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Copenhagen (IPA /ˈkoʊpənheɪɡən/ or /ˈkoʊpənhɑːɡən/; Danish: København [kʰøb̥m̩ˈhɑʊ̯ˀn] (About this sound listen)) is the capital of Denmark and its most populous city, with an urban population of 1,213,822 (as of 1 January 2012) and a metropolitan population of 1,950,522 (as of 1 January 2013). Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of Zealand and stretches across part of Amager. A number of bridges and tunnels connect the parts of the city together, and the cityscape is characterized by promenades and waterfronts.

Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the beginning of the 15th century. During the 17th century, under the reign of Christian IV, it became a significant regional centre. Since the turn of the millennium, Copenhagen has seen a strong urban and cultural development, partly due to massive investments in cultural facilities and infrastructure. Since the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become increasingly integrated together with the Swedish city of Malmö, growing into a combined metropolitan area, known as the Øresund Region.

Copenhagen is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it houses various economic sectors. It is an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe, offering marine transportation and shipping lanes in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Copenhagen is among the financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and home of many companies such as Maersk, Carlsberg Group and Novo Nordisk. Copenhagen has 89,000 students enrolled in its educational institutions.

A diverse infrastructure allows for a blend of bicycles, cars and public transport while the Copenhagen Metro serves central Copenhagen, the S-train connects the outlying boroughs. The Copenhagen Airport is largest airport in the Nordic countries, serving 23.3 million passengers in 2012[5]


Le Petit Tortus

The coolest, most cosmopolitan, most exciting and, yes, Danny Kaye was right, the most wonderful city in Scandinavia (don’t argue Stockholm): welcome to Copenhagen (København).

These days the Danish capital is blossoming. There is a spring in its step borne from a mixture of some brave new architecture, continued prosperity and a burgeoning confidence in its own charms. There are more cafés and restaurants than ever and, more importantly, the locals are learning how to use them. It used to be that Copenhageners ate out on special occasions only and nights out were restricted to Friday and Saturday only, but that’s all changed. Even on a wet Wednesday in February the bars and cafés will be buzzing, that all important hyggelige (cosy) atmosphere fostering a uniquely Danish sense of wellbeing and conviviality.

In a way, the rest of the world woke up to how great this historic city of canals, cobbled squares and copper spires was before the locals did, but it is at last sinking in that the world now looks to Copenhagen for the best in design, architecture and fashion and is beginning also to notice the extraordinary culinary revolution that has taken place here over the last decade.

If you are looking for an earthy, hardcore travel experience look elsewhere. Copenhagen is clean, safe and ridiculously easy to get to know, the locals all speak superb English and the transport system makes London’s look like it’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It usually makes the top five, if not the top spot, in those ‘most liveable city’ lists. And if you are looking for a budget destination, you might also want to reconsider your plans. This is not a cheap city by any means, but then neither is it any more expensive than any other major European city – London and Paris will hit your pocket harder.