Due to its most well-known resident, story-weaver Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen has lengthy been related to mermaids and fairy tales.
In recent times, a equally intangible export – hygge, the Danish tackle cosiness and contentment – has heightened town’s enchantment.
Come right here for historical past, tradition and structure – and right here’s how one can get pleasure from all of it in 48 hours.
Gliding previous Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish authorities, on a ship journey
In true fairytale type, begin the day with a sprinkling of flowers in your meals at Far’s Dreng (Daddy’s Boy) cafe (farsdreng.com) on Rosengarden. It’s voted town’s Finest breakfast and brunch cafe by the AOK information, so carry a wholesome urge for food: parts are reassuringly hearty.
From right here, stroll to Christiansborg Palace (visitcopenhagen.com), seat of the Danish authorities. Its 350ft tower is Copenhagen’s highest, free to ascend and affords nice views over town. Again at floor degree, a mixed ticket (£19) provides entry to The Royal Reception Rooms, with their spectacular tapestries, in addition to The Royal Kitchen, The Ruins, The Royal Stables and The Palace Chapel.
There’s a smattering of museums within the neighborhood, together with the Nationwide Museum of Denmark, St Nikolaj Modern Artwork Centre, The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum and the Thorvaldsens Museum – however to not be missed is The Black Diamond, dwelling to The Royal Library – a bibliophile’s heaven inside and a design lover’s dream with out, with black glass that mirrors water and sky.
Identified for its bike tradition, Copenhagen’s flatness can be superb for sightseeing on foot, so hug the sting of the island to cross the canal at Stormbroen and head for 2 of town’s oldest streets. Magstræde and Snaregade, divided by Knabrostræde, are a delight of cobbles and colored facades – some date from the 18th Century. Seize a pizza at Gorm’s (gormspizza.dk) to maintain you going with out breaking for lunch.
The statue of author Hans Christian Andersen
Proceed on to Metropolis Corridor, fronted by a sq. over which a statue of Hans Christian Andersen presides. Guided excursions in English are held every day from Monday to Saturday, however even from the skin, the constructing is a testomony to Denmark’s grand previous.
It’s a brief wander from right here to Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (glyptoteket.com), an enormous constructing, full with glass-domed conservatory and a collection of summer time live shows, which homes a formidable assortment of Danish and French artwork.
Make a fast detour to chug a beer on the evocative dive bar, Spunk, then head to the Tivoli Gardens, a wonderland of twinkling lights and plinking carousel music as nightfall falls. Relationship from 1843, that is Europe’s oldest amusement park.
Finish the day at one of many hipster-magnet Meatpacking District’s eateries – like Paté Paté, the place continental flavours and wines are served up alongside shabby picket furnishings, classic posters and naked lightbulbs, after which transfer on to one of many neighbourhood’s vibrant bars for a nightcap.
Native color: Set out early to overlook the crowds at Nyhavn, a canal lined with vibrant homes
Set out early to overlook the crowds at Nyhavn: by 10am, these sherbet-coloured facades, so superbly mirrored within the canal waters, are a mass of selfie sticks and #influencers. Hans Christian Andersen lived, variously, in three of those charming homes and Restaurant Fyrtøjet (The Tinderbox) is called after considered one of his most well-known tales (fyrtojet.dk): head right here for an epic brunch plate of meats and cheeses earlier than heading round to the Little Mermaid Statue – once more, earlier than the crowds descend – sculpted by Edvard Eriksen. Many are disenchanted along with her dimension, however there’s one thing touchingly pensive about her posture.
Sluggish your tempo on the way in which again to admire the Opera Home, throughout the water, and the glowing cleanliness of the canals which, in heat climate, entice swimmers.
Crossing the water at Inderhavnsbroen will carry you to Christiania: often known as essentially the most bohemian neighbourhood, due to its reference to hashish. It’s now a car-free stress-free place to wander, whereas sampling bakery treats and vegan and vegetarian meals.
Experience north-west to the Nørrebro neighbourhood, one of many metropolis’s hippest. Within the Assistens Cemetery, last resting place of Hans Christian Andersen, you’ll discover locals jogging and lazing; and the graves of Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard and painter Christen Købke.
From right here, head to cobbled Jægersborggade: virtually each retailer has an eco-angle, from jumbled antiques and classic clothes, to Løes Market, town’s first zero-waste grocery store, and Istid, the place natural components mix with liquid nitrogen to create dreamy ice-cream confections.
A metropolis so dissected by canals deserves waterside time, even should you haven’t taken a hop-on, hop-off boat tour. Reffen (reffen.dk) is a meals market within the previous docks the place bites are served with a facet order of sustainability. Seize some blue corn tacos, Danish pork stew or South Indian dosas, pull up a deckchair by a hearth pit and finish the day by washing down the sundown with a craft beer or cocktail.