To paraphrase one of Carlsberg's taglines, Copenhagen is probably the best city in the world. It's a staple on the short-break trail with more than enough attractions to fill a weekend including the Carlsberg Visitors Centre where one can sample some of the brewer's famous beers. Carl Jacobsen, son of the brewery's founder, provided a couple of other landmarks - he commissioned the Little Mermaid statue and founded the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, one of Denmark's finest museums.
The Tivoli Gardens amusement park, the most popular tourist attraction in Denmark, is a fairy-tale land with a wooden roller coaster, the world's tallest carousel and, at Christmas, festive fun with illuminations, market and gift stalls.
One of the best ways to see the city is from the water. Hop on a boat at Nyhavn for a guided tour that will pass the Little Mermaid, Christianshavn, the 17th-century dock area with its beautiful pastel-coloured merchants' houses, and Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish Parliament, Prime Minister's Office and Supreme Court. An alternative sight is Freetown Christiania, a self-governing neighbourhood.
While Denmark is in the EU, it's not in euroland. It still uses the kronor - useful to know before searching for cheap flights to Copenhagen.
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Considering Copenhagen’s northern location, the climate is milder than you may expect. January and February are the coldest months with daytime temperatures typically around freezing. However, the high humidity and cloudy weather can make it feel colder.May to September are comfortable months, with summer temperatures in the mid-teens. The humidity is much more comfortable, but there are some cloudy and rainy days. The heaviest rain falls between July and December.
When to fly to Copenhagen
May through August is the most popular time to visit Copenhagen. The city is quieter in July when most Danes are on holiday.
Winter is, unsurprisingly, the off season, yet those hardy enough to brave the Scandinavian winter and find cheap flights to Copenhagen at this time will discover a city with uncrowded museums, galleries and restaurants.
Getting around Copenhagen
It’s easy to keep saving money after your cheap flight to Copenhagen. Borrow a bicycle with CityBikes, a free service that lets visitors pedal their way around the city. You will have to leave a small deposit that is fully refundable when you (and your bike) return. The next-cheapest way to get around is by buying a Klippekort, worth ten trips on the metro or bus. To go beyond Copenhagen, you may want to purchase a ScanRail pass, which offers discounts on travel through Denmark and other Scandinavian countries.
Copenhagen insider information
- If you want to go to a few museums or galleries and use the public transport, buy a CPHCard. It gives you free entry to 65 museums, free transport on the bus, train or metro and discounts on many other attractions. A 24-hour or 72-hour card is available, and you can buy it before you travel from Copenhagen’s tourist site – the card will be posted to your home address so you’ll be able to use it as soon as you arrive in the city.
- The statue of the Little Mermaid has become one of the most famous of Copenhagen’s attractions. The bronze sculpture by Edvard Eriksen, based on the mermaid of the Hans Christian Andersen story, was unveiled in August 1913 and has since become one of the most photographed monuments. For a more unusual view, take a boat tour of the city – the boats travel the canals and the sea and show you most of the major monuments to be found.
- The Carlsberg Breweries and Visitor Centre are located near the Danish capital. Within the breweries is a museum and, recently opened, the Jacobson brewhouse, where you can see beer being made. The centre is open Tuesday to Sunday between 10am and 4pm.
- Copenhagen is just half an hour from the Swedish city of Malmo, and the journey there is stunning. Hire a car, or join a tour, and head across the huge Oresund Bridge that joins Denmark and Sweden. At 7,845 metres, it is one of the longest bridges in Europe.
- The Guinness World Records Museum, on the main shopping street in Stroget is a popular destination for adults and children. The museum illustrates some of the world records, with a statue of the world’s tallest man at the doorway to welcome you in. Other exhibits include statues of the world’s heaviest man (featured in front of a very large cake) and the man with the longest moustache alongside interactive challenges, such as testing how hard you can punch or discovering what it feels like to accelerate from 0 to 508 km/h in a real dragster.