FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Host a Fabled Business Event in Wonderful Copenhagen

by Becca Hensley

Sep 23, 2021

PHOTO: © ANDRII VATSYK | DREAMSTIME .COM

September 2021

I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy … and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.

Copenhagen itself reigns as an utterly modern city on the sea. With Viking history and a royal family, it’s known for world-class gastronomy, ingenious design, and hygge, that state of cozy contentment and conviviality that fuels the Danes. Set on a captivating harbor and boat-brimming waterways; composed of timbered houses bright with flower-profuse window boxes along cobbled streets; home to castles, museums, contrasting modern architecture and its smaller-than-expected mermaid statue, the city pleases visitors instantly.

Thankfully, the city of approximately 1 million inhabit- ants is easy to navigate. Most Danes speak English. Stellar transport links offer efficient subway routes, buses and trains, including the easy, fast departure from Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, to Copenhagen Central Station. A devotedly eco-minded locale, the City of Spires teems with bike riders and is a trendsetter in eco-conscious living — even the airport has been CO2 neutral since 2019. Certified with the Green Tourism Organization seal of approval, Copenhagen proudly offers an abundance of Green Key Hotels; a slew of farm-to-fork, locavore-driven restaurants (try Chef Kamilla Seidler’s Restaurant Lola for a treat); and a tendency to do everything with cleanliness and the future in mind — including ways to help meeting planners facilitate green conventions of all sizes.

While century-old Tivoli Gardens may be Copenhagen’s unofficial living room, as popular with locals as tourists, the amusement park stands out as one of the most sought-after locations for events of any size. With nostalgic game booths and rides, it also features world-class restaurants, bars, a biergarten, a massive center stage for performances and swanky Nimb Hotel. Its rooms with terraces hover over the park, ideal for cocktail parties. Consider taking over a ride or the entire park for a grand finale event. Affiliated with and inspired by the park, The Tivoli Congress Center lies a short walk away between the vibrant Meatpacking District (a favorite for gastronomes) and the harbor. It offers a grand hall with capacity for 2,400; a variety of smaller venues hosting up to 475; and tailored packages for any size event.

With its 2021 addition of the Bella Arena, the colossal Bella Center expanded to become Scandinavia’s largest congress hall. Able to accommodate a startling 30,000 people in more than 100 meeting rooms (some with water views), the center often hosts international political conferences and chic events such as Copenhagen International Fashion Fair. The contemporary complex rises near the airport, a short shuttle ride to city center facilitated by its own train stop. Its various entrances allow for simultaneous meetings and events. The adjacent AC Hotel Bella Sky, with 811 rooms, coordinates seamlessly with the immense venue.

Architectural buffs and marine life fans will want to book The Danish National Aquarium, The Blue Planet, a magnificent building by Danish architects 3XN. Evoking swirling water, the aluminum-clad structure holds the largest aquarium in Northern Europe, presenting a coterie of fascinating sea creatures as well as conference facilities for 1,000. With views of Øresund sound, it promises behind-the-scenes tours of the exhibits.

Three artsy options for summits include The Royal Theatre’s Old Stage, the National Gallery of Denmark and the Royal Danish Playhouse. The first, with space for 1,400, is a Baroque marvel, awash in gilt, glamour and chandeliers. Its foyer overlooks Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen’s most famous square, a perfect spot for elegant sit-down dinners. Best of all, the entire theater can be rented for private gala performances. Equally engaging, the National Gallery of Denmark, an impressive trove of Danish and international art, offers theaters and exhibition rooms for meeting use. Organize an after-hours tour for your art-loving VIPs. At the waterfront Royal Danish Playhouse, three smaller venues can incorporate smaller cocktail receptions or standing buffets, though the entire location can be bought out for larger events.

Named over and over as one of the world’s most livable cities, wonderful Copenhagen fuses its past and present to create extraordinary support for conventioneers intent on writing their own Andersen-worthy business tale.

UNIQUE VENUES

THE LOCOMOTIVE WORKSHOP
Stretching 100,000 square feet, this industrial-hip, former train repair shop presents a commodious space which can be sectioned off in myriad ways. Popular for trade shows, it sits near the boho neighborhood of leafy Vesterbro.

VILLA COPENHAGEN
A refurbished post office, circa 1912, that brims with art, this stylish hotel is centrally sited. Stunning convention rooms are positioned beneath an evocative hidden garden, and a rooftop pool vaunts views of adjacent rooftops.
villacopenhagen.com

THE ORANGERY
Amid all the chaos of Tivoli Gardens, a tranquil space awaits for quiet cocktail parties and intimate dinner meetings. Set behind Nimb Terrasse at the bridge over Tivoli Lake, the graceful, circular, glass-walled venue channels Tivoli’s nostalgic spirit. Equally like eating in a garden, the greenhouse at Gemyse Tivoli, Copenhagen’s top plant-based restaurant, nestles in a hushed corner of Tivoli, surrounded by blooming flowers, plants and other greenery. Choose this spot for tasteful, small group get-togethers.
tivoligardens.com

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