Like some sort of mythological riddle, Copenhagen seems to embody every phase of life at once. The Danish capital continues to churn out imaginative, ultra-modern hotels, as well as its famously cutting-edge restaurants (Noma is just the beginning&mdashthe city currently lays claim to a whopping 15 Michelin-starred restaurants). But when in existential doubt, take a pause and open your eyes One glimpse of the waterfront, Crayola-bright houses of Nyhavn will bring you right back to where your feet are. Here is a city guide to Copenhagen
Things To Do
The Happiness Museum
Denmark named the second happiest country in the world in 2023, is home to the world's very first happiness museum. Opened in 2020, the museum features exhibits on how other countries perceive happiness.
CopenHill is Copenhagen's first ski area &mdash carefully constructed atop a waste management centre for the city. Visitors can also hike, run, or tackle the world's tallest climbing wall in the summer months at this urban recreation destination.
Located on three islands, surrounded by lush gardens and a large lake, Frederiksborg Castle is a perfect day trip from Copenhagen. The castle is also home to the Museum of National History, which traces 500 years of Danish history through art, furniture, sculptures, and more.
Don't let the word "gardens" fool you this expansive park is home to one of the best theme parks in Europe, open from mid-April to mid-September. There's still plenty to see and do in the winter, with a whimsical Christmas market, over-the-top decorations, and stunning lights. There are plenty of shops and restaurants on the grounds as well.
Where To Eat
Noma is one of the most famous restaurants in the world, and after a 20-year run, head chef René Redzepi recently announced it will close at the end of 2024. So, eat there while you still can. The Michelin three-starred restaurant's menu changes with the seasons, focusing on vegetarian fare in the summer, game and forest-inspired food in the fall, and seafood in the late winter/early spring.
Alouette is a hidden gem on the Danish dining scene&mdashbehind an unobtrusive garage door and past a graffiti-covered hallway lies a surprisingly bright Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a set five-course menu. The menu changes weekly with a focus on small producers and seasonal ingredients.
How to Get There
Copenhagen is best reached by flying into its international airport. Copenhagen Airport serves over 100 destinations and is the biggest airport in Denmark. You can also travel to and from other major European cities, including London, Paris, and Stockholm, aboard Rail Europe trains or buses. A train ride from London to Copenhagen will take almost 15 hours, while a bus ride could take up to 35 hours, with multiple stops and long transfers.
Best Times to Visit
The best time to visit Copenhagen is April, May, and September if you're after warmer weather and longer days. You'll encounter fewer crowds than in the peak summer months but can still enjoy similar temperatures. However, some of the best festivals happen from June to August&mdashlike the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which takes place every July.
Copenhagen in December is the prime hygge and Christmas market season. Travellers can head to the Tivoli Gardens for a gorgeous holiday light display. If you can't make it in December, you can still enjoy a light show in February when the city hosts its now-annual Copenhagen Light Festival.
How to Get Around
Train, bus, and metro Copenhagen's public transportation network unites trains, buses, and metros in one easy-to-understand system. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks at the airport and throughout the city, on the DOT Mobilbilletter app, or online, with prices varying by zone. You can also purchase a City Pass, which will give you unlimited access to specific zones depending on which one you purchase. Download the Rejseplanen app to see public transportation schedules with minute-by-minute updates.
Taxis Taxis are plentiful in Copenhagen. If you need a cab, you can contact several companies, like Dantaxi, directly for pickup.
Car service If you don't want a taxi, book a town car or black car services with companies like Sixt to help you get around, or use the zero-emission ride-sharing service, Viggo. Uber or Lyft does not service Copenhagen.
Bikes Copenhagen is a city best explored by bike. In fact, according to the Copenhagen Tourism website, 49 per cent of locals commute to work on bikes. Plan your ride around the city's many biking routes and bridges, or try to tackle the bike route used in the 2022 Tour de France Grand Départ, which took place in Copenhagen.
Cover photo credit Shutterstock