A first impression of Copenhagen, Denmark – Travel Photo Mondays
Copenhagen is a surprisingly easy city to walk around or take public transportation, but the most popular mode of transportation is by bicycle. Not only is bicycling is one of the best ways of getting around the city with bike lanes available in every neighborhood, it is one of the most bike friendly cities in all of Europe.
It’s great to see that in a large metropolitan environment, eco and green conscience living and lifestyle is a part of a collective whole and gives Copenhagen the designation of being the greenest city in Europe in 2014. The city’s core model of eco innovation and sustainable green practices is clear in the urban planning, design and transport friendly environment with over 35% of its population bicycling to work and personal efforts . They plan to increase that goat to 50% by the end of 2015 which is really fantastic. The city also wants to target being completely carbon neutral by the year 2025 and it seems like any of their environmental policies is supported completely by a dedicated and eco focused.
Copenhagen is also one of the cleanest cities that I’ve been to from all the major tourist zones, the trendy neighborhoods to even the off the beaten areas where only locals hang out. The main square at Copenhagen’s city hall square is surrounded with huge brick buildings mixed in with colorful facades that make the square pop along with this interesting dragon fountain fronting the city hall. Actually there are three bronze dragons spouting water into a small round basin which is a tribute to Danish art as part of a town hall exhibition initiated in 1901.
It’s nice to see that Copenhagen has a lot of wonderful green spaces, parks and lakes. I enjoyed walking around the series of man-made lakes below called Peblinge Lake. You could find large clusters of hungry looking swans eyeing visitors for any free handouts, while funny swan paddle boats floated close by and added some quirky fun.
The city and country ranks first in many things: green and environmentally progressive, the largest percentage of bicycle riders and apparently even being the happiest people on earth (from a UN report measurement on the happiest people at 7.6 on a scale of 10). As if these firsts were not good enough, I also find out that Copenhagen has a lot of restaurants with Michelin Stars, 15 to be exact. Of which, the new Nordic cuisine at Noma has been voted the world’s best restaurant over three, a record for any world re-known restaurant . Unfortunately, my time was so short in Copenhagen that I didn’t get to make a reservation and experience this world class restaurant and have a wonderful dining extravaganza… perhaps another trip is due just for this reason.
On such a nice warm day in Copenhagen with blue skies, it seemed like all the locals and tourists wanted to be outdoors and check out everybody else. People watching and spending time outdoors seem to be a very popular past-time in Copenhagen and areas like Nyhaven, or the new harbor were busy and all the restaurants were packed with people enjoying the late afternoon sun. I find out later through a friend that on these precious sunny days in the city, everyone loves to be outdoors in the parks, along the canals and surprisingly, the popular tourist attractions like Nyhaven. It’s also a popular spot for entertainment, music clubs, dining or just taking a nice cruise along the many canals in Copenhagen’s waterfront area.
I loved seeing all the beautiful churches and public buildings around the historic district, too many to remember or note down the names. But I do love seeing the beautiful facades and magnificent Danish lines and design that make this entire area so wonderful to explore and walk through.
The stunning facades and church steeples in Copenhagen
The Tivoli Gardens
I passed by the famous Tivoli Gardens, a popular amusement park in the center of the historic district. It was getting late at night and I was too exhausted to spend more time to explore this popular entertainment venue even though this seemed like the perfect time to explore the park. Passing through the entrance of Tivoli, it looked quite festive, lit up for the nightly entertainment shows and wild rides that may be in store for visitors to enjoy their evening. I would definitely have to come back to Tivoli another day to see all the sites and local amusement venues in the park and share them for a future post.
Here’s a quick video by Nextstop.TV to give you a quick introduction to Tivoli
Video credit Nextstop. TV
I’m not really a shopper or fashion hound but for some reason, I ended up in the Stroget area which is the largest outdoor shopping promenade in Copenhagen. I ended up at this long promenade mostly because of its central place to many attractions in the area and the variety of food venues. Fortunately Denmark is not on the European Euro, so I had to curb my spending to just the essentials of food, lodging and some entertainment, so shopping did not fall into any must do categories even though it was fun just to window shop and see Danish goods and trends being featured in the shopping district.
The charming fountain below is located along the main square of Stroget. It drew me into the area to sit for a bit and just soak in the vibe and street scenes and local performance acts happening around the fountain, like so many other popular venues around the world.
People of Copenhagen love their parks and outdoor spaces
Staying in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a very expensive city and hotels are pricey especially in the historic city center. An good option would be to find Air BnB places that are a affordable alternative or even hostels in Copenhagen that offer cheaper housing and meeting other travelers at the same time.
Check out these other posts on visiting Copenhagen
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