10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Copenhagen

With its colorful houses, Renaissance castles, bike-friendly streets, amazing Nordic cuisine, and youthful vibe, Copenhagen is a dream destination. These fun facts about Denmark’s charming capital and cultural melting pot will make you wonder why you haven’t been there yet.

  1. A long time ago, Copenhagen was a fishing village known as “Havn” which translates to harbor. Sometime in the 12th century, it came to be called Køpmannæhafn or “merchant’s harbor” which thanks to Germanic translations was shortened to København, or Copenhagen. What’s in a name, you say?
  2. Copenhagen was titled the happiest city in the world according to the World Happiness Report of 2013. We wish they’d share their secret with the rest of us.
  3. Copenhagen is home to “The Stroget” which is the longest car-free, pedestrian shopping zone in Scandinavia. From popular designers to boutique stores and plenty of restaurants and street entertainment, you simply can’t skip this place. Back when the idea was proposed though, not everyone was onboard with it and the mayor even received death threats!
  4. During the 19th century, Copenhagen constructed small, man-made islands for defense purposes. After World War II, these artificial islands were developed for civilian use and now have plenty of restaurants, walking tours, and ghost hunts. Spooky!
  5. The Øresund Bridge is an engineering marvel that connects Copenhagen to Malmö, Sweden. What starts off as an elevated bridge for the first 5 miles across the artificial island of Pebrholm, then transforms into a tunnel for the remaining 2.5 miles. This is a unique driving experience that you won’t get anywhere else in the world!
  6. Copenhagen is a bicycle-friendly city. Almost 55% of the locals commute to work on bikes and it doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter. You can find about 250 miles of bike lanes here and recently they even started a cycling “super highway” that connects Copenhagen to Albertslund. Wow!
  7. It may sound like dystopian fiction but just outside the city center lies the autonomous Freetown of Christiana. It’s home to around 1000 residents who don’t pay taxes and have their own laws. Visitors are welcome to travel there, but you can’t take cars and cameras.
  8. It goes without saying that Copenhagen is extremely environmentally conscious. About 64% of the hotel rooms are certified as eco-friendly and most of the restaurants serve organic food. They have also cut down their emissions by using wind and solar power and heating systems that actually recycle waste. In fact, Copenhagen aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025, and they’re already well on their way!
  9. If you’re famished, why not try the 20-course meal at the two-Michelin star restaurant, Noma? It has the honor of being rated the world’s best restaurant four times! Some of their popular delicacies include sea urchin with hazelnuts, foraged herbs, and hay-smoked quail eggs. Yum!
  10. Who doesn’t love amusement parks? While you’re in Copenhagen, you must stop at Tivoli, which is Denmark’s second-oldest amusement park and the inspiration behind Disneyland. All the rides here are old school, including a 100-year-old wooden roller coaster that is a wild ride! If you go ten minutes north of Copenhagen, you can also visit Bakken, which is the world’s oldest amusement park!

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