The capital of northern coolness
Copenhagen is often perceived as slow-paced and cozy - but in between the long rows of houses, massive brick buildings, and royal palaces, the city's diverse inhabitants have thoroughly swept away the patriarchal air. Nowadays, the Danish capital is a center of European hipness and alternative culture. Copenhagen's center lies embedded between the harbor to the east and a series of artificial lakes to the west. The old fortifications (where the Little Mermaid overlooks the port basin) as well as the Amalienborg Palace, and the old Nyhavn dock, lined with cafes and pubs, can all easily be explored on foot. The pedestrian zone, Strøget, takes you from Nyhaven and the central square Kongens Nytorv ("the King's new square") to Radhuspladsen, the square at City Hall, and the historic amusement park at Tivoli Gardens. In the western Norrebrø, various ethnic groups for the most part live genially alongside one another, although the area has frequently made headlines due to unrest. Beyond the harbor canal in the east lies the "free state" Christiania, a hippie colony established in 1971. The settlement is simultaneously a welcome tourist attraction and a thorn in Copenhagen's side - the main trouble, the sale of cannabis on the open streets, has since been suspended.