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Copenhagen’s highlights

October 29th, 2007

Most erotica museums suck (no pun intended), but Copenhagen’s Museum Erotica does justice to a frank look at homo sapien love life. Open daily 10am-11pm. DKK 109 (25% off with Copenhagen Card); kids are free. Kobmagergade 24; S-train Norreport; Metro Norreport / Kongens Nytorv.

Amber is Denmark’s national gemstone—and you’ll see numerous shops selling the stone in any variety of cuts and settings. The Amber Museum Copenhagen explains what amber is all about and why Danes have taken to it so emphatically. Open daily 10am-8pm. DKK 25, kids DKK 10. Kongens Nytorv 2. Metro, Kongens Nytrov.

My homages also extend to breweries, vintners, and distilleries. Visit Carlsberg Museum to see a cultural look at Copenhagen’s brew history, as well as the historical collections of Carlsberg Brewery. Open daily 10am-3pm. FREE! Valby Langgade 1. S-train, Valby.

The Danish National Gallery is called Statens Museum for Kunst. Its collection includes masterpieces and contemporary pieces from the 14th century onward. Open Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm. Closed Monday. FREE! (special exhibitions DKK 70). Solvgade 48-50. S-train, Norreport & Osterport. Metro, Norreport.

Copenhagen Shopping
Kobmagergade and Fiolstraede have all (or nearly so) the types of Scandinavian clothes, including knitwear shops up the yin-yang. For something entirely different—Scan-style—visit the Ravnsborggade antiques & flea market. You’ll find the street across Queen Louise’s Bridge and the Lakes in Copenhagen’s Norrebro quarter. Ravnsborggade’s 35 antique shops sell antique furniture, Royal Copenhagen porcelain, silver, paintings, and glassware. But you’ll also find everyday items like vintage cups & saucers and hip clothes. The street also has cafés and brew pubs, so even if you don’t find anything worth buying, you’ve still arrived.

copenhagen h.s. andersen statue_3Copenhagen Cafés and Restaurants
You’ve entered an international city, and so the cuisine is varied, both in cost and quality. Traditional Danish food begins with the cold plate, often buffet style. The fresh fish is a staple, often on an open-faced sandwich (smorrebrod). If you’ve never had fresh herring in a mustard or hot-type sauce, then you are in for a treat. I’m going to give strictly Danish selections here; for world cuisines, check a guide.

The Kobenhavner Cafeen is one such Dutch treat. Close to walking street (Stroget), it serves traditional Danish lunches and world-class evening meals. Watch for the in-season marinated reindeer. Open daily, lunch 12-5; dinner 5-10:30. Badstuestraede 10.

Café Petersborg is in a traditional Danish building, dating to 1746. The setting is very old world, and you’ll appreciate the ambiance when you bite into a smorrebrod and wash it down with a frothy Danish beer. Open Mon-Fri, 11:45-3 & 5-8:30. Bredgade 76.

Hansen’s Old Family Beer Garden is famous for its aquavit chasers (Danish schnapps). Fresh fish smorrebrod is a specialty. Open daily for lunch from 11am; dinner meals begin from 5pm. Pile Allé 10-12.

The Nytorv Restaurant & Café is central to the shopping district. A small, cozy place with bright light spilling in from lead-glass windows. Open daily, Mon-Sat 11:30am-10pm; Sunday Noon-10pm. 15 Nytorv.

Copenhagen Nightlife
Copenhagen has what you’re looking for (or need). There’s a thriving club scene as well as live-music venues featuring Jazz, Salsa, Rock, and Techno. There are plenty of adult oriented (read that: sex) clubs with dancers & whatnot.

Copenhagen Jazzhouse. Open Fri & Sat, 6pm-5am. Niels Hemmingsens Gade 10.
Doll-House. Open Mon-Sat, 3pm-5am. Istedgade 38.
Luux. Open Fri & Sat, 11pm-5am. Norregade 41.
Havana. Open Mon-Thur, 10pm-3am; Fri & Sat, 10pm-5am. Store Kongensgade 66.
The Rock. Open Thur-Sat, 8pm-5am. Skindergade 45-47.
Madame Pin. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5am. Istedgade 28.

Copenhagen Transportation
If you’re going to see lots of sights, you’ll want to get around quickly. Renting a bicycle is one option, and during the summer months it’s a great way to really commune with Danes, as the streets are filled with bicycling blond people. Otherwise, Copenhagen’s trains & trams get you everywhere. You can transfer freely from bus, train, or tram using the same ticket or discount clip card.

For single rides, the discount cards are most economical. They come in 10-ride packs. Always punch your card in the yellow card-clipping machines on a bus, at a station, or on a train. The Copenhagen Card is a discount travel / tourist site card, with 60 participating museums and attractions. One adult paid card allows two accompanying children up to age 9 free of charge. A 24-hour card costs DKK 199; children 10-15, DKK 129; a 72-hour card costs DKK429 adult, DKK 249 children.

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