Great Danes

Underneath the genteel surface image of COPENHAGEN, visitors will discover a vibrant ‘-.".':)':s Alan Morrison

Think of Copenhagen, and it's the tiny fairy-tale figure of 'The Little Mermaid', gazing longingly out to sea, who first comes to mind. Other cliches soon follow: a polite nation, litter-free streets, pretty buildings, ornate gardens, expensive shops. There's more than a smidgeon of truth here Copenhagen is a beautiful, elegant, civilised city - but venture out in the centre when the sun goes down, and you'll find

.Wgnderful, wondeflultflyMIn Copenhagen

stylish crowds in bars that would be the envy of any West End. You'd never guess Aqua and Whigfield hailed from around here.

It's hardly a schi20phrenic experience, though, despite the citizens' Viking roots; more an opportunity to take things at a relaxed pace during the day, then rev up for the night. Much of the city centre is pedestrianised, so soaking up the medieval charm of the old buildings is a walker's delight. Try to catch the Changing of the Guard which takes place at Amalienborg Palace every day at noon (when the Royal Family are in residence), then get a panoramic view of the city from the top of the fascinating 17th century Round Tower.

Afterwards wander along Stroget, the longest

Copenhagen's biggest department stores and the famous Royal Copenhagen shops, with their fine porcelain, crystal and antiques. A trip down Larsbjornsstrade is better for those seeking out designer fashions and second hand clothes.

The food is also unmissable. Open-faced sandwiches (smorrebrod) with fish toppings, followed by tasty pastries, should be washed down with glasses of Carlsberg and Tuborg. In the evenings, and particularly in winter, the untranslatable Danish custom of hygge takes over: cosiness is all important, as the natives get into a friendly snuggle over plentiful food and drink.

pedestrianised street

Stating the obvious

Tivoli Gardens lt’s not Just flowers that draws the tourists an amusement park, Copenhagen Zoo, concert performances, firework displays and an array of restaurants have made Tivoli world-famous.

Nyhaven Originally the town’s sailors' quarter, this picturesque water-side street boasts exquisite houses (including three of Hans Christian

The Little Mermaid

in the world, home to


Andersen's homes) and expenswe rCSIdUrctnIS.

The Little Mermaid Like the Eiffel Tower, this statue has come to encapsulate a city in a single image. Inspired by the Andersen fairy tale, she's but one of countless figures and works of art scattered across town's public places.

Royal Theatre The home of the internationally renowned Danish Royal Ballet also stages major operas, and is worth a Visit simply to marvel at its splendid interiors. Kongens Nytorv 7-—9. Art: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Wander the sculpture gardens overlooking the sea (on a clear day you can see Sweden) and Wind your way around the contemporary collection. Situated a short train ride north from Copenhagen at Humlebc‘ek

The List alternative

Club: Rust Started up in the mid-80s by a group of unemployed Danes, Rust has evolved from its beginnings as a grunge bar to become a nightlife

fixture, and has even added a techno dancefloor in the basement. Gu/derberggade 8.

Restaurant: Snaren One of the City’s most down-to-earth and cosiest cafe restaurants which retains its authentic Danish feel With wooden decor, opcn fire and diverse clientele. Best for lunch as it turns into a bar in the evenings. Kompagn/straede 2

Pub: Pussy Galore's Flying Circus One of a clutch of stylish cafe bars in this area, Pussy Galore’s revels as the name suggests ~- in deSIgner kitsch. A highlight is the excellent selection of schnapps, including the flaVOured early morning pick-me-up ’Gammel Dansk'. Sankt Hans Torv 30.

Music: Roskilde Festival Blondie, The Chemical Brothers, Blur, Marilyn Manson, REM and Robbie Williams are a few of the big names performing at Roskilde (30km from Copenhagen) this year between 1—4 July, For tickets and other info try the internet at http//www_roskilde-

festival dk/l999/english/

The Big Fling continues

1999 special fares

STA Travel have the following excluswe fares on Virgin Atlantic available to book until 13 June 1999. Plus, if you book your Virgin Atlantic flight with STA Travel, you also have the chance to Win one of nine worldWide trips for you and three friends departing on 9.9.99 for ninety nine hours and one of 5,000 instant prizes!

Athens fr £129

Miami fr £229

Johannesburg fr £329

St LUCla fr £259

Hong Kong fr £329

New York fr £169

Los Angeles fr £209

Kuala Lumpur fr £329

Shanghai fr £239

Sydney fr £479

Depart from Glasgow or Edinburgh for an additional £70

Fares include pre-paid tax, are SUbjGCI to availability and are valid for students and those under 26.

European Weekenders

As the summer is fast approaching here are some of STA Travel's most wanted'

Amsterdam Flights from £99 inc tax Accommodation from £8 per person Paris -- Flights from £119 inc tax Accommodation from £14 per person Dublin Flights from £77 inc tax Accommodation from £8 per persOn

Art: Crossings 1—2 If you want a sample of what new Danish art has to offer Without leavmg Scotland, catch this exhibition of Danish graduates from British art schools. From 920 June, there's a scuptural installation by Lars Boye lerlach (Edinburgh College of Art), while the show running 23 June-4 July includes Glasgow School of Art graduate Anne Bierge Hansen (see picture below)

Getting there

STA Travel offer return fares from London to Copenhagen from £80 plus tax tax. and from Glasgow to Copenhagen from £132 plus tax.

Set sail: detail-froAnne 8jerge Hansen's Voyage, part of Crossings

STA Travel are at 184 Byres Road and The University of Strathclyde, 90 John Street Glasgow. Tel: 0141 338 6000

27 Forrest Road, Edinburgh. Tel 0131 226 7747 0 30 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen. Tel 0122 465 8222 0

29 May-~10 June 1999 THE lIST 105