Once the home of marauding Vikings, Denmark is now a snug and comfortable country, its ancient flag fluttering over family gardens rather than warships. Even if most Danish people suspect they live in the best of all possible worlds, they rarely have the poor taste to say so. Prosperous and orderly, Danes are also endowed with a streak of humor. They’re fond of balance, understatement and good design.
Like its people, the country’s sights are impressive without being imposing. Copenhagen, the country’s capital, is a good example: It’s a modern, international city that has managed to remain cozy and compact—most of the sights are only a short walk away.
Outside Copenhagen, the countryside offers graceful castles, stout churches and small fishing villages that seem to have been lifted from a story by Hans Christian Andersen. The mostly flat-as-a-pancake terrain connecting these sights makes touring the countryside on a bicycle a pleasant option—though beware of the strong winds that may blow in from the sea.
Visitors who have been to other Scandinavian countries find the Danes to be surprisingly open. Sit for a while at an inn or bar and you may soon find yourself surrounded by friends: Most residents speak English and seem to make it a point to talk to travelers. And while their country may be old in appearance, the people are young in attitude—the nightlife is vibrant and continues well into the morning.
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