Bill Bryson was right: Copenhagen is undoubtedly one of the world”s most appealing cities.
In his 1998 book, Neither Here Nor There, the Anglo-American author described the capital of Denmark as “refreshingly free of any delusions of self-importance”.
Spot on! We found the Danish people to have a friendly and relaxed attitude to life, with an emphasis on understated quality.
First, see our video about Copenhagen:
For example, Copenhagen has a high-standard amusement park (Tivoli) right in the heart of the city, but there is a minimum of neon lights to avoid a glaring, tacky look.
As Bryson observed “other cities put up statues of generals, but in Copenhagen they give you a little mermaid”.
Copenhagen is wonderfully design-conscious, a fairytale city where almost every building, canal and garden combines history and beauty. Even modern structures are stylish and sympathetic to the cityscape.
It’s impossible to wander around the city and not be captivated by the superb buildings, where museums and modern shops exist almost side-by-side.
In a land known for its beautiful people, there is also a deep respect for culture.
Each October, Copenhagen stages a ‘Kulturnatten’ or Night of Culture, where up to 100,000 people visit the city and attend hundreds of cultural events.
Kulturnatten has become a big drawcard on the European cultural calendar, involving businesses, museums, galleries, concert halls, churches, public buildings, humanitarian organisations, political and cultural institutions – some of which are not generally open to the public.
We’ve been fortunate to attend a Kulturnatten and stand amazed at the scope of Copenhagen’s cultural versatility.
Read about our experiences with the remarkable Axelborg office block in central Copenhagen. With its rotunda staircase and paternoster elevator, we’ve dubbed it the “world’s coolest building”.
Agnete and the Merman
Of all the remarkable sights in Copenhagen, the sculpture ‘Agnete and the Merman’ is truly eye-opening.
For a start, the bronze sculpture is underwater – in a canal alongside the High Bridge in the city’s centre.
The figures rise up from the floor of the canal, slightly obscured by the movement of the water and almost eerily bathed in light at night.
Now, that’s what you call a bridge
As well as its culture and history, Copenhagen also boasts a stylish engineering icon in the Oresund Connection, a mighty bridge that spans the Oresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden.
Denmark’s emphasis on quality and initiative is also on show in parts of Copenhagen’s canal foreshores, where former warehouses have been converted into sleek housing projects and where magnificent city gardens cut a green swathe opposite the sleek Copenhagen Opera.
In summary, there is – as Bill Bryson pointed out – a lot to like about Copenhagen.
We wholeheartedly recommend a visit.