Copenhagen: a melancholy princess by the sea.
Danny Kaye sang ‘Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen’ in 1953 for a good reason. And there’s an equally good reason that, nearly half a century later, it’s still as wonderful. The Danish capital is a fascinating city where historic buildings and ultra-modern architecture intermingle in perfect harmony, a balancing act between history and the avant-garde.
Copenhagen’s quintessential icon is the Little Mermaid, a statue of the protagonist of the famous fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, who has welcomed visitors arriving to the port since 1913. But don’t be fooled by her melancholy expression: despite first impressions, locals here love to have a good time. It’s only fitting that Copenhagen is home to Tivoli, the world’s oldest amusement park, visited by millions of tourists each year.
If shopping is your bag, we whole-heartedly recommend a stroll down Strøget, the city’s main boulevard, and the side streets all around it. Here you’ll find big, brand-name shops and local artisan boutiques, and plenty of bistros and cafes to keep your hunger at bay.
But the densest concentration of restaurants and bars is in the Nyhavn district, the old port where local dishes abound, waiting to be savoured. Characteristic recipes feature a flavourful mix of French influences and Scandinavian traditions, sure to satisfy even the most refined palates.
Don’t miss the smørrebrød: open-face sandwiches topped with eggs, salmon, pork, herring, vegetables, etc. There is no limit to the possible variations of this characteristic speciality, found in just about every cafe and restaurant in the city. However, the most archetypal dish has to be stegt flæsk, crispy pork served with boiled potatoes and a white sauce with chopped parsley. The same sauce is used for another traditional dish, frikadeller: delicious meatballs flavoured with spices, pan fried then cooked in beer.