Travelogue: Copenhagen

By Welmoed van Ens

Copenhagen is without a doubt the friendliest city I know. It has everything you would expect from a capital, minus the noise and the dirt. If you decide to visit (and you should!) here is what you absolutely need to know about København.

At the heart of the city you’ll find as many parks as shopping streets, including Strøget, the longest shopping street in Europe, all at walking distance from Nørreport station. Across from the old central station lies Tivoli, the 150 year old amusement park with beautiful gardens. During Christmas, which the Danes celebrate enthusiastically, Tivoli is transformed into an enchanting Winter Wonderland: definitely worth a visit.

Copenhagen is the perfect place to recover from your Dining Hall traumas. It is filled with excellent bakeries that sell fresh bread and traditional Danish wienerbrød (pastries that are usually eaten with breakfast) so don’t you dare buy a greasy croissant at the 7-eleven.

The Danes know many traditional meals and dishes. My absolute favorite is stjerneskud (falling star). I like to annoy restaurants by asking if I can have it for dinner, but it is usually eaten at lunch, and consists of different types of deliciously prepared fish served on white or rye bread with some greenery on the side. If you would like to taste it, consider Hansens Gamle familiehavn (Hansen’s Old Family Garden). This restaurant, situated in the part of town that was once inhabited by the Dutch, has perfected the art of traditional Danish cooking.

Now that your belly has been filled it is time for some culture. If you get excited at the mention of impressionist paintings, ancient Egyptian artifacts (yes, there is a mummy too), or a Rodin statue, Glyptoteket is the place for you. Believe it or not, the collection on display in this beautiful museum (did I mention that it has an inside tropical garden?) is largely privately owned.

The Danish Monarch, Queen Margrethe, has her own royal guard, furry hats and all. After they are released from duty at Amalienborg, they can be found marching through the city. Do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to take kinky pictures with them. These guards actually behave like guards and will come after your touristy ass if you annoy them or come too close.

For only 25 Krones (approximately 3 euros) you can climb the Rundetaarn to get a nice view of the city and the bridge to Sweden. Instead of climbing flights of stairs you will ascend through what feels like a never-ending street spiraling upwards. Once you’ve enjoyed the view and spotted the landmarks you’ve visited before, I highly recommend you roll your way back down.

These are only a few favorites and Copenhagen has a lot more to offer. Of course, as a proper tourist you must visit Nyhavn and the statue of the little mermaid. Don’t forget to enjoy the parks and one more thing; people actually take off their clothes and lie around in their underwear on warm days, so blend right in and get a tan. And above all: enjoy.

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