Month: April 2009

Helsinki Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Helsinki Travel Deals

A – Overview

Helsinki’s green parks and waterways, fresh sea winds, its busy market square, its exciting cultural events and many open-air cafés make the city a delightful place to visit. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is the country’s center of cultural, financial and economic activity. The heart of the city is compact, filled with treasures from the past and present, and best explored on foot. The city retains a small town feel as there are no high-rise buildings and the market square is still surrounded by 19th century architecture.

 

A city of the sea, Helsinki was built along a series of peninsulas and islands jutting into the Baltic coast along the Gulf of Finland. Streets and avenues curve around bays, ferries travel among offshore islands, and bridges reach in all directions. Helsinki is linked by ferry to Suomenlinna Island in the Gulf of Finland, which is a perfect spot for picnicking and family outings. Baltic ferries run from Sweden, Estonia and Germany to Helsinki, Turku, Vaasa and Pietarsaari. The ferries are impressive seagoing craft that have been compared to hotels and shopping plazas.

 

Most visitors arrive in the summer, but Nordic skiing is popular all winter, and there are cross-country trails of varying difficulty. Downhill skiers go to Lapland, or to resorts in the many forested districts of Finland.

 

Boating can be enjoyed on both sea and lake, but the prime sailing region is just a short distance from the city in the Turku archipelago. Canoeing in the Helsinki area is best on Åland archipelago. Just beyond the city, the largest unspoiled wilderness in Europe attracts thousands of trekkers every year.

 

Helsinki has over thirty art galleries and museums. Numerous parks and waterside walkways are woven into a perfectly blended range of architectural styles, the result of a neoclassical building surge in the early 1800s and the efforts of modernist Finnish designers in the mid 20th century. Helsinki has been described as the last city in Europe to be built as art.

 

In the year 2000, Helsinki celebrated its 450th anniversary. This beautiful city has aged gracefully, preserving the beauty of the past while staying very modern and very efficient. Public transportation, including buses, trams, and metro are clean, fast, inexpensive and reliable. The railway station is an excellent example of the merging of beauty and utility in Helsinki. The station contains not only the rail center, but also a metro stop and an underground shopping complex. It is striking in its appearance, with pink granite trimmed in green with a black roof. Designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1905, it links two of Helsinki’s architectural styles: national romanticism and functionalism.

 

Finnish food has elements of both Swedish and Russian cuisine, with many variations and local specialties. The potato is a staple, and is served with tasty fish or meat sauces. Some traditional Finnish meals include game such as snow grouse, reindeer, raw pickled or glowfired salmon. Restaurants and hotels offer a wide variety of delicious entrees containing the best seasonal Finnish ingredients. Also available are offerings prepared in the classic European style.

 

July is the month most frequently chosen for a visit to Finland. The weather is agreeable with blue skies and just an occasional shower. The summer rain is warm and over quickly. The nights are filled with light in Finland in the summer. Often you can read without a light even in the middle of the night – a perfect situation for those who have remarked that “there are never enough hours in the day.”

 

Shoppers delight year round in the vast array of products of high quality that are available in Helsinki. The Esplanadi and Market Square are filled with cafes and open air stalls selling food, local apparel and crafts. A favorite place for residents and visitors alike is Stockmann Department Store, which is large, modern, and tastefully filled with every possible commodity from clothing and accessories to groceries and other delicacies.

 

Finland’s well-known names in ceramics (Arabia); textiles (Finlayson, Marimekko); and glass (Iittala, Nuutajärvi) are found in specialty shops and bargains abound in manufacturers’ factory outlet stores located in and around the city. The stores are museums in themselves! Another celebrated product of Finland is the popular Nokia (pronounced No kia) cell phone and related electronic items.

 

Major cultural events occur throughout the year. Spring and summer festivals feature fine music and excellent theater. Music, dance, drama, films, and high quality exhibitions are common threads running through the festival programs. The aim of the annual Helsinki Festival is to culminate the summer activities with an internationally acclaimed cultural event. The Festival includes a Night of the Arts festival, with major symphonic works, the finest baroque orchestras, and a Food Piazza on the Senate Square. There are special events for children throughout the festival.

 

For an exciting city vacation or a relaxing retreat in beautiful natural surroundings, Helsinki is the destination of choice. Time will fly by in a most enjoyable way when you visit Helsinki. The captivating city, its surrounding sea and archipelago provide the setting for an exciting and inspiring vacation that is sure to please the whole family

B – City information

Helsinki, Finland, Facts

Population: City: 560,000; Total population in the Helsinki Region: 1,187,195

Language: Finnish & Swedish: Finnish, the principal language, is of Finno-Ugric origin: related to Estonian with distant links to Hungarian.

The form of Swedish spoken in Finland is Finlandssvenska (Finland’s Swedish.) In most of Finland signs and street names are in Finnish and Swedish. English is also widely spoken.

Religion: Lutheran & Orthodox

Government: Democratic republic led by a president and prime minister

Major industries: Metals and engineering equipment, telecommunications, paper products

Major trading partners: EU, USA, Russia

Time: GMT/UTC plus two hours. When it is noon in New York City; it is 7pm in Helsinki.

Temperature Range

High

Low

January
26F
17

February

25

15

March

32

20

April

44

30

May

56

40

June

65

48

July

66

49

August

71

55

September

59

46

October

47

37

November

37

30

December

31

23

 

When to Go

The tourist summer season runs from mid-June to mid-August, marked by long hours of sunlight and cool nights.

You can expect pleasantly warm (not hot) days in Helsinki from mid-May through August. Summer nights are brief and never really dark, whereas in midwinter daylight lasts only a few hours. Precipitation in winter is mostly in the form of snow.

Holidays

Jan. 1 New Year’s Day

January 6 Epiphany

March or April Good Friday, Easter, and Easter Monday

April 30 Great Prayer Day

May 1 May Day

June (first Mon.) Pentecost/Whitsunday

June 12 Helsinki Day

June (2 days at the start of

the summer solstice Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Day

November 1 All Saints’ Day

December 6 Independence Day

December 25-26 Christmas and St. Stephen’s Day

 

Weights & measures: Metric

Useful Conversions of weights and measures

1 hectare 2.471 acres

1 inch 2.54 cm

1 ft. 30.48 cm

1 oz. 28.57 grams

1 lb. 0.454 kg

1 cm 0.39 inches

1 meter 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards

1 km 0.62 miles

1 liter 0.26 US gallons

1 inch 2.54 cm

1 foot 0.39 meters

1 yard 0.91 meters

1 mile 1.60 km

1kg 2.2lb

1 gallon 3.78 liters

Business Hours

Banks & Stores

Banks are open weekdays 9 or 9:15 to 4 or 5. Many offices and embassies close at 3pm June to August. Stores are open weekdays 9 to 6 and Saturday 9 to 1 or 2 and are closed on Sunday, but several of the larger stores stay open until 8 or 9 weekdays. Main stores in the town center are open Sunday, June to August, all through December, and on five other Sundays throughout the year from noon to 7. Some stores in malls stay open until 8 pm on weekdays and until 4 on Saturday. In the Asematunneli (train station tunnel), stores are open weekdays 10 to 10 and weekends noon to 10.

Electricity

The electrical current in Helsinki is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.

To use your U.S.-purchased electric-powered equipment bring a converter and adapter. If your appliances are dual-voltage you’ll need only an adapter.

Embassies :United States Embassy (Itäinen Puistotie 14A, 00140 Helsinki, 09/171-931).

Public Restrooms: Clean and modern. Naiset=ladies; Michet = men.

Emergencies

The nationwide emergency number is 112.

Police. 112 or 10022.

Ambulance. 112. Specify whether the situation seems life-threatening so medical attendants can prepare for immediate treatment in the ambulance.

Dentist

Ympyrätalo Dental Clinic (Siltasaarenkatu 18A, 09/709-6611) offers emergency dental care.

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Hospital. Töölön Sairaala (Töölönk. 40, 09/471-7358) is central, about 2 km (1 mi) from city center, with a 24-hour emergency room and first-aid service.

Late-Night Pharmacies

Yliopiston Apteekki (Mannerheim. 96, 09/4178-0300) is open daily 24 hours.

Mail

Post offices are open weekdays 9-5 (till 7 or 8 in some cities); stamps, express mail, registered mail, and insured mail service are available. There is no Saturday delivery.

Currency

The unit of currency is the Euro. Finland is part of the European Union.

Exchanging Money

There are exchange bureaus in all bank branches; some post offices, which also function as banks (Postipankki); major hotels; the Forex booths at the train station and in Esplanadi; and at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Some large harbor terminals also have exchange bureaus, and international ferries have exchange desks.

Prepaid Cash Cards

prepaid electronic cash cards are available that process cash transactions, made at designated public pay phones, vending machines, and McDonald’s. Disposable prepaid cards can be purchased at kiosks.

Taxes

Citizens of non-EU countries are eligible for tax-free returns upon leaving EU territory. Purchases must be made in shops displaying the Tax-Free sign. The minimum total sum of purchased goods must be 40 euros. Upon leaving EU territory, travelers can claim VAT that varies according to product but does not exceed 16 percent.

Tipping

Tipping is not the norm in Finland, but it is not unheard of.

Passports & Visas

Entering Finland All U.S. citizens, even infants, need only a valid passport to enter Finland for stays of up to three months.

Passport Offices

The best time to apply for a passport or to renew is during the fall and winter. Before any trip, check your passport’s expiration date, and, if necessary, renew it as soon as possible.

Telephones The country code for Finland is 358. Telephone numbers in Finland vary in size from four to eight digits. Business phone numbers may also have special prefix codes (020 or 010), which are country-wide but are charged at only local rates.

Directory & Operator Information

For directory assistance dial 118.

International Calls

You can call overseas at the post and telegraph office. In Helsinki, at Mannerheimintie 11B, the “Lennätin” section is open weekdays 9-9, Saturdays 10-4. The Finland Direct pamphlet tells you how to reach an operator in your own country for collect or credit-card calls. Use any booth that has a green light, and pay the cashier when you finish. You can also ask for a clerk to arrange a collect call; when it is ready, the clerk will direct you to a booth.

The front of the phone book has overseas calling directions and rates. You must begin all direct overseas calls with 990, or 999, or 994, or 00, plus country code (1 for the United States/Canada, 44 for Great Britain). Finnish operators can be reached by dialing 020-208 for overseas information or for placing collect calls.

Long-Distance Calls: When dialing out of the immediate area, first dial 0; drop the 0 when calling Finland from abroad.

 

Arriving & Departing

By Air

All international flights arrive at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) (358-9-82771 or 358-9-61511), 12 mi north of city center. Helsinki is served by most major European airlines, as well as several East European carriers.

Flying time from New York to Helsinki is about eight hours, nine hours for the return trip.

Transfers Between the Airport and Town

By Bus

A local Bus 615 runs three to four times an hour between the airport and the main railway station. The fare is FM 15, and the trip takes about 40 minutes. Finnair buses carry travelers to and from the railway station (Finnair’s City Terminal) two to four times an hour, with a stop at the Inter-Continental Helsinki. Stops requested along the route from the airport to the city are also made. Travel time from the Inter-Continental to the airport is about 30 minutes, 35 minutes from the main railway station; the fare is FM 25.

By Car

If you are driving, follow the signs to Tuusulan Route (Tuusulanväylä) and Keskusta (downtown Helsinki).

By Taxi

There is a taxi stop at the arrivals building. A cab ride into central Helsinki will cost between FM 100 and FM 140. Driving time is 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the time of day. Check to see if your hotel has a shuttle service, although this is not common here.

Airport Taxi (09/2200-2500) costs FM 60, FM 90 for two passengers, and operates shuttles between the city and the airport. You must reserve a day before your flight, by 7 PM for morning departures.

Getting Around

By Boat

Ships arriving from Rostock, Germany, and Stockholm dock at Katajanokkanlaituri (east side of South Harbor).

By Bus

The main long-distance bus station is Linja-autoasema (off Mannerheimintie, between Salomonkatu and Simonkatu).

Many local buses arrive and depart from Rautatientori (Railway Station Square). For information on long-distance transport, call 9600-4000.

By Car

Ring Roads One and Three are the two major highways that encircle the city. Mannerheimintie and Hämeentie are the major trunk roads out of Helsinki. Mannerheimintie feeds into Highway E79, which travels west and takes you to the Ring Roads. Hämeentie leads you to Highway E4 as well as Roads 4 and 7.

