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Historic, youthful, raucous and refined, Copenhagen can mean many things to many people. If you’re young then it’s a literal playground, with the world’s oldest amusement parks and some of the trendiest shopping and nightspots anywhere. For culture there are historic palaces and museums in which Viking and Bronze Age treasures are on display.
Copenhagen’s food-scene is making international waves, as the profusion of Michelin-starred restaurants will tell you, and the city has been one of Europe’s design capitals for decades now (Foodie? Check out the this Copenhagen’s Culinary Experience Tour). It all adds up to a dynamic, progressive and fun destination in Denmark.
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When most people picture Danish cuisine they think of Smørrebrød, which actually means “butter and bread”.
The reality is a lot more exciting and entails anything from cheese, cold-cuts, egg, fish and seafood, topped off with seasoning and garnishes.
For the uninitiated the experience is akin to Spanish pinchos.
Copenhagen is also ground zero for the new Nordic cuisine, where geniuses work wonders with molecular processes and emphasise the quality of regional ingredients.
This pedestrian street runs on and on, and whether you’re up for high-street or high-end shopping the chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
It’s among the largest pedestrian malls in the world and even if the prices aren’t for the faint-hearted.
If you want to find some independent shops then follow Strøget into the Old City and then try one of the narrow side streets.
There’s a wonderful mix of old specialty businesses that go back generations and hip boutiques for young fashionistas.
New Harbour in English, this historic waterfront area is next to a 17th-century canal where old wooden ships are still moored.
On both sides of the canal are tall painted houses dating to the 1600s and 1700s, the ground floors of which house bars, restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating.
It’s hard to believe it now, but for most of its existence this was a seedy part of town.
Now it’s one of the best places to linger of a coffee or beer in summer.
And it’s a big literary landmark too: The house numbers 18, 20 and 67 (marked with a plaque) were home to the author Hans Christian Andersen at different times.
A fine starting point for a night out in Copenhagen is on one of the many side streets that branch off Strøget. Here you can drink with locals and prices are a little lower than the picturesque but touristy Nyhavn.
On weekends this can be your launch pad for a fun night out in a city where clubs are cool and unpretentious, and live music is a way of life. Younger visitors can party all night at clubs in Nørrebro that stay open ’til five in the morning and represent all sorts of scenes. Older visitors can head for traditional beer houses (Bodegas) or jazz clubs, or get some high culture at the Royal Danish Theater.
There’s also a guided tour to enjoy the nightlife: Copenhagen Pub Crawl (Carlsberg, Pubs, Nightclubs, & More).
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