Photo: Nyhavn Canal © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com
Built atop a throng of coastal islands, Copenhagen is Denmark at its best. The area of Indre By (inner city) embraces the luminous Nyhavn canal zone, where the waterside crayon-colored historic buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries house the former home of author Hans Christian Andersen and a multitude of shops and cafés.
The city is easily walkable, and its transportation choices include seasonally offered canal tours — an excellent way to view landmarks such as the Little Mermaid statue perched upon a rock at Langelinje Pier. You can get around with a Copenhagen Card, offering entrance to 74 museums and free use of bus, Metro and commuter trains.
For a sense of place with historical context, visit Rosenborg Castle, home to a spectacular rose garden and the Danish Crown Jewels. Follow up a tour of the Danish Rococo Amalienborg Palace and daily Changing of the Royal Guard with a visit to Designmuseum Danmark next door. The permanent exhibition showcases works by Danish design masters.
In Indre By you’ll find Strøget, one of the oldest and most extensive pedestrian streets in Europe, which spills directly into Kongens Nytorv (The King’s New Square). The illustrious Hotel D’Angleterre overlooks the square. Dating to the 1700s, the splendid high-ceilinged rooms, suites and dining areas boast a storied history and stunning features such as a glass mosaic roof above the Palm Court, designed by artist Albano Poli, and the Michelin-starred Restaurant Marchal.
Delicious open sandwiches called smørrebrød are a Danish tradition, made with a choice of fresh ingredients such as salmon, smoked chicken or herring dressed and arranged on a single slice of dark, dense rye bread. Try one at Royal Smushi Café at 6 Amagertorv, where the contemporary fairy-tale décor ranks it among the area’s most gorgeous cafés for coffee sipping and pastry nibbling.
End the day with culinary sizzle: dinner at award-winning no. 2. Recognized as Best Sommelier in both Denmark and the Nordic nations, Christian Aarø co-owns this Nordic luxury bistro with Chef Søren Selin. Menus feature Denmark’s best products plus a staggering wine list and selection of local beers created at Herslev Brewery.