Wonderful Copenhagen, the “hyggiest” place on earth

The Little MermaidUsing the phrase "Wonderful Copenhagen" in a travel blog would be so predictable . So I won't! But Danny Kaye was right. Copenhagen really is that good.

If it was a food it would be a delicious fresh cream cake. London would be a thin and crispy pizza with a mixture of toppings. And Withernsea would be a ten year out of date Victoria sponge made with synthetic cream and non-organic jam!

From the moment we arrived at the main station we  both felt at home. Home too of Lurpak, fairy tales, the iconic egg chair and those coloured plastic bricks which every child has. No Danish stamp though on their bacon. Presumably they all know where it comes from.

King Sweyn Forkbeard would be proud of his nation. Warm, friendly people. Stylish and fashionable. Immaculately turned out. Blonde hair and blonde beer. Design genius. Slim people. The beautiful race.

Danish culture embraces "hygge"- a word you hear a lot about. It means cosiness, a calm feeling, a lack of anything annoying. No wonder the Danes are the most content people in the world. Hygge yes but never smug.

And that famous girl sitting lonely on a rock. Sculptured in 1913. Yes she is little. And she keeps losing her head. There can't be many mermaid decapitators in the world but they all seem to live in Denmark.

Canal sceneCopenhagen is people friendly – there is no edge to the city. And safe! Except for the "millions" of Vikings on bikes (with or without helmets, horned or otherwise). They are everywhere. Green and efficient and the prime means of travel in the city.

It is compact enough to walk around too. Station to Little Mermaid can be easily walked in a morning. I love greenery and there are parks a plenty in the city.

We sat and had a Danish pastry in the Botanical Gardens, the sun caressing and ageing our faces. It's a lush park with a lovely lake. And because of the high tree surround you don't feel that you are in a city.

Across the road fairy tale Rosenborg Castle beckons. Home of the Crown Jewels. Surrounded again by parks where city dwellers picnic and chatter.

Nyhavn (the new harbour) is a photographic paradise. Picturesque, beautifully coloured houses bars and restaurants. The streets are crammed with tourists. A great place to hang out watching people, boats and life drift by.

Den Lille Havfre -The Little Mermaid – is a twenty minute walk away. We sat watching the hordes of people milling around. I wondered how many have fallen into the water trying to touch her.  It's supposed to be the most photographed scene in Denmark. And the most visited.

NyhavnBut there must be better views in Denmark, surely.

Copenhagen is a retail paradise. World class shopping. Interior design shops. And street performers that are really very good. An atmosphere designed to encourage you to spend.

Stroget is where it's all at. Europe's longest shopping street that is thankfully pedestrianised. No marauding Viking bikers here.

As we walked we encountered spontaneous outbursts of foot-tapping jazz on street corners, in squares, on stages. Wonderful. And free too!

It was Jazz Festival time. Started in 1979 it has become one of the world's best.

Tivoli Gardens. Our final destination and the reason we had travelled to the city. Opened in 1843. Old, yes! But aren't some of the best things in life?

Tivoli GardensSaturday night was warm with the sun still shining as we queued at the gates. A top tourist attraction. Easy to see why. Clean and attractive. The gardens are lovely. And the rides enjoyed by all ages. An added bonus, the two hour jazz concert was superb.

Tivoli came into its own as night fell. Fairy lights hang down from trees and fibre optics enhance the shapes of the buildings and multitude of restaurants. The rides, on high, seem faster in the darkness. Utterly charming and an enchanted evening we will never forget. Music and fireworks – made in Tivoli's own factory – ended a very special few days.

A wonderful city. Do visit at least once in your lifetime. I promise you will never ever be disappointed!

•  Read more about what you can do in Denmark

 

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Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

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