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Copenhagen: Europe’s Delightful Surprise

 My first impression of Copenhagen was all about the water–life on and along side the canals.  Lovely surprise and quite charming. To read the post on canals, click here.

 Today I’d like to share other highlights of this welcoming city.  Our brief time visiting Copenhagen was really pleasant.  I see why the Danish always come out “really high” on the contentedness surveys.  They have a good life.

First, you can’t talk about Copenhagen without mentioning Tivoli Gardens.  All the guide books point to this amusement park in the center of the city as a Must See.   I think it would be more fun with little kids, but the inner child in me loved old fashioned rides, trolley, cute signs and, best of all, the folks clearly enjoying them selves.



I was drawn to the cute smoothie shop with the flower roof.  Clever.  Later in our journey,  I saw buildings  with grass roofs  in Norway.  It’s a practical and common solution to the roofing issue.  Attractive too.

 We also enjoyed meandering Christianshavn.  It’s an trendy,  but urban setting filled with old warehouses converted to homes and restaurants.  Within walking distance is Christiania, a lawless hippie town with a 35 year history in Copenhagen.  It’s a free town, run by the 1000 residents.    More than a million and a half tourists visit this motley assortment of buildings, restaurants and housing, that to me looked like left over from the 1960s.


We didn’t stay long because we were hungry for dinner in a calmer environment,  but  the part we saw was creative and interesting.  I don’t think we have anything like it in the United States.

Copenhagen is a creative place.  Didn’t get to go to the Design Museums–saved for another trip–but I  liked the big stature of Hans Christian Anderson and the references to his work.  I enjoyed more than war memorials.  Clearly the Danish think a lot of their famous writer.

And shops.  How about these funny guys mannequins?  The Guinness World of Records museum next to an Armani shop?  Models like this lady?  Meandering the main shopping street was a visual treat.

 Two steeples.  One with outside stairway, rimmed in gold trim.  The other, the steeple of the old market building replicates dragon legs and feet.

Copenhagen is  described as “Europe’s Best Town for Foodies” in a recent Travel and Leisure article.   We didn’t have a chance to taste too much of the offerings but on our first night we did try bone marrow at a wonderful restaurant on the main canal.  Not sure I’d order it again, but had a lovely dinner with a fabulous view.



Probably my most lasting impression (besides the canals) is of the bikes.  Everyone rides bikes.  There are bike lanes, parking areas and people on bikes all the the city.  The children ride in carts attached to the bikes.  They haul stuff on bikes.  Wear fashion shoes and funny clothes.  It is  practical and healthy and clearly a great way to get around town.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Jul 10, 2012 Reply

    Another mini vacation for me.  I’m on staycation so this was a fun day trip.  Thanks for taking me along Susan. 

    • posted by
      Jul 12, 2012 Reply

      You are welcome……come along any time! 

  2. posted by
    Jul 10, 2012 Reply

    Susan – I can never resist reading your posts, even on my busiest days.  Although I have been to Copenhagen once it was for a 2 day all business trip, so I didn’t see much at all, now I feel like I have seen a little bit, from your post.  Loved seeing photos of and hearing about the flower roof (how do they do that?), the bicycles and the funny mannequins, thanks!

    • posted by
      Jul 12, 2012 Reply

      I’m really glad you enjoy. Thank you for your nice comments.   

  3. posted by
    Jul 11, 2012 Reply

    Fun pictures of Copenhagen. So colorful and fun. I am wondering if the girl with the bike actually rides it, or just pushes it along?

    • posted by
      Jul 12, 2012 Reply

      I wondered that too but I saw lots of women in all kinds of footwear riding bikes. Somehow they manage it.   

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