Copenhagen is one of Europe’s oldest cities and the capital of Denmark. Definitively one of the most cleanest and metropolitan city I ever visited. A world class destination with beautiful canals and narrow streets. A place where you can appreciate the old colourful homes and many amazing palaces.
Geographically sitting between mainland Europe to the Scandinavia, Denmark is also a cultural melting pot where old fairy tales blend with modernise world class architecture. Most of the time, people will probably pay more attention to it’s bigger Scandinavian neighbours i.e. Norway, Sweden or Finland than Denmark. Denmark actually offers a lot more than what it’s neighbours can offer.
Copenhagen has it’s own history in the name, the original Danish name meant “Merchant’s Habour” and through the German translations and influences, the name “Copenhagen” became popular! From a fishing village to a cosmopolitan city (sounds like Singapore) haha, Copenhagen manage to attract more than a million visitors each year! Now I am going to share with you the reason why, with my own discovery of the top 20 interesting facts about Copenhagen, Denmark.
#1 Copenhagen is the happiest city in the world
The World Happiness Report 2013 shows that, Copenhagen is the happiest city and the best place to live in the world. People are generally chill and friendly. I met Robin, a Danish guy on my Qatar Airway flight from Doha to Copenhagen. We hit off well after few hours of deep conversation and he gave me a free lift to the city centre. We met up that evening and he showed me around in Copenhagen! A fantastic start with superb friendly Danish guy! Of course, met some of his friends and it was awesome! You certainly can’t be “happier” anywhere else in the world! haha The Danes are very good in keeping themselves happy! 🙂
#2 Danes are forever young at heart
Danes are happy, laid back viking decendants, who pride themselves and it is a national obsession to stay young! They love to do activities that keep them happy and young! Not delusional, but real young at heart, even mature Danes will pride their “youth” by doing energetic activities!
#3 Copenhagen’s habour is clean enough for swimming
Copenhagen’s habour has been thoroughly cleaned and the inner habour is clean enough for people to swim. The price of the water bottles are jacked up in Copenhagen, because they want people to drink the tap water instead, which is filtered and very safe for drinking. Perhaps, the real intention is to drink the water from the canal? Easier and cheaper! Looking at my photo, don’t you want to dip into the cold clean waters? haha
#4 Copenhagen rated as top city for cyclists
Similarly to the Dutch, more than half of the population in Copenhagen cycles to work everyday, so the cityscape is domniated by bike lanes and parking space! There are special traffic lights just for the cyclists and the Danish pride themselves to be the best city for cyclists! Thank god, no carbon monoxide pollution in Copenhagen! You are simply happier and healthier! 🙂
#5 The longest car-free shopping road
The Stroget is Scandinavia’s longest car free shopping zone.The mile long pedestrian shopping street is famous for tax free luxury goods shopping, dining, street entertainment and other popular shopping merchandise. Women (or sometimes men) can indulge in this stress free shopping street. Or simply get entertained by the street performers, they were simply fascinating especially appreciated by the poor me! 🙂
#6 The birth of famous fairy tales – The Little Mermaid
The little mermaid bronze statue is one of the most famous landmark in Copenhagen! Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story, the statue was given to city by Carl Jacobsen, a Danish brewer after he saw a ballet of the tale. If you are searching for your mermaid, why not try to get a real Danish mermaid in Copenhagen? Wooo… Scandinavian mermaid… wow! 🙂
#7 Life is full of beach & skinny dippers
The Danish loves to relax at the beach and there are many nude beach for skinny dippers in Denmark! The nudists simple love Denmark for many free beaches or the locals call it CO beaches (Clothes Optional). Nudism in Denmark is perfectly acceptable in most of the beaches! So, if you are a nudist, Copenhagen’s beaches are for you! For flashers out there, you know where you belong now! haha
PS: Of course, I didn’t went to the beach, so I replaced the photo with the local suntanning at the garden instead! 🙂
#8 Hans Christian Andersen wrote many fairy tales in Nyhavn
Many may not know who is Hans Christian Andersen, he is actually a VERY famous Danish fairy tale stories writer! He wrote many great fairy tales and stories, some examples may ring a bell to you, such as
- The Littler Mermaid
- The Little Match Girl: a little girl who forced to sell matches on Xmas eve
- The Ugly Duckling: homely bird that eventually blossom into beautiful swan
- Fantasia: inspired by a part of his story story when a one-legged toy soldier coming alive to save a music box ballerina from the evils.
