemmingsensgade 10 (tel: 3315 2600; website: www.jazzhouse.dk), is the jazz venue, offering top-quality live music followed by a relaxed funk and soul disco. Vega, Enghavevej 40 (website: www.vega.dk), is an established and prestigious cultural institution and Denmark’s largest regional venue, annually featuring around 250 concerts. The music profile is rock, modern electric, R’n’B, hip hop, metal and pop. Open-air rock and pop concerts are held at the Pavillonen, in Fælledparken, during the summer. The main live music venue in Christiania is Loppen, Bådmandsstræde 43, which has regular rock, jazz and other performances. Seedy but hugely atmospheric is La Fontaine, Kompagnistræde 11, which is open 2000-0600.
Location: Sjælland (Zealand), Denmark.
Country dialling code: 45. There is no city code for Copenhagen, just eight-digit telephone numbers.
Population: 1.7 million (metropolitan area).
Ethnic mix: Majority of Danish or Nordic, rest are foreigners, including British, Yugoslavian, South Slavian and Iranian.
Religion: Majority of Lutheran Evangelical Church, rest are other Christian denominations and other religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.
Time zone: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard.
Average January temp: 0°C (32°F).
Average July temp: 20°C (68°F).
Annual rainfall: 712mm (28 inches).
Ferie: International Travel Exhibition, late Jan, The Bella Centre and Øksnehallen
Copenhagen International Fashion Fair, early Feb, The Bella Centre and Øksnehallen
Night Film Festival, late Mar-early Apr, various venues Copenhagen
Fashion and Design Festival, late Mar-earlyApr, Nikolaj Church and various other venues (website: www.nikolaj-ccac.dk)
Queen Margrethe’s Birthday Celebrations, 16 Apr, Amalienborg
Scandinavian Furniture Fair, early May, The Bella Centre
Copenhagen Marathon, May, Town Hall Square at Vester Voldgade (website: www.sparta.dk)
Midsummer Night’s Eve Celebrations, Midsummer Day Jun, throughout the city
Roskilde Festival, rock music festival, late Jun, Roskilde (website: www.roskilde-festival.dk)
Copenhagen International Jazz Festival, early Jul, various venues (website: www.jazzfestival.dk)
Father Christmas World Congress, Jul, Bakken, north of Copehagen
Copenhagen International Opera and Ballet season, 14 days in Aug, opera at Søndermarken, Frederiksberg and ballet at Kastellet, near Langelinie
Mermaid Pride Parade, gay parade, mid-Aug, route from Nørrebrogade to Town Hall (website: www.mermaidpride.dk)
Festival of Clowns, early Aug, Bakken, north of Copehagen
Kulturnatten (Night of Culture), free performances, Aug/Sep/Oct, various venues (website: www.kulturnatten.dk)
Golden Days in Copenhagen Festival, exhibitions, concerts, ballet and drama, biannually Sep, 2006 and 2008, various venues (website: www.goldendays.dk)
Copenhagen Blues Festival, third week in Sep, various venues (website: www.copenhagenbluesfestival.dk)
Copenhagen Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, late Oct, various venues (website: www.cglff.dk)
Irish Festival, early Nov, various venues (website: www.irishfestival.dk)
Opening of Tivoli’s Market, mid-Nov, Tivoli Christmas in Tivoli, 1-23 Dec, Tivoli
New Year’s Eve in Tivoli, 31 Dec, Tivoli
Cost of Living
1.5-litre bottle of mineral water: Dkk15
33cl bottle of beer: Dkk8
Financial Times newspaper: Dkk20
City-centre bus ticket: Dkk17
Adult football ticket: Dkk110-130
Three-course meal with wine/beer: Dkk250-300
1 Danish Krone (Dkk1) = £0.09; US$0.16; C$0.19; A$0.21; ¬0.13
Currency conversion rates as of October 2005