During my family’s first trip to Denmark two years ago, we fell in love with pastries, furniture design, simplicity in lifestyle, attention to detail, and the endless summer nights.
Three weeks ago we returned to Copenhagen with the same excitement for familiar things and new adventures. Copenhagen is a city you can explore alone, with family or friends. Whether you walk the streets or bike the specially designed bike routes, the city will slowly unfold its fairytale charm.
After living in California for more than 15 years and spending a good amount of time stuck in traffic, Denmark seems like heaven. Cities belong to pedestrians and cyclists, not cars. Children are equal members of society. The city planners in Denmark have dedicated a vast amount of parks and playgrounds for their youngest citizens. Designated areas for kid’s play in every courtyard helps visiting little ones like mine enjoy their stay, as well. I found Danish children not at all spoiled by all this official attention. They seemed polite, well behaved and overall adorable!
Copenhagen has a number of unique neighborhoods, each with its own certain charm. Norrebro, the most multicultural part of the city, reminds me of Berkeley with its colorful clothing and jewelry stores, hip crowds, and cheap but quality Middle Eastern eateries. Sadly, Christian immigrants we met stay away from Norrebro, and consider it a part of the city that should be avoided by anyone. The relatively high crime rate in the neighborhood doesn’t stop locals and tourist from looking for adventure, shopping, and eating in outdoor cafes on its beautiful, long summer nights.
In the past, or while traveling to other cities, I would pass by stores longingly, as my kids didn’t show any interest in them. Not in Copenhagen! My kids have been carried away by design and furniture stores, studying the cool Scandinavian and Danish design elements. Oh, and the LEGO flagship store! Not just my kids, but most kids there had a tough time leaving, even after spending half of the day there.
No family trip to Denmark is complete unless you’ve seen Legoland built near the original factory site in Billund. The small city also has one of the busiest airports in Europe, catering to all those who come to enjoy a weekend in Legoland.