Copenhagen is one of Europe’s hidden gems and with over 1000 years of history under its belt, it’s a dream destination for culture vultures. Conveniently, flights to Copenhagen from London are frequent and inexpensive, making the Danish capital an ideal weekend break city. The bulk of Copenhagen is spread out over the islands of Zealand and Amager, which are connected by a series of beautiful bridges. Both islands are well worth exploring and are home to an enviable list of intriguing neighbourhoods, sights and attractions.
To get a good foundation in the history of Denmark and Copenhagen, take time to visit the Nationalmuseet. Housed within an 18-century former royal palace, the exhibits here trace the history of the Danes from prehistoric times to the present. The museum offers an English audio guide called “The History of Denmark in 60 minutes”, which provides an excellent overview of the country’s formation. The Nationalmuseet is conveniently located in the heart of the city and is an easy walk from the city’s famous Strøget pedestrian and shopping district.
Copenhagen is a city of eclectic neighbourhoods and one of the best is Nyhavn (New Harbour). As a city with a rich seafaring history, Nyhavn was constructed in the late 1600s as a bustling trading post frequented by seamen from all around the world. Centuries later, the neighbourhood has retained its maritime heritage, but has been transformed into a trendy restaurant district with delightfully crooked buildings, an abundance of jazz music and a great ambiance.
Also topping the list of Copenhagen neighbourhoods is the free town of Christiana. The area was founded in 1971 by hippies and set up as an independent community within Copenhagen. It has since developed into a haven for musicians, artists and other creative individuals and represents the alternative side to the city. There are plenty of interesting buildings and art galleries to explore here, in addition to a wide range of affordable cafes and restaurants.
Standing in stark contrast to the hippies of Christiana is Amalienborg, the winter residence of the Danish royal family. Consisting of four identical and exquisitely designed Danish Rococo buildings arranged around a central courtyard, two of the buildings are open to the public. Inside, visitors can step into the shoes of the Danish royal family and learn about the history of the monarchy at the Amalienborg Museum.
Further south from Amalienborg is Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park combines fun and history and is the world’s second oldest amusement park. It is continuously updated to stay contemporary but still stays true to its heritage and is a favourite spot with visitors and locals alike. In the summer the gardens boast live music in addition to its normal range of rides, attractions and eateries.
Finally, no trip to Copenhagen is complete without visiting the statue of The Little Mermaid at Langelinje Pier. The classic tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen dates back to the 1830s, but it wasn’t until 1913 that the statue of the mermaid sitting on a rock was unveiled. Since then it has become one of Danish capital’s defining and most enduring landmarks.
Copenhagen is a cultural wonderland that has been created as a result of its nearly 1000-year history. From brutal Vikings, to the elegant royal family and progressive hippies, the city has a lot to take in and explore. SAS’ cheap flights to Copenhagen make it an affordable and convenient weekend getaway for UK residents. The airport is located just a few miles from the centre of town and flights to Copenhagen are just under two hours long from London. This means you could easily enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the British capital, board a flight and indulge in Danish cuisine for lunch.