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Tourist information about Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the largest city in Scandinavia but still has a provincial, small-town atmosphere with gabled houses, narrow streets and a skyline packed full of church spires.

Copenhagen is also one of the greenest capitals in Europe with a traffic-free centre, tough anti-pollution laws and lush green spaces everywhere. It's also been voted Europe's cleanest city in polls.

The city dates from 1167, when a bastion was built on the island of Slotsholmen. In 1417 it became the royal capital of Scandinavia, a region that at that time included swathes of Sweden and Norway.

International renown

An outbreak of plague, two massive fires, attacks by the Swedes and later the British caused widespread damage, but despite these historical setbacks Denmark has achieved international renown for its contemporary design.

The heart of Copenhagen has lakes to the north west and a harbour to the south east. It is full of narrow, traffic-free streets lined with gabled houses, shops and cafés.

Key attractions include the Tivoli amusement park with many rollercoaster rides, two theatres, an open-air stage and a museum. Many concerts and special events are held here as well as a Christmas market.

Royal treasures

The waterfront has 17th century buildings and bursts with pavement cafes and bars while Rosenborg Castle, the former royal palace, displays the Crown jewels and other royal treasures and has attractive gardens laid out in 1606. Other attractions include the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory, tours of the Carlsberg Lager Visitor Centre and the Guinness World Records Museum.

Copenhagen has an integrated bus and train network as well as a new metro system. Environmental awareness and the city's compact nature leave the city mostly free of traffic. The E20 motorway crosses Denmark west to east and intersects with E47 and E55 to the southwest of Copenhagen. The E47 runs south to Rødbyhavn, with ferry connections to Germany. A 16km toll bridge links Denmark and Sweden. Coaches go to more than 500 towns and cities in Europe.

There are direct trains to many European destinations, including Stockholm, Oslo and Hamburg. There are ferry services to Oslo and to Poland and the Baltics. København Lufthavn Airport is 8km southeast from the city centre. Terminal one serves Scandinavia and the Baltics while international flights use terminals two and three. There are about 70 airlines operating to 129 cities worldwide. Flight time from London is a mere 115mins.