The Danish capital of Copenhagen is quite a popular city break destination in Scandinavia. For me, it’s the cakes and coffee scenes that have drawn me to visit. I spent 3 days in Copenhagen for a short solo trip. Besides a stomach full of cakes and coffees, I also learned and discovered a number of interesting facts about Copenhagen. Want to learn more? In this article, I have put together 11 Copenhagen facts to cover all the cool things you need to know about the city.
10 fun facts about Copenhagen
Are you planning a trip to Copenhagen? Check these out too:
Copenhagen is one of the happiest cities in the world
It’s no secret that Denmark has long been one of the happiest nations in the world. And Danish cities often rank at the top of the world’s happiest cities, including Copenhagen. This happiness index is measured by several things, including GDP per capita, social well-being, health system, mental well-being, lifestyle, etc. During my brief visit to Copenhagen, I absolutely admire its high standard of living and the way the city accepts Hygiene Lifestyle. The word ‘hygge’ is best translated as “creating a warm environment and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” Hygge is believed to be the key to the Danes’ pursuit of everyday happiness and contributes to being the happiest city and country in the world.
It is home to the best restaurant in the world – Noma
Copenhagen is known for its innovative cuisine and there is no shortage of high-end restaurants with creative takes on Nordic cuisine. There are a total of 15 Michelin-starred restaurants in Copenhagen. But there is one that has been crowned, not only in the country, but as the best restaurant in the world – No mom. despite a very High priced, the restaurant continues to attract many people from all over the world and tables are reserved many months in advance. I have not had the privilege (or the money) to experience this one-of-a-kind dining experience. But those who did describe it as a mind-blowing culinary revolution and state of the art.
Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.
One of the most famous landmarks in Copenhagen is the Tivoli Gardens. The famous gardens and amusement park first opened in 1843, making it the second oldest amusement park in the world. Disneyland is also believed to be directly inspired by Tivoli Gardens. If you’re wondering where the oldest is, it’s called the Bakken in Kampenborg, which is also in Denmark.
Here is an additional Copenhagen fact for you. Tivoli Gardens’ oldest attraction, the wooden roller coaster, dates back to 1914 and is one of the only 7 roller coasters around the world that have a brakeman on board every train! Aside from the carnival rides, Tivoli Gardens also regularly hosts concerts, musicals, ballets, etc. and it is a very nice park to visit. Entrance to the park before 6 pm is DKK 145 and becomes more expensive after 6 pm This does not include any travel, but you can buy a package tour ticket, starting at DKK 165+.
Freetown Christiania is a small autonomous area within the city
You will immediately notice a change when you meet Christiania, be it for better or worse. The vibe, atmosphere and behavior of Freetown Christiania present a stark contrast to the rest of Copenhagen. One can call it more hippie and liberal, or one can call it badass depending on how you look at it.
Freetown Christiania is an autonomous area that is completely independent from the Danish government. It is an autonomous anarchist region started by a group of hippies who broke down the fence of an abandoned military area and started squatting there. Since then, they have built an entire community for those who rebel against authoritarian bureaucracy and capitalism. They even have their own flag, anthem, and currency!
One of the most famous things about Freetown Christiania is its notoriety for the open trade in cannabis despite the fact that it is illegal in Denmark. This takes place on the famous Pusher Street, also known as the Green Light District, and there are rules to follow if you want to visit. Rule 1 is not to take photos, and rule 2 is not to run, as that usually leads to panic about police raids. There are no hard drugs or gangs present in the area (not anymore). Today the area is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen to see and experience something different. As long as you play by the rules, it’s a great place to visit.
Copenhagen has the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world
When I was in Copenhagen, I didn’t realize at all that the street I walked up and down many times was the longest pedestrian street in the world. It didn’t feel that long, to be honest! Strøget is Copenhagen’s main shopping street, where you can find all kinds of shops, from budget and high-end shops to luxury designer brands, etc. The street is completely car-free and 1.1 km long, stretching from Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square to Kongens Nytorv.
There are more bicycles than cars in the city.
Scandinavia is a pioneer in sustainable and environmental urban living. This includes Copenhagen, ie one of the most cycleable cities in the world, and most people own bikes for commuting and commuting. In fact, there are approximately five times more bicycles than cars in the city! All roads and even highways have dedicated bike lanes and traffic is impressively well organized.
The city will be totally carbon neutral by 2025
Continuing on the theme of green living, Copenhagen has an ambitious goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2025. This would make them the world’s first city and set the model for the rest of us. The capital has a clear vision and roadmap to combine growth, development and increased quality of life with the reduction of CO2 emissions.
As mentioned, the bicycle is the most popular form of transport and there are great efforts to promote the use of public transport (which is super efficient) and walking. Most places in the city are certified organic and most of the food served is organic. They already have incredible infrastructure and will undoubtedly lead the way for the rest of the world.
The Little Mermaid statue is built on the basis of the fairy tale and the story does not have a happy ending.
The fact that the Little Mermaid statue is based on the fairy tale is quite obvious, especially since Hans Christian Andersen, i.e. the author, is Danish and has lived in Copenhagen. Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen fell in love with the Little Mermaid character after seeing a ballet performance, so much so that he ended up commissioning sculptor Edvard Eriksen to build a statue for the city. The face of the statue is directly inspired by the dancer who played the character.
We are all familiar with Disney’s version of how the fairy tale unfolds. But if you look closely at the statue, you will notice that the mermaid has quite a sad expression on her face. This is because Hans Christian Andersen’s original version of the story does not have a happy ending. In addition to giving up her mermaid voice and tail to be on land with her Prince Charming, the story also says that she will turn to foam on the waves and disappear forever if the prince marries another. And this is exactly how the story ended: the mermaid looking wistfully out to sea remembering the happier days before she turned into sea foam.
Nyhavn is the home of the famous author Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, but spent most of his life in Copenhagen, which inspired much of his work. He lived mainly in Nyhavn in house no. 20, and he too has lived at no. 67 and no. 18. There are two statues dedicated to him in Copenhagen: one in Kongens Have and the other outside City Hall. If you have more time in Copenhagen, you can take a day trip to Odense (1 hour by train from Copenhagen Central Station) to visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.
Denmark is part of the EU but does not use euros
Denmark has been part of the EU since 1973, but has negotiated to opt out of using euros as its currency. The official currency of Denmark is the Danish Krone (KRR).
It was a man from Copenhagen who invented the first hamburger.
I bet this little fact is a surprise. He certainly did it for me! The hamburger is recognized as an American national dish. However, it was not an original American who invented it. Officially recognized by the Library of Congress, it was a man named Louis Lassen, a Dane from Copenhagen, who invented it. Fair enough, the creation happened in the US as Louis had moved to the states at the time. But still, it is something the Danes take pride in.
Apparently, one day, a man rushed into Louis’s cafe and ordered something to go. Specifically, the man said, “punch a pudding between two flanks and step on it.” So Louis obeyed and placed a flattened meatball between toasted buns, and the original burger was born. Then his grandson added cheese, and a cheeseburger was born!