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10 Must-See Attractions in Copenhagen

posted in: Europe  |  posted by: Ian Harrison on October 23, 2009  |  No Comments

As far as livable, clean, cosmopolitan European capitals go, Copenhagen is about as good as it gets. Historic, erudite and stylish, the city has a metro population that comprises almost one-third of Denmark. The best the country has to offer is at your disposal in Copenhagen as well, from architecture and national landmarks, to museums and nightlife.

The restaurant scene in Copenhagen is all the rage with the culinary press as well. The Christianshavn ‘hood gem of Noma is a Michelin and media sensation and favorite with star chefs from across the globe. If you head to North Atlantic House, the #6 must-see attraction on our list, try to score a table at this phenomenal restaurant, run by chef RenĂ© Redzepi. But we digress. Check out our favorite attractions in Copenhagen.

10. Frederik’s Church

Copenhagen’s famous Marble Church was built in the mid-18th century with the construction of Frederiksstaden, a royal district built in tribute to Frederick V. Nicolai Eigtved, a master of Rococo, was the designer of Frederik’s and many other vital landmarks in the capital.

9. Amalienborg Palace

Like Amalienborg Palace for instance. Another Nicolai Eigtved Rococo masterpiece, the winter home of the Danish royal family has been in active use since 1760. More a brilliant complex of four palaces than one intact unit, Amalienborg is adjacent to Frederik’s Cathedral and well worth a tour.

8. Christiansborg Palace

The crown jewel of Slotsholmen islet in central Copenhagen has gone through many restorations since it was the medieval castle of Bishop Absalon in 1167. The current incarnation of Christiansborg Palace is a marvelous complex that features pavilions, Royal Reception Rooms, the Queen’s Library and most notably, the Folketinget (Danish Parliament) and Prime Minister’s Office. Best of all, the castle ruins underneath the palace square have been open to the public since 1924.

7. Copenhagen Opera House

It took half a billion dollars to build but the Copenhagen Opera House is a brilliant example of native architect Henning Larsen’s immense talent. The man behind the Roland Levinsky Building in Plymouth and Malmo City Library extension across the Oresund from Copenhagen had virtual carte blanche on the overall conception of the Opera House. The result and inherent details are spectacular.

6. North Atlantic House

A cultural center par excellence with a singular objective to preserve, protect and promote North Atlantic art and culture, the North Atlantic House is a superb point of interest. The joint venture between Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands has a full calendar of events and wonderful permanent exhibitions.

5. Church of Our Saviour

A Baroque masterpiece with iconic corkscrew spire is one of the most familiar landmarks on the Copenhagen skyline. The Church of Our Saviour dates back to the late 17th century while the spire was built some fifty years later, in 1752.

4. Freetown Christiania

What began as a counterculture commune and embodiment of collectivism, anarchism and general dissatisfaction with authority some four decades ago has now become a Copenhagen tourist hotspot. Ironic. The allure? “Open” cannabis trade on “Pusher Street”, yoga and meditation seminars, jazz and experimental music clubs and ridiculous graffiti and street art.

3. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

A short ride from Copenhagen on the shore of Oresund Sound, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a world class facility that seamlessly unites landscape, architecture and contemporary art as one.

2. Kronborg Castle

A gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kronborg Castle dominates the narrow strip of Oresund Sound where Denmark and Sweden almost meet. Geography is precisely why the immense fortress and castle was built here in the 15th century. Most famous as “Elsinore” in the William Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet, Kronborg survives in pristine fashion today and is a mere 40 km from Copenhagen proper.

1. Frederiksborg Palace

Another attraction, another palace. Perhaps but believe us when we proclaim Frederiksborg Palace as perhaps the best must-see attraction in Denmark, let alone the capital region of Copenhagen. The grand Renaissance palace of Nordic Europe, the palace is home to the excellent Museum of National History.

Check out some great hotel deals in the capital of Denmark.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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