Cycling is a way of life in Denmark. Danish people love to cycle. Cycling is an important means of transportation in Denmark and you can't look in any direction in the city without seeing a bicycle because 90% of the Copenhageners own a bike. Furthermore, Denmark is actually one of the greenest cities in all of Europe as well. We all know biking and environmentalism go hand-in-hand. In fact, I think only the Netherlands can beat Denmark when it comes to cycling.
Throughout my trip in Denmark, I have taken pictures of idle bikes that I found interesting. It’s not uncommon to see bikes left in the most random of places. If you were to visit Denmark, you would surely run into many of these.
Copenhagen's Beautiful Parks: Queen Louise Bridge & The Lakes, Nørrebroparken, Superkilen & Langelinie
Denmark regularly battles its Nordic neighbors for the top spot on the World Happiness Index. It is ranked as the 2nd happiest country in the world, with Finland clinched the top place, based on the recently released World Happiness Report 2022. After I visited it recently, I completely understood why. It has the perfect size, you can go everywhere on foot or bike, it is not overcrowded and it is so relaxed, while at the same time one of Europe’s gastronomic, design and cultural centers.
But, one of the things that impressed me the most, are its beautiful parks. Here, you can find a wealth of natural areas, which attract both local Copenhageners and tourists looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. I came to realise that Copenhagen is a city with a strong spiritual connection to nature, evidenced in its enhanced eco-consciousness. Wherever you go, many places are enclosed by greenery. Besides Frederiksberg Gardens (read my post here) which is one of my favourites, there are other fantastic green areas all easily accessible by foot or bike.
Copenhagen has another awesome attraction known as the Guinness World Record Museum. What originally began as the classic and fascinating book known as the Guinness Book of World Records has since morphed into a full-fledged Guinness World Record Museum located at Strøget in Copenhagen dedicated to the strange and incredible achievements of people (and even animals, in some cases) from around the world. The most incredible world records from all over. The fastest, highest, strongest etc. That’s what you meet at this museum.
There are more than 500 exhibits in the museum: the figures of the tallest and the fattest people in the world, the tallest buildings in the world gallery, Michael Jackson - the king of pop music and Merilyn Monroe - the queen of dresses exhibitions, the World of Toys gallery, to name a few. I enjoyed delving into the interesting facts, figures, and history of various world records both popular and obscure, as well as the people (or animals) who set them. Here are some photos of the many figurines to give an idea of what you will get to see in the museum.
This is an iconic bridge named “The Circle Bridge” that I discovered while travelling in Copenhagen. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson designed it and it was opened in 2015 which has become a much-loved Copenhagen landmark.
Located in a busy part of Christianshavn neighbourhood in Copenhagen, the Circle Bridge serves more than 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists per day, while allowing house boats and sailing boats to pass under. Achieving this is not as easy as it may seem given the relatively low height of the bridge, too low to allow conventional sized sailing or motor craft to pass under.
When I was in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark in February this year, I came across many great murals. You may have read my previous post that exploring street art at Freetown Christiania is definitely an adventure not to miss when you are visiting Copenhagen. It is literally a trip to another world where norms and laws of a regular society do not apply. People engaged in street art always want to express themselves even though they use a different medium such as plain walls and walls of buildings. A major difference of street art from the traditional art is its goal of communicating a socially relevant message to everyday people.
After exploring Christiania, I continued to embark on a street art discovery journey in Copenhagen. In the district of Nørrebro, there is also quite a large amount of street art. Most of the murals I found are large and covers the entire wall of a building. In recent years, Nørrebro has changed from a traditional working class district to gradually becoming a hip area with gourmet restaurants, innovative craft beer and local design. Many students and artists now live in Nørrebro. The street art in Nørrebro reflects the diverse community which brings a warm and welcoming vibe to the cosmopolitan area.
My Denmark travelogue continues.
As most of you know, I really enjoy photographing visually dynamic street art and look to photograph street art whenever I travel. What I love most about street art is how it opens up previously derelict areas, such as city laneways, and brings them back to life attracting locals and tourists alike. Street art has a lot to do with the revival of inner city neighborhoods and districts in cities all around the world. I am totally supportive of that policy.
The most unusual place that is often recommended to visit in Copenhagen is Freetown Christiania. The free state of Christiana has been in existence since 1971, when a group of squatters took over some deserted military barracks and established a commune. Around 900 people live there today, and it is not a part of the city that just anyone can move into: waiting lists are years long, and hopefuls must be genuinely engaged with the community in order to be accepted. Christiania is a hippie commune in simple terms, and most importantly an autonomous living, completely independent from the Danish government. It is quite a controversial place because the legal status of Christiania isn't clear. In general, the idea of Christiania's residents is to create a neighbourhood where freedom and self-expression are the main values.
The view of Christiania is completely different from the usual Copenhagen street of neat brick lanes and rows of colourful housing estates, because in Christiania, art is the essence that gives color to the place. Street art in Christiania is quirky and out of the ordinary. I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves.
