Copenhagen is a sprawling metropolis that is both the capital and the largest city in Denmark with nearly two million people calling it home. This bustling burg wasn't always a world-famous cultural epicenter, though. This futuristic and advanced super-city was once a quaint, quiet fishing village that struggled from time to time with Viking invaders. Copenhagen outlasted the Viking onslaught, though, and through the ages it withstood attacks from the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and many more countries. Sometimes it was occupied, sometimes it was fully taken over, but this glimmering diamond of the Scandinavian world never ceased to maintain its own cultural identity.
These days, Copenhagen continues its reign as the capital of Denmark but it does seem to have changed a bit from its fishing roots. Like many cities in Denmark, Copenhagen can now be seen as something of a "wonderland". While it has all the necessary business and financial districts, the city is definitely a lot "cooler" than it was in centuries past and the once-humble burg is now a major tourist attraction with millions of people visiting each year to bear witness to the many wonderful sights to behold in this fascinating land. What makes Copenhagen so appealing is its vast amount of variety contained within. There are beautiful, temperate beaches on the coastline near the island of Zealand but Copenhagen isn't just a resort town. There are countless parks thanks to efforts by the city council to create one of the greenest cities on Earth but Copenhagen is by no means a forest-filled city.
Many of the people who visit Copenhagen don't go there for the natural beauty, though. Thanks to Copenhagen's old age, there is a treasure trove of architecture to peruse for the history buff, the architecture fan, and even the casual observer. Christianburg Palace, for instance, is well known for its amazing spire system and thousands come each year to walk up and down these amazing creations. The later Danish architecture of the city, like the City Hall and Stock Exchange, has won countless European awards for design in the RIBA European Awards and the World Architecture Festival, among others, and has earned the city the title of the "World's best design city".
Music is another source of pride for Denmark, and the recently opened Copenhagen Concert Hall has helped to draw thousands each month to the city in order to hear performances in all their glory thanks to the expert design of the hall. Copenhagen's jazz scene is among the most reputed in all of Europe and beyond, with many American jazz greats paying homage to the city over the years, including Ben Webster and Thad Jones.
Rare is the city that has its roots so far back in the history of the world and can still maintain an important international presence. Copenhagen is just such a city and anybody lucky enough to be backpacking across Europe would be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime if they pass by Scandinavia without visiting one of the most glorious cities in the history of man.