Copenhagen

Best time to go and how to get there

Copenhagen: When to Go

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

April
The Queen's Birthday (16th) is celebrated at Amalienborg Slot: at noon, Queen Margrethe waves from her balcony to her subjects, while royal guards prance about in full regalia. One for die-hard royalists only.

May
Copenhagen Beer Festival (late May) celebrates beer drinking as an art form rather than a competition in inebriation. There are over 1,000 different brews dominated, as you would expect, by Danish brewers like Carlsberg and Tuborg, but with a scattering of less familiar microbrews including some English names.

June
St Hans Eve (23rd) is a somewhat overhyped midsummer celebration in which bonfires and beers help fuel a night of revelry in Fælled Park and various beaches around town.
Roskilde Music Festival (exact dates vary), which takes place 40km outside Copenhagen, is one of the biggest and best rock and indie music bonanzas in Europe - a kind of Danish Glastonbury which attracts almost 100,000 happy campers. Recent show-stoppers include The Who, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers, Judas Priest and Kings of Leon.

July
Copenhagen Jazz Festival
is a 10-day jazz-fest starting on the first Friday in July, which in recent years has attracted such world-famous names as Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Michel Petrucciani, Keith Jarrett, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. There are several hundred concerts each year, so plan ahead!

August
Metropolis is a varied celebration of international theatre, with plays, circus acts and dance performances taking place in various venues across the city. The line-up often includes the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

November
Autumn Jazz Festival is another chance to hear some of the big names in jazz, but in smaller indoor venues, with fewer concerts (just 30 or so) and more modest crowds (and prices).

December
Christmas markets and other festivities gather pace during the month, but remain tasteful and tack-free (a great place to buy wooden toys and pretty tree decorations, for example). Kongens Nytorv/Nyhavn and Tivoli are 2 of our favourite markets.

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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Getting There

NB, please do not rely solely on this information for your travel plans.

COPENHAGEN: BY AIR

From the UK: carriers include British Airways, easyJet, SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Within Europe: try easyJet, Air France, Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alitalia, TAP Portugal, Brussels Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Vueling, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

From the USA: SAS, Delta.

By train from the UK: Take the train from London Liverpool Street to Harwich to connect with the overnight ferry to Esbjerg, and from there another connecting train on to Copenhagen. Or, catch the Eurostar to Brussels and than travel onward via Cologne (Koln) and Hamburg to Copenhagen. Both options take around 20 hours. For more information on rail travel to Copenhagen, see Seat 61.

By boat: There are sailings to Copenhagen from Oslo (16 hours) and Swinoujscie in Poland (10 hours). There are also overnight crossings (18 hours) from Harwich in the UK to Esbjerg (on Denmark's west coast) with DFDS Seaways. From Esbjerg you can take a train to Copenhagen (see above) - or, if you have lots of time and energy, cycle along bike route number 6 which takes you all the way from the Esbjerg ferry terminal into the heart of Copenhagen (about 330km in total).

Getting Around

BY BIKE: Copenhagen is bike-friendly. During summer, the city provides racks of public bikes in the downtown area, which can be unlocked and used with a returnable deposit. Some of our featured hotels offer free bicycles for their guests' use.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The metro has 2 lines, one of which connects the city centre to the airport. The stations at Christianshavn, Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport (near Rosenborg Slot and the Rundetårn) are the most useful for tourists. There's also a network of suburban S-trains and a good bus system.

BY CAR: See our car rental recommendations if you want to hire a car to explore outside the city.