The capital of Denmark is a fantastic destination – whatever time of year. It’s a beautiful city, with a real sense of grandeur and purpose, as well as a very modern sensibility and outlook.
If you’re planning to visit Copenhagen, here’s a few conversation-starter facts that will make you seem like an expert.
They’re proud of their red-light district
The most post-card perfect scene that seems to adorn almost all of Copenhagen’s tourism promotion are the brightly colored houses of the Nyhavn neighborhood. Situated right on the water of one of Copenhagen’s many waterways, this is where you’ll see a lot of locals and visitors out enjoying the sunshine on a warm day. However, what you might not realize is the Nyhavn neighborhood was once Copenhagen’s very popular red-light district. The brightly colored houses that now adorn the post-cards were the pleasure houses for the numerous sailors that called into Copenhagen’s bustling port. This charming quay-side precinct is now much more respectable, with the hustle and bustle confined to the busy waterside cafes.
Walt Disney took his inspiration from Copenhagen
When Walt Disney was designing his Disneyland theme park in Florida, he looked to the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen to learn how to do it. The Tivoli Gardens were opened in 1843, and it’s one of the oldest still-operating amusement parks in the world. The Tivoli is hugely popular with both locals and visitors, and there’s a lot more to it than just the amusement rides. The gardens are decorated to mark the changing of each season, and there’s a lot of events and festivals that are held here.
The next queen of Denmark will be from Australia
The heir to the Danish throne is Crown Prince Frederik. It was during the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000 that Frederik met Mary – a marketing consultant from the Australian state of Tasmania. They were married in 2004 and now live in Copenhagen’s Amalienborg Palace with their four young children.
LEGO comes from Denmark
Production of the popular toy blocks began in Denmark in 1958. It was Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen who combined two Danish words ‘leg’ and ‘godt’ – which together means ‘play well’ – to call his company LEGO. Today, LEGO is so popular that if you placed end to end the total number of LEGO bricks sold each year, then they would circle the Earth five times. LEGO has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, with entire moves now made about LEGO inspired characters.
Danish pastries aren’t exactly from Denmark
Copenhagen is justifiably renowned as a food-lovers ultimate destination. There’s a wealth of fantastic restaurants in Copenhagen, and they take their food seriously. However, the iconic Danish pastry, is actually an invention of the Austrians. These delicious flaky and cream-filled pastries have a bit of a complicated history that dates back to the 1850s. At that time, there was a long bakers’ strike that was crippling the bakeries of Copenhagen. To break the strike, the bakery owners brought in pastry chefs from Vienna. The Austrians brought with them puff pastry and other dessert delicacies. When you’re in a bakery or at the breakfast buffet of your Copenhagen apartment hotel and looking to sample a quality Danish Pastry you’ll probably see it labelled as ‘wienerbrød’, which translates as Vienna bread.