It's now even easier to take off for a long weekend of culture, fine food and some of the liveliest nightlife in Scandinavia, travelling with Norwegian Airlines on their new flight from Liverpool John Lennon Airport direct to the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
The service, which offers a convenient lunchtime departure from Liverpool every Friday and Monday, reaches Copenhagen in just 2 hours, making it the perfect destination for a long weekend break. For added flexibility, from now until 25th October 2013, there is an extra flight every Wednesday.
High on the list of must do attractions in Copenhagen is a visit to the Danish National Museum. Visitors travelling from now until 17th November can see the largest specialist exhibition on the Vikings in 20 years, including the world's longest Viking ship ever displayed. The major VIKING exhibition is open Tuesdays to Sundays and the exhibits include unique and brand new finds, such as large hoards of gold and silver from Yorkshire, Russia and Norway and some of the world famous Viking warrior-shaped chess pieces from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
45 minutes north of Copenhagen, art lovers will enjoy the world famous Louisiana Museum of Modern Art which is set in beautiful parkland with incredible panoramic views of Oresund and the sea. The permanent collection is the largest in Scandinavia and includes major works by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Bourgeois and Jorn. Every year, it hosts major international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, photography and design. This year, to mark the 80th birthday of Yoko Ono, Louisiana Museum is showing a major retrospective with well over a hundred pieces of her work. The exhibition, which runs until 29th September offers a rare glimpse into the diversiy of the work, pinpointing central themes of her career through visual art, poetry, music, installation, performance art, film and events.
Meanwhile in the National Gallery of Denmark We The People, is a sculptural exhibit from Vietnamese-born Danish artist, Dahn Vo. The piece is a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty, which has been divided into 400 parts and scattered across the world. In Copenhagen, visitors can find around 100 of these spectacular pieces, which are welded out of copper sheets. The exhibition runs until 31st December 2013.
Eating and drinking
As the epicentre of 'New Nordic Cuisine', Copenhagen continues to influence the global culinary scene with two restaurants in the San Pellegrino's "World's 50 Best Restaurants - Noma (number two) and Geranium (number 45). Since Noma opened in 2004 a number of its former chefs have continued to redefine its philosophy with the opening of their own restaurants. These new opening include Restaurant Bror where the UK's own Samuel Nutty has joined forces with Victor Wagman from Sweden to offer a menu bursting with fresh, seasonal vegetables and foraged edible flowers. Meanwhile Matthew Orlando, former head chef at Noma, has drawn on the influence of his international travels to open Amass.
Bringing this Nordic table to a more accessible and broader audience, young and talented chefs such as Jonas Christensen have opened Host (meaning harvest) a concept from Cofoco (Copenhagen Food Consulting), whilst other informal and unpretentious restaurants include Pony where servings of rustic pig, sausage, and steak tartar are on the menu. Or at Marv & Ben (meaning marrow & bone), located on the oldest street in Copenhagen, traditional Danish cuisine is served in a warm and modest atmosphere. Danish humour is behind the opening of Congo, as the Danish comic actor and talk show host, Casper Christensen, serves up a healthy serving of humour amongst the meaty dishes.
Alongside a great meal no visit to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to some of the cities eclectic bars and nightclubs. Do not expect an early night as the majority of Copenhagen's discos and clubs don't tend to get going until after midnight, so spend the time in some of the city's super-hip pre-club bars before a night out on the town.
For some of the best new openings head to the hip Vesterbro area of the city where bars such as the inconspicuous Lidkob Bar is located in an old half-timbered house and packed with full-bearded men in lumber jack shirts and open fireplaces. Or for a Nordic twist on the traditional cocktail head to Karrierebar on Flaesketorvet Square where homemade, organic ingredients offer some great new taste sensations.
Or for beer enthusiasts Mikkeller is a brewery that has been was founded by Mikkel Borg Bjergso, with locations in Vesterbro and Norrebro. Known internationally as one of the most innovative and cutting-edge brewers, he has made house brews for some of Denmark's most prominent restaurants including Noma, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl and Kiin Kiin. Now the teacher turned brewer runs the Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2013 which he started last year to celebrate extreme beer culture.
Beer festival fever comes to Copenhagen this month as the Oktoberfest takes over the city, during the first two weekends of September. Offering an authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest atmosphere, complete with litre jugs of German beer, live music, schnitzel and rentable lederhosen, the event takes place from 4.00pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 1.00pm on Saturday.
A place to stay
After a night out visitors are spoilt for choice when finding a place to stay in Copenhagen, from the eco-friendly to renowned Danish design hotels, there are a number of noteworthy new opening in some of the city's most vibrant areas.
For a truly unique experience in the heart of the city head for Hotel Central & Cafe. As the smallest hotel in the world it recently opened with one 130-square-foot room, nestling on a curving street in the Vesterbro neighbourhood. Whilst at the other end of the spectrum the uber luxurious Hotel d' Angleterre, reopened in May following an extensive two-year renovation to become one of the finest luxury hotels in the world. The 250 year old building now boasts the brand new restaurant Marchal from Michelin-starred Chef Ronny Emborg, as well as Balthazar, Copenhagen's first Champagne bar.
Great food within hotels is becoming quite a trend at a number of other properties such as The Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen which recently welcomed a prestigious new culinary team at the internationally renowned restaurant Alberto K., including Executive Chef Jeppe Foldager who was the winner of this year's Bocuse d'Or Silver medal. And the Scandic Hotel Group has joins forces with Jamie Oliver, to launch a summer and kids menu in June, which is served at all 156 hotels in the Nordic countries.
The green living Danes have adapted their eco-friendly philosophy to many of the city's hotels, such as the Arp-Hansen Hotel Group, which consists of 11 centrally-located hotels in Copenhagen, including Copenhagen Island where all are certified by Green-Key for their environmental credentials. Another that strikes the perfect balance between design savvy and eco-consciousness is the 73-room The Andersen Hotel where each room is decorated by the Designers Guild and also holds a Green-Key eco certification label.
While the Brochner Hotel Group, which includes the Hotel Kong Arthur, Ibsens Hotel, Hotel Danmark and Hotel Fox has become the world's first CO2-neutral hotel chain, offering groups the opportunity to offset their stay with a CO2 quota. For exclusivity the penthouse suite at the Hotel Kong Arthur, known as ApArt is hard to beat. This hidden gem can only be entered with a special key inserted into a discrete keyhole in the wall and features several pieces of Danish art classics and continuously hosts exhibitions of Danish contemporary art, giving special guests a private abode to soak up on their own, or to play host for a variety of luxurious events.