Copenhagen Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Summer is high season Yes, there will be tons of tourists and you'll have to pay more for your room, but the pleasant weather will make it well worth it.
- You should grab a bike Copenhagen is an ideal town to cycle through. You can cover a lot of ground and get up close and personal with the sites, all while getting your exercise on.
- Bring plenty of funds This is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so be prepared to shell out a serious amount of krone.
While some Europeans revel in haute couture and haute cuisine, the Danes relish what they believe to be the height of sophistication: hygge. Defined as "comfort" or "coziness," hygge is a value reflected throughout Copenhagen, from the skillfully restored antique furniture to the hearty meals served in traditional Danish restaurants. Quality of life is a given. So go ahead, experience life as the Danes do: Hop on a bike and tour Indre By (Inner City), visit the squatters in Christiania, munch on a Danish pastry in Vesterbro or simply wander around and see for yourself why this is one of the most livable cities in Europe.
Tourists are generally drawn to Copenhagen for three reasons: to frolic in the Tivoli Gardens, to pay a visit to the Little Mermaid statue at Langelinie Pier and to shop for antiques along the Strøget. But the fun doesn't stop there. Although many of the city's top museums, parks and royal palaces are cluster in or around Indre By, you shouldn't be afraid to branch out. There's gallery-hopping in the Holmen and Islands Brygge areas; beer sampling near Frederiksberg Park; dining Michelin-style in Pilestraede. Just take it slow; it's the Danish way.
How To Save Money in Copenhagen
- Explore by bike Copenhagen's famous city bike program provides free bicycles for anyone to use within the city.
- Get acquainted with the Nationalmuseet Also known as the National Museum of Denmark; this is a fascinating and massive site -- not to mention, totally free.
- Visit off-season While Copenhagen is at its best in the summer, you'll pay a premium on flights and hotels for visiting during the high season.
Copenhagen Culture & Customs
Denmark rejected the adoption of the euro as its official currency in 2000. Although some Danish businesses do accept the euro, the country's official currency is the Denmark kroner. ATMs are located throughout the city, and many say that ATMs offer better exchange rates than most banks and hotels. Major credit cards are also widely accepted.
Although the official language of Denmark is Danish, many Danes living in Copenhagen -- particularly in the city center -- speak English. However, packing a dictionary or a phrasebook just in case.
The Danish are known for propriety, which is demonstrated in almost every aspect of their culture. Although dress is casual, make sure your clothes are clean and neat; if you're dining out, jeans are generally not acceptable.
The Danes take pride in their cuisine, and Copenhagen restaurants strive for excellence. If you're looking for traditional Danish food, head to Indre By or Nyhavn, Copenhagen's historic districts. For fine dining, head to the more upscale districts of Langelinie or Frederiksberg. Those on a budget might try Christiania where restaurants are generally cheaper due to the neighborhood's refusal to pay sales tax.
The centerpieces of Danish cooking are potatoes, cabbage and mushrooms, produce that thrives in colder climates. Meals served in traditional Danish restaurants are heavier than those served in southern European countries and generally include large portions of meat and dairy products, so vegetarians beware. Make sure to try Denmark's national dish, Frikadeller (meatballs) accompanied by cabbage drenched in a cream sauce. A trip to Copenhagen is not complete without sampling some of the country's famed pastries; long on flakey, buttery crusts, rich fruit compotes and creamy custards.
Travelers recommend trying out the Scandinavian cuisine at Noma in Christianshavn for the excellent overall dining experience.