Get on a quick flight to Copenhagen for a week or just a few days. It is a vibrant cultural centre with museums, art galleries and live entertainments, but also a place to walk around and enjoy the parks and rich architectural heritage. Getting round the city is easy: many places are within walking distance and there is an extensive bus and metro system. Trains are available if you want to venture further afield.
The heart of the city is Nyhavn (New Harbour), with its picturesque gabled buildings dating from the 17th century. The harbour is always filled with boats, and the sides are lined with dozens of bustling restaurants and cafés. This is also the starting point for a boat trip around Copenhagen taking in many of the attractions.
The house at 20 Nyhavn was home to Hans Christian Anderson, and the city is full of reminders of the famous writer. The one to which all visitors flock is, of course, the Little Mermaid. You can walk to the statue but, if you want the best view of her staring moodily into the water, it is best to take a boat trip.
Then there is Royal Copenhagen. A walk through the Botanical Gardens and the King’s Gardens takes you to Rosenborg Castle, which includes the Royal Apartments and State Apartments as well as extensive areas open to tourists. You can also visit Christiansborg Palace (where Parliament sits) and Frederiksberg Palace and Gardens to the north of the city.
If you are looking for something different, head across the bridge to Christiania. This is the bohemian part of Copenhagen, originally established as an independently governed area for hippies and other freethinkers. Despite its reputation as a haunt of drug dealers, it has since been cleaned up and you can be sure of a friendly welcome. Today the area is full of small workshops and galleries, music and many places to eat and drink.
For many visitors, a trip to Copenhagen is not complete without experiencing the Tivoli Gardens. Brash and noisy, but never boring, this is the second oldest amusement park in the world. It is a colourful mix of rides, parkland and cafés, and concerts occasionally take place in the evenings.
Finally, there is a lively nightlife, with enough cafés and bars for the most demanding visitor. Scandinavian food has attracted lots of attention in recent years and, even if you do not visit the world famous Noma restaurant, you will find plenty to choose from. The cuisine makes use of regional ingredients such as berries, black rye bread, pickles and a dazzling array of fish. Make sure that you try one of the 250 varieties of smørrebrød (open sandwiches) and, of course, some of the many local beers.