By Train

Helsinki’s main rail gateway is the Rautatieasema (train station; city center, off Kaivokatu, 09/707-5700 information).

By Bicycle

Well-marked cycle paths run into the heart of Helsinki, making cycling safe and fast. Bikes can be rented at some youth hostels. The Finnish Youth Hostel Association (YHA; Yrjönkatu 38B, 00100 Helsinki, 09/694-0377, FAX: 09/693-1349,

Tours By Boat

All boat tours depart from Kauppatori Market Square. The easiest way to choose one is to go to the square in the morning and read the information boards describing the tours.

A ferry to the Suomenlinna fortress island runs about twice an hour, depending on the time of day, and costs FM 10. Ten-trip tickets issued for city public tranport can be used on the ferry, too.

From June to August, private water buses run from Kauppatori to Suomenlinna. Call 06/633-800 for information and schedules.

Travel within the City

The Helsinki City Transport tourist ticket entitles you to unlimited travel on all buses, trams, subways, and local trains in Helsinki. It is valid for one, three, or five days and costs FM 25, FM 50, or FM 75. For timetable and ticket information related to Helsinki’s comprehensive, punctual, and generally efficient public transport system, call the 24-hour line, 0100-111.

By Bus, Streetcar, Local Train, or Subway

Tickets may be purchased at subway stations, R-kiosks, and shops displaying the Helsinki city transport logo (two curving black arrows on a yellow background). Standard single tickets valid on all transport, and permitting transfers within the whole network for within an hour of the time stamped on the ticket, cost FM 10 and can be bought on trams and buses. Single tickets bought beforehand, at the City Transport office in the railway station tunnel or at one of the many R-kiosk shops, for example, cost FM 8. A 10-trip ticket sold at R-kiosks costs FM 75. Most of Helsinki’s major points of interest, from Kauppatori to the Opera House, are along the 3T tram line; the Helsinki City Tourist Office distributes a free pamphlet called “Helsinki Sightseeing: 3T.”

 

Helsinki’s subway (Metro) line runs from Ruoholahti, just west of the city center, to Mellunmäki and Vuosaari, in the eastern suburbs. It operates Monday-Saturday 5:25am-11:18 pm, and Sunday 6:30am – 11:20 pm.

By Taxi

There are numerous taxi stands; central stands are at Rautatientori at the station, the main bus station, Linja-autoasema, and in the Esplanade

 

By Train

Helsinki’s suburbs and most of the rest of southern, western, and central Finland are well served by trains. Travel on trains within the Helsinki city limits costs the same as all public transport.

 

By Car

Ring Roads One and Three are the two major highways that circle the city. Mannerheimintie and Hämeentie are the major trunk roads out of Helsinki. Mannerheimintie feeds into Highway E79, which travels west and takes you to the Ring Roads. Hämeentie leads you to Highway E4 as well as Roads 4 and 7. From either route, you will find directions for Road 137 to the airport. For specific route information, contact The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (Autoliitto ry, Hämeentie 105 A, PL 35, 00550 Helsinki, 09/774-761)

 

Car Rentals

. It is cheaper to rent directly from the United States before coming to Finland. Some Finnish service stations also offer car rentals at reduced rates.

Road Conditions

Late autumn and spring are the most hazardous times to drive. Roads are often icy in autumn (kelivaroitus is the slippery road warning), and the spring thaw can make for kelirikko (heaves).

 

Rules of the Road

Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. You must always use low-beam headlights outside built-up areas. Seat belts are compulsory for everyone. You must yield to cars coming from the right at most intersections where roads are of equal size. There are strict drinking-and-driving laws

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Attractions

I. Neighborhoods Within Helsinki

1. Keskusta (City Center) contains Senate Square and other public buildings.

 

2. Katajanokka across the bridge from Senate Square

Site of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral

 

3. Krunnunhaka (The Old City) Helsinki’s oldest district. Contains antique furniture, book and clothing shops and art galleries.

 

4. Tervasaari (Tar Island)

a little island connected to Kruununhaka by a man made isthmus. A beautiful park with University Botanical Gardens as a centerpiece. Ice hockey in winter.

 

5. Kallio contains the Museum of Worker Housing and is a short walk from Helsinki’s amusement park: Linnanmäki.

 

6. Töölö Bay located north of the train station and near Kallio. Contains the City Theater; Olympic Stadium, the Finnish National Opera House, Finlandia Hall, and the natural Science Museum. It is also the site of the ultra modern church cut into the cliffs, Temppelinaukion kirkko.

7. Punavuori An upscale area beneath Töölö toward the end of the peninsula. Contains many fashionable galleries and boutiques as well as museums.

8. Eira Helsinki’s most fashionable area is bordered by parkland. Contains Helsinki’s best park: Kaviopuisto. Free concerts are offered there.

9. Outlying Islands : (connected by foot bridges to the mainland)

Suomenlinna (Finland’s Castle)

Seurasaari : site of the Open Air Museum

II. Museums and Other Attractions

Ateneumin Taidemuseo (Ateneum Museum of Finnish Art)

Kaivokatu 2

09-173-361

Tues. -Fri. 9-6 (also Wed.-Thurs. 6-8) Sat., Sun. 11-5.

Tram 2,3,4,6; all buses to Rautatientori Square

is the principal gallery and covers Finnish and international art from the 19th century. It is housed in a handsome 19th century building.

 

Casino Ray

Eteläinen Rautatie 4

09/694-2900

offers roulette, blackjack, and slot machines

 

Finlandiatalo (Finlandia Hall). This white, winged concert hall was one of architectAlvar Aalto’s last creations. It is especially impressive on foggy days or at night. Guided tour. Karamzininkatu 4, 09/40241.

Guided tours are offered. InfoShop open June-Aug., weekdays 9-4, weekends noon-4 for inquiries and tickets.

Concerts are usually held in the evening.

 

Gallen-Kallela Estate

Gallen-Kallelantie 27, Tarvaspää

09/541-3388.

Take Tram 4 from in front of the Sokos department store on Mannerheimintie. From the Munkkiniemi stop transfer to Bus 33, or walk the 1 mile through the woods to the Estate.

May-Aug: Mon.-Thurs. 10-8, Fri.-Sun. 10-5; Sept -May, Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 10-5.

Six miles northwest of Helsinki on the edge of the sea is the estate of the Finnish Romantic painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela (which the artist designed himself). Gallen-Kallela lived there from its completion in 1913 until his death in 1931. Inside, the open rooms of the painter’s former work spaces make the perfect exhibition hall for his paintings.

 

Helsingen Kaupunginmuseo ( Helsinki City Museum)

Sofianjkau 4

09-169-3933

Mon-Fri 9-5; Sat.,Sun. 11-5

Tram 3B,3T,1,2,4,7

Headquartered in the ‘street museum” of Sofiankantu, the City Museum has branches throughout the city, including the nearby Sederhom House. The main museum has an informative exhibit on the history of Helsinki. The “Street Museum” portrays changing styles of street architecture. Start at the harbor end and walk on the cobbled streets past the artifacts. The walk begins in the 800’s and ends in the 1930’s.

Hvitträsk.

Linja-autosema. Hvitträskintie 166, Luoma, Kirkkonummi,

09/221-9230

Bus 166 from Helsinki’s main bus station (45 min. ride).

June-Aug., weekdays 10-7, weekends 10-6; Sept.-May, weekdays 11-6, weekends 11-5

On the northwest edge of the Espoo area, 25 miles west of Helsinki, is the studio home of architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen. In an idyllic position at the top of a wooded slope, the property dates back to the turn of the century, and has been converted into a museum. The main house is constructed in the national Art Nouveau style, with its rustic detail and paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Saarinen lived here, and his grave is nearby.

Exhibitions are arranged in summer. There is a delightful sauna beside the lake and the whole area is a ruggedly-beautiful nature park.

 

Kaivopuisto (Well Park)

South of Puistok. on the water.

This large, shady, path-filled park was once the site of a popular spa that drew people from St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and all of Scandinavia until its popularity faded during the Crimean War. All the spa structures were eventually destroyed except one, the Kaivohuone, which is now a popular restaurant. Across from the entrance of Kaivohuone, take Kaivohuoneenrinne through the park past an Empire-style villa built by Albert Edelfelt, father of the famous Finnish painter who bore the same name. Built in 1839, it is the oldest preserved villa in the park.

 

Kauppatori (Market Square)

Eteläranta and Pohjoisespl.

Sept.-May, weekdays 6:30-2, Sat. 6:30-3; June-Aug., weekdays 6:30-2 and 3:30-8, Sat. 6:30-3; Sun.9-4.

At this well known Helsinki market, open year-round, wooden stands with orange and gold awnings welcome tourists and locals alike who come to shop, browse, or sit and enjoy coffee and conversation. You can buy a fresh perch, a bouquet of flowers, or a fur pelt or hat. In summer the fruit and vegetable stalls are supplemented by an evening arts and crafts market.

 

Luonnontieteelinen Museo (Natural History Museum)

Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13

09/191-7400

Mon-Fri 9-5 (Wed. also 5-8) and Sat,Sun 11-4

Bus 16,23,21v; tram 4,10

Admission charged.

The museum is guarded by a bronze elk, just one of many animals in the museum’s vast collection. The mammal hall is one of the best in Europe, a series of tableaux showing Finnish wildlife in their native habitats.

 

Nykytaiteenmuseo -Kiasma (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Mannerheiminaukio. 2

Bus 16, 13, 21v; tram 4,10

09/1733-6500 or 1733-6501.

Admission charged.

Tues. 9-5, Wed.-Sun. 10-10.

Praised for the boldness of its curved steel shell, the bold postmodern design is the creation of American architect, Stephen Holl. This striking museum opened in 1998 and displays a wealth of Finnish and foreign art from the 1960s to the present.

 

Sederholmin Talo (Sederholm House)

Aleksanterinkatu 18

09/169-3625

Daily 11-5 (June-Aug.) Wed-Sun. 11-5, rest of the year.

Tram 3B, 3T,1,2,4,7

This is said to be the oldest house in Helsinki. Its one time owner, Johan Sederholm, was an 18th century Finnish businessman who rose from poverty to great wealth and distinction.

 

Senaatintori (Senate Square)

Senaatintori

Tram 3B, 3T, 1,2,4,7

Site of many summer festivals and events

The harmony of the three buildings flanking Senaatintori exemplifies neoclassical architecture. The architecture is in the Russian Imperial style which was encouraged by Tsar Alexander I in his bid to make Helsinki a stylistically eastern capital after it was annexed by Russia from Sweden in 1809. The asquare and its major buildings were designed by German architect Carl Ludvig Engel.

On the square’s west side is one of the main buildings of Helsingin Yliopisto (Helsinki University); on the east side is the pale yellow Valtionneuvosto (Council of State), completed in 1822. At the lower end of the square, stores and restaurants now occupy former merchants’ homes.

 

Seurasaaren Ulkomuseo.( Seurasaari Open Air Museum)

a 40 minute walk from the opera house or take Bus 24 from city center.

There are guided tours in English at 11:30 and 3:30.

09/4050-9660 in summer; 09/4050-9327 in winter.

Mid-May-late May and early Sept.-mid-Sept., weekdays 9-3, weekends 11-5; June-Aug., Thurs.-Tues. 11-5, Wed. 11-7; mid-Sept.-mid-Nov., weekends 11-5.

Located on an island about 2 miles northwest of the city center, the Seurasaari Outdoor Museum was founded in 1909 to preserve rural Finnish architecture. Its vintage farmhouses and barns were brought to Seurasaari from all over Finland; many are rough-hewn log buildings dating from the 17th century. All exhibits are marked by signposts along the trails. There are nearly 100 marvelous buildings to explore including a manor house, traditional farmhouses and a church, some dating from the 17th century. . Seurasaari Island is connected to land by a pedestrian bridge, and is easily reached from central Helsinki.

 

Sibeliusken Puisto. The Sibelius-Monumentti (Sibelius Monument)

West of Mechelinin.

The monument, by itself, is worth the walk to this lakeside park. What could be a better tribute to Finland’s great composer than this soaring silver sculpture of organ pipes?

 

Suomen Kansallismuseo (National Museum of Finland)

Mannerheimintie. 34

09/4050 9470

Tram 1,2,4,7.

Admission charged.

Tues.-Wed. 11-8; Thurs.-Sun. 11-6.

