Copenhagen, the capital and largest city of Denmark, is located on the Zealand and Amager Islands, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund.
Originally a Viking fishing village known as “Havn,” in the tenth century the city of Copenhagen was officially founded and served as a harbor town. In the fifteenth century it was named the capital of Denmark and the residence of the royal family.
With the completion of the transnational Oresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen and Malmö are connected by a car/rail link.
Copenhagen has one of the highest standards of living in the world, owing in part to welfare benefits and economic and political stability. In 2008 Copenhagen was included in the list of Top 20 Most Livable Cities. In addition, a 2007 study found it to be the happiest city in the happiest nation on earth.
The weather in Copenhagen is mild through all four seasons. Summers bring temperatures averaging around 68°F / 20°C. Rainfall is moderate and spread throughout the year, so showers are possible in any season. Grey skies are the norm rather than the exception in Copenhagen.
Danish is spoken in the entire country, although many Danes are fluent in English, which is the predominant second language.
Copenhagen is home to the oldest and largest university in Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479. Other tertiary institutes include the Technical University of Denmark, the Engineering Academy of Denmark, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, the Copenhagen School of Economics and Business Administration, and the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College.
Places of interest
- Amalienborg Palace – the winter home of the Danish royal family.
- Christiansborg Palace – the only building in the world to accommodate a nation’s executive, legislature, and judiciary.
- Frederiksborg Palace – Museum of National History and largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia. It was built for King Christian IV.
- Strøget – longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe (car-free zone)
- Statue of The Little Mermaid – a small statue that is a Copenhagen icon. It sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbor at Langelinie.
- Tivoli Gardens – a famous amusement park and pleasure garden