What’s Doing in Copenhagen

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Many visitors are unaware that Copenhagen is also a city of canals. Located in the waterfront district of Christianshavn, the canals played an important role in the city’s history. The Nyhavn canal runs from Kongens Nytorv (the King’s New Square) to the harbor and ships used it to bring their cargo inland.

The Nyhavn district features historical wooden ships and offers visitors a variety of bars, restaurants, and cafes, some dating back to the 17th century. Take advantage of a guided canal tour, offered in both Danish and English, on a sunny day.

No visit to the city is complete without a visit to the Little Mermaid, a bronze statue of a mermaid perched on a rock at the Langelinie promenade near the Kastellet. Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the Little Mermaid was created in 1913 by Edvard Eriksen. The face and head of the statue are said to be modeled on Ellen Price, a ballerina with the Copenhagen Royal Theater, and the body on the sculptor’s wife’s.

Christiania

Christiania

The Copenhagen Zoo is also popular with visitors, both for the animals – which come from Asia, Africa, the Arctic Circle, Australia, and South America – but also for its wooden observation tower 142.7 feet (43.5 meters) high, which offers visitors a spectacular view of the surrounding city.

Finally, for an experience that can’t be found anywhere else, visit Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous district that resembles a 1970s hippie commune with approximately 1,000 residents, many living in houses they built themselves. Yoga and meditation are two of favorite activities here while visitors come to enjoy an afternoon of people watching. While its own governing rules forbid stealing, violence, guns, and the use of hard drugs, pretty much anything else goes (until 2004, its main thoroughfare, known as Pusher Street, had permanent stands at which hash and marijuana were openly sold) and Christiania is frequently cited as a showcase for Danish liberalism.

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