Guest Author - Julie Emrich Fredrick
In December of 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark was the host city to the United Nations Climate Change conference, also referred to as the Copenhagen Summit. My only previous introduction to Copenhagen was a fist-sized statue of The Little Mermaid that my parents gave me 30 years ago, so I decided to do a little research on the city. After learning more about it, Copenhagen now ranks high on my “to do list”.
Denmark’s capital and largest city lies in close proximity to Sweden, separated by the Øresund, the strait of water connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
With around 2.7 million inhabitants within a 50 km radius, Copenhagen is one of Northern Europe’s most densely populated areas, and is the most visited city of the Nordic countries (which consist of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway ,Sweden and Greenland.)
Copenhagen has four distinct seasons, with few extremes in temperatures. Precipitation peaks somewhat from June-August, and in the winter months, is more likely to fall as rain than snow. Thanks to influences from the Atlantic Gulf Stream, temperatures are typically about 5 degrees warmer than other counties in the same latitude.
The Scandinavian city has consistently ranked as having one of the best qualities of life in the world. In a Feb. 17 2008 CBS News 60 Minutes story highlighting Denmark, Morley Safer reported that “over the past 30 years, in survey after survey, this nation of five and a half million people, the land that produced Hans Christian Andersen, the people who consume herring by the ton, consistently beat the rest of the world in the happiness stakes.”
Copenhagen’s inhabitants are clearly an example of this, and are typically extremely friendly, helpful, and satisfied with life in general. It is also a remarkably green city, and over a third of its citizen’s bicycle to work each day. With the plan to make itself the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2015, Copenhagen has made the switch from oil and coal to natural gas for heating, and recycles 90% of construction waste and 75% of household refuse. The city is so clean that it is actually safe to swim in the city’s inner harbor.
The city is safe, and English is widely spoken by nearly everyone. With its state of the art transportation system, navigation is quick and easy. (Bicycles are free for tourists to borrow, as well, and bike lanes are abundant.) Cosmopolitan architecture, fashion design and cuisine are trademarks of modern Copenhagen, and the young- at- heart population keeps the city vibrant.
There is much to do when visiting Copenhagen. Browse the diverse architectural styles, from the delightful 17th century Dutch-style town houses to the dynamic modern building. The city’s many museums house impressive collections of both classic and modern art and design.
Tours on the city’s old canals take you to not to be missed city sights while allowing you to sit back and enjoy the city at a leisurely pace. There are a number of tours available, or you can choose the water bus, which allows you the freedom of hopping on and off at will.
Visit The Little Mermaid, the most popular tourist attraction in the Denmark, and one of the most photographed statues in the world.
Tivoli Gardens, situated in one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, is constantly changing, and is a favorite attraction to locals and tourists alike. From roller coasters to rock concerts, Tivoli has something for everyone.
With an abundance of green space, it is natural that Copenhagen has lots of parks, both big and small. Locals even use the area cemeteries for picnics and sunbathing. There are three beaches in the immediate vicinity of the city, as well as a system of Harbour Baths (a system of fresh-water swimming pools) facilities located along the Copenhagen waterfront.
So if you are looking for state of the art amenities and attractions in an amiable atmosphere, Copenhagen should top your list.
Here are 2 great books from Amazon.com that should help you make the most of your time in Copenhagen.