Copenhagen – a fairytale of a city

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Denmark's stylish capital, already bathed in glistening beauty, seems to double its attraction during the winter months. Long heralded as Europe's most sustainable and cycle-friendly city (usurping even Amsterdam, with over 390 kilometres of dedicated lanes), a frosty Copenhagen should be near the top of the intrepid traveller's must-visit list this January.

The Tivoli Gardens

Known simply to locals as the Tivoli, Copenhagen's centrepiece attraction is much more than a simple amusement park or pleasure garden – though it excels in both of those areas. Founded in 1843, which makes it the second-oldest theme park on Earth, the Tivoli is unique in that it really does offers something for everyone. The older generation will be delighted by such nostalgic rides as the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, whereas young bucks can test their nerve on the terrifying Vertigo, which flips the rider upside down before catapulting them off into the stratosphere at 100 kilometres per hour.

Intricate architecture frames the Tivoli, and the park is punctuated by burst of exotic flowers and expert topiary. In the evening, a kaleidoscope of coloured lights illuminate the park, lending themselves to a fairytale atmosphere – it's no secret that Hans Christian Andersen spent many a musing moment in these inspiring surroundings.

The Little Mermaid

Inspired by the famous story by the same writer, the sculpture of The Little Mermaid remains one of Copenhagen's most popular attractions. Now in her 101st year, the bronze and granite landmark can be found sitting on a rock at Langelinje Pier, her tail caught in mid-transformation into the legs she so desperately desired.


Stroget lays claim to be one of, if not the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe and, at 1.1 kilometres, it certainly has a strong case. There is a good mix of budget outlets and boutique luxury stores, featuring names such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Aside from shopping on Stroget, you'll also bear witness to much of Copenhagen's most arresting views, as well as several historical monuments such as the Church of Our Lady and the Stork Fountain. Stroget is also a magnet for street artists and performers willing to entertain – acrobats juggle flaming axes, magicians deceive with their sleight of hand and musicians play on as you peruse the wealth of shops. 

The Round Tower

This 17th century, cylindrical tower is the oldest observatory in Europe still in constant use. To reach the top of the tower, follow the 209 metres of original spiralling steps and you'll be greeted by the finest views of the oldest part of Copenhagen. You'll pass an ancient library and a floating glass floor which gives the disconcerting feeling of standing on air, 25 metres up.

Copenhagen is an intricately beautiful city at any time of year, but during the winter months, especially so – if you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights! 

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