Eliel Saarinen and his partners blend characteristics of Finnish medieval churches and castles with elements of Art Nouveau in this example of the National Romantic style, which recently reopened after renovations. The museum’s archaeological, cultural, and ethnological collections explore Finnish life from prehistoric times to the present.

University of Helsinki Botanical Gardens

Kaisaniemi, Unioninkatu 44

The Botanical Gardens are open Tue-Sun 11 – 17. The outdoor gardens are open 7 – 8 daily May-Sept.; 7 – 6 during the rest of the year.

Admission charged for entry to greenhouses. There is no charge for admission to the outdoor garden areas.

The Botanical Gardens belonging to the University of Helsinki are in Kaisaniemi, a short walk from the Railway Station towards Hakaniemi. They consist of a large outdoor area surrounding the greenhouses, which have just reopened after a major renovation.

 

Kumpula Gardens (University of Helsinki)

Jyrängöntie 2

Admission charged

 

City Conservatory (Helsinki City Winter Gardens)

Hammarskjöldintie 1

Open: Mon-Sat 12 – 15 and Sun 12 – 16.

 

Japanese Gardens

Meiramitie 1, Vantaa

Open in winter Mon-Fri 8 –7, Sat-Sun 9 –5; in summer Mon-Fri 8 –6 and Sat-Sun 9 -3

Admission charged.

 

 

Suomenlinna (Finland’s Castle).

From June 1 to August 31, guided English-language tours leave from the ticket booth at Artillery Bay daily at 10:30, 1, and 2

Ferries leave at half hourly intervals from the Market Pier

Admission charged.

(Ehrensvärd-society, tel. 09/6841850).

09/6841880 (tourist information).

The historic fortress is built on four interconnecting islands. There are several museums on Suomenlinna, including a main exhibition center, the Military Museum, the Coast Artillery Museum, and a doll and toy museum. There are also several art galleries, craft studios and restaurants. Exquisite gardens and acres of parkland make this a

perennially popular excursion from Helsinki.

 

Museums On Suomenlinna

Visitors’ Centre,

tel. (+358-9) 668 880

 

Ehrensvärd Museum,

tel. (+358-9) 668 154

Once the residence of the fortress commandant, the museum is named in honor of Augustin Ehrensvärd, under whose direction most of the fortifications were built.

 

Suomenlinna Doll and Toy Museum,

tel. (+358-9) 668 417.

A private museum in an old Russian villa.

 

Submarine Vesikko,

tel. (+358-9) 181 46238

250-ton coastal submarine used during the second world war.

 

Coastal Artillery Museum

+358-9 1814 5295

300 years of coastal defense equipment

tel. (+358-9) 1814 5296

Heavy war material used by various services mainly in 1939-1945.

 

 

Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Temple Square Church).

Lutherinkatu 3, 09/494-698.

Weekdays 10-8, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-1:45 and 3:15-5:45.

 

Topped with a copper dome, this modern Lutheran church is carved into the rock outcrops below and around it. The sun shines in from above, illuminating the stunning interior with its birch pews, modern pipe organ, and cavernous walls. Ecumenical and Lutheran services in various languages are held throughout the week.

 

Tuomiokirkko (Lutheran Cathedral of Finland)

 

Senate Square, Unioninkatu 29.

Admission Free.

June-Aug., Mon.-Sat. 9–-6, Sun. 12-–6; Sept.-May, Mon.-Sat. 10–-6, Sun. 12-–6.

 

The steep steps and green domes of the church dominate Senaatintori. Completed in 1852, it is the work of famous architect Carl Ludvig Engel. Wander through the tasteful blue-gray interior, with its white moldings and the statues of German reformers Martin Luther and Philipp Melancthon, and the famous Finnish bishop Mikael Agricola. Concerts are frequently held inside the church. The crypt at the rear is the site of frequent historic and architectural exhibitions, and houses a little cafe in the summer.

 

Uspenskin Katedraali (Uspensky Cathedral).

Kanavak. 1

09/634-267.

May-Sept., Mon. and Wed.-Fri. 9:30-4, Tues. 9:30-6, Sat. 10-4, Sun. noon-3; Oct.-Apr., Tues. and Thurs. 9-2, Wed. noon-6, Fri. noon-4, Sun. noon-3.

Perched on a small rocky cliff over the North Harbor in Katajanokka is the main cathedral of the Orthodox church in Finland. Its brilliant gold onion domes are its identifying features, but its imposing redbrick edifice, decorated by 19th-century Russian artists, is no less distinctive. The cathedral was built and dedicated in 1868 in the Byzantine-Slavonic style and remains the largest Orthodox church in Scandinavia.

Yrjönkatu Public Swimming Pool

Yrjönkatu 21 B; tel. 60 981

You can also visit the Finnish Sauna Society on Lauttasaari (tel. 678 677), where it is possible to try a traditional “smoke sauna”.

 

Kotiharju in Kallio

Harjutorinkatu 1; tel. 753 1535

a public sauna (pronounced sa –ow-nuh)

For thousands of years, sauna has been an essential part of Finnish culture and tradition. Sauna is a place to get washed, relax, meditate, have meetings, make important decisions Until the mid-1900’s, it was also a place to give birthit is estimated that in Finland, with five million people, there are one million saunas. Most Finns go to a sauna at least once a week.

A Finnish sauna is an insulated, heated (80-100 degrees Celsius) room where people (men and women separately, except within the family) gather naked to enjoy the warmth. There are usually wooden benches and a stove (heated with wood or electricity) in one corner of the room. Water is thrown on the hot stones of the stove for steam: löyly fills the room, makes the heat more intense, and stimulates perspiration. One can also lightly stroke oneself with a wet birch switch called vihta or vasta. If it gets too hot, one can cool down outside and then go back to löyly again. This might go on for hours while chatting or discussing business.

 

 

Areas Around Helsinki

 

During the months of the midnight sun, coastal regions, including the Turku archipelago and Åland Islands, are a sailing and fishing paradise.

 

Turku,

Finland’s first capital, is the country’s oldest city. Fire has destroyed it several times over the centuries, but its biggest blow was the transfer of the capital to Helsinki in 1812. Today, Turku is a substantial city with fine attractions

 

Luostarinmäki is the only surviving 18th-century area of medieval Turku

Here, in summer, artisans work inside the old wooden houses.

 

Turku Cathedral is the national shrine of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. It dates from the 13th century, and the museum here is open daily.

 

Turku Castle, founded in 1280, is the most notable historic building in Finland. It houses an interesting museum, with many rooms decorated to evoke a specific decade or century. Situated on the southern coast of Finland, Turku is the most likely gateway to the country if you are coming from Sweden.

 

Åland

The Åland province, with its own flag and culture, comprises more than 6400 autonomous islands. Several dialects of Swedish are spoken, and few Ålanders speak Finnish. This beautiful island is perfect for bicycle tours, camping and cabin holidays, and for experiencing the islanders’ distinctive culture, expressed in folk dancing, Maypole decorating and small-town charm.

Regular ferries connect Åland to both Sweden and the Finnish mainland. Free transport is provided by inter-island ferries. Sund is accessible by bus and bicycle from the dock.

 

Sund, at the eastern end of the main island, with its impressive Kastelholm Castle is the most interesting town on Åland . Of strategic importance during the 16th and 17th centuries, the castle’s exact age is not known, but it was mentioned in writings as early as 1388.

Jan Karlsgården Museum This open-air museum is one of the best places in Finland to witness Midsummer festivities.

Bomarsund Fortress, now in ruins, is a memorial to the time when Åland, together with the rest of Finland, was under Russian rule. The main fortress, finished in 1842, was large enough to house 2500 people

D – Family Fun Attractions

Attractions of Interest to Children

 

The Theatre Museum

Kaapelitehdas (Cable factory), Tallberginkatu 1 G.

Exhibitions open: Tue–Sun 12–19, Mon closed.

Exhibitions devoted to Finnish theatre and magic. Children can also borrow the costumes and wear them in their own stage productions.

E – Events & Entertainments

Events

 

 

Midsummer’s Day (Juhannus) is the most important annual event for Finns. People leave cities and towns for summer cottages to celebrate the longest day of the year. Bonfires are lit and lakeside merrymakers swim and row boats.

Other annual Helsinki Events:

 

March

Musica Nova Helsinki. Musica Nova Helsinki is an international annual event dedicated to new art music concerts

Musica Nova Helsinki,

Lasipalatsi, 00100 HELSINKI,

tel. +358 (0)9 6126 5100, telefax +358 (0)9 6126 5161

Late March

Annual Church Music festival. Churches of Helsinki are filled with music. Festival features especially brass instruments.

The Parish Union of Helsinki, information, 3 linja 22, 00530 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 70921, telefax +358 (0)9 709 2233

Helsinki, Cable Factory

 

Helsinki Beer Festival. The biggest Beer Festival in Finland is presented each year. The Festival featured a record 400 different beer, 50 ciders, and a selection of whiskies. On Thursday and Friday afternoons admission is to trade visitors only. On Thursday and Friday nights (from 5 p.m.) and all day Saturday (from 12 noon) the Festival is open to the general public. Helsinki Beer Festival Office, Telephone +358-9-6962 8021
Fax + 358-9-6962 8080

 

June

June 12

Helsinki Day. anniversary of the founding of Helsinki, with activities around the city for people of all ages. Helsinki City Information Office, Aleksanterinkatu 20, 00100 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 1691, telefax +358 (0)9 655 354

 

Jun 14-Jun 16

Helsinki, Senate Square

Regional Fair (Itä-Uusimaa). The traditional fair in the heart of the city, bringing a mixture of dialects, regional cuisine and practical demonstrations of various trades and crafts.

Helsinki City Information Office, Aleksanterinkatu 20, 00100 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 1691, telefax +358 (0)9 655 354

 

Jun 14

Helsinki, Olympic Stadium

AsicsGrand Prix. The summer’s biggest sports event will feature top athletes from around the world.

Suomen Urheiluliitto ry, Radiokatu 20, 00240 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 348 121, telefax +358 (09) 3481 2367

 

June 22

Helsinki, Seurasaari

National Midsummer Eve celebration. Bonfires, folk music, folk dances, traditional Finnish games

Seurasaari Foundation, Tamminiementie 1, 00250 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 485 424, telefax +358 (0)9 485 424

 

August

August 24-September 9 (approx)

Helsinki Festival

Helsinki Festival, Lasipalatsi, Mannerheimintie 22-24, 00100 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 6126 5100, fax +358 (0)9 6126 5161

 

Music, dance, drama, films, high-standard exhibitions. The basic idea of the annual Helsinki Festival is to culminate the summer with an international arts event. The Festival includes Night of the Arts -festival and Food Piazza on the Senate Square

 

The Helsinki Festival is the most diverse event in the Finnish cultural calendar, with major symphonic works and the finest baroque orchestras. World class musicians perform in the Huvila Festival Tent each year.

 

Other Festival events include visiting dance and theatre companies, and well known names in visual art and cinema. There is a special program for children. The annual Night of the Arts is celebrated late in August with many events throughout the city.

 

mid-August

Helsinki, Fair Centre

Helsinki International Fashion Fair. The Fashion fair presents coming trends, it is the number one event in the Fashion industry in Finland

Helsinki Fair Centre, Messuaukio 1, 00520 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 15091, telefax +358 (0)9 142 358

 

September

mid-September

Helsinki, Fair Center

Habitare, Homeowner Fair. Habitare Furniture and Interior Decoration Fair is the biggest furniture fair in Finland. In the previous fair 501 exhibitors displayed products from 25 different countries.

Helsinki Fair Centre, Messuaukio 1, 00520 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 15091, telefax +358 (0)9 142 358

 

October

early October

Helsinki, Market Square

Baltic Herring Market. Fishermen have been gathering round Helsinki Market Square at the beginning of October to sell their wares ever since the 18th century. Once again October will bring the oldest of the city’s traditional events. The market will be packed with salted, pickled and marinated fish and special events.

Port of Helsinki, Olympiaranta 3, 00140 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 173 331, telefax +358 (0)9 1733 3232

 

mid-October

Helsinki, Hartwall Areena

Helsinki International Horse Show. Each year, Helsinki International Horse Show arrives at Hartwall Areena for three days. The biggest annual indoor event in Finland, the

Horse Show has been held in Helsinki since 1985 and has established itself in the forefront of top events. Event attracts top names from abroad.

