Copenhagen swells with sunny vibes in the summer. Cobblestone streets and parks blossom with cafe tables, bicycles, and live music. And residents relax with bottles of wine or local craft beers along the canals or jump in the amazingly clean harbor water for a swim. Cocoflossing newlyweds Caner and Naz recently basked in the city’s happy glow. Here are a few of their favorite aspects of this friendly capital’s welcoming personality.
Copenhagen has long been one of the best cities for jazz in Europe. In the 1950s and ’60s, African-American musicians found the Danish capital to be a welcome respite from the racial discrimination they faced back home.
Visitors in July can explore the city’s jazz history and current music scene during the 39th annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July 7-16). More than 1,000 performances will take place at venues throughout the city, including Copenhagen’s oldest jazz club, the tiny La Fontaine, the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre, and the harbor front, where audience members can take a dip as the notes float by.
Did you know?The iconic saxophonist Dexter Gordon, who lived in Copenhagen from 1962 to 1976, nicknamed it Copenhagen, and said, “Since I’ve been over here, I’ve felt that I could breathe and just be more or less a human being, without being white or black.”
In 1971, a group of hippies started building homes on an abandoned naval base and established the 84-acre Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the ci. Today, around 1,000 residents live here. The commune continues to apply its own rules, including no cameras, no hard drugs (cannabis is used openly), and no cars.
Did you know? You can’t buy a house here, but you can apply for one. If you’re accepted, the community will give it to you for free!
Opened in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is the world's second-oldest amusement park, and one of the most popular in Scandinavia. Get an old-school thrill on the wooden roller coaster. Built in 1914, it’s one of only seven roller coasters in the world that has a brakeman on board the train. (Let’s just hope they replace those breaks often!) Daredevils should head straight to Vertigo, a ride that whips you upside down at 100 kilometers per hour and pulls 5Gs. For a mellower flight, opt for the Star Flyer. At 262 feet, this classic swing-carousel offers excitement and a gorgeous view of the surrounding city.
Prefer to keep your feet planted safely on the ground? Stroll through the bamboo forest, picnic by the lake, or watch peacocks parade by the water fountains. At night, 100,000 soft-glow light bulbs and at least a million regular bulbs illuminate the gardens, creating a romantic atmosphere — and an astounding electric bill.
Did you know?The park has some famous fans. Fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen visited many times. Walt Disney scribbled copious notes about the rides and landscape when he stopped by in 1951. And Michael Jackson attempted to buy it.
From furniture to everyday housewares, Danish design is famous for its minimal, yet still playful, style. Even the cutlery here is effortlessly cool. Pick up a piece to take home or simply window shop in the up-and-coming Nørrebro and Vesterbro neighborhoods. Or go straight to the shopping street to beat all shopping streets, Strøget, the longest pedestrian-only retail corridor in Europe. Save the cozy collection of hygge home goods at nearby Nordic Nesting for last. They serve customers wine when closing time nears.
Did you know? Pronounced “hoo-guh,” “hygge” was a finalist for the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year.” It’s defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (seen as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”
Can’t get enough Danish design? There’s no better place to dig in than the Designmuseum Danmark. The museum’s extensive collection encompasses furniture, porcelain, fashion and textile design, as well as product and industrial design from around the world. A new permanent exhibit, “The Danish Chair: An International Affair,” features more than 100 chairs and traces the history of how Danish Modern became an internationally recognized, and much coveted, furniture style.
Did you know? You too can purchase a quintessential piece of Danish Modern design. Architect Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair retails for a mere $6,994 - $17,676, depending on the fabric.
1. Currently housed in Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen, Leif Sonne’s collection of more than 20,000 unopened ______ ______ is the largest such collection in the world.
2. Built in 1583, the world’s oldest ______ ______, named Dyrehavsbakken, or Bakken for short, is located 10 minutes north of Copenhagen.
3. As you fly into Copenhagen, you’ll likely see the offshore ______ ______, which supplies the city with about four percent of its energy.
4. Built in honor of Hans Christian Andersen, who lived in Copenhagen his entire life, the ______ ______ statue has been decapitated twice, coated in paint and graffiti, had an arm cut off, and had a sex toy glued to its hand.
5. One of Denmark's most prolific designers, Kay Bojesen became famous for creating more than 2,000 designs for ______ ______, including his his classic monkeys and lovebirds.
6. In Copenhagen, ______ often double as park spaces, where families come to picnic and couples canoodle.
7. Copenhagen’s Glyptotek art museum has a display cabinet filled with 100 plaster ______ that have broken off of Greek and Roman sculptures.
8. In 2014, a woman’s suburban home was overrun with around 200 ______, or flagermus. Unfortunately, there was little she could do because the creatures are protected by Danish law and cannot be killed or removed.
9. Almost every Danish restaurant in Copenhagen serves the country’s traditional ______, called smørrebrød, which is eaten with a knife and fork.
10. Danes eat an average of 42 ______ a year.
11. In 2015, more than 20,000 people gathered to create the largest work of ______ art, covering 18,598 square meters of pavement on Copenhagen’s North Bridge.
Play answers: 1. beer bottles 2. amusement park 3. wind farm 4. Little Mermaid 5. wooden toys 6. cemeteries 7. noses 8. bats 9. sandwich 10. sausages 11. chalk
Indulge in a taste of Denmark at home. In the summer, Danish farmers’ markets burst with bright red strawberries, raspberries, and red currants. A traditional way to enjoy these juicy jewels is rødgrød med øde (red berry pudding with cream). Served cold and bursting with flavor, this silky dessert is a refreshing treat on a warm sunny day.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur
Forget rush hour traffic and parking headaches. Take a cue from the Danes and try cycling to work this week instead. With its 250-miles of bike lanes, Copenhagen has long been hailed as the world’s most bicycle friendly city. Last year, locals cycled 869,919 miles a day, and more than half of them biked to and from work.
Whether you need to get charged up for the day or unwind on the way home, biking to work is a great way to sneak in some exercise and help the planet. So hit those pedals hard (just be sure to pack a change of clothes or baby wipes), or cruise at a more relaxed speed. Either way, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling happier and more invigorated.
Not convinced? Here are four reasons to hop on your bike tomorrow morning.
While most of us know that coffee, sodas, and red wine (*sigh*) can dim our grins, summer brings some particularly sneaky teeth-stainers. Below are a few culprits to watch out for as the temperatures rise. And remember: if it’ll stain your tennis whites, it’ll probably stain your pearly whites.
(*double sigh*) Although red is the heavy hitter when comes to discoloring your chompers, the acidity in white wine opens the pores of your teeth and increases the staining potential of other foods.
Yep — those artificial colors that turn your lips and tongue bright hues stain your teeth, too. And don’t get us started on all that sugar.
Listen to Beyoncé’s album all you want, but sip the acidic drink in moderation. It can erode your enamel.
Frequent swimmers beware. The chemically treated water in pools can give your smile a brownish tint. Eww!
Blueberries and blackberries are loaded with flavor and antioxidants, but they’re also packed with staining power. Luckily, eating strawberries a afterward can help counteract this attack. Their slight acidity helps remove some of the discoloration without damaging your enamel.
Did you know?Bluetooth wireless technology is named a after a 10th-century ruler of Denmark, King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson. Most scholars think the Viking king was nicknamed, Blåtand, or Bluetooth, because he had a prominent dead tooth, but some stories say it was his love of blueberries that gave his teeth a dark tinge.