Before going to Denmark, all I knew of the country was pastries, Carlsberg, and Sandi Toksvig. I had been intrigued by the nation, seeing books on their idea of ‘hygge’, and marvelling at Scandinavian design, but I really knew nothing. I can now confidently say I’d recommend a visit to anyone.
The place that I fell in love with was Copenhagen. It is understated and appears far too quiet for a capital, but this peaceful aura perfectly complements the city break of your dreams. Once you’ve had time to find your feet, the city reveals itself – inviting you in to see art, history, design, and yes, pastries.
As a film student, I was thrilled to be able to make it to the Danish Film Institute- a small, unassuming building which, at the time, was hidden behind an array of scaffolding. Behind it, however, was a wonderful centre for Danish and international film, and a cinema screen that showed us (perhaps tailored to the toddlers present) a variety of short kid’s animations- only one of which was in English. After watching ants build trampolines and a Swedish pig befriend various woodland animals, we made our first of many pastry stops. Denmark did not fall short of my pastry expectations. However, beware that there are just as many savoury pastries as sweet, and they don’t always look different- shoutout to the potato, cheese and mustard seed pastry I attempted.
Once you’ve had time to find your feet, the city reveals itself – inviting you in to see art, history, design, and yes, pastries.
Copenhagen is host to a range of museums and galleries, including my favourite: Statens Museum for Kunst (not one to say out loud near your parents) which has a fantastic collection of art from Denmark, as well as international collections. Other key attractions include boat tours around Copenhagen, a stunning way to learn more about the city; Superkilen, a unique park bringing together Copenhagen’s multicultural heritage; and Tivoli Gardens- a vintage-themed funfair and theme park where I won a game of Galoppen (as seen on Travel Man) and never felt more alive.
The daytime activities were obviously great, but the nightlife was built to match! Endless bars line the streets and plazas with Mediterranean-esque marquees and spritzes. As my sister and I found our way around the city’s bars (including a particularly lovely jazz bar), we noted how incredibly safe we felt. Copenhagen just exudes comfort. As two women wandering around an unknown city, with absolutely no sense of direction, and a bit drunk- we never felt unsafe. This feels about right for a country named the happiest in the world.
Although it rained for most of my visit, my eagerness to explore was never dampened. With a stellar public transport system, activities for all ages, and a feeling of peace seeping out of the very fabric of the country, Denmark has found a recipe for success.