Visits to European cities are on the increase, whether for short weekend breaks or for a longer stay. Budget airline flights have now made these destinations much more accessible for the general public who are eager to see the sights and sounds of Europe.
All too often though, what the visitors leave with is a memory of tourist attractions that they have already seen in photographs or films, whether this be the Acropolis in Greece or the Colosseum in Rome. Whilst certainly not denigrating these fascinating places, Europe’s cities have so much more to offer if the visitor cares to do just a little research.
One such city is Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. This wonderful city is probably best known for the amazing Tivoli Gardens with its one hundred year old amusement park, or the famous Little Mermaid statue that appears on so many postcards. Look below the surface though, and you will find that the city has so much more to offer its visitors than just these two attractions.
The Design Museum
Situated in Bredgade, this wonderful museum offers the visitor the opportunity to view a wide range of decorative arts and crafts from across Asia and the Western world. As well as a permanent collection, there are regular temporary exhibitions to keep even regular visitors interested. With its excellent shop and cafe, this is a wonderful place to relax with a coffee after purchasing a unique souvenir as a memory of your visit.
Although Tivoli Gardens is the best known, Copenhagen offers many other gardens for the visitors that offer a more relaxed, away from the tourists, experience. One of these is Classen’s Garden, situated in Østerbro. If you go through the gates at Classensgade you will enter this world of peace and tranquillity and feel like it is your own personal discovery.
Dyrehavsbakken (often known simply as Bakken)
Although Tivoli claims a one hundred year old amusement park, Bakken, in fact, beats this hands down with its own amusement park which goes back well over 400 years. Situated in some wonderful woodlands around Jægersborg Dyrehave, this is a different experience altogether from Tivoli. Youngsters, though, need not be concerned as the amusement park has been kept up to date with all the rides that other parks can offer too.
This is an unusual and unique experience for visitors to Copenhagen, and a short 15 minute bus trip from the centre will get you there. This is an ideal place to visit for all the family. Althoughscience based, it is also great fun for the kids who will love its dinosaur exhibition which has over 10 complete dinosaurs as well as many other bones.
Blue Planet Aquarium
Although it is not one of the more well known attractions in Copenhagen, this aquarium is, in fact, the largest in Northern Europe and gives its visitors the sense of being underwater, a unique sensation in itself. From hammerhead sharks to Moray eels, these huge aquatic tanks also contain many colourful corals making them a sight to behold.
Finally, not a specific destination, but Copenhagen is a fascinating city in itself with many small side streets with shops and unique experiences to be seen. Rather than consult a guide book, just allow yourself to get lost in the myriad streets and just see what you come across. Sometimes it is the happy accidents like this which make a break really worthwhile.
In Copenhagen, too, you can be sure that if your feet are starting to tire from walking, you will not be far away from a coffee shop that sells some of the best beans in Europe.
Whether you are visiting Denmark’s capital for a week or just for a short weekend break, remember that this is a city with much to offer, and those who seek out the unique attractions which may be slightly off the tourist map will enjoy a fascinating and fulfilling few days in this wonderful European city.
About the author:George Brown is a travel writer who revels in getting off the beaten track and passing on what he finds.