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  • Post published:23/02/2022
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Coming from the Balkans, Copenhagen made a powerful impression on me. I knew some things about this northern capital city, but the reality still came as a bit of a shock. A good shock! Let me tell you the first impressions Copenhagen made on me. I’ll just list them as I encountered them on my 3 days trip to Copenhagen last summer.

First impressions about Copenhagen

Copenhagen is well-organized

The first impressions must have been at the airport. The terminal is huge, but everything was well-organized and went smoothly.


Without leaving the airport, you reach the train or the metro station. Vending machines are conveniently located, and directions are well signaled. If you want to go across Oresund Bridge to Malmo, you just need to follow the signs to the correct train platform. Again, everything seems efficient and smooth.

Efficient public transport

Stepping into the metro, you can’t help but notice a few things:

  • the trains are automatic, they are never late, and the distance between them is no longer than a few minutes.
  • there are frequent ticket controls on the public transport system
  • the metro trains have complimentary maps and city brochures. It feels very welcoming
  • as I noticed later, the metro system has a circular central line and three adjacent lines. You can get almost anywhere in Copenhagen by metro very quickly.

Copenhagen is clean

I had heard that street litter was a problem in Copenhagen. That wasn’t my impression at all. On the contrary, I found Copenhagen to be surprisingly clean for a European capital during the summer tourist season.

Moreover, air pollution is very low in Copenhagen. They even managed to make the water in the harbor area, safe for bathing.

And that takes us to the next impressions…

Green spaces in Copenhagen

Parks and gardens are everywhere – Copenhagen is one of the greenest cities in Europe. From ample royal gardens to hidden neighborhood playgrounds, you are never far from a green spot.

Green spaces are everywhere in Copenhagen - Green playgroud in a residential area.
Green playground in a quiet neighborhood near Carlsberg Vej.


Maybe Amsterdam has a similar bike culture, but no other city is as bike-friendly. Bike lanes are everywhere and there are convenient bike-rental options. Danes frequently leave their bikes unlocked on the street and office buildings have large bike parking spaces.


Copenhagen is a mix of traditional Scandinavian architecture and modern buildings and infrastructure. They go surprisingly well together, creating a city with a strong identity. Visiting Christiansborg Palace, and photographing the traditional colorful houses in Nyhavn are among the best things to do in Copenhagen. However, you can’t miss the modern Opera House or the Black Diamond Library either.

The modern buiding of the Opera House
The Royal Opera House


Even in summer, the weather in the Danish Capital is windy. It gets chilly soon after the sun sets, and almost every day there are a few rain sessions. However, they usually pass fairly quickly, so it’s not a big inconvenience.

I don’t think winter is as comfortable, though. The northern temperatures combined with a windy coastline make it hard to spend too much time outside.


In the few days spent in Copenhagen, I didn’t even see 1 Danish Krone. A few years ago, some places only accepted cash. Today, the new sign is ‘Card only’, or maybe ‘No cash’. The pandemic might have speeded this up, but cash is so last decade in Copenhagen!

The city is expensive, but it’s manageable if you’re on a decent budget. My biggest expense was the city card, but it’s totally worth it if you plan to visit a few of Copenhagen’s attractions.

Even the beer stalls in Copenhagen are card only.
Card only beer stall


Food was another pleasant surprise. Nordic food is fresh and tasty. From sandwiches to cakes, everything I ate in Copenhagen was excellent. Also, there’ are a lot of different ethnic cuisines available in the city.


If you enjoy visiting castles, Copenhagen is the place for you. With three royal castles close to the city center, you will have plenty to see for a couple of days. Moreover, royalty is still an important part of Danish society. Its heritage is visible everywhere, from the Medieval Round Tower of Copenhagen to the modern Royal Opera House.

Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen
Rosenborg Castle


As you already realized, respect for the environment is an integrated part of Danish thinking. Copenhagen is well on track to be carbon neutral, and it will get there in 2025. They take care of their water and green spaces and try to use as much reusable energy as possible. Frankly, they are more advanced than many other capitals by decades.


Locals talk with pride about their city and, as far as I can tell, they are happy to be a part of it all. And so they should be! It’s one of the best cities in Europe in terms of life quality.

Final thoughts about Copenhagen

I was truly impressed with Copenhagen, as you probably guessed by now. It’s one of the most beautiful cities I ever visited, but what I loved most about it was how simple and efficient everything seemed. I felt safe at all times, even in Freetown Christiania, though it was a solo trip. However, Copenhagen has a lot to offer for a romantic trip, as well as for a family holiday.


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