“Don’t believe it. It’s not always like this!” said the natives of Copenhagen, their expressions lying somewhere between delight and suspicion. They were referring to the brilliant summery weather that welcomed me (and fellow bloggers at The Hive) to Copenhagen last weekend, a perfect invitation to walk around and explore the city.
One free afternoon wasn’t enough, but here are a few things I got to do and see in Copenhagen.
Probably the most photographed spot in Copenhagen, the 17th-century harbor of Nyhavn is a picturesque heritage area lined with old wooden ships and colorful townhouses. It might be touristy, but it sure is pretty.
For genuinely good dining on the waterfront, the stylish restaurants and jazz bar of The Standard—housed in an Art Deco building of Danish design—are just around the corner from Nyhavn.
Being a total nerd, the first place I went to see was the Royal Library and its sleek modern extension, The Black Diamond. Covered in black granite from Zimbabwe, this library is a contender for the coolest public library in Europe—a serious challenger for even my beloved Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam.
I would have been all over this place had it not been closed for Great Prayer Day, an actual Danish public holiday. I had to content myself with sprawling out on the waterfront deck beside the Black Diamond and reading a book in the sun. Oh, it’s a tough life.
Perhaps Copenhagen and Amsterdam could be siblings: Copenhagen the prim, buttoned-up, neat freak older brother, and Amsterdam the shaggy-haired, relaxed, slightly wacky younger one. Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is a waterfront city criss-crossed by canals, although the buildings are older and wonkier here.
And like Amsterdam, Copenhagen is crazy about cycling. In fact, Denmark has the second largest number of bicycles per capita, ranking just below the Netherlands.