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Copenhagen

Text: Nika Gričar

Copenhagen, the "Paris of the North" is the capital of Denmark and the economic, cultural and educational centre of the country. It is situated on the east coast of the island of Zealand. You will fall in love with the city at first sight, captivated by its charm, small size and fairy-tale air that also inspired Hans Christian Andersen. Copenhagen's citizens have a reputation for being rather unapproachable but are actually extremely hospitable. The livelier side of their character is also often in evidence, particularly at weekends when they relax over foaming mugs of beer.

#1 Hop-On Hop-Off

A unique opportunity to explore the Danish capital while resting legs that are tired from walking, the Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing tour covers all of Copenhagen's must-see sights. Ride an open-topped double-decker bus and enjoy the views offered by this wonderful city. You can decide the speed of your sight-seeing tour yourself, hopping off and on the bus wherever you like. Bus tickets are valid for 24 hours. For your comfort the buses have an electrically operated roof in case of rain and are heated in winter.

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Photo: Stromma Danmark

#2 Nyhavn

Once Copenhagen's main harbour, Nyhavn is today a popular tourist attraction. The colourful 17th- and 18th-century houses with their white-framed windows once provided accommodation and victuals for the sailors whose ships entered the harbour to deliver their cargo or land their catch. Today the Nyhavn waterside is an entertainment district. In the summer months it is a popular gathering place, with bars and restaurants full of people enjoying beer, great food and jazz. The celebrated Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen lived in this district for more than 18 years.

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#3 Rosenborg Castle

This royal castle was built in the early 17th century in the Flemish Renaissance style typical of Danish buildings of that period. Originally a summer residence for the royal family, the castle today serves as a museum, where visitors can view rich collections spanning royal Danish culture from the late 16th century to the 19th century. Filled with an interesting variety of furnishings and works of art, its rooms and halls will take you on a historical journey through 400 years of royal life at the castle.

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Photo: Peter Norby

#4 National Aquarium Denmark

With more than 7 million litres of water in 53 aquarium tanks, Denmark's National Aquarium – also known as Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet) – is located right on the coast, not far from Copenhagen Airport, meaning that you will be able to catch a glimpse of this remarkable building as your plane comes in to land. Seen from the air, the building resembles a giant starfish. Viewed at ground level, it becomes a winding, silver-grey creature covered in 33,000 aluminium scales. Visitors enter the aquarium via the longest arm, which is surrounded by a reflection pool that blends with the surroundings and draws visitors into an underwater world of rivers, lakes and oceans.

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Photo: Den Blå Planet

#5 Carlsberg

The Carlsberg district is a symbol of Copenhagen and one of its main attractions. The district is the site of the original Carlsberg brewery that was opened by Jacob Christian Jacobsen in 1847 and named after his son Carl. The old brewery complex has an interesting entrance known as the Elephant Gate because of the four stone elephants that flank it – said to have been brought here from China more than 100 years ago. An interactive tour gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the development of the brewery from its founding to the present day. The brewery museum also houses the largest collection of unopened beer bottles in the world: an astonishing 21,800 of them, which is a Guinness world record. End your visit with a beer tasting.

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Photo: Visit Carlsberg