Scanhorse, Runeberginkatu 5 B, 00100 HELSINKI, puh. +358

 

November

 

Nov-Dec

Helsinki

Forces of Light festival. A city event using light and darkness as its ingredients. Forces of Light is a project of the townspeople, one which has been built by means of a broad network. The event will inspire people to enhance their habitat by means of light and create an image of Helsinki as a creative city of light. Forces of Light, Fredrikinkatu 61 A 60, 00100 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 686 6810, telefax +358 (0)9 6866 8111

 

Nov

Helsinki

Classic Jazz. Helsinki Classic Jazz Festival swings in November. The best international and finnish classic jazz bands.

Classic Jazz ry, Metsätähdentie 13, 01350 Vantaa, tel.+358 (0)9 602 116, +358 (0)40 505 4884, telefax +358 (0)9 602 656

 

end of Nov

Helsinki

Ethnic Sounds. Since 1994 Ethnic Sounds is involved in the Nordic ”World in the North” –festival collaboration. Ethnic Sounds features artists from around the world.

Maailman musiikin keskus, Meritullinkatu 33 C, 00170 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 6962 790, telefax +358 (0)9 6962 7910

 

end of Nov-beginning of Dec

 

Dance Arena. A biennial festival of contemporary Finnish dance and the Finnish Platform of Rencontres Internationales Chorégraphiques de Seine-Saint-Denis. The festival highlights the peak performances of Finnish contemporary dance and takes place in the different venues for presenting dance.

Finnish Dance Information Centre, Bulevardi 23 – 27, 00180 Helsinki, tel. + 358 (0)9 612 1075, telefax + 358 (0)9 612 1824,

 

December

Dec 6

Helsinki

Independence Day. Honor guard at the war memorial and students’ torchlight procession at the Senate Square.

 

Women’s Christmas Fair. Crafts and Christmas specialities.

Naisten Joulumessut, Bulevardi 11 A, 00120 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 642 277

 

Dec 13

Cathedral-Finlandia Hall

Lucia -parade. On Lucia Day, 13th December, the beautiful Lucia maiden descends the steps of the Lutheran Cathedral and leads a parade through the city.

Folkhälsan, Topeliuksenkatu 20, 00250 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 43491, telefax +358 (0)9 434 9352

 

Esplanade Park

Christmas Market “Tuomaan markkinat”, Crafts, baked goods and other Christmas specialities

Kiinteistövirasto, Halli- ja ulkomyyntiyksikkö, Pohjoisesplanadi 5, 00170 HELSINKI, tel. +358 (0)9 169 3367, telefax +358 (0)9 169 3784

 

Dec 31

Senate Square

National New Year’s Eve festivities. Speeches and music

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Finnish Museum of Natural History

Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13. Open: Mon-Fri 9-17. Sat-Sun 11-16.

Finnish and foreign mammals, birds and fishes in natural environments. The Zoological Museum, part of the Finnish Museum of Natural History, has by far the largest animal collection, containing about 8 million items. Every year the collections increase by tens of thousands of specimens. Special children’s events and exhibits

 

 

Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth

Kaapelitehdas (Cable factory)

Tallberginkatu 1 A.

A dynamic dance theatre company – founded in 1981. Hurjaruuth has its own studio at Cable factory.

 

Vihreä Omena (Green Apple) Puppet Theatre

Eläintarhan huvila 7,

09-701 2483, 09-712 818, Fax 09-712 818.

Finland’s oldest professional puppet theatre. telephone for times and performances.

Korkeasaari Zoo,

tel. 169 5969

Special admission rates for children, families, seniors.

May-Sept. daily 10-8;Oct.-Feb. daily 10-4;March, April: daily 10-6..

Korkeasaari is an island, which you can reach by water bus from Hakaniemi and the Market Square in May-September or across the bridge at any time of the year.

Take bus 16 to Kulosaari and walk just over a mile. During the summer season, there is a special “zoo bus”, which runs from Kulosaari right to the gate of Korkeasaari.

 

The zoo on the island of Korkeasaari is mainly inhabited by northern species of animals, but it also has the “mini rain forest” Amazonia and Feline House, with creatures from warmer climates than Finland

Korkeasaari, when it opened in 1884, was the first park in Helsinki where anyone, regardless of rank or wealth, was welcome. With the sea all around, it also offered more freedom and open spaces than the parks in the city.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Mannerheiminaukio 2

00100 Helsinki

Open Tue 9.00 – 17.00Wed – Sun 10 – 22Mon closed

Admission: charged; children under 18 free.

As an architectural creation, Kiasma is exciting. Its creator Steven Holl envisioned it as a structure of intersecting arcs, which would dovetail with the urban structure of the city as well as with the natural environment of the park landscape surrounding Töölönlahti Bay.

 

The Arctic light was one of Holl’s main sources of inspiration. The light enters the Kiasma building from different sides and at a variety of angles. As the planet rotates and the hours pass, there is constant variation in the influx of light and the effect it creates.

 

Children have their own center in Kiasma.. There is also a workshop, where courses are arranged. In Kiasma’s philosophy, works of art can be interpreted in more than one correct way, and exploration is encouraged.

 

Heureka, Finnish Science Centre

Tiedepuisto 1, Tikkurila town centre, Vantaa

There is a good commuter train service between Helsinki and Tikkurila station, which is close to Heureka.

 

Small children are well provided for. There are special rides for them and a separate area called Satulaakso (“Fairy Tale Valley”) with a children’s theater.

 

Heureka Science Centre

The exhibitions at the Heureka Science Centre are designed for the “hands-on” visitor participation.. The whole idea is to touch things, move them and find out how they work. The basic exhibition presents science from a somewhat different than usual angle. Heureka is entertaining and informative for the whole family. There are frequent changing exhibitions on many subjects. The Verne Theatre presents movies on science-related themes.

 

Linnanmäki Amusement Park,

Tivolikuja.

Open from the beginning of May to the end of August.

The cliffs of Linnanmäki have been a popular playground for many generations of Helsinki children. Now the amusement park has a museum dedicated to toys and games. It is open all year round.

 

The Linnanmäki amusement park is a favorite with children and adults alike. The fun begins at the end of April and continues in full swing until the beginning of September. When Linnanmäki opens its gates, everyone in Helsinki knows that summer has arrived!

 

Water slides, gaming arcade, roller coaster, the Octopus, the Space Shot, the Enterprise, the Rainbow and the Flying Carpet are a few of the favorites.

Linnanmäki has its own theatre, the Peacock, which produces a new revue every summer. Finnish celebrities, current phenomena and, of course, politicians become the subjects of merciless satire

Hundreds of Finnish and international artistes perform on the outdoor stage at Linnanmäki each season: pop singers, acrobats, dancers, magicians and jugglers

Copenhagen Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Copenhagen Travel Deals

A – Overview

Copenhagen is a city with much charm, as reflected in its canals, narrow streets, and charming houses that have stood for hundreds of years.The country of Denmark consists of one peninsula and more than 400 islands. Copenhagen is situated on the east coast of Denmark’s largest island, Zealand. Copenhagen has been the capital of Denmark for nearly 600 years and is also the largest city in Scandinavia.

Bicycles spin alongside automobile traffic, and in the early morning in the pedestrian streets of the city the air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread and newly scrubbed storefronts. A prominent point of orientation in the city is the main rail station, Central Station, which is bordered on the west by the primary hotel district and to the northeast by the ever popular Tivoli Gardens. Just north of Tivoli is Rådhuspladsen, the central city square and the main terminus for the local bus network. To the east is the city’s waterfront, including the canal district of Christianshavn.

The flat terrain of the city center of Copenhagen invites walking or bicycling. The tangles of cobbled one-way streets are interesting in themselves! Between April and September, the city provides over 2000 bicycles which can be borrowed from one of the over 150 racks located at strategic points. A coin deposit unlocks the rack. The coin is refunded when the cycle is returned.

Copenhagen is not divided into single-purpose districts, so people work, play, shop, and live throughout the central core of this multi layered, densely populated capital. Most sights lie within this one square-mile center. Copenhagen, has the longest pedestrian mall on earth. The mall, Strøget, (pronounced ‘stroll’ and meaning ‘stripe’) was completed in 1962 and serves as a model for pedestrian malls all over the world. It is an amalgamation of five streets: Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, Amagertorv and Ostergade. It runs through the center of the city between Rådhuspladsen and Kongens Nytorv, the square at the head of the Nyhavn canal. The mall is filled with fascinating reminders of Denmark’s past as well as department stores, shops, restaurants, theaters and museums.

The most affordable way to see Copenhagen is with a Copenhagen card. Choose one for a 24, 48 or 72 hour period and enjoy free travel by public transportation and free entry into more than 60 museums and attractions in the greater Copenhagen area, as well as discounts on many others.

For sightseeing beyond the city there is an excellent and efficient public transportation system. Trains and buses operate from 5 am to midnight. After that, night buses run every half hour from the main bus station at Rådhus Pladsen to most areas of the city and surroundings.

There are many green spaces within and around the city center, with large parks and gardens in which to relax and enjoy the day. Be sure to try a cruise through the canals of Christianshavn, and give a nod in the direction of the Little Mermaid. Architecturally, Copenhagen has more than its share of interesting sights, from the administrative palace of Christianborg Slot on the island of Slotsholmen to the fascinating steeple of the Gothic style Vor Frelsers Kirke.

Denmark and its capital, Copenhagen, have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Copenhagen is a family friendly city of excellence. It is a city with museums, cultural attractions, a lively nightlife, cafés, restaurants, and entertainment of the highest caliber. It is among the finest of European capitals

B – City information

Area:
35 sq mi

Population:
1,650,000

Country:
Denmark

Language:
Danish is a difficult language for visitors, (except for those from Norway and Sweden), to understand, and to speak. Danes are excellent linguists, however, and almost everyone, except perhaps elderly people in rural areas, speaks English well.

Time Zone:
Denmark operates on Central European Time–1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (+2 in summer) This translates to Copenhagen being 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. . When it is noon in Copenhagen; it is 6am in New York City. Daylight Savings Time is observed from the end of March to the end of September.

Telephone area code:
none; the country code is 45. This two-digit number should precede any call made to Denmark from another country. Danish phones are fully automatic. Dial the eight-digit number; there are no city area codes. At public telephone booths, use two 50-øre coins or a 1-krone or 5-krone coin only. Don’t insert any coins until your party answers. You can make more than one call on the same payment if your time hasn’t run out. Remember that it can be expensive to telephone from your hotel room. Emergency calls are free.

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):

  High Low
January – March 41F 28F
April – June 66F 36F
July – September 68F 50F
October – December 52F 32F

When to Go:
Most travelers visit Denmark during the warmest months, July and August, but there are advantages to going in May, June, or September, when the city is less crowded and many establishments offer off-season discounts. However, few places in Denmark are ever unpleasantly crowded, and when the Danes make their annual exodus to the beaches the cities have even more breathing space. Many visitors avoid the winter months, when days are short and dark and when important attractions, including Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, are closed for most of the season. It’s worth noting, however, that winter holidays are beautiful and Tivoli does re-open for a time with its special Christmas market.

Packing:
It is wise to pack a folding umbrella and a lightweight raincoat, as unexpected showers are the norm year round. Pack casual clothes. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. If you have trouble sleeping when it is light or are sensitive to strong sun, bring an eye mask for sleeping and dark sunglasses for outdoors. Summer provides extra hours of light, extending into nighttime hours.

Passports & Visas:
All U.S. citizens, even infants, need only a valid passport to enter any Scandinavian country for stays of up to three months.

National Holidays:
New Year’s Day Jan. 1
March or April (varies) Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday
April 25 Common Prayer (Great Prayer Day)
May (date varies) Feast of the Ascension
May (date varies) Pentecost Monday
June 5 Constitution Day (shops close at noon)
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephen’s Day Dec. 24, 25, 26.

Currency:
Denmark is part of the European Union, but the unit of exchange is still the krone (DKK)

Changing Money:
Almost all banks (including the Danske Bank at the airport) exchange money. After normal banking hours, Den Danske Bank exchange is open at the main railway station, daily June to August 7 am-10 pm, and daily September to May, 7 am-9 pm.

Cybercafés:
Internet access is provided in hotels and at many cybercafés in the area:

Customs:
Upon leaving Denmark, U.S. citizens who have been outside their home country for 48 hours or more are allowed to take home $400 worth of merchandise duty free, if they have claimed no similar exemption within the past 30 days. If you make purchases in Denmark, keep your receipts.