Hans Christian Andersen, wrote many of his fairy tales and stories in Nyhavn, a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district! With stretches of townhouses, bars, cafes, restaurants, considered as a heritage harbour! The canal is simply beautiful with all the historical wooden ships! Heaps of restaurants including vegetarian/vegan organics, but is very expensive! Comparable to Clarke Quay, Singapore, but nicer weather, happier people and more drunken! haha
#9 Copenhagen’s Tivoli Garden inspired Walt Disney
With such great fairy tale writer, the city will of course, has many fairy tales traces and footprints such as the Tivoli Garden, is the second oldest amusement park in the world! The park opened since 1843, and the urban fairy tale park has inspired Walt Disney in their theme park creations! It is Denmark’s most popular attraction and you could spend entire day watching shows, strolling through the flower park and have an adrenaline rush ride of the 720 meter long roller coaster! Imagine Halloween party is held in Tivoli? The organiser probably do not need to hire part timers anymore! opps…
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
#10 Christiania is a “Freetown” run by the community’s own law
There is a thousand residents living in Christiania, a “freetown” which is a controversial self-government town just outside the city centre. There is absolutely free taxes of cars. and the town is run according to the own community’s law. Visitors are welcome and is safe to visit! You are not allowed to bring in cameras, don’t ever try to be funny in the town, they have their own law! Do you get it? haha Don’t worry, is perfectly safe if you don’t try to be funny! 🙂
#11 Copenhagen is the largest city in Scandinavia
There is a long rivalry between the 2 cities, Copenhagen, Denmark vs Stockholm, Sweden over which city is the largest and should own the title as Scandinavia’s capital. Well, after been to both cities, I find that both are amazing in their own ways. Copenhagen is said to be the biggest city in Scandinavia in terms of city size, whereas Stockholm’s population is higher than Copenhagen. Denmark being the smallest and flattest continental country makes the city fairy easy to walk around without much effort or pain on the legs! 🙂
#12 Enjoy the uncomfortable silence at public transport
When you are talking loudly on the train or bus, you are the odd one out! Everyone is dead silence in the public transport. For introverts, maybe you can appreciate Danish public transport system more? 🙂
#13 The Danish flag is the oldest flag in the world
The flag of Denmark, is the oldest state flag in the world, still in use by an independent nation! According to the legend, the flag was adopted and use independently since 1219. Being a flags collector, I was truly amazed by the history of the Danish flag.
#14 Copenhagen is the safest city in the world
Copenhagen is one of the safest city in the world! Many schools do not require parental consent or permission slips for the children to go for field trips. Children are sometimes left outside alone without the fear of kidnapping or any harm because the Danish pride themselves for the very low crime rate. We have learned in Singapore, prevention is better than cure, low crime doesn’t mean no crime! According to studies, Singapore ranked 2nd as the safest country in the world in 2014, right behind Switzerland and Denmark ranked 9th place. So, perhaps we should let our Singapore children loiter around the neighbourhood, just like back in the nineties. 🙂
#15 The award winning architecture and palaces
The architect of the iconic Sydney Opera House was design by a Danish architect Dane Jorn Utzorn. Such artistic place, filled with happy people, clean waters and safe environment, people are usually more creative! Look how amazing the palaces and buildings in Copenhagen are, they are simply majestic, elegant, exquisitely gorgeous! 🙂
#16 Carlsberg is the most famous Danish beer brand
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum in Copenhagen, collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of founder of Carlsberg Breweries. This is not a breweries collection of beers but an extensive collection of French impressionists paintings, Danish golden age paintings, and antique sculptures from ancient civilizations around Mediterranean including Egyptians, Romans and Greeks sculptures.
Warning: If you are looking to get smashed by Carlsberg, this is NOT the place to be! 🙂
#17 The colour code of the Queen’s guard
The guards wear red for special occasions and wear black when important guests are visiting. You can figure out how important I am to the Danish royal family by looking at the colour of the guard, when I was in Copenhagen! 🙂
#18 The Danish Royal Family is everywhere
Seeing the Danish queen or the royal family is very common in Copenhagen. In fact, the royal family happens to make informal entrances to public events and places such as churches, shops or bars. Imagine how cool will that be if the Royal Princess is queuing behind you at the fast food restaurant, and you do a small talk with her! haha Ok, I am kidding please! 🙂
#19 Authetic Thai vegetarian cuisine in Copenhagen
Just a random discovery for my vegetarian restaurant! Found a Thai restaurant which serves vegetarian Thai dishes. The lady boss Nafas Jan is a very nice lady. She is a half Thai-Danish and she dedicate her life in the kitchen to deliver nice Thai food to the locals who appreciate Thai cuisine. Although is not a full vegetarian restaurant, the restaurant do serves some vegetarian dishes. Do give it a try when you are in Copenhagen.
Address: Sankt Peders Stræde 27, 1453 KBH K
#20 Cleanest city I ever been
After reading my 19 interesting facts about Copenhagen, and looking at my photos, did you realise something? Besides the cute looking backpacker gentleman, and beautiful scenery of Copenhagen, did you realise ALL OF THEM looked exceptionally beautiful and clean! Yes, Copenhagen is the CLEANEST CITY I EVER BEEN! I repeat, CLEANEST! I will never deem Singapore as the cleanest, especially after I visited Copenhagen. The city is so serene, beautiful and clean! Being the happiest, safest, cleanest and best city to live, Copenhagen is definitely the pride of Danish! 🙂
“To be happy is, I guess, the most important thing in life” – Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark