Copenhagen has consistently been ranked among the world’s most liveable cities, Denmark has become known as the world’s happiest nation and Lonely Planet listed the Danish capital high on its 2019 list with the top cities to visit.

With all this newly found attention, it seems like the Danish capital has taken the world by storm. I’m not going to examine whether Denmark is actually the happiest country worldwide, as it is a quite debatable topic, but as an expat living in Copenhagen for six years, I can guarantee that it deserves the title of one of the best cities to live in, let alone a place on your travel list. Here are the top reasons why this Danish city wins visitors’ and locals’ hearts – including mine.

Its conveniently small size

Copenhagen has everything a metropolitan city has to offer packed in a conveniently small size. You’ll never get bored in Copenhagen and you’ll never get tired of leisurely strolls from one neighborhood to another. Of course, the fact that the country has a great system of public transportation, as well as cycling infrastructures, plays a great role. Commuting through the city actually adds to the experience rather than dispirit you.

Biking in Copenhagen

Everyone bikes in Copenhagen. Nine out of ten Danes own at least one bike and during rush hour there is actually a bicycle traffic jam. Bike lanes and bicycle bridges are all over the city making commuting by bike easy and fun. Even though many northern European countries have a strong cycling culture, Copenhagen has been named the world’s bike-friendliest city. Renting a bike to explore the city is one of my top Copenhagen travel tips.

top reasons to visit Copenhagen

Shopping opportunities

The Scandinavian style has inspired fashionistas all over the world and swiftly taken over the catwalks. Minimalist monochrome garments that are comfortable and at the same time elegant is the core of Scandi style. Copenhageners surely know how to appreciate it and the Danish capital brims with clothing stores, designers’ boutiques and second-hand shops.

It’s the capital of Scandinavian design

Denmark is the birthplace of some of the most renowned furniture designers worldwide. The Scandinavian interior is as much in fashion as the Scandi style and there isn’t a better city to get a load of it than Copenhagen. Elegant design stores are situated in every neighborhood while Designmuseum Danmark features pieces of the most famous Danish designers.

top reasons to visit Copenhagen

The diverse culinary scene

Michelin-starred restaurants serving dishes inspired by the New Nordic cuisine movements, trendy street food markets and eateries with exotic flavors from all over the world compose Copenhagen’s gastronomy scene. You’ll find something here for every budget and taste, from rød pølse hot-dogs on the side of the street to world-renowned gourmet dishes at fancy joints. Most Copenhagen travel guides are chockfull of great dining options.

Architectural landmarks and modern-design bulidings

Copenhagen’s skyline is one of the reasons the Scandinavian city is so impressive. Modern-architecture buildings adjoin palaces and churches of different architectural styles. Start off by visiting the exemplary baroque-style buildings of Charlottenborg Palace and Church of Our Savior in the city center. The renaissance Rosenborg Castle and 17th-century stock exchange Børsen which stand on Slotsholmen island along with Christiansborg Palace and Thorvaldsens Museum should be the next stop on your itinerary. Finally, don’t omit to witness the brilliance of the Copenhagen Opera House, the Maritime Museum and the Royal Library, also known as the Black Diamond. In the odd case you’re still not impressed, pass by the Amager Bakke a.k.a Copenhill, the famous energy plant that is set to be complete with its own artificial ski slope by spring 2019.

top reasons to visit Copenhagen

The city’s vibrant nightlife

Classy cocktail bars, smoky bodegas, sophisticated jazz venues, beer bars and bustling nightclubs make Copenhagen’s nightlife incomparable. When the sun sets -and after locals have done the mandatory pre-drinking gathering at home- they ride their bicycles with destination either the hip Vesterbro or the cool Nørrebro. You’ll easily find both nightclubs and bars that stay open until the wee hours, serving cocktails, snaps and Akvavit.

Festivals and annual events run throughout the year

Copenhageners rid themselves of the winter blues by making sure there is always an event or festival on. CPH: PIX and Culture Night in October, Christmas markets starting popping up from mid-November, CPH: DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Festival in March are sure to keep locals busy until the summer kicks in. Come sunnier days, the city goes into full party mode. There are street parties, concerts, festivals and events taking place in every park, pier and alleyway, especially in June and July. Distortion Festival, Roskilde Festival, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Strøm Festival and Copenhell are only a few of the options you’ll have to draw lots for.

top reasons to visit Copenhagen

Copenhagen Travel: 8 Reasons to Visit this Scandinavian City photos courtesy of Ty Stange / Copenhagen Media Center, Martin Heiberg / Copenhagen Media Center, Terry Mclaughlin / Copenhagen Media Center, Thomas Høyrup Christensen / Copenhagen Media Center, Astrid Maria Rasmussen / Copenhagen Media Center