In celebration of Louis Vuitton’s bicentennial birthday, an amazing number of imaginative trunks were created by 200 visionaries as part of the "200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition". These trucks recently landed in Singapore on 4 April 2022. This travelling exhibition debuted in Paris, and Singapore is the first international destination following the European location. #LV200 project
This colourful and intriguing travelling art exhibition is a welcomed respite for luxury retail on the sunny bay. A tribute to the French maison’s innovative legacy, the exhibition showcases the original and unique pieces that were created in collaboration with a mosaic of talents from all walks of life, including BTS, Fornasetti, Lego and Supreme, and that is only a handful out of the sum total of 200 customised trunks you will see at the exhibition.
The #LV200 project remains a fully philanthropic undertaking where the artists have directed all their fees to 15 charitable organisations across 13 countries, selected for their focus on uplifting young people through their creative endeavours. Each visionary personalised a metaphorical canvas 50 cm by 50 cm by 100 cm, approximately the same dimensions as the emblematic Louis Vuitton trunk that Vuitton created in the 1850s, making it their own with abstract concepts and dreamlike expressions.
Here are some of the creations you can see at the exhibition and the personalities behind them.
In recent years, many artists from all over the world have been playing with scale and introducing us to a smaller way of seeing things, and awakening our inner child. Miniature art transports us to a poetic location, from an unexpected angle, where precision is essential. Miniature art, much appreciated globally on social networks under the hashtag #MiniatureArt makes the leap with the first exhibition in Singapore recently.
The exhibition titled “Hong Kong: Through The Looking Glass” is co-organised by Hong Kong Tourism Board in collaboration with Joyful Miniature Association, and is part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s establishment. The two-week exhibition debuted in Singapore on 4 April 2022 after successful tours across various cities in China and Japan. The exhibition showcases 40 handmade miniature models by talented Hong Kong artists to give the public the chance to discover Hong Kong through miniature art in real life.
This exhibition offers nostalgic views of various locations in Hong Kong from a different perspective and a unique vantage point. They took me back to the places and reminded me of the joys of exploration and checking out neighbourhoods when I travelled in Hong Kong. When I reminisce, it makes me want to travel back in time to enjoy all of the fun experiences in Hong Kong again. If you are a long-time follower of my blog, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of Hong Kong which is a haven for street photographers.
Malmo is third-largest city in Sweden, and it’s very close to Denmark, separated from Copenhagen by the famous Oresundbridge. A day trip to Malmö is the Danish people’s favourite place for a getaway from Copenhagen. It takes just half an hour to get to Malmo from Copenhagen by train. I absolutely fell in love with Malmo because it’s quaint. It's packed with everything from medieval castles, catacombs and cathedrals, to inspiring architecture, Malmo has plenty of style. A visit to Malmo is an absolute must for those travelling to Sweden or Europe in general.
Getting around Malmo is easily done on foot. Most of the major sights are all within easy strolling distance of the ciy centre. Malmo used to be under Danish rule for centuries. It was also a Hanseatic League port town. All this legacy is still visible in the city along with modern developments. With a planned trip to Malmo, you could complete a Copenhagen experience while discovering another country as well.
Brumleby is a historical residential area in Copenhagen, which has a very characteristic look of yellow and white lime paint. The buildings, however, were originally constructed due to an extensive outbreak of cholera costing the lives of 5,000 people in Copenhagen in 1853. With waiting-lists for housing taking more than 20 years, Brumleby is today a highly popular, trendy and remains in the peaceful residential enclave of Østerbro district in Copenhagen. To add a different take on the houses and literally twist the traditional look of the buildings, the shape of the houses was stretched and squeezed as if they were bursting with energy.
At one end of the development is a playground designed to reflect the area’s unconventional character. Described as the "Crooked House" playground, it is full of quirky fixtures that seem to turn the world upside down. The idea of the playground is to create a small piece of these old buildings to remind us of its fantastic history.
I found the Crooked House playground in the Brumleby neighborhood in Copenhagen looks exactly as the Crooked House playground at Block 330 Yishun Ring Road in Singapore. I did a photo documentary on "Cube House Themed Playgrounds" in August 2021, click here to view. These crooked house playgrounds are actually built by a Danish design firm MONSTRUM, MONSTRUM has built more than 230 playgrounds, mostly in Denmark and Sweden, but also in other parts of the world.
Kronborg Castle (a.k.a. Elsinore) is located in Helsingor, a pleasant, salty Danish seaside town that's often confused with its Swedish sister, Helsinborg, just across the channel. The history of Kronborg is inextricably linked to that of Shakespeare, who set here the drama of Hamlet. Naturally, my interest was piqued when I found out that just a short train ride from Copenhagen is the castle where Shakespeare’s Hamlet is set.
Helsingor is a 45-minute train ride from Copenhagen Central Station. The train ride itself is gorgeous — I passed quaint Danish towns and lush forestland. At the Helsingor station, the Kronborg Castle is just within 10 minutes of walking distance. Most of the "Hamlet" castle you'll see today was built long after the historical Hamlet died (more than a thousand years ago), and Shakespeare never saw the place. These days, various Shakespearean companies from around the world perform Hamlet in Kronborg's courtyard each August.
