There’s a reason people here are said to be the happiest in the world (according to a recent World Happiness Report — yes, that’s a thing). The coastal city has fresh salty air, pretty historic buildings, and charm in spades. It's also compact enough that most attractions are within easy reach of the cruise ship terminal.
What We Love
Tivoli Gardens: Opened in 1843, this picturesque amusement park and pleasure garden is said to be among the oldest in the world. Dance, music, and theater performances often take place here.
Strøget: One of the longest pedestrian streets in the world, this thoroughfare in the heart of the city is home to the best international and local boutiques, and high-end department stores like Illum and Magasin, making it the perfect place to pick up a stylish Danish-modern souvenir.
Best Known For
Noma: If you've heard of René Redzepi’s restaurant, it's not because a little bird told you. The gastronomic heavyweight has been showered with all sorts of accolades, including two Michelin stars.
Hans Christian Andersen: The fairy tale author called the city home, and the Danes are justifiably proud. Hardcore fans can travel 90 minutes by train to his childhood home (now a museum) in Odense, but for most visitors, a stroll past the waterfront "Little Mermaid" statue will suffice.
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Who It's Best For
Foodies: You’re more likely to get struck by lightning than get a reservation at Noma, but Copenhagen is teeming with other superb New Nordic restaurants. Geranium, Restaurant AOC, and Relae are among the standouts at the high end, but even the neighborhood smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) place is likely to be pretty good.
History Buffs: Home to Europe's oldest monarchy, Copenhagen is chockablock with castles, museums, and historic buildings that can all be toured.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Taxis Can Be Crazy Expensive: Use public transit, or make like the locals and rent a bike.
It’s Not on the Euro: If you’re on a European itinerary, your first stop should be at a local ATM.
Ann Abel is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Departures.