The history of Copenhagen goes almost a thousand years back.  Its Danish name, København, means the Port of the Merchants.   The capital and the king’s residence were at that time in Roskilde – about 30 km to the west.  It needed a harbour – that is why Copenhagen was founded. Actually the first settlement and harbor was constructed on the small island, where Christiansborg Castle is today.    You can ask, why the Danish capital is located so far east in the country.  Almost all of the country and its 7000 km coastline are to the west of Copenhagen.  But you have to remember that the whole of what is now southern Sweden was part of Denmark until 1659.  In this way the geographical position of Copenhagen is easier to understand.

If you want to know more about the city’s history you should have a look  HERE.

The best general information for tourists you find at the website of VISIT COPENHAGEN.

And if you want to see what is going on  you can look at the website of on-line newspaper The Copenhagen Post.


In practical terms I will recommend the following:

  1. If you arrive in the airport the easiest and fastest way is to take the  Metro directly into the centre.  It is, by the way a driver-less metro, built by an Italian entrepreneur.  It is being enlarged at the moment. That is why you see a lot of construction works.
  2. Consider buying the COPENHAGEN CARD.  It gives you access to a lot of things (transport, museums, other sights, etc. ). You can buy it already in the airport and use it rightaway.
  3. When in the centre, stroll around in the inner city.  It is rather small.  From the City Hall (opened in 1905 with the City Hall in Siena as a model ) and Tivoli ( closed most of the winter) to Kastellet ( the Citadel ) and Amalienborg Castle to the east.  Make a walk along the water front.  And you can now cross the harbour on the new foot bridges to the other side, which is also very nice, esp. at the former naval base Holmen, where you have a lot of activities.  Nyhavn  ( New Harbour ) is also very popular with all its bars and restaurants along the water.
  4. You are also recommended to take a Canal Tour in the harbor.  It takes about 60 minutes and explanation is given by a guide in several languages.
  5. Special sites in the old city are many:  Rundetårn ( The Round Tower ) – a 400 year old and 36 m high tower, where you can walk all the way up to the top like on a steep road.  When you do it, remember that the Russian zar Peter the Great once did the tour in a carriage with two horses in front!  Another interesting place is the cathedral, Københavns Domkirke, Church of our Lady – with famous sculptures by Bertel Thorvaldsen  (who lived and worked for many years in Rome ).  And a third one is Glyptoteket.  At Christianborg Castle (where the prime minister, the Parliament and the Supreme Court sit )  you can visit the tower with a fantastic view of the city.  You can also visit the Royal Suites, where the queen organizes most of her major events.  The special tapestries there done for the Queen by Bjørn Nørgaard have become quite famous.
  6. If you want to visit special shops with in particular Danish furniture, porcelain, cutleries, etc. then you have three of the most interesting ones just next to each other on Amagertorv – in the middle of the main pedestrian street Strøget:
  1. If you want to visit one of the best museums of modern art, you have to go to Louisiana.  It is about 35 km north of Copenhagen. You have to take the train towards Helsingør (Elsinore) and get off at Humlebæk Station.  Then it is about 15 minutes’ walk to the museum.
  2. Now, to the most important part:  good restaurants J     There are about 2000 restaurants and cafes in Greater Copenhagen.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Delicious Danish smørrebrød (open sandwiches):   Gitte Kik  (opposite Christiansborg) – only during the day. You choose your sandwiches yourself at the counter.  Big ones!
  • Other similar old Danish cafes in the centre of the city:  Café GammeltorvKanalkafeenSchønnemann;  Sorgenfri;  Café Sankt Annæ.
  • Very good Danish food:  Café Nytorv   ( on Nytorv Square at the main pedestrian street)
  • Restaurant Ofelia  -  in the new theatre building at the harbor front
  • Restaurant Taarnet on the top of the tower of Christianborg castle. Very good indeed.
  • Brødrene Price  ( the Price brothers)-  in Rosenborggade opposite Rosenborg Castle.  Very good too.
  • Krog’s Fish Restaurant  -  at the canal front opposite Christiansborg Castle.


Enjoy your stay!!    And let me know, if you have further recommendations to add to this note.

Niels Jørgen Thøgersen