Taxes:
All hotel, restaurant, and departure taxes and VAT. In Denmark these taxes are known as MOMS (pronounced mumps). These are automatically included in prices. VAT is 25%; non-EU citizens can obtain a refund of roughly 20%. The more than 1,500 shops that participate in the tax-free plan have a white tax free sticker on their windows. Purchases must be at least DKr300 in purchases per store, but need not necessarily be purchased all at the same time. Items must be sealed and unused in Denmark. At the shop, you’ll be asked to fill out a form and to show your passport. The form can then be turned in at any airport or ferry customs desk, where you can choose a check or charge-card credit. Keep all your receipts and tags; occasionally, customs authorities do ask to see purchases, so pack them where they will be accessible.

A 25% MOMS is included in your hotel and restaurant bills, service charges, and entrance fees, as well as on repair of foreign-registered cars. No refunds are possible on these items.

Dentists:
During regular business hours, ask your hotel to call the nearest English-speaking dentist. For emergency dental treatment, go to Tandlægevagten, Oslo Plads 14 ( 35-38-02-51), near Østerport Station and the U.S. Embassy. It’ is open Monday to Friday from 8am -9:30pm and on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from l0am – noon. Be prepared to pay in cash.

Doctors:
To reach a doctor, dial 33-93-63-00 from 9am – 4pm, or 38-88-60-41 after hours. The doctor’s fee is payable in cash. Virtually every doctor speaks English.

Drug Laws:
There are severe penalties in Denmark for the possession, use, purchase, sale, or manufacturing of drugs.

Electricity:
To use your U.S.-purchased electric-powered equipment, bring a converter and an adapter. The electrical current in Scandinavia is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.

Embassies:
All embassies are in Copenhagen. The embassy of the United States is located at Dag Hammarsjölds Allé 24, DK-2100 København ( 35-55-31-44

Emergencies:
Dial 112 to report a fire or to call the police or an ambulance. State your phone number and address. Emergency calls from public telephones are free (no coins needed).

Hospital Emergency Rooms:
Rigshospitalet (Blegdamsvej 9, tel. 35/45-35-45). Frederiksberg Hospital (Nordre Fasanvej 57, tel. 38/34-77-11).

Late-Night Pharmacies:
Steno Apotek (Vesterbrogade 6C, tel. 33/14-82-66) and Sønderbro Apotek (Amangerbrogade 158, tel. 31/58-01-40) are open 24 hours a day.

Eyeglass Repair:
The largest and oldest optical chain in Denmark is Synoptik, Købmagergade 22 ( 33-15-05-38), with 80 other branches throughout Denmark.

Laundry/Dry Cleaning:
There are laundromats in all neighborhoods, some independent, others part of the Vascomat and Möntvask chains.

Libraries:
Try the Københavns Bibliotek (Copenhagen Library), located at Krystalgade 15 ( 33-73-60-60). Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, has a large collection of English-language publications.

Newspapers:
Foreign newspapers, particularly the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, are available at the Central Railroad Station in front of the Palladium movie theater on Vesterbrogade, on Strøget, and at the newsstands of big hotels.

Radio & TV:
There are no English-language radio or TV stations broadcasting from Denmark. Only radios and TVs with satellite reception can receive signals from countries such as Britain. News programs in English are broadcast Monday to Saturday at 8:30am on Radio Denmark, 93.85 MHz. Radio 1 (at 90.8 MHz VHF) features news and classical music. Channels 2 and 3 (96.5/93.9 MHz) broadcast some entertainment, light news items, and light music. Most TV stations transmit from 7:30am to 11:30pm. Most films (many of which are American) are shown in their original languages, with Danish subtitles.

Religious Services:
Please telephone for hours of services:

St. Ansgar’s Roman Catholic Church
Bredgade 64
33-13-37-62

The English Church of St. Alban’s (Anglo-Episcopalian)
on Langelinie
39-62-77-36

The American Church (Protestant and interdenominational)
at the U.S. Embassy, Dag Hammarskjølds Allé 24
35-55-31-44

The Synagogue at Krystalgade 12.
33-12-88-68

The International Church of Copenhagen
(affiliated with the American Lutheran church) holds services at
Vartov Church
Farvergade 27
Across from the Town Hall.
39-62-47-85

International Calls:
Dial 00, then the country code (1 for the United States and Canada, 44 for Great Britain), the area code, and the number. It’s very expensive to telephone or fax from hotels, although the regional phone companies offer a discount after 7:30 PM. It’s more economical to make calls from either the Copenhagen main rail station or the airports.

For an international operator, dial 113; for a directory-assisted international call, dial 115. To reach an AT&T operator dial 80-01-0010; for MCI, 80-01-0022; for Sprint, 80-01-0877.

Tipping:
Tipping is not expected in Denmark. A service charge is included in bills for hotels, bars, and restaurants. Taxi drivers round up the fare to the next euro but expect no tip. Tip hotel porters, per bag.

Water:
Tap water is safe to drink throughout Denmark. Mineral water is readily available.

Arriving & Departing:

By Plane
Copenhagen (formerly Kastrup) Airport (32-54-17-01), is 7 1/4 miles from the center of Copenhagen. Air-rail trains link the airport with the Central Railway Station in the center of Copenhagen. The ride takes only 11 minutes, and is reasonably priced. Located underneath the airport’s arrivals and departure halls, the Air Rail Terminal is a short escalator ride from the gates. It is equipped with more than 30 check-in counters, ticketing offices, information desks, restaurants, and fast-food chains. You can also take an SAS bus to the city terminal. Even cheaper is a local bus, no. 250S, which leaves from the international arrivals terminal every 15 or 20 minutes for Town Hall Square in central Copenhagen. Taxis are also available.

From New York, flights to Copenhagen take 7 hours, 40 minutes.
From London to Copenhagen the flight takes 1 hour, 55 minutes.

By Car
The E-66 highway, via bridges and ferry routes, connects Fredericia (on Jylland) with Middelfart (on Fyn), a distance of 10 miles and farther on to Copenhagen, another 120 miles east. Farther north, from århus (in Jylland), there is direct ferry service to Kalundborg (on Sjælland). From there, Route 23 leads to Roskilde, about 45 miles east. Take Route 21 east and follow the signs to Copenhagen, another 25 miles. Make reservations for the ferry in advance through DSB (tel. 33/14-88-80).

By Ferry
From Sweden there are frequent ferry connections to Copenhagen, including several daily ships from Malmö, Limhamn, Landskrona, and Helsingborg. There is also a high-speed craft from Malmö.

By Train
Hovedbanegården (central station) is the hub of the DSB network and is connected to most major cities in Europe. Intercity trains leave every hour, usually on the hour, from 6am to 10 pm for principal towns in Fyn and Jylland. Find out more from DSB Information (tel. 33/14-17-01). You can make reservations at the central station and at most other stations.

Getting Around:
Copenhagen is small, with most sights within its square-mile center. Wear comfortable shoes and explore it on foot. Or rent a bike. An efficient mass transit system is available.

By Bicycle
Bicycles are well suited to Copenhagen’s flat terrain and are popular among Danes as well as visitors.

Contact:
Københavns Cyclebørs (Track 12, Copenhagen main train station, tel. 33/14-07-17),
Danwheel-Rent-a-Bike (Colbjørnsensgade 3, tel. 31/21-22-27), or
Urania Cykler (Gammel Kongevej 1, tel. 31/21-80-88).

By Car
A car is not the best means of transportation for enjoying the sights of central Copenhagen. Parking spaces are at a premium and, when available, are expensive. A maze of one-way streets, somewhat aggressive drivers, and bicycle lanes make it even more complicated. If you are going to drive, choose a small car that’s easy to parallel park, bring a lot of small change to feed the meters, and be very careful of the cyclists on your right-hand side: They always have the right-of-way.

 

Mass Transit
The Copenhagen Card offers unlimited travel on buses and suburban trains, admission to more than 40 museums and sights around Sjælland, and a reduction on the ferry crossing to Sweden. You can buy a card, valid for either 24 or 48 hours, at tourist offices and hotels.

Trains and buses operate from 5 am (Sunday 6 am) to midnight. After that, night buses run every half hour from 1 am to 4:30 am from the main bus station at Rådhus Pladsen to most areas of the city and surroundings. Trains and buses operate on the same ticket system and divide Copenhagen and surrounding areas into three zones. Tickets are validated on a time basis: On the basic ticket, you can travel anywhere in the zone in which you started. A discount klip kort, good for 10 rides, costs DKr75 and must be stamped in the automatic ticket machines on buses or at stations. Get zone details from the 24-hour information service (tel. 36/45-45-45 for buses, 33/14-17-01 for S trains).

By Taxi
The computer-metered Mercedes and Volvo cabs are available when they display the sign fri (free); Taxis can be hailed or picked up in front of the main train station or at taxi stands, or by calling 31/35-35-35.

A joint zone fare system includes Copenhagen Transport buses and State Railway and S-tog trains in Copenhagen and North Zealand, plus some private railway routes within a 25-mile radius of the capital, enabling you to transfer from train to bus and vice versa with the same ticket. Basic Fares–A grundbillet (basic ticket) works for both buses and You can buy 10 tickets for a reduced rate. Children 11 and under ride for half fare; those 4 and under go free on local trains; and those 6 and under go free on buses. You can alsopurchase a ticket allowing 24-hour bus and train travel through nearly half of Zealand; it’s half price for children 7 to 11, and free for children 6 and under.

Discount Passes
The Copenhagen Card entitles you to free and unlimited travel by bus and rail throughout the metropolitan area (including North Zealand), 25% to 50% discounts on crossings to and from Sweden, and free admission to many sights and museums. The card is available for 1, 2, or 3 days. Children 11 and under are given a 50% discount. For more information, contact the Copenhagen Tourist Information Center.

Eurail passes (which must be purchased in the U.S.) and Nordturist Pass tickets (which can be purchased at any train station in Scandinavia) can be used on local trains in Copenhagen.

Students who have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) are entitled to a number of travel breaks in Copenhagen. A card can be purchased in the United States at any Council Travel office (for the office nearest you, call 1- 800/GET-AN-ID).

For information about low-cost train, ferry, and plane trips, go to Wasteels, Skoubogade 6 ( 33-14-46-33), in Copenhagen. Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Neighborhoods:

Tivoli Gardens
These amusement gardens were built on the site of former fortifications in the heart of Copenhagen, on the south side of Rådhuspladsen. Some 160,000 flowers and 110,000 electric lights set the scene. Built in 1843, Tivoli is made up of a collection of restaurants, dance halls, theaters, beer gardens, and lakes.

Strøget
This pedestrians-only street begins at Rådhuspladsen. The most interesting parts are Gammeltorv and Nytorv, old and new squares, lying on either side of Strxget. They’re the sites of fruit and vegetable markets, as well as stalls selling bric-a-brac and handmade jewelry. The word Strxget doesn’t appear on any maps. Instead, Strøget encompasses five streets: Frederiksbrerggade, Nygade, Villelskaftet, Amagertorv, and Øtergade.

Nyhavn
This is the harbor area, now one of the most elegant sections of the city. It is the site of the deluxe hotel d’Angleterre and many prestigious restaurants. The Royal Theater stands on Kongens Nytorv.

Indre By
This is the name given to the Old Town, the heart of Copenhagen. Once filled with monasteries, it is a maze of old streets, alleyways, and squares. If you cross Gammeltorv and Nørregade, you’ll be in the university area, nicknamed the Latin Quarter, as in Paris. The Vor Frue Kirke (cathedral of Copenhagen) is found here, as is the Rundetern (Round Tower).

Slotsholmen
This island, site of Christiansborg Palace, was where Bishop Absalon built the first fortress in the city in 1167. Today it’s the seat of the Danish parliament and the site of Thorvaldsen’s Museum, among others. Slotsholmen is linked to Indre by bridges. You can also visit the Royal Library, the Theater Museum, and the Royal Stables. The 17th-century Børsen (stock exchange) is also here.

Christinashavn
This was the new town ordered by master builder Christian IV in the early 1500s. The town was originally constructed to house workers in the shipbuilding industry. Visitors come here today mainly to see the Danish Film Museum on Store Søndervoldstræde, and Vors Frelsers Kirke, on the corner of Prinsessegade and Skt. Annfgade. Sightseers can climb the spire of this old church for a panoramic view.

