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15 Things To Love About Copenhagen

15 Things To Love About Copenhagen

With world-class cuisine and culture, the Danish capital has something for everybody.

Flying into Copenhagen as the first stop on our three-city gay European adventure was the right move. It’s a manageable, modern airport, and just a short 20 minute metro ride takes you into the heart of the Danish capital. In this thousand-year-old city, pride in Danish culture and history is etched into the very stone. From here, we'd soon continue on to Munich and Stockholm. In a place with as much majesty as Copenhagen, there are endless things (and people) to fall in love withhere are some of our favorites:

Green Spaces: Danes appreciate nature, and they’re proud of their nation’s beauty, so it’s no surprise that Copenhagen is full of greenery. On a sunny day, the city’s many parks well with visitors. Ørstedsparken, located near the central Nørreport Station, has long been a favorite with gay men. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki) 

Biking Culture: Copenhagen is bikers paradise—in many areas, the traffic has been designed around their needs rather than cars! Biking is a great way to explore the city, and their prevalence means both clean air and many well-toned Danish legs. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Eco-Conscious: Flying into Copenhagen, there are windmills as far as the eye can see. Denmark is such a clean energy powerhouse, in fact, that it exports wind energy abroad! The eco-consciousness pervades all of society, and one of our favorite examples is Fiskebarn. The very popular restaurant located in the up-and-coming Kødbyen (mean-packing district) in Vesterbro actually recycles the exhaust from the kitchen, purifying it and then using it to heat the rest of the building in winter. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Hans Christian Anderson: Given the magical quality of Copenhagen, it’s fitting that fairytales lie at the heart of its identity. Hans Christian Andrerson, who wrote 'The Ugly Duckling,' 'The Emperor’s New Clothes,' and 'The Little Mermaid,' is buried in Assistens Kirkegård in Nørrebro, and a replica of his Little Mermaid is one of the city’s most visited attractions. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Coffee: Scandinavians love their coffee strong, and Copenhageners are no exception. You’re never far from a café in the Danish capital. Coffee Collective, a chain, is one of the very best. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Beer: From the Middle Ages, Danes have had a reputation for heavy drinking. They still know how to indulge today, but with a heightened taste. Danish breweries like Mikkeller and WarPigs (pictured first) are world renown for specialty brews and innovative partnerships. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki) 

Smørrebrød: While Denmark has been at the forefront of the New Nordic culinary revolution, Danes are also a people to celebrate their traditional fare. Smørrebrød, Danish open-faced sandwiches, are as traditional as it gets. Hearty rye bread topped with anything from herring to new potatoes, with a glass of beer and a shot of aquavit, it’s a taste of history. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Neon Lights in Nørrebro: A series of lakes span the distance between Vesterbro and Nørrebro, the remnants of a medieval mote that protected the city. Today, they’re the perfect place for a stroll, and if you’re walking past Dronning Louises Bro, be sure to enjoy the historic neon lights adorning the rooftops. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

The Royals: While she may be less well known than her British cousin, Queen Mathilde II of Denmark heads the oldest monarchy in Europe. Over a thousand years old, the royal presence in Copenhagen is palpable—and very popular! Rosenborg Castle was built as a summer residence by Christian IV. Set among the beautiful Kongens Haven (King’s Garden), today it houses the crown jewels and many priceless pieces of art. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Food Markets: When the weather is nice, Danes love nothing more than to be outside. Open air food markets, like Mad og Marked, held weekly in Kødbyen in the summer, boasts a huge selection of international cuisine and local beer. There’s also Copenhagen Street Food, located on Papirøen near Christianshavn, an indoor street food market open year round. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Waterfronts: In Copenhagen, you’re never far from the water. Nyhavn, the iconic central harbor, is a great place to people watch while enjoying some quality Danish food and drink. You can also hop onto a canal boat tour, which is the best way to see the city. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Torvehallerne: Another great market—half indoors, half outdoors—for shopping and meals is Torvehallerne. Located centrally near Nørrebro station, there’s always a free sample to be had. And with guys like these serving them up, who could say no? (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

La Glace: The upside of eating healthy and riding bikes everywhere is that Danes are free to enjoying some guilt-free treats—and the Danes love their sweets. For classic cakes (and decadent hot chocolate), La Glace is a must. Under direction from Lars Juul-Mortensen, a self-professed bear, the special Stjernekraes was developed in honor of Copenhagen hosting the OutGames in 2009. It’s one of their biggest sellers. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

Royal Copenhagen: The easiest way to feast like a queen is to eat off the very same plates the royals do. For hundreds of years, Royal Copenhagen has been the official purveyor of porcelain to the Danish royal family—and just about every Danish household has a collection for special occasions. Everything is hand painted, and if you pop into their flagship store on Amagertorv, you can watch the artisans at work.   

Regnbuepladsen: In 2014, a small central square was renamed Regnbuepladsen, or Rainbow Square, in honor of the adjacent Town Hall, which performed the world’s first official same-sex union in 1989. And with Oskar, a gay café and bar, situated right on its corner, it couldn’t be in better company. (Photo: Przemek Czaicki)

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