Copenhagen, Denmark April 2014

by Emma Bumpus on April 29, 2014

Spring and Easter bring yearning for new sights and adventure of a Nordic kind, luring careertraveller and family to Scandinavia for a sensational cultural city break.

In the devoted words of Hans Christian Anderson himself “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale” and one step inside the Tivoli Hotel is our passport to a stylish, effervescent and welcoming Congress Centre, aka playground of excitement, energy and exploration.

Traces of Pierrot amidst modish swan shaped chairs, designed by famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, are placed tastefully around a vibrantly coloured lobby, providing an insightful introduction to Tivoli. Like sentries we patrol 12 floors, 3 restaurants and 396 rooms, not forgetting the clandestine basement playroom and enchanting pool with fountains of fun.

The second floor Tivoli inspired Columbine Gardens provides an imaginative outdoor space and mini playground for children that beckons from the Tivoli Brasserie; a cheerful show-ground of Danish and international cuisine with fashionable pastel coloured pendant lights designed to entertain.

We halt at our music themed room, which artistically adorned with trumpets, sentry hut bedside tables and splashes of harlequin colourful texture, is a clever hint of pantomime theatre and ceremony, alias Tivoli!

Prepped for the world’s second oldest amusement park we hit Tivoli Gardens with a vengeance and are dazzled by lashings of multi-coloured rides (26 to be precise) with ornate verdant gardens, flaunting blossom, fountains and peacocks amidst a cultural oasis of magnificent architecture. From decorative Chinese Pantomime Theatre and Japanese Tower restaurant to 20th century Moorish Arab fantasy castle inspired Nimb Hotel, we enter an amusement park of the arts.

Detail, history and pleasure come with an abundance of eateries across the continents, a 100-year-old wooden rollercoaster with mountain peaks and a Concert Hall that hosts Scandinavia’s largest classical music Tivoli Festival. Flavoured with sugar coated adrenaline and fairy tale spice we taste a plethora of Copenhagen’s panorama from the heights of the Ferris Wheel whilst brought down to our senses via the Odin Express in a flash. Spectacular!

A breeze downtown is a 5-minute tribute to Copenhagen’s super smooth transport system that flows around avant garde shops, verdant parks and zillions of relaxed looking cyclists who radiate health and happiness. It becomes obvious why this country is voted the happiest country in the world, according to the United Nations World Happiness Report 2012.

Outdoor cafes endowed with blankets and daffodils ooze panache, good conversation and living amongst a population of 5.6 million. Home to over 65 city museums, blue flag beaches and clean water harbour fit for swimming (including the likes of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark) is a match for our tour of the Treasury crown jewels at grandiose Rosenborg Castle.

No ordinary castle, we uncover royal family treasures within this historical museum whose Dutch renaissance roots stem back to 1605-1606, offering 12 hectares of stunning public Kongens Have or “Kings Garden” laced with lime trees, sculptures and romantic moat.

The adjacent Royal Garrison is our cue to spectate the rather dashing Changing of The Guard, a 30-minute parade from barracks to Amalienborg Palace courtyard. Within a square of four palaces adorned with Rococo architecture we savour a captivating display of loyalty and dedication that attributes the popularity and respect for the Danish Royal Family.

Refreshment comes in the city centre form of Strøget, Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping area, which with it’s cobblestone streets chic shops adds shine and vitality to this historical capital of Denmark.

Like Royals we eat Landgangsbrod, a long ryebread sandwich with shrimp, egg and roastbeef at the Royal Smushi Café, which comes in the artistic form of an Easter bouquet! Devine! Fittingly situated between the Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen we discover Dutch craftsmanship in the form of fine porcelain and silverware, stepping further into the clean and contemporary culture of Denmark that smacks of iconic design, cuisine and diversity.

From the 17th century rooftop of Copenhagen’s famous Rundetaarn or “Round Tower” we inhale the disciplines of science, history and the arts from an observation tower that houses an astronomical observatory, concert and exhibition venue all in one!

Handsome coloured town houses peppered with trendy cafes, restaurants and al fresco street vibe cements our Copenhagen circuit with Nyhavn, a bubbly bohemian harbour hosting charming wooden boats that bask in the laid back spring sunshine. Once home to Hans Christian Anderson, sailors and merchants we embrace old Copenhagen with a CO2 battery powered tour of Denmark’s canals flanked with monumental heritage, echoing the words of Hans C:

Everything you look at can become a fairy tale and you can get a story from everything you touch.”

Totally smitten with Copenhagen!

Further details of Tivoli Hotel and Tivoli Gardens can be found by clicking on the following websites: Tivoli Hotel and Tivoli Gardens.

For official Copenhagen tourist information and city travel details – click on the following useful links: Visit Denmark and Copenhagen Card.

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