Christiania
An anarchists’ commune founded in 1971, when students occupied army barracks; it is now a peaceful community of nonconformists who run a number of businesses, including a bike shop, bakery, rock club, and communal bathhouse.

Vesterbro
The main street of this district, Istedgade, runs west from the main rail depot in the center of town. It passes through various neighborhoods. At first, the blocks are lined with rather respectable hotels but they soon give way to Copenhagen’s red-light district.. In the 1990s, many immigrants to Copenhagen, especially those from Turkey and Pakistan, settled in the neighborhood, filling it with indigenous craft shops and ethnic restaurants.

Nørrebro
Adjacent to Vesterbro , Nørrebro is also rich in artisan shops and ethnic restaurants, especially Turkish and Pakistani. This area has been a blue collar neighborhood since the middle of the 19th century. However, the original Danish settlers have long since departed, replaced by immigrants who are not always greeted with a friendly reception in Copenhagen. The area also abounds in artists, students, and musicians. There are many second-hand clothing stores in this area, especially around Sankt Hans Torv. Antique shops offering an often unidentified mix of authentic antiquities and reproductions also fill the area.. On Saturday mornings a popular flea market opens along the wall of Assistens Kirkegerd, to the west of Nxrrebrogade.

Frederiksberg
If you head west from the inner city along Vesterbrogade, you will reach the residential and business district of Frederiksberg. It grew up around Frederiksberg Palace, constructed in the Italianate style with an ocher façade. A park, Frederiksberg Have, surrounds the palace. To the west of the palace is the Zoologisk Have, one of the largest zoos in Europe.

Dragør
Dragør is a fishing village south of the city that dates from the 16th century. Along with Tivoli, this seems to be everybody’s favorite spot. Walk its cobblestone streets and enjoy its 65 old red-roofed houses, which have been designated as national landmarks.

Øresund Region
On July 1, 2000 Denmark and Sweden finally put centuries of rivalry, war and national differences behind them with the opening of the Øresund Fixed Link. The project consists of a 10 mile long bridge, tunnel and man made island connecting Copenhagen and Malmö, on the south coast of Sweden. The emerging Øresund Region can be viewed as a pilot project for the accelerating European integration process. The new Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden is set to generate further growth on both sides of the Øresund Straits. There has been discussion of a separate town, Ørestad, to be established in the area, but much more work remains before matters of governance, cost and responsibility for services, and taxation can be determined. However, the project will become a reality step by step, and will evolve as the third largest city development project in Europe

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Carlsberg Brewery Visit
100, Vesterfælledvej
45 33 27 13 14
Bus 6 from Rådhuspladsen
Free 90 minute tours are offered Mon-Fri at 11am and 2pm.
Visitors are escorted through the brew houses and along the production line. Each tour ends with guests sampling the products. The factory produces 3 million bottles of beer a day.

The Little Mermaid
Langelinie on the harbor
Bus 1,6, or 9.
A life-size statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Little Mermaid, one of the world’s most famous fairy tales. The statue was sculpted by Edward Eriksen and rests on rocks just off the shore. In 1964 and in 1998, the mermaid’s head was stolen. The original mold still exists, and it is possible to recast the bronze and restore missing body parts. In the latest assault, this was not necessary. The missing head turned up at a local TV station, delivered by a masked figure. The mermaid is without question one of the most photographed women in Copenhagen.

Arbejdemuseet (The Workers Museum)
Rømersgade 22
33-93-25-75
July 1-Nov 1 daily 10am-6pm. Off-season Tues-Sun 10am-6pm
Bus: 5, 7, 14, 16, 17, 24, 43, or 84
Admission charged.
www.arbejdermuseet.dk
This museum traces the working class of Denmark from their struggles beginning around 1850 up to the present day. It’s not just about the labor movement, however; it recreates various times and eras. For example, there is a reconstruction of a Danish street in the 1800s, complete with a tram. There’s also the re-creation of an apartment that was once inhabited by a worker in a brewery, along with his wife and eight children. The furnishings and artifacts are authentic. The museum is a tribute to the working class, depicting the struggle of laborers to make a living and provide for their families. The museum also has a 19th-century-style restaurant serving old-fashioned Danish specialties and a ’50s-style coffee shop.

Amalienborg (Amalia’s Castle)
Amalienborg Castle
33/12-21-86
Dkr 40. Jan.-Apr. and Nov.-Dec., Tues.-Sun. 11-4; May-Oct., daily 10-4.
The four identical Rococo buildings occupying this square have housed the royals since 1784. The Christian VIII palace across from the queen’s residence houses the Amalienborg Museum, which displays the second division of the Royal Collection (the first is at Rosenborg Slot). In the square’s center is a magnificent equestrian statue of King Frederik V, which reputedly cost as much as all the buildings combined.

Changing of the Guard (At Noon)
Amalienborg
http://www.kongehuset.dk/ (in Danish only)
Every day at noon, the Royal Guard and band march from Rosenborg Slot through the city for the changing of the guard. At noon on Queen Margrethe’s birthday, April 16, crowds of Danes gather to cheer their monarch, who stands and waves from her balcony. On Amalienborg’s harbor side are the trees, gardens, and fountains of Amalienhaven.

Christiania
Prinsesseg. and Badsmandsstr.
www.christiania.org
An anarchists’ commune founded in 1971, when students occupied army barracks, it is now a peaceful community of nonconformists who run a number of businesses, including a bike shop, bakery, rock club, and communal bathhouse.

Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Castle)
33/92-64-94
Admission charged.
May-Sept., daily 9:30-3:30, Oct.-Apr., Tues., Thurs, and weekends 9:30-3.
Bordered by canals on three sides, this massive granite castle is where the queen officially receives guests. From 1441 until the fire of 1795, it was used as the royal residence. Even though the first two castles on the site were burned, Christiansborg remains an impressive Baroque compound. The castle’s best known feature during the Middle Ages was the Blå Tårn (Blue Tower) which was used to house prisoners of note. One of the best known was Eleonore Christine, daughter of Christian IV, who was suspected of being part of her husband’s treason plot.

The present-day copper roofed structure with its neo-baroque granite and concrete façade, looks more like a town hall than a castle. Its central tower is the tallest in Denmark at 358 feet.

Christiansborg
33/92-64-91.
Free, open to the public
Sun. 12-4.
While the castle was being rebuilt at the turn of the century, the Nationalmuseet excavated the ruins beneath it. This dark, subterranean maze contains fascinating models and architectural relics.

Folketinget (Parliament House)
33/37-55-00
Admission free
May-Sept., Mon.-Sat., tours hourly (except noon) 10-4; Oct.-Apr., Tues., Thurs., and Sat., tours hourly (except noon) 10-4

Kongelige Repræsantationlokaler (Royal Reception Chambers)
33/92-64-92.
Admission charged: guided tours only.
May-Sept., English tours daily at 11, 1 and 3; Oct.-Dec. and Feb.-Apr., Tues., Thurs., Sat. and Sun., tours at 11 and 3
You’ll be asked to remove shoes or boots and put on slippers furnished by the Museum, to protect the floors

Højesteret (Supreme Court)
Call first to double-check the opening hours, which vary.
The governmental buildings are on the site of the city’s first fortress which was commissioned by Bishop Absalon in 1167. The guards at the entrance are knowledgeable and willing to answer questions.

Den Kongelige Afstøbningssamling (The Royal Cast Collection)
Vestindisk Pakhus
Toldbodgade 40
33-91-21-26
Bus: 1, 6, or 9
Admission charged. Free Wed.
Wed-Tues 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 1-4pm Closed on other days
Founded in 1895 as part of the Royal Museum for Fine Arts, the Royal Cast Collection was moved in 1984. Its permanent home is in the Vestindisk Pakhus, a rebuilt warehouse overlooking the harbor of Copenhagen, close to Amalienborg Palace. It is one of the largest and oldest cast collections in the world, comprising arouund2,000 plaster-casts modeled after famous sculptures from the past 4,000 years of western culture. The best known original works from antiquity and the Renaissance are now scattered all over the museums of the world, but here they are represented by their casts. Egyptian sphinxes, gold from Atreus’ treasury, Venus de Milo, the Pergamon altar, and marble sculpture from the temples of the Acropolis in Athens are among the treasures. Most of the collection was made between 1870 and 1915 by leading European plaster workshops.

Frederikskirken (better known as Marmorkirken: the Marble Church)
Frederiksgade 4
33-15-01-44
The Church is open: Mon-Tues and Thurs-Fri 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm, Sun noon-4pm.
The Dome is open: June 15-Sept 1 daily 11am-12:45pm; Oct-May, Sat-Sun 11am-12:45pm
Bus: 1, 6, or 9
Admission free to church.
Admission charged to dome.
This two hundred year-old circular church, with its green copper dome, one of the largest in the world, is a short walk from Amalienborg Palace. After an unsuccessful start during Denmark’s neo-classical revival in the 1750s, the church was finally completed in Roman baroque style in 1894. Its exterior was begun in Norwegian marble, but finished in Danish limestone to conserve funds. Outside, the church is surrounded by statues of notable Danes including Grundtvig and Kierkegaard.

Frihedsmuseet (Resistance Museum)
Churchillparken
33/13-77-14.
Free.
May-Sept. 15, Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 10-5; Sept. 16-Apr., Tues.-Sat. 11-3, Sun. 11-4.
Evocative, moving displays commemorate the heroic Danish resistance movement, which saved 7,000 Jews from the Nazis by hiding them and then smuggling them to Sweden. The homemade tank outside was used to spread the news of the Nazi surrender after World War II

Holmenskirken
at Holmens Kanal
33-13-61-78
May 15-Sept 15 Mon-Fri 9am-2pm, Sat 9am-noon
Bus: 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 37, or 43
Admission free
Built in 1619, this royal chapel and naval church lies across the canal from Slotsholmen, next to the National Bank of Denmark. Although the structure was converted into a church for the royal navy in 1619, its nave was originally built in 1562 when it was first used as an anchor smithy. By 1641 the ever-changing church became predominantly Dutch Renaissance in style, an architectural style that is maintained to this day. main doorway was brought here from Roskilde Cathedral in the 19th century.

Inside, is a baroque altar of unpainted oak and a carved pulpit by Abel Schrøder the Younger. Both of these artifacts date from the mid-17th century. In the burial chamber are the tombs of some of Denmark’s best known sea heroes. This is the church in which Queen Margrethe II chose to take her wedding vows in 1967.

Københavns Bymuseum (Copenhagen City Museum and Soren Kierkegaard Collection)
Vesterbrog. 59
33/21-07-72
Bus: 6, 16, 27, or 28
Admission charged, except free on Fri.
May-Sept., Wed.-Mon. 10-4; Oct.-Apr.,Wed.-Sun. 1-4.
A collection in which Copenhagen’s history is set forth, is found in this 17th-century building in the heart of Vesterbro. Outside is a meticulously maintained model of medieval Copenhagen. The permanent exhibition presents the history of Copenhagen in artifacts and pictures. A smaller separate department is devoted to the father of existentialism, Sören Kierkegaard ‘s (1813-55) drawings, letters, books, photographs, and personal belongings.

Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square)
This square has lost much of its charm due to an outbreak of Dutch Elm disease in 1998 that felled its trees. It is, however, still lined with some of the city’s finest buildings. The square was built on the site of the former ramparts that ringed the city in an arc all the way from Rådhuspladsen.

A mounted statue of Christian V dominates the square. Crafted in 1688 by the French sculptor Lamoureux, he is ludicrously depicted as a Roman emperor astride his horse. Every year, at the end of June, graduating high school students arrive in horse-drawn carriages and dance beneath the statue.

Kongelige Bibliotek (Royal Library, library annex, and Concert Hall)
Christians Brygge 8
33-93-01-11
Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 10am-7pm ; closed Sun.
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, or 9.
Main building: Admission free
Exhibits: Admission charged.
Charge for concerts varies.
The Royal Library, which reopened in late 1998, dates from the 1600s and is the largest library in Scandinavia. Housed in a classic building with high-ceilinged reading rooms and columned hallways, it is a grand and impressive place. It holds some 2 million volumes, everything from sagas of Viking journeys to America ( before Columbus allegedly discovered the already inhabited continent), and enough prints, maps, and manuscripts to keep the most intense scholar busy for several lifetimes. The library owns original manuscripts by such beloved Danish writers as Hans Christian Andersen and Karen Blixen (more widely known as Isak Dinesen).