Kronborg Castle was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in year 2000. To see or not to see? Although a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a lot of people come to the castle without going inside. Whether this is the right decision is really dependant upon which aspects of Kronborg are most interesting to you. You don’t need to have read the play to appreciate a Kronborg Castle visit. In my view, the castle is most impressive from the outside. The free grounds themselves are lovely to walk around and between the walls and sea are great, with a close-up view of the strait between Denmark and Sweden.
A Museum Treasure In The Heart of Copenhagen, Denmark: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 丹麦哥本哈根城市中心藏着宝珠：新嘉士伯艺术博物馆
Copenhagen’s roster of museums and galleries is the envy of cities the world over. Apart from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (click here to view my blog story on that), Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is my second most favourite art museum in Denmark.
Located 5 minutes from the Copenhagen Central Station, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek presents antique art in an intense interaction between architecture and a large collection of more than 10,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years. It is founded by the famous danish beer founder Carl Jacobsen, he was a collector himself. Eventually, he built this museum and put all of his collection and open it for public. The legacy and influence of the Carlsbergs are visible all over Copenhagen. He also commissioned the famous Little Mermaid statue in the city (I will blog about the Carlsberg Beer brewery and the Little Mermaid in upcoming photo posts.)
If ancient art, Greek and Roman sculptures aren’t really your thing, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has rooms of French and Danish paintings as well. The imposing and beautiful architecture outside is already a great preview of the art treasures it housed inside.
博物馆名称让人立即联想到那世界闻名的啤酒品牌。事实上这博物馆起初的藏品正是这啤酒品牌创办人之子 Carl Jacobsen 的私人珍藏，当中大多数是雕塑。后来随着藏品渐多，供展出的私宅不敷使用，他于是把藏品奉献给丹麦政府，条件是政府需提供展示场地，这场地正是今日的新嘉士伯艺术博物馆。从石棺到雕塑，每一件艺术品都展现了历史上意义深远的转折，让我流连忘返。
I can't help but fall in love with Copenhagen's historical architecture. The Danish attention to detail is absolutely stunning. History is everywhere in Copenhagen where cobblestone streets, palaces and royal artefacts make for a beautiful backdrop to the modern life lived by the Copenhageners of today. Remarkably, you rarely find the new clashing with the old. More often than not, the contemporary architecture in Copenhagen actually heightens the experience of the historic buildings and streets. Whether you are into old historical, royal castles or enjoy exploring urban architecture, Copenhagen has it all and best of all, within easy walking distance from each other. Walking is certainly the best and most pleasurable way to see Copenhagen. Just be careful not to step on to the bicycle lanes that run along beside the pavements. This is strongly frowned upon as bikes have the right of way here. The normally placid Danes take serious umbrage to that, especially during rush hour.
If you wish to save some time or energy, you can also get around Copenhagen using the city’s efficient metro/urban train transportation system. This will prove particularly useful in order to get to some of the further lying attractions. All the major attractions in Copenhagen are easily accessible by public transport, and switching from one form of transport to another is very seamless.
The Copenhagen Card is a convenient city pass that accords you free access to many best attractions and sights in the city. The other advantage of having the Copenhagen Card is that it gives you unlimited free access to the city’s public transport network in the greater Copenhagen region. The Copenhagen Card has a 24-, 48-, 72-, or 120-hour validity. Overall, I found the Copenhagen Card is an inexpensive way to experience the best of Copenhagen. Ultimately, the question of whether the Copenhagen Card is worth it depends on how much you want to get out of the city. If you plan on visiting a lot of cultural attractions and museums, then it is definitely worth investing in the card. If not, then maybe the Copenhagen Card isn’t worth buying.
Frederiksberg, like every other neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Denmark, brings a lot of history and affluence to the table. There are a lot of reasons to go here. You have not been there before so you might not know this. However, on getting to Frederiksberg, you will agree with me that you should not have missed it for the world.
Much of my time in Copenhagen was spent taking long walks through the city. One of these walks took me along Frederiksberg Allé while heading towards one of the most lovely parks in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Gardens (Frederiksberg Have). Frederiksberg Allé was originally intended to be the king's private road leading to his summer residence, Frederiksberg Palace.
This is the most Paris boulevard feeling you get in Copenhagen - if that's what you are looking for. By visiting Frederiksberg, I spent a perfect day in the green village of Copenhagen. This lovely wide boulevard is an open space, broad street, unusually spacy sidewalks and lined with lovely linden trees all the way the Frederiksberg Gardens. There are a number of beautiful buildings located along the length of it. Some of these buildings are elegant homes while some of the larger buildings house top-end shops and restaurants. I enjoyed walking along this picturesque part of the road admiring the nice buildings and pleasant surroundings while on my way to Frederiksberg Gardens.