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Top 10 Things to Do in Copenhagen

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The seaside city of Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark – it’s rich in cultural, historic and culinary traditions. Be sure to carve out some time from your busy schedule at ICANN58 and get to know the city. Copenhagen is ideal for wandering around, but if you want to be like a local, get on a bicycle and start exploring.

1. City Hall Square

City Hall Square is a great place to get your bearings. You can climb to the top of the City Hall’s tower to view the Tivoli Gardens amusement park (closed for the winter season). The Strøget shopping street, one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, begins at the northern end of the square.

2. The Round Tower

The Round Tower dates to 1642. In operation for 375 years, it is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. Until 1861, it was part of the University of Copenhagen. The tower is open late – you can view the night sky from its telescope.

3. Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace, on the island of Slotsholmen, is home to the Danish Parliament. Popular attractions are the Queen’s tapestries and the royal stables. The palace’s tower, the tallest in Copenhagen, is open to the public free of charge and provides a panoramic view of the city.

4. Amalienborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle

Amalienborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle give you a taste of Danish royal history, which dates back more than 1,000 years. Amalienborg, a complex of four palaces, has been the royal residence since the fire at Christiansborg Palace in 1794. Rosenborg Castle looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale. It’s best known for its exhibition of the Danish crown jewels.

5. National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark features exhibitions that convey the cultural history of Denmark. You’ll find artifacts from prehistoric Denmark, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modern Denmark.

6. Art Museums

If you are an art lover, visit the National Gallery of Denmark and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The National Gallery, the country’s largest museum, is home to a significant collection of sculptures and paintings from the 14th century to the present. Ny Carlsberg Glypotek is a stunning building with a glass-roofed winter garden in the center. The museum’s collection includes French impressionist paintings and ancient Mediterranean art.

7. Nyhavn Harbor

Nyhaven Harbor is a touristy location for a reason – it is an enchanting spot. Take a stroll, grab a beer and enjoy the view. On a nice day, you can walk to see the Little Mermaid, an iconic presence in Copenhagen’s harbor since 1913.   

8. Bike or Canal Ride

Cycling is an excellent way to explore the city. Copenhagen has more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) of dedicated bicycle lanes. Bycyklen is the city’s inexpensive bike-share program – its website has program details, rates and a map of available bikes.

A guided boat tour allows you to see the main sights of Copenhagen from the vantage point of the city’s canals.

9. Danish Design

Since the 1950s, Danish design has been a major influence in decorative arts, architecture, furniture, fashion and toys. Explore some of Copenhagen’s design shops or visit the Designmuseum Danmark, housed in an 18th century hospital.

10. Danish Food and Drink

The “Nordic food revolution” began with Danish cuisine. If you’re a foodie, you could check out one of Copenhagen’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants restaurants. For more casual fare, you’ll find the smørrebrod, the traditional open-faced sandwich served at lunchtime. Copenhagen’s beer bars are famous – and in recent years, microbrews have exploded in popularity. Be sure to visit the Torvehallerne market with its outdoor produce market and indoor stalls selling prepared food.

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