As an Australian traveller making the big 30-hour trip to Europe, you don’t often hear too much about Copenhagen (CPH). But after two weeks in the city, I was enamoured, and by the end of my three-month Europe trip, I realised I had a new favourite city.
CPH is a perfect mix of everything a European city should be, with beautifully designed historic and modern buildings, stylish locals flying past on bikes and free flowing beer, drinkable in all of the city's parks and entertainment areas.
I found exploring the city amazingly accessible on my rental bike, which took me anywhere I wanted to be within fifteen minutes.
This photo sums up a lot of the historic scenery in Copenhagen, and is a taste of what you can stumble on if you get lost in the city centre on a late summer evening. These colourful lego-brick houses overlooking Frederiksholms Kanal remind me of Amsterdam when they light up after sunset.
Copenhagen is a young city, full of universities and entrepreneurs. Here at Det Kongelige Bibliotek (The Royal Library), a building founded in 1648, the students do their work in silence in an old study hall. A beautiful indoor public space like this is great for locals and tourists alike in the colder months.
This photo is from outside The Royal Library, showing where the original building meets its modern black glass extension. The new extension is known as the Black Diamond and was completed in 1999. The indoor pedestrian bridge allows you to comfortably cross over the road while passing between two impressive forms of architecture from very different ages.
I usually try to avoid the more obvious tourist traps in a city, but the Vor Frelsers Church tower climb was as rewarding as it was tough. It's a 90-metre ascent, most of it through a narrow stairway, that concludes with a final climb up the spiral staircase topping the spire. The views from the top are the best in Copenhagen.
When the sun's out, everyone's out in Copenhagen, especially here on Paper Island on a warm summer's day. The island faces across the harbour to Skuespilhuset (the Royal Danish Playhouse) and boasts a renovated warehouse hosting Copenhagen Street Food, with 35 food trucks and containers to choose from.
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On the other side of the harbour is the historic heart of the city, including the 17th-century sailor's port of Nyhavn. The brightly coloured port originally served as a notorious entertainment district for travelling sailors, and is now a bustling line of bars, cafes and restaurants.
A short walk north-east of Nyhavn is Marmokirken (The Marble Church), a completely circular structure which hosts the Church of Denmark. The building was designed in 1740 and features intricate detailing and sculpting on the inside of the dome. It is free to enter if you stay silent and respect people in prayer.
Slightly out of town is the beautifully manicured greenery of Kongenshave (King's Park). The park itself is quite large and summer brings a swarm of locals looking to sunbake, grill and drink together. Make sure you check out these lovely criss-cross hedge gardens across from Rosenborg Castle in the centre of the park.
Cycling is everything in Copenhagen. The city's cyclists ride a combined 1,340,000 kilometres every day, so it's a typical scene to see city bikes up against colourful walls like this one in central Christianshavn.
Just as the first photo summed up the historic heart of Copenhagen, this last one represents its future. Cykelslangen (The Circle Snake) is a new bicycle-only bridge that curves through the shopping and business district of Fisketorvet.
A middle-aged Danish man approached me as I shot the photo, explaining that the bridge represents the city perfectly; a cyclist-centric, futuristic achievement of design and engineering that makes life easier for its citizens. I had to agree.