Top 20 Facts about the City of Copenhagen


Copenhagen is the largest city and capital of Denmark. No one could have predicted that the small fishing village could become one of the most spoken highly of cities in the world. Once called ‘Havn’ Copenhagen identified as a fishing village as most of its inhabitants live off of fishing in the Øresund- Copenhagen is located in the Amager and Zealand islands.

Copenhagen holds Denmark’s government and is home to the Danish royal family. Here below are the top 20 facts about the city of Copenhagen that will make you more familiar with the charming city.

1. The City of Copenhagen is going green

Street in Copenhagen- by CAPTAIN RAJU- Wikimedia Commons

Copenhagen is way ahead of many other cities in the world in the quest to go green. It has in its books plans to become completely carbon neutral by the year 2025, and is well on its way there- the city of Copenhagen has cut its carbon emissions by at least a third in the past decade.

The use of wind and solar power which visitors to the city can see as they fly into Copenhagen, as well as putting up alternative heating systems that recycle waste materials has greatly helped in this quest.

2. The city of Copenhagen is a cycling city

Bicycle Parking in Copenhagen- by Grey Geezer- Wikimedia Commons

Copenhagen has dedicated about 250 miles to bike lanes for use by its residents who use bicycles as a main mode of transportation. More than half of Copenhagen’s residents commute via bike- on a normal day, you will find sidewalks and city squares jammed with bicycles.  This is in use so much so that there is a cycling superhighway constructed, which is a go-between the city and Albertslund suburb.

3. The city of Copenhagen boasts swimming areas within the city center

Copenhagen Harbour- by Leonora (Ellie) Enking- Wikimedia Commons

Copenhagen is the city where you can decide to take a random dip while in the city center and will not fall short of places to do this. Copenhagen boasts several swimming holes in the heart of the city. The clean water around the Copenhagen Harbor is credited to the city’s officials who were intentional with having it cleaned many years back.

4. Copenhagen’s Carlsberg brewery hosts the world’s largest collection of unopened beer bottles

Carlsberg beer collection- by Rudolphous- Wikimedia Commons

Leif Sonne is a Danish engineer who had the brilliant idea to simply collect unopened beers. His collection that became too large to keep at his home now sits at the prestigious Carlsberg brewery. The collection boats at least 22,000 unopened bottles of beer from various styles produced in the last 50 plus years. The beauty of Sonne’s collection is that the beers are from various geographical regions around the world.

For his collection, Sonne earned the Guinness Book world record title for the largest collection of beer bottles in the world. The collection is usually open to the public for viewing- your favorite local brand may just be in the collection!

5. Copenhagen lost a third of its citizens to the bubonic plague in 1711

The bubonic plague is a rare but serious infection of the lymphatic system, which spreads through infected fleas or animals, like rodents, squirrels, or hares. The plague is passed onto humans if bitten or scratched by the host animal.

The plague seeped through to Copenhagen killing off at least a third of the 60,000 citizens in Copenhagen. The pandemic in 1711 however wasn’t the first in Copenhagen. There had been an outbreak in the previous century.

6. Copenhagen hosts the world’s oldest amusement park

Picnic goers at Dyrehavsbakken- by Bakken/PR- Wikimedia Commons

Dyrehavsbakken Park in Copenhagen is the world’s oldest amusement park- it was operational as far back as 1583! Dyrehavsbakken came to be when residents discovered a natural spring at the same location which supposedly had curative properties thus drawing crowds.  With that came various performers and hawkers selling their wares, making the park carnival-like.

The Dyrehavsbakken Park is open today- you can enjoy a cabaret, clown shows, ride a rollercoaster, or enjoy a drink at the pub.

7. The City of Copenhagen lost many of its medieval structures

Inside Copenhagen University Library- by kimyeti- Wikimedia Commons

A fire broke out in Copenhagen in 1728 and razed down nearly half of the city’s medieval structures. This was the largest fire yet in the city’s history, that went on for almost three days! A combination of factors made it difficult to contain this fire- strong winds, empty water conduits, drunken firefighters, and narrow streets did not help the situation.

Imagine what Copenhagen’s architecture would be like if this didn’t happen given that the city is already beautiful as it is. Among the buildings lost in this fire was the University of Copenhagen Library- the damage here was devastating as the library held more than 35,000 books and manuscripts.

In 1739 and 1807, second and third fires burnt down more buildings, unfortunately. Currently, very few remnants of the old city are present; there was a building renaissance for Copenhagen.

8. Copenhagen hosts a 10- mile long bridge

Øresund Bridge by Marcus Bengtsson- Wikimedia Commons

The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö, Sweden, and the distance between the two cities is a whopping 10 miles long! Railway passengers in their thousands and more than 6 million vehicles traverse across the bridge annually. There is a particular thrill as one passes over the elevated bridge, across the Pebrholm manmade island, and down the Drogden tunnel.

9. The City of Copenhagen has parks in cemeteries!

Odense Assistens Kirkegård cemetery- by Kåre Thor Olsen- Wikimedia Commons

What a way to utilize space!  Copenhagen cemeteries also serve as parks, which residents use with abandon just like you would any other park. You are therefore bound to see many dates, picnics, and games right in the cemetery.

10. Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens inspired Disneyland

Tivoli Gardens- by Charlie- Wikimedia Commons

Many hours and notes later, Walt Disney was inspired to build Disneyland as we know it while he sat at the lively Tivoli Gardens amusement park in 1951. His major take away and inclusion for Disneyland was ‘the happy, unbuttoned atmosphere of fun’ that he saw at Tivoli Gardens.

11. The City of Copenhagen hosts the longest pedestrian street in the world.

Strøget is the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world. Here, you will be spoilt for choice as you sample both local and international merchandise. While the street is a hive of activities and is doing well, Strøget’s creation by closing 5 city streets to traffic was strongly opposed when it was proposed particularly by upscale shop owners along the route.

It’s a good thing for all parties that the Mayor did not relent and went ahead with Strøget’s creation, as it has become one of the must-visit spots, especially for tourists.

Strøget is located in central Copenhagen. You can sample Danish renowned stores like Royal Copenhagen, Illums Bolighaus, and Georg Jensen.

12. Copenhagen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ is a popular attraction

Little Mermaid Statue- by Eva Rinaldi- Wikimedia Commons

For a character from a children’s storybook, the little mermaid attracts many a tourist and is one of Copenhagen’s most popular tourist attractions. It has been on display for more than 100 years.

It is disheartening however that the Little Mermaid has suffered defacing- from graffiti, decapitation, and arm sawing, the statue has seen some difficult times. The Little Mermaid is located at the Langelinje Pier in Copenhagen.

13. The City of Copenhagen hosts the world’s best restaurant

Noma Restaurant- by Wikimedia Commons

You may have seen pictures of celebrities at the Noma restaurant or may have heard of or seen it in a movie. This renowned restaurant is based in Copenhagen. For its popular dishes and new Nordic cuisine, featuring a 20-course meal, Noma restaurant’s doors essentially revolve, with patrons moving in and out keeping it busy. Noma restaurant has had the privilege of holding the title for the world’s best restaurant according to the prestigious Restaurant Magazine.

14. The City of Copenhagen runs on coffee!

Coffee at the Copenhagen Coffee Lab- by Bex Walton- Wikimedia Commons

Danes rank as the seventh biggest coffee consumers in the world. It is therefore in order that the city has outstanding coffee places- Copenhagen residents like to hang out at coffee bars. The city of Copenhagen’s coffee culture is top-notch, with many amazing coffee spots serving specialty coffee from the best brewers in the world.

15. The city of Copenhagen esteems jazz

The many jazz clubs and yearly jazz festivals in Copenhagen is a testament to its lively jazz scene- at least 250,000 people attend its yearly jazz festival that hosts renowned jazz maestros such as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Chick Corea, and Thelonious Monk. World acclaimed Lady Gaga has also performed during the Copenhagen jazz festival.

16. The city of Copenhagen esteems handball

Handball match in Copenhagen- by Guillaume Baviere- Wikimedia Commons

Not quite the famous sport, men, and ladies handball is esteemed and thriving in Copenhagen.  You will find that Copenhagen has several men’s professional teams, as well as a ladies’ team one of which is called København Håndbold team which was put together in 2013.

There is a handball league for both men and ladies established in Copenhagen.

17. The city of Copenhagen takes credit for the egg chair

Egg chair- by Carioca- Wikimedia Commons

Currently, a frequently used piece of furniture in interior décor, the egg chair is a creation of Danish Arne Jacobsen designed in 1958 for Copenhagen’s Royal Hotel. The egg chair is a classical Danish home design piece.

18. Copenhagen hosts a notable botanical garden

University of Copenhagen Botanical Gardens- by Thue- Wikimedia Commons

One of the noteworthy botanical gardens in all of Europe is found in Copenhagen at the Copenhagen University Botanical Garden. The garden boasts a wide variety of plants that cover the expansive 24 acres of land- about 15,000 different species can be found here. At this botanical garden, you will find species such as large collections of orchids from Thailand, begonias, and ferns.

19. The Copenhagen Zoo features holds rare species

Malayan Tapir- by Ltshears- Wikimedia Commons

If you are yet to see a musk ox or the Malayan tapir, head on over to the Copenhagen Zoo during your Copenhagen visit, which houses these and other rare species. The zoo also holds at least 2,000 specimens of about 250 species and is famous for its 2008 elephant house. Additionally, the zoo has a large children’s zoo, a plus if traveling with kids.

20. There is a City within the City of Copenhagen!

Freetown Christiana- by Pudelek- Wikimedia Commons

Freetown Christiana is most famous for marijuana, from whose sales the city’s residents eke a living. This is a city within Copenhagen that has a resident population of about 1000 people governed by their own laws and doesn’t pay taxes- they indeed are in ‘free town’

The City of Copenhagen is nothing of the small village that once was. Its urban and cultural development have broken barriers and enabled it to flourish. Its charm, beauty, and rich history will captivate you.

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