Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the country’s most populated city. It began life as a Viking village in 1043, but it was not until the 17th century that the capital became a significant cultural centre, under the reign of Christian IV. Today, Copenhagen is a major financial centre and retains its position as the cultural, educational and economic hub of Denmark.
Denmark’s most popular attraction is surprisingly, a statue. A four-foot tall sculpture called The Little Mermaid sits atop a stone at Langelinie Pier. It was erected in 1913 and is a representation of the character from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Legendary as being the home of the world’s most famous Dane, Hamlet, the Renaissance Kronberg Castle in Helsingor served as an important military fortress. It was of huge military significance during the Second World War and UNESCO has named it a World Heritage Site.
Tivoli Gardens is the most popular theme park in Scandinavia, and has more than 28 rides, including the Devil and Vertigo. Originally built in the 18th century, the Tivoli Gardens is the oldest garden of its type in Europe, whilst the Viking Ship Museum has five original Viking ships on display and recounts their history of war and trade. This is a perfect destination for a family day out.
Copenhagen offers a variety of excursions for just the one day, some fast paced and full, others a little bit more relaxed. For those who love royalty and castles, there are day trips that take in Frederiksborg and Fredensborg Castle, and explore the life of the flamboyant monarch, Christian IV. Similarly, Shakespeare lovers will enjoy the trip to Kronberg Castle, where a tour guide will inform them about the history of the real Hamlet and recount tales from Shakespeare. For those looking for Romance with a capital R, take a day trip to Fyn, the island birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. Here there are even more castles, and also an open-air museum and a zoo.
If sightseeing sounds like too much effort, head for the island of Bornholm, where the sun shines brightly on long, sandy beaches. As an indication of just how pleasant and relaxing this island can be, its nickname is Pearl of the Baltic. As well as sunbathing, visitors can rent bicycles to take them through the countryside and into the town of Ronne. For a little bit of wildlife watching, a day trip to the Lolland and Falster Islands is advised. Here, there is Knuthenborg Manor with its safari park, and the Nakskov Green World Zoo. Also berthed there is the famous Second World War submarine U-539.
There are plenty of airlines flying to Copenhagen regularly, including Lufthansa, and once there, it is easy to get around. Copenhagen has a good public transport network with plenty of buses, and the Metro trains are very convenient. However, many people choose to see Copenhagen on two wheels, and there are plenty of places from which to hire bicycles.