The library was closed while a vast black granite annex(known locally as “The Black Diamond”) was added to accommodate the output of Danish works since World War II. Today the library stretches all the way to the waterfront. As a national library, Kongelige Bibliotek owns the world’s most complete collection of works printed in Danish, some going as far back as 1482. After viewing the interior of the library, enjoy a stroll through its formal gardens, which contain a fish pond and a statue of philosopher Sören Kierkegaard.

Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst (Louisiana Museum for Modern Art)
Gammel Strandvej 13, 49/19-07-19.
Drive north on motorway E47/E55, or take the train and walk 10 min. north of the station.
Combined train and admission tickets available at the station
Daily 10-5, Wed. until 10.
www.louisiana.dk
The elegant seaside town of Humlebæk, located 19 mi. north of Copenhagen, is home of this outstanding modern art museum famed for its stunning location and architecture as much as for its collection. It is surrounded by a large park. Housed in a 19th-century villa surrounded by dramatic views of the Øresund waters, the permanent collection includes modern American paintings and Danish paintings from the COBRA (a trend in northern European painting that took its name from its active locations, COpenhagen, BRussels, and Amsterdam) and constructivist movements. Paintings are displayed from several of Picasso’s periods, as well as many from the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s. Be sure to see the haunting collection of Giacomettis backdropped by picture windows overlooking the Sound.

In the gardens are sculptures by Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Giacometti. The gardens are very popular with children, who also enjoy the special exhibit area called Bornehuset (The Children’s House), which was designed just for them.

The Louisiana holds regular lectures, film screenings, and concerts, and is known for its outstanding “superstar” exhibits six times a year.

Musikhistorisk Museum og Carl Claudius’ Samling
(Musical History Museum and Carl Claudius’ Collection)
Åbenrå 30
33-11-27-26
Fri-Wed 1-3pm
Bus: 5, 7, 14, 16, 17, 24, 31, 42, 43, 50, 84, or 184
Admission charged
The museum is contained in three 18th century houses and offers a journey through the history of musical instruments in Europe from 1000 to 1900. Exhibits are grouped around a theme, and as you view them you’re treated to special recordings. The overall emphasis of the museum is on the effect music has had on Danish culture. Sometimes the museum is the venue of special concerts.

Nationalmuseet (National Museum)
Ny Vesterg. 10
33/13-44-11.
Admission charged.
Tues.-Sun. 10-5.
www.natmus.dk
This brilliantly restored 18th-century royal residence, contains some of the finest rooms in the city. It was extensively modernized in recent years. It has housed what is regarded as one of the best national museums in Europe since the 1930s. Extensive collections chronicle Danish cultural history from prehistoric to modern times . Included is one of the largest collections of Stone Age tools in the world. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities are on display. All exhibits have English captions.

The children’s museum, with replicas of period clothing and “please touch” exhibits condenses the rest of the museum into something understandable to children 4- 12. In addition to their special area, children enjoy the whole museum, as it is engaging throughout.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (New Carlsberg Sculpture Collection)
Dantes Plads 7
33-41-81-41
Tues-Sun 10am-4pm
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, or 10
Admission charged for adults; free for children; free for everyone Wed and Sun
www.glyptoteket.dk
On Sundays from October to March, the museum hosts a variety of musical events. The Glyptotek, behind Tivoli, is one of the most important art museums in Scandinavia. Founded by the 19th-century art collector Carl Jacobsen, of the Carlsberg Brewery family, the museum comprises two distinct areas: modern and antiquities. The modern section has both French and Danish art, mainly from the 19th century. Sculpture, including works by Rodin, is on the ground floor, and works of the impressionists and related artists, including van Gogh’s Landscape from St. Rémy, are on the upper floors. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art are on the main floor, and Etruscan, Greek, and Cypriot art are on the lower floor. A conservatory separates the two areas.

The Egyptian collection is outstanding. A favorite of many is a prehistoric rendering of a hippopotamus. Fine Greek originals (headless Apollo, Niobe’s tragic children) and Roman copies of original Greek bronzes (4th-century Hercules) are also displayed, as are some of the noblest Roman busts–Pompey, Virgil, Augustus, and Trajan. The Erruscan art display (sarcophagi, a winged lion, bronzes, and pottery)

In 1996 the Ny Glyptotek added a French Masters’ wing. This wing, constructed of white marble and granite, is situated in the inner courtyard, which can only be reached through the Conservatory. In a climate- and light-controlled environment, there is a collection of French masterpieces that includes works by Manet, Monet, Degas, and Renoir, as well as an impressive collection of French sculpture, such as Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, and one of only three complete sets of Degas bronzes. The display features Cézanne’s famous Portrait of the Artist, as well as about 35 paintings by, Paul Gauguin who married a Danish woman in 1873.

Nyhavn (New Harbor)
This harbor-front neighborhood was built 300 years ago to attract traffic and commerce to the city center. Until 1970, the area was a favorite haunt of sailors. Now the bustling, colorful, Dutch-style canal is lined with cafés, bars and restaurants and old time sailing ships from the Nationalmuseet’s collection. Many of the old buildings have been well preserved and help to retain the harbor’s authentic 18th-century maritime atmosphere.. Hans Christian Andersen lived at various times in the Nyhavn houses at numbers 18, 20, and 67.

Orlogsmuseet (Royal Naval Museum)
Overgaden Oven Vandet 58
32-54-63-63
Tues-Sun noon-4pm
Bus: 2, 8, 9, 28, 31, or 350S
Admission charged.
This museum in Sökvasthuset, the former naval hospital, opens onto Christianshavn Kanal. It traces the history of the Danish navy, and, in fact, of this whole maritime nation. More than 300 model ships, many based on designs that date from as early as the 1500s, are on display. Some of these model vessels were designed and constructed by naval engineers as prototypes for the construction of ships that were later launched into the North Sea. The models are wide ranging: some are fully dressed, with working sails, whereas others are cross-sectional with their frames outlined. Many naval artifacts are also displayed. There is a display of navigational instruments and the propeller from the German U-Boat that sank the Lusitania. Also displayed are naval uniforms worn by Danish officers and sailors over the decades.

Rådhus (City Hall)
Completed in 1905, the mock-Renaissance building dominates Rådhus Pladsen (City Hall Square), the hub of Copenhagen’s commercial district.

Rådhus Place
33/66-25-82.
Tours
Weekdays 9:30-4, Sat. 9:30-1. Tours in English weekdays at 3, Sat. at 10.
Tower tours Mon.-Sat. at 3, also June-Sept. at 10 and 11.
Call to confirm hours.
Completed in 1905, Rådhuset has been the site of numerous elections; home to many governmental administrations; the site of occupation by the Germans during World War II; and the center of welcome for the returning football heroes from the 1992 European Championships.

Besides being an important ceremonial meeting place for Danish officials, the intricately decorated Rådhus (the façade and roof are lined with statues, gargoyles, and individually crafted stone and iron figures) contains the first World Clock. The multidialed, superaccurate astronomical timepiece has a 570,000 year calendar and took inventor Jens Olsen Verdensur 27 years to complete before it was put into action in 1955.

The interior of the building is beautifully decorated. Higghlights include busts of HC Andersen, the physicist, Niels Bohr, Professor Nyrop, and sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. The library, banquet hall, the mosaic floors, chandeliers, reliefs, intricate brickwork and painted ceilings all merit attention.

Diagonally across Rådhus Pladsen, on top of a corner office building are a neon thermometer and a gilded barometer. On sunny days there’s a golden sculpture of a girl on a bicycle; if it will rain, a girl with an umbrella appears.

Rådhuset is also a venue for exhibitions and concerts.

Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle)
Øster Voldg. 4A,
33/15-32-86.
Admission charged.
Jan.-Apr. and Nov.-Dec., Tues.-Sun. 11-2;
May – Sept., daily 10-4; Oct., daily 11-3.
www.kulturnet.dk/homes/rosenb/
This Dutch Renaissance castle contains ballrooms, halls, and reception chambers, yet has a feeling of “home.” It was the favorite residence of King Christian IV. Denmark was going through a period of economic depression toward the end of his reign, so the King literally pulled up the drawbridge and escaped the harsh realities of the outside world.

Thousands of objects are displayed inside: toys, architectural tricks, inventions, art objects and jewelry, gathered from around the world. the castle basement was a source of pride to the King. In it, his personal orchestra would perform, their music rising through a complex system of pipes connected to his living quarters. The basement now contains the Treasury, the repository of the Crown Jewels.

Rosenborg was a royal residence up until 1838, when these collections were opened to the public, along with many rooms which had remained intact over several generations from the time of Christian IV (1588-1648) to Frederik IV (1699-1730). The 24 rooms currently on display offer an insight into the lives of Renaissance kings that is perhaps unparalleled in Europe. In recent years, electricity has been installed. This has dispelled some of the natural gloom that one associates with castles, but doe illuminate the treasures to advantage.

The castle’s setting is equally welcoming: it is in the middle of the Kongens Have (King’s Garden), amid lawns, park benches, and shady walking paths. In 1849, when the absolute monarchy was abolished, the royal castles became state property, except for Rosenborg, which is still passed down from monarch to monarch.

Rundetårn. (Round Tower)
Købmagerg. 52A,
33/73-03-73.
June-Aug., Mon.-Sat. 10-8, Sun. noon-8; Sept.-May, Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. noon-5.
Observatory and telescope mid-Oct.-Mar., Tues.-Wed. 7 PM-10 PM; mid-June-mid-Aug., Sun. 1-4.
www.rundetaarn.dk
Down one of the side streets (Købmagergade) of the Stroget is the Rundetårn. Built in 1642 under the direction of Christian !V for the astronomer Tycho Brahe, the red brick tower was originally intended as an observatory for the nearby university. It is still the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The Round Tower is unique for its cobbled spiral walkway which winds 686 feet almost to the top of the tower, 114 feet above the city. There are only a few stairs at the very top. Halfway up is an exhibition space. Trinitatiskirke was built in 1637 and has a baroque altar by Friedrich Ehbisch as well as a three faced rococo clock. The observatory at the top of the tower is often open with an astronomer on hand to explain what is seen through the telescope.

Instead of climbing the stout Round Tower’s stairs, visitors scale a smooth, 600-ft spiral ramp on From its top, you enjoy a panoramic view of the twisted streets and crooked roofs of Copenhagen.

Statens Museum for Kunst (The National Gallery of Art)
Sølvgade 48-50
33 74 84 94
10-5 Tues., Thurs.-Sun. 10-8 Wed. closed Mon.
Free to all Wed.
Admission charged other than Wed. for visitors 16 and older.
www.smk.dk
Founded in 1824, the national Gallery had its origins in royal collections from centuries earlier. During the 19th century, the collection was based in Christiansborg Slot, until a fire necessitated moving it to the currently specially designed building designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup. The museum’s main focus is Danish art. This is well represented from the Golden Age of the early 19th century , back through the works of its 15th – 18th century forerunners. On the ground floor is the children’s art museum with hands-on displays.

Teatermuseet
Christiansborg Ridebane
18 33-11-51-76
Wed 2-4, Sat-Sun noon-4pm
Bus: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 37, or 43
Admission charged.
Theater buffs flock to this museum in the Old Royal Court Theater, which dates from 1767. King Christian VII had it constructed as the first court theater in Copenhagen. At one time Hans Christian Andersen was once a ballet student here. In 1842 the theater was modernized and given its present look, but the curtain went down on it for the last time in 1881.

It opened as a museum in 1992. The museum traces the history of the Danish theater from the 18th century until modern times. The public has access to the theater boxes, the stage, and the old dressing rooms. Some of the great theatrical performances of Europe, from Italian opera to pantomime, reportedly took place on the stage here. Photographs, prints, theatrical costumes, and even old stage programs tell the story, beginning with Ludvig Holberg and going up to the present day.

Tivoli Gardens
Vesterbrogade 3
33-15-10-01
Daily 11am-midnight Seasonal Info: Closed mid-Sept to Apr
Bus: 1, 16, or 29
Admission charged. Rides extra.
Since it opened in 1843, this 20 acre garden and amusement park in the center of Copenhagen has been a resounding success. It is, in fact, the jewel of Copenhagen’s family attractions, and Denmark’s biggest tourist draw. It features thousands of flowers, a merry-go-round of tiny Viking ships, games of chance and skill (pinball arcades, slot machines, shooting galleries), and a Ferris wheel of hot-air balloons and cabin seats. There’s even a playground for children.

