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Copenhagen

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Stork Fountain

Stork Fountain

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Havfruen Restaurant

Havfruen Restaurant

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Copenhagen Canal

Copenhagen Canal

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The Kingdom of Denmark is the geographical link between Scandinavia and Europe. Half-timber villages and tidy farms rub shoulders with towns and a few cities, where pedestrians set the pace, not traffic. In the capital, Copenhagen—København in Danish—mothers safely park baby carriages outside bakeries while outdoor cafés fill with cappuccino-sippers, and lanky Danes pedal to work in lanes thick with bicycle traffic. The town was a fishing colony until 1157, when Valdemar the Great gave it to Bishop Absalon, who built a castle on the site of what is now the parliament, Christiansborg. It grew as a center on the Baltic trade route and became known as købmændenes havn (merchants' harbor) and eventually København.In the 15th century it became the royal residence and the capital of Norway and Sweden. From 1596 to 1648 Christian IV, a Renaissance king obsessed with fine architecture, began a building boom that crowned the city with towers and castles, many of which still stand. They're almost all that remain of the city's 800-year history; much of Copenhagen was destroyed by two major fires in the 18th century and by British bombing during the Napoleonic Wars.Today’s Copenhagen has no glittering skylines and little of the high-stress bustle of most capitals. The morning air in the pedestrian streets of the city's core is redolent of baked bread and soap-scrubbed storefronts. If there's such a thing as a cozy city, this is it.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Set Your Imagination Free at Tivoli Gardens
Set Your Imagination Free at Tivoli Gardens

The world’s second-oldest amusement park, this Copenhagen icon enchants kids and adults with rides, gardens, fountains and a dazzling light display.

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Image Credit

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Corbis

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Expansive Views
Expansive Views

Built in 1642 as an observatory, the 114-foot-high Round Tower offers a perfect view of the central city’s rooftops and spires. Visitors ascend by spiral ramp, not stairs.

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Image Credit

Peter Topp Engelsted Jonasen/Getty Images

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The Creation of Modern Denmark
The Creation of Modern Denmark

The era of Viking domination is just part of the exhibits at the excellent National Museum, which traces Danish history from the Stone Age onward.

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Image Credit

imagebroker/Alamy

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How to Get the Best Cruise Ship Cabin

Tips to help you book the sweetest spot on the boat.

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Heaven Times Two for Art Lovers
Heaven Times Two for Art Lovers

The Danish National Gallery and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek offer world-class collections ranging from ancient sculpture to post-impressionist paintings.

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Image Credit

imagebroker/Alamy

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Grand and Historic Castles Around the Globe

From Scotland to Japan, 10 beautiful residences fit for a king and queen.

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Dip Into the Splendor of Royal Life
Dip Into the Splendor of Royal Life

Set in an invitingly green park, Rosenborg Castle dazzles the eye with halls full of magnificent furnishings and the priceless Danish crown jewels.

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Image Credit

Laurie Chamberlain/Corbis

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Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Should you buy travel insurance? Answer our five questions to decide, and follow our three guidelines before you buy to make sure you get the best deal.

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Nyhavn Charms Locals and Tourists Alike
Nyhavn Charms Locals and Tourists Alike

Rainbow-hued houses and picturesque boats give this neighborhood a postcard look. Sidewalk cafés, shops and street performers enliven the scene.

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Image Credit

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Corbis

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