Copenhagen - from Viking fishing village to Royal capital!

Denmark's capital city, Copenhagen is home to over 1.2 million people. Reached by regular flights from Johannesburg or Cape Town with Air France to Copenhagen Airport , which is located just 8 km from the city centre, Copenhagen is an increasingly popular travel destination for short city breaks.

Denmark is a European Union member but has retained its own currency, the Danish Krone. It is, however, a member of the Schengen Area. For more details on customs and visa requirements for Schengen countries, see the regulations
section on the Air France internet site.

Copenhagen has a typically unpredictable Northern Europe climate, with precipitation throughout the year. One thing to note when deciding on when to purchase your airplane tickets is the amount of daylight. In the depths of Winter there are 17 hours of darkness, whilst around mid-Summer the city enjoys 17 and a half hours of daylight!

Copenhagen's history as a royal capital has heavily marked its architecture, and there are several royal residences well worth visiting, including the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces. Amalienborg is the Winter residence of the Danish Royal family, and is a firm favourite amongst tourists for its changing of the guard ceremony by members of the Royal Guard, who are dressed in remarkably similar fashion to their British counterparts at Buckingham Palace. The Christiansborg palace is still used by the monarchy for ceremonial purposes. It is also home to the Danish parliament. A number of museums and attractions are housed on this site, including the Royal Stables; a section of the ruins of the 12th century castle upon which the palace was built; the Queen's tapestries, which offer an overview of Denmark, past, present and even future; and the palace tower, which at 106 metres high, provides excellent views of the city.

Copenhagen plays host to a seamless blend of old and new - cutting-edge cuisine, modern architecture and Hans Christian Andersen!

Danish design has long been a byword for modernity, and this is sure to be very much brought to life during any stay in the Danish capital. Buildings by local architects such as Arne Jacobsen and Henning Larsen, the 'Black Diamond' extension to the Royal Danish Library and the Danish Design Center and Danish Museum of Art and Design illustrate the contribution made to architecture and design by Danish-born creative talent.
Denmark has also been the breeding ground for exceptional creative talent of a different kind recently, namely in the field of the culinary arts. Noma has been named world's best restaurant for several years running, and is at the forefront of a movement called 'New Nordic cuisine'. This Michelin-starred establishment is just one of many excellent restaurants helping to make Copenhagen something of a foodie holiday destination.
It would be impossible to talk about Copenhagen without mentioning one of Denmark's most famous sons, Hans Christian Andersen, whose grave may be seen in Assistens cemetery, along with that of other famous figures such as Niels Bohr, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist. The Danish writer's fairy tale, the Little Mermaid, inspired the creation of one of the world's most recognizable statues, perched on a rock by Copenhagen Harbour. Fans may also be interested in visiting the pretty port of Nyhavn, which is where the author lived for many years. Many canal boat tours of the city also begin their journey here.
Other favourite sights and attractions in the Danish capital include:
  • The Tivoli Gardens
  • Rosenborg Castle
  • The Marble Church
  • The old Citadel
  • The Church of our Saviour
  • The Indre By (the Medieval city)
  • The Experimentarium science museum

Enjoy your stay in Copenhagen to the full with these useful websites!

The following selection of Copenhagen-related websites will help your holiday turn out a treat: