By Milica Stamenkovic
“Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen” goes the famous song, but I must say I had no idea how much Copenhagen has to offer the traveler. This was my first trip to a Scandinavian country and I was completely blown away, not only by the beauty of the city itself, but also by the life Danish people are living.
Having about 2 million people in metropolitan area makes this city big enough to evoke the feeling of a capital, and small enough not to get lost. Northern Europe seems like a different planet compared to the South Eastern Europe I grew up in. Clean streets, people riding bicycles to work with a smile on their faces in windy, snowy weather stole my heart in an instant. I was surprised, how much a healthy lifestyle means to Danish folks. On every corner there is a salad and sandwich bar. People made me feel welcome, because anytime I asked something on the street, they spoke English or at least tried to help me. The stereotypes about people from Northern Europe, besides their tall, blond look, are very far from the truth. They are not cold and insensitive, but are very warm and jolly people.
Copenhagen’s location is amazing. Being just 35 mins by train from Malmo, Sweden brings even more tourists. The city itself offers a variety of entertainment from Opera and theatre life to museums and amusement parks.
Danish cuisine is famous for its sea food. Fish is always fresh and deliciously prepared. The only bad side of visiting Denmark and Sweden, should you make the short trip, is the fact that both are very expensive due to high standard of living Scandinavians have.
I would like to list some of my suggestions for those who are eager to go to Copenhagen and explore this breathtaking city:
- The Little Mermaid. It is a bit far from the center, but it won’t take you more than 15-20 minutes by walk and it is definitely worth it.
This sculpture was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen. It was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land. Every morning and evening she swims to the surface from the bottom of the sea and while sitting on her rock in the water, she stares longingly towards the shore hoping to catch a glimpse of her prince.
- Nyhavn. In the center of town. One of the places I came back to. It’s the place where people get together for a nice dinner and some cold beer.
- Strøget. Copenhagen’s largest shopping area. Very interesting to see. The stretch is 1.1 kilometers long and runs from City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) to Kongens Nytorv. Strøget is one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets with a number of shops, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world’s most expensive brands. Tip: Bring the map with you, just in case.
- Tivoli Gardens. The most amazing park I have ever seen. In Christmas time, it resembles a Wonderland because of the light and decorations. Christmas music is playing in the background while people are buying candies and ornaments for their Christmas tree. Tivoli is a must for all children and those who like to play. Tivoli is located just a few minutes walk from City Hall, and with the Copenhagen Central Station as its nearest neighbor it is very easy to get to.
I would recommend everyone to go and visit Copenhagen especially at this time of the year. It will be the best trip you ever had.