The Danish capital is characterised by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Geoff Hill offers some expert tips to easy the way for visitors.

THE INSIDE TRACK

A Copenhagen Card entitles you to free admission to 70 museums and other attractions, unlimited use of public transport, including the airport shuttle, and discounts in many shops and restaurants. Buy at visitcopenhagen.com.

The oldest pub in Copenhagen, Hviids Vinstue, opened in 1723, is a herring's throw from Kongens Nytorv metro. hviidsvinstue.dk

Copenhagen has 320km of dedicated cycle lanes. Free bikes are available from 110 locations throughout the city. Just insert a 20 kroner coin to release the bike from its stand and get your money back when you drop it off at any other stand. bycyklen.dk

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Amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo / 123RF
Amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo / 123RF

Tivoli Gardens has moved on in recent years from its traditional image and now offers terrifying rides such as the floorless Demon rollercoaster, Vertigo and The Star Flyer, the world's tallest carousel. tivoli.dk

See the city from the water with canal and harbour tours (canaltours.com) or a spot of kayaking (kajakole.dk).

The Carlsberg Brewery Visitors Centre has the world's biggest collection of unopened beer bottles -21,811 of them. visitcarlsberg.dk
THE BEST HOTELS IN COPENHAGEN
Admiral Hotel (mid-range)

The Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen. Photo / Tim Bartel
The Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen. Photo / Tim Bartel

A four-star hotel in a restored 1787 grain warehouse, five minutes' walk from Nyhavn and not much more to the Royal Palace and The Little Mermaid. All of the 366 rooms are unique, many retaining the original wooden beams.

71 Nyhavn Hotel (mid-range)

A stylish and atmospheric four-star hotel overlooking the harbour in a former spice warehouse dating back to 1804. It's just a few minutes' walk from Amalienborg Palace, Kongens Nytorv and the very stylish shopping street of Stroget. The 150 rooms and suites are all elegantly restored in keeping with the building's history, and it has one of the best hotel restaurants in the city.

Scandic Front Hotel (high end)

If you're too 21st-century for exposed beams and old-world charm, they don't get much more contemporary than the Front, with cocktail bar, free soft drinks and beer in the minibar, free Wi-Fi, fitness suite, sauna and open fires to stop it all getting too sterile. If you want something other than the simple but tasty food served in the restaurant, you're a mere five-minute stroll from Nyhavn.

THE BEST RESTAURANTS
Nose2Tail (low cost)

Its owner, Martin Rasmussen, is a big fan of British cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. His mother also drummed "waste not, want not" into his head as a childhood mantra - and it shows, as customers share tables in this basement restaurant and tuck into every bit of animals who were cared for in life and didn't die in vain.

Kodbyens Fiskebar (mid-range)

This busy spot manages to be both fashionable and timeless, and you can see why. Its owner, Anders Selmer, loves his seafood and makes sure you do too, and his staff are friendly and multilingual.

Relae Restaurant (high end)

Named Copenhagen's best new restaurant in 2011, with peerless ingredients turned into classic Scandinavian dishes with a twist. The Relae's style, like its staff, is witty and informal in spite of the class of the food.

CHECKLIST
Getting there
Emirates flies A380s daily from Auckland to Copenhagen, via Dubai. Fares start from $1936 Economy Class return.