There is an unmistakable joie de vivre in Denmark's friendly capital, Copenhagen, which resonates from lingering in a café on summer's day or marvelling at the sculptures in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Kids -- and adults -- of all ages can't resist a spin on the merry-go-round at the amusement park extraordinaire Tivoli. Strolling is a way of life here as reflected by its Strøget, the longest and oldest pedestrians-only shopping street in Europe. Afterward, stop for ice cream at Kongens Nytorv, while admiring the tall rigged ships moored in the canal.
Things to Do
Start with the iconic Little Mermaid statue (on loan to Bejing until October 2010) then enjoy the evening illuminations in romantic Tivoli Gardens. The National Museum houses archaeological finds in an 18th-century mansion, while timeless pleasures thrive in Museum Erotica and classical sculptures fill the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Take a canal tour or see the streets by bike, and learn beer facts at the Carlsberg Museum. See Denmark's much-admired contributions to modernism behind the smoked glass exterior of the Danish Design Centre.
Core to the Copenhagen shopping experience is Strøget, packed with fashion, top-notch Georg Jensen jewelry, and china. Browse the local fashion emporiums on Købmagergade or try on second-hand style in Pisserenden. Choose decorative arts and browse for kitsch collectibles on Bredgade, or check out the latest Danish designs on Kronprinsensgade. Come to Grønnegade for hip wear and people watching. On summer weekends, you can find bargains at the antique and flea markets.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Outdoor concerts light up Tivoli Gardens and ballet and classical performances ring out at Tivoli Concert Hall. Enjoy top music at contemporary Copenhagen Opera House and regular recitals in city-wide churches. Jazz is a huge part of the city's culture, peaking at the annual Jazz Festival. Late-night revellers can join in on the merrymaking in the traditional beer houses and dance clubs in Østerbro. Copenhageners like to go out late so you could be dancing alone if you get to a club before midnight.
Restaurants and Dining
International cuisine joins traditional Danish dishes on the menus of the Michelin-starred restaurants and cafés in Copenhagen. Dine on sushi and traditional herring in fashionable Pilestroede, the heart of Copenhagen's buzzing restaurant quarter, just off the Strøge. Dine alfresco on the quay at picturesque Nyhavn or sample spicy Thai at Tivoli Gardens. After exploring the city, enjoy a herring-filled smørrebrød (long open sandwich) at a café in scenic Gråbrødretorv.