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COPENHAGUE

Destination Denmark: Why Not Choose… Copenhagen?

At the cutting edge design, contemporary architecture and new technologies, Copenhagen skilfully juggles tradition with modernity, simplicity with originality, and informality with elegance. Built on two islands, Copenhagen is criss-crossed with charming canals, which you can explore on a boat trip, on foot or by bike.


A Rich and Surprising Culture, A Lifestyle You'll Love!

One of the first things you will notice when arriving in Copenhagen is its leading design and architecture. If you are lucky enough to be there in late August to early September, don't miss Design Week, which brings together designers and architects from all around the world. Alternatively, head straight for the Dansk Design Centre. A temple of design, it hosts numerous exhibitions and conferences focusing on Danish design.

But why are the Danes so keen on interior design? Quite simply because they like to feel comfortable at home during the long winter months. To get through this harsh period, the Danish have created their own life philosophy: Hygge. In a few words, Hygge is all about taking care of yourself and your loved ones, and spending moments together by a warm fire. Sounds tempting, doesn't it?

Nevertheless, when the sunshine returns, the city bursts into life once again: music festivals, the beer festival (don't forget to take a tour of the Carlsberg Brewery, rated among the best in the world), bike rides along the canals, and picnics by the water.

History lovers will be keen to visit Frederiksborg Castle, nicknamed the "Danish Versailles", as well as Rosenborg Castle, where the crown jewels are kept in the cellar.

Other fascinating historical sites include the Rundetaarn, a 36m tower built in 1642, which offers a panoramic view of the city, or Kastellet, one of the best preserved citadels in Europe. Built from 1626, today it boasts a museum and a pleasant public park where you can walk near the port, under the watchful gaze of the Little Mermaid.

Art enthusiasts can quench their thirst for beauty by visiting the Staten Museum For Kunst (SMK), a national museum containing Denmark's biggest art collection and retracing the age of the Vikings. Also well worth a visit is the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Its exhibits include ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts, romantic sculptures, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting collections, as well as an astonishing subtropical winter garden.

 


Top 10 Must-Sees

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Larsbjørnsstræde: in this neighbourhood, you'll find many brands dedicated to vintage and second-hand fashion. It is the favourite haunt of shopaholics and fashion addicts.

Grønnegade: trendy neighbourhood of Copenhagen, where you can find many luxury brands.

Chistianshavn: historical area of Copenhagen founded in the 17th century and situated on an island. Here, you can find the Church of Our Saviour and many fortifications. The area also includes three islands known collectively as Holmen.

Nyhavn: canal in the centre of Copenhagen . Its name means "new port" in Danish . You will appreciate the charm of this waterside area with its colourful houses, restaurant terraces and highly fashionable cafés. Here, you can also see the house of the writer Hans Christian Andersen !

Kongens Nytorv: meaning "the King's new square". This vast royal square, with its statue of King Christian V of Denmark, is the bridge between the old town and the new neighbourhoods of Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid: symbol of the Danish capital and the most visited monument in the city, this 1.25m-high bronze sculpture sits on a rock at the entrance to the port of Copenhagen, ready to lull you into a melancholy trance.

Langelinie: this area of Copenhagen port lined with historical monuments offers picturesque walks in a park along the dock, where many cruise boats are moored.

Copenhagen Cable Park: here, 15 minutes from the city centre, you can wakeboard and water-ski, then relax after your efforts in a waterside café.

Amager Strandpark: 15 minutes from the city centre, this recreational park by the waterside offers large green spaces near to an artificial island, its lagoon and its natural beach. There are areas reserved for swimming, rowing and jogging, as well as carefully developed picnic areas and children's play areas.

Frederiksborg Castle: also known as the "Danish Versailles". This Renaissance masterpiece is the largest palace in Scandinavia. You can see the changing of the guard and discover Denmark's Museum of National History inside, which has the largest collection of historical paintings and portraits connected to the country.


Gastronomy

Denmark may be a small country, but its cuisine has a strong reputation! It is based on organic and seasonal produce, generally made up of potatoes, dark rye bread, charcuterie, beef and products from the sea. The most traditional dishes include øllebrød (rye bread and beer porridge), vandgrød (barley porridge), guleærter (split pea soup), or æbleflæsk (pork fried with apples): plenty of new flavours for curious taste-buds. Leave room for dessert so you can try Wienerbrød, a Danish pastry using laminated pastry and almond paste, often spiced with cinnamon or cardamom.


Cultural Events

January-February: Winter Jazz Festival, Vinterjazz. In late January and early February, there's nothing like a little jazz to chase away the cold!

April: Copenhagen Film Festival. During this 11 day festival, over 160 Danish and foreign films are screened, alongside many other cinematographic events. 16 April: Queen Margrethe II's birthday. On this day at midday, the Queen of Denmark waves to the crowd from the balcony of Amalienborg Slot, while the troops parade ceremoniously.

May: Ølfestival, beer festival. Speciality beers and microbrewery beers have really taken off, and Denmark's biggest beer festival attracts over 10,000 enthusiasts every year.

June: Skt Hans Aften (Saint John's Eve). The Danish celebrate the longest night of the year by lighting large fires in parks, gardens and especially on beaches. They sing and celebrate around the bonfire, on which they burn the effigy of a witch. Roskilde Festival The biggest music festival in Scandinavia takes place in the fields around Roskilde, a 30 minute train journey from Copenhagen. The event attracts the world's best musicians and around 70,000 music lovers from around the globe.

Late August / early September: Copenhagen Design Week. As World Capital of Design, Copenhagen is organising its own biennial, with 11 days of seminars, screenings and exhibitions on the subject. The creations of over 70 designers competing for the INDEX: Award will be on display.

September: Art Copenhagen. Over 9000 visitors gather every year to see the works of 500 Nordic artists during this major art exhibition.

October: Kulturnatten (culture night). On the second Friday in October, museums, theatres, art galleries, libraries and even Rosenborg Slot open their doors all night for a plethora of unusual events.


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