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Copenhagen. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia.
While the original part of Copenhagen is located in a small area by the waterway between Zealand and Amager - consisting of several small boroughs with at least 600,000 inhabitants - Copenhagen has extended across other towns since the Finger Plan was implemented following the Second World War.
On the first warm day, usually in early May, locals come out of hibernation and flock to the city streets, parks, and outdoor cafes in a veritable explosion of life, relieved that the country's dreary and dark winters are finally over.
If the weather becomes too hot, you can jump in one of the free pools in the cool harbour waters near the centre. Copenhagen's harbour is often considered the world's cleanest urban waterfront.
In week 42 the Danes have an autumn holiday, with many events taking place, such as the night of culture. The height of winter is December, where Christmas brings some relief to the short days, with lights and decorations everywhere, in the streets, shops and in peoples' windows.
Check-in lines can get long during peak hours however, so make sure to allocate extra time in the summer. Self-service check-in counters are available, which can cut down on wait times.
From the rest of Denmark connections are frequent and numerous. In Jutland several railway branches from Aarhus/Aalborg in the North, Struer in the north-west, Esbjerg to the west, and finally Sønderborg in the south convene in Fredericia, where they connect to a main line with up to four intercity trains per hour, divided into Express and Intercity trains, which runs across Funen before crossing the Great Belt (Storebælt). From there it reaches across the length of Zealand before terminating at Copenhagen's central station. If you are going in the reverse direction without a seat reservation, be mindful that the train is often broken up at Fredericia to serve the different branches, so if you don't have seat reservation, it's a bad idea just picking a random carriage in Copenhagen. All cross belt trains are operated by DSB.
Tickets and the zone system
You can also buy tickets on the mobile app "Mobilbilletter Hoverstaden", available both in the AppStore and on Google Play.
Two children under the age of eleven can travel for free with one paying adult. It allows you to travel around Copenhagen in two zones (the zone where you stamped or purchased the ticket plus one adjacent zone) for one hour.
What to see
A good tip to see whether a smaller museum caters to non-Danish speakers, is to check whether the website has an English section. If it does, this usually means the museum has at least some English information throughout its exhibitions. Of course if you have some interest in a particular subject, such museums can be interesting even if you don't understand the sign-postings. As Danes are usually fairly fluent in English, you can always try to ask staff if they could give you a brief tour.
If you are hungry for even more classic art exhibitions, an excursion north of Copenhagen to the beautiful Ordrupgaard offers you a chance to enjoy Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Gauguin. There are several other options for classical paintings but if you are ready for a change, head south to the Arken Museum of Modern Art for a world class exhibition of contemporary art, mostly Scandinavian, as well as hugely popular temporary exhibitions. However the arguably best and most visited museum in Denmark is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art located in northern Zealand with a panoramic view across the Øresund. The museum frames the sculpture park facing the sea and the interaction between art, nature and the museum architecture is quite unique. Louisiana is an international museum with a considerable collection of modern art, and hugely popular temporary exhibitions.
Science & Natural history
If you prefer stationary animals, the Zoology museum on Østerbro offers a different perspective on the subject. Elsewhere on Østerbro, a little known attraction is a display of famous physicist Niels Bohr's study room, along with a setup of his experiments (but as this is not a museum, you should have more than passing interest in the subject to bother with them). City Centre, the University of Copenhagen runs two adjacent science museums.
If you fancy a proper beach, the closest are located at Charlottenlund Fort in Charlottenlund and the newly erected Amager Strandpark (The Lagoon), on Amager near metro stations Øresund, Amager Strandpark and Femøren. If the weather is not going your way, you can opt for DGI Byen which is a leisure centre and excellent swimming pool near the central railway station or the Østerbro swimming pool, modelled after a Roman bath (on Østerbro).
Copenhagen Jazzfestival is held in early July and features ten days of jazz everywhere in Copenhagen — parks, cafes, clubs, and theatres. Usually a few headline acts are on the program but there are more than 800 concerts to choose from and the real attraction is often the obscure concerts you bump into randomly in a park or square somewhere in the city.
Grøn Koncert held in late July, is a one day music festival in Valby Parken near Åmarken station. It is a major event in Copenhagen with over 40,000 attending. There is usually an international headline act, along with several major Danish bands and the atmosphere is quite unique with people having picnics and beers on a huge field of grass in the park. Tickets are sold through Billetnet, both online and at post offices.
Stella Polaris held the first weekend in August, is a big, free, chill-out event in one of the city parks. Top international DJs spin chill-out tunes on the decks, while people are relaxing in the sun and drinking beer. The afterparty in one of the major clubs usually attracts some international headline acts.
RAW, held in early August is Scandinavia's largest clubbing event. The organisers rightly pride themselves in carefully selecting high quality acts and more importantly the broad range of genres represented to make this an event with broad appeal to everyone in the Copenhagen nightlife scene.