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Our special guide to Copenhagen

Lonely Planet has chosen Copenhagen as the #1 city in the world to visit in 2019. ”You can’t buy happiness but you can buy coffee… and that’s pretty close” is the message to passers-by on the blackboard outside the Kopenhag café. Strolling in the early morning sun through Denmark’s vibrant capital you quickly realise that the city has both good coffee and happiness in abundance. It may not be possible to buy the latter, but this city gets so many things right, that happiness is a natural by-product.

There are plenty of good reasons why Copenhagen, and Scandinavia in general, is always clustered at the top of the annual World Happiness Report. Fairness, equality and community are highly valued.

It’s not the Kroner alone that is important to people in Copenhagen, morality and ethics also play a vital part in the city’s currency. The city is highly visual and constantly engaging. The world famous Danish design sensibility has the subtle effect of enhancing the commonplace. The simple pleasure found in a beautifully designed pepper pot can add spice not only to breakfast but also to the moment. This attention to detail and affinity for understated beauty blankets the city and makes Copenhagen a place where the extraordinary can be found in the ordinary.

The layout is flat and compact, making it easy to navigate on foot or bicycle, and the calming presence of water is always nearby. The city is bursting with museums, stunning 17th-and 18th-century architecture and there are verdant parks and playgrounds to enjoy. Many soul-nourishing city-escapes are also nearby. Allied with the thriving café culture, Copenhagen has a food scene to make even the fussiest eaters swoon and in über cool neighbourhoods such as Nørrebro and Vesterbro, the nightlife crackles. Alongside our own recommendations, we speak to five prominent personalities to get some further insights into the city and hot tips on where to go.


13 restaurants you should try in Copenhagen
7 places to see in Copenhagen
10 stores to shop in Copenhagen
13 places to sleep in Copenhagen
7 hidden gems to leave for when in Copenhagen
Fredrik Lentz Andersen’s guide to Copenhagen
Jette Egelund’s guide to Copenhagen
Vincent Beier Kaspersen’s guide to Copenhagen
Kristian Haagen’s guide to Copenhagen
Cecilia Mauritzon’s guide to Copenhagen