Copenhagen is a place completely at ease with itself and which offers the weekender serious gourmet dining, shopping for cutting edge designer goods, excellent nightlife and, particularly in mid-winter, an all-enveloping sense of hygge - a word that's difficult enough to pronounce ('hooga', is a good approximation), let alone define, but easiest explained as 'cosiness'. Hygge evolved as a mechanism to help the locals cope with the dark winter months and while you may not be able to put your finger on it, hygge will be all around, in candle-lit restaurants and snug subterranean bars, making the whole city even more alluring in winter.

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Harriet, Kate L and Lucy G are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • With 240 miles of separate cycle routes and a pancake-flat topography, Copenhagen is best explored on two wheels, and most hotels will lend or rent you bikes
  • Smørrebrød, the Danish equivalent of tapas, consists of a slice of creamy butter-smeared rye bread topped off with pretty much any foodstuff (as long as it's artfully presented). Some combinations are an acquired taste, but must be sampled
  • The Danes do Christmas spirit better than anyone, especially at Tivoli Gardens

Our guide to holidays in Copenhagen

Denmark's capital is home to renaissance castles such as Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg and King Christian IV's architectural peculiarity, the Round Tower.

The impressive National Museum's exhibits span Denmark's history from Viking treasures through the Golden Age of Scandinavian paintings and right up to the very best contemporary pieces.

Danes are rightfully proud of Tivoli, the amusement park in gardens of the same name that is the antithesis of everything Disney.

Those with a little more time on their hands might consider a day trip to Kronborg (Hamlet's castle at Helsingor) less than an hour's drive from Copenhagen, or even take the train across the incredible Oresund Bridge to Malmo in Sweden.

But Copenhagen isn't just about history: it is also a world leader in contemporary design with such brands as Bang & Olufsen, Bodum, Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen to name but a few. These brands are all readily available on Stroget, the world's longest pedestrianised shopping street. And if shopping and culture aren't top of the 'To do' list, the restaurants, bars and nightclubs alone make a visit worthwhile.

Bars stay open late into the night - the port area of Nyhavn being a particularly favourite haunt for young Danes - and nightclubs like NASA or Vega have become mainstays on the European nightclub scene.

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