An Arabian-style fantasy palace, with towers and arches, houses more than two dozen restaurants in all price ranges, from a lakeside inn to a beer garden. Take a walk around the edge of the tiny lake with its ducks, swans, and boats.

A parade of the red-uniformed Tivoli Boys Guard takes place on weekends at 6:30 and 8:30pm, and their regimental band gives concerts on Saturday at 3pm on the open-air stage. The oldest building at Tivoli, the Chinese-style Pantomime Theater with its peacock curtain, stages pantomimes in the evening.

Copenhagen’s best-known attraction, conveniently located next to its main train station, attracts an astounding number of visitors: 4 million people from May to September. Tivoli is more sophisticated than a mere funfair among its many attractions, are frequent classical, jazz, and rock concerts. Fantastic flower exhibits color the lush gardens and float on the swan-filled ponds. Try to see Tivoli at least once by night, when 100,000 colored lanterns illuminate the Chinese pagoda and the main fountain.

The park was established in the 1840s, when Danish architect George Carstensen persuaded King Christian VIII to let him build an amusement park, rationalizing that when people amuse themselves, they forget politics.

Tivoli Museum
Vesterbrogade 3
33-15-10-01
Apr 24-Sept 13 daily 11am-6pm. Off-season Tues-Sun 10am-4pm S-train to Central Station
Admission charged.
Some 150 years of Europe’s most famous amusement park are revealed in this offbeat museum spread across three floors. Models, films, 3D displays, pictures, posters, and original artifacts reveal how the Danes and their foreign visitors had harmless fun over the decades. Opening in 1993, the museum became an instant hit with Tivoli devotees. It’s a great idea to come here if you have only one chance to visit Copenhagen in a lifetime, and Tivoli has shut down for the year at the time of your visit. Tivoli has hosted many legendary performers over the years: everyone from Marlene Dietrich to a flea circus that ran for 65 years. Their appearances are documented in the museum. Children will delight in the rides of yesterday.

Vor Frue Kirke (Copenhagen Cathedral)
Nørregade
33-14-41-28
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Bus: 5
Free admission
This Greek Renaissance-style church, built in the early 19th century near Copenhagen University, features Bertel Thorvaldsen’s white marble neoclassical works including Christ and the Apostles. The funeral of Hans Christian Andersen took place here in 1875, and that of Sören Kierkegaard in 1855.

Von Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Savior)
Skt. Annægade 29
31-57-27-98
Mar-Aug daily 9am-4pm; Sept-Nov daily 9am-3pm; Dec-Feb daily 10am-2pm
Admission charged to tower;
Church admission: free
This Palladian Dutch baroque church with an external tower staircase was built by architect Lambert van Haven for Christian V in 1682. The 295 foot high copper and gold spire can be seen from most parts of the city center, and is a Copenhagen landmark, dominating the Christianshavn area. Inside, is a splendid baroque altar, richly adorned with cherubs and other figures. There is also a lovely font and richly carved organ case. The spire is open to anyone who wants to navigate the 400 or more steps, which spiral narrower and narrower as they reach the summit

D – Family Fun Attractions

Overview:

Art galleries have never been particularly child friendly, or even interesting for children. In Copenhagen, this problem has been addressed and corrected. Many attractions are family oriented, and most contain a special area of interest to children. Copenhagen is a perfect city for visiting children.

No trip to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to Tivoli (it’s open from mid April to mid September). Right in the middle of town, Tivoli offers both the fun of the fair, the peace and tranquility of a park and the ambience of the many open air cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a real wonderland for children of all ages, with its marooned pirate ship, roller coaster rides, shooting galleries, and the Valhala Castle, home of The Nordic God, Odin, who welcomes children to the Valhala Restaurant.

For more rides and amusements, just out of town lies Bakken, (open from late March to late August, with free admission). A well established pleasure park situated on the wooded outskirts of Dyrehaven. The child friendly restaurant is the perfect place to relax after Bakken’s notorious roller coaster.

As a visitor with children in Copenhagen it’s not difficult to keep both yourself and them entertained. There are now many children friendly museums, where it’s designed to be interesting both for you and the kids. The National Museum for example features a special children’s section.

National Gallery’s (Statens Museum for Kunst) new Children’s Gallery. The idea behind the new addition of the art museum is to teach children the values in art, but on their own terms. Featuring selected original works from the permanent collections, workshops and a theater, the Children’s Gallery gives children an insight into various creative processes.

For the more scientifically minded there’s the Experimentarium, a collection of hands-on installations and exhibitions demonstrating the wonders of natural science. Crazy mirrors, water wheels, computer rooms, logic puzzles, and so on.

The Kids´ Pavillion is for children aged 3-6. Continuing the scientific theme, there’s the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. In it’s impressive building at the end of the city’s string of lakes, the Planetarium boasts an Omnimax theatre, which projects a hemispherical image within its dome. As you sit in the reclining seats, it’s impossible not to physically experience the movie; be it an underwater safari or a trip on a roller coaster.

Copenhagen is also the proud owner of a major Zoo. Probably the most popular are the Monkey House, Children’s Zoo and the Night Zoo where day is turned into night. Just outside the city lies

Denmark’s Aquarium with it’s spectacular tropical and sea-water landscape tanks filled with fish and aquatic mammals from all over the world.

If you take one of the Water Buses, you can hop off at Langelinie for a closer look at the grand cruise liners moored there and the Little Mermaid.

A spectacular trip along the North coast leads to Lousiana Museum of Modern Art. Situated right on the coast, the gardens, beach and the special children’s house, make it an ideal destination.

A perfect way to round off the day could be a visit to Vandkulturhuset in DGI-town, Copenhagen’s new sports and cultural centre. Vandkulturhuset includes a new swimming pool with lots of fun for children: young and old. Take a swim in the pool formed as a super-ellipse, play in the children’ s pool or the water park with diving and climbing areas, or relax in hot water baths with spa, etc.

Among Copenhagen’s many parks, Frederiksberg Have is particularly suitable for children. It’s a park for football, rounders, kites and general fun. There’s even a boat trip around the park’s canal system. In the center of town are: Kongens Have (Rosenborg Castle) and the Botanic Gardens. They are peaceful places to take an ice-cream or a hot dog from one of the street stalls. Close to the international Football Stadium is another park, Fælledparken, with its outdoor pavilion café and wide open spaces.

Attractions:

Bakken Amusement Park
Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg
39-63-73-00
Daily 1pm-midnight Closed late Aug to late Mar
S-tog: Klampenborg train from the Central Railroad Station to the Klampenborg station (about a 20-minute ride); then walk through the Deer Park or take a horse-drawn cab
Free admission
On the northern edge of Copenhagen, about 7 1/2 miles from the city center, this amusement park was created years ago. It’s a local favorite, featuring roller coasters, dancing, the tunnel of love, and a merry-go-round. Open-air restaurants are plentiful, as are snack bars and ice-cream booths. Proceeds from the amusements support this unspoiled natural preserve. There are no cars allowed: only bicycles and horse-drawn carriages.

Denmark’s Aquarium
Strandvejen, in Charlottenlund Fort Park, Charlottenlund
39-62-32-83
Mar-Oct, daily 10am-6pm; Feb, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
S-tog: Line C to Charlottenlund.
Bus: 6
Admission charged.
Opened in 1939 north of Copenhagen along the Øresund coast, this is one of the most extensive aquariums in Europe. Its large tanks are famous for their decoration. Hundreds of salt- and freshwater-species are exhibited. One tank houses piranha from South America.

Eskperimentarium (Hands-On Science Center)
Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup
39-27-33-33
Daily 10am-5pm
S-tog: Hellerup or Svanemøllen.
Bus: 6, 21, or 23
Admission Charged; free for children 3 and under
Located in the old mineral water-bottling hall of Tuborg breweries, this museum has a hands-on approach to science.. Visitors use not only their hands but all of their senses as they participate in some 300 exhibitions and demonstrations divided into three themes: Humans, Nature, and The Interaction Between Humans and Nature. Visitors hear what all the world’s languages sound like, make a wind machine blow up to hurricane force, check their skin to test how much sun it can take, dance in an inverted disco, or visit a slimming machine. Families can work as a team to examine enzymes, make a camera from paper, or test perfume. Exhibits change frequently.

Louis Tussaud Wax Museum
H. C. Andersens Blvd. 22
33-11-89-00
Apr 29-Sept 13, daily 10am-11pm; Sept 14-Apr 28, daily 10am-6pm
Bus: 1, 2, 16, 28, 29, or 41
Admission charged.
Now a part of Tivoli, the Louis Tussaud Wax Museum is a major commercial attraction in Copenhagen. It features more than 200 wax figures–everybody from Danish kings and queens to Leonardo da Vinci. Children can visit the Snow Queen’s Castle, or watch Frankenstein and Dracula guard the monsters and vampires.

Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Gammel Kongevej 10
33-12-12-24
Daily 10:30am-9:30pm
Bus: 1 or 14
Admission charged, depending on the show, for Omnimax films
The marvel of the night sky, with its planets, galaxies, star clusters, and comets, is created by a star projector using the planetarium dome as a screen and space theater. Named after the famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the planetarium also stages Omnimax film productions. There’s an information center and a restaurant.

Zoologisk Have (Copenhagen Zoo)
Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg
36-30-25-55
Daily 9am-6pm
S-tog: Valby.
Bus: 6, 18, 28, 39, or 550S
Admission charged.
With more than 2,000 animals from Greenland to Africa, this zoo boasts spacious new habitats for reindeer and musk oxen as well as an open roaming area for lions. Take a ride up the small wooden Eiffel Tower, or walk across the street and let your kids enjoy the petting zoo. The zoo is mobbed on Sundays.

Nationalmuseet
10, Ny Vestergade
45 33 13 44 11
This brilliantly restored 18th-century royal residence, contains some of the finest rooms in the city. It was extensively modernized in recent years. It has housed what is regarded as one of the best national museums in Europe since the 1930s. Extensive collections chronicle Danish cultural history from prehistoric to modern times . Included is one of the largest collections of Stone Age tools in the world. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities are on display. All exhibits have English captions.

The children’s museum, with replicas of period clothing and “please touch” exhibits condenses the rest of the museum into something understandable to children 4- 12.

In addition to their special area, children enjoy the whole museum, as it is engaging throughout.

Louisiana – Museum of Modern Art
13, Gl. Strandvej
45 49 19 07 19
The elegant seaside town of Humlebæk, located 19 mi. north of Copenhagen, is home of this outstanding modern art museum famed for its stunning location and architecture as much as for its collection. It is surrounded by a large park. Housed in a 19th-century villa surrounded by dramatic views of the Øresund waters, the permanent collection includes modern American paintings and Danish paintings from the COBRA (a trend in northern European painting that took its name from its active locations, COpenhagen, BRussels, and Amsterdam) and constructivist movements. Paintings are displayed from several of Picasso’s periods, as well as many from the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s. Be sure to see the haunting collection of Giacomettis backdropped by picture windows overlooking the Sound.

In the gardens are sculptures by Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Giacometti. The gardens are very popular with children, who also enjoy the special exhibit area called Bornehuset (The Children’s House), which was designed just for them.

Eskperimentarium
Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup
39 27 33 33
9-5 Mon,Wed.-Fri. 9-9 Tues., 11-5 Sat., Sun.
Admission charged.
Bus 6,21,650S
Located in the former mineral water bottling plant of the Tuborg Brewery, this museum has a hands on approach to science. Untamed forces such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes demonstrate that the Earth is alive and constantly changing. Dynamic Earth is a new. exhibition on this Amazing and Turbulent Planet that provides us with both food and energy

E – Events & Entertainments

March/April:
The Night Film Festival takes place in Copenhagen from late March-mid-April and features a vast number of films in their original language. www.natfilm.dk

Denmark has a proud tradition as a film nation. In recent years, international attention has particularly been focused on such outstanding directors as Bille August and the founders of the much-acclaimed Dogme films; directors Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, and Kristian Levring The flourishing Danish film world is centered on Copenhagen, which is the base for most film companies and major first-class cinemas.

At this festival, audiences can watch handpicked top-quality films from countries that rarely feature in cinemas, such as Asian films, which are always well represented. The festival also screens a number of new films that are premiered later in the cinemas, and also re-runs old classics and cult films.

April 16:
The Queen’s Birthday is celebrated with the royal guard in full ceremonial dress as the royal family appears before the public on the balcony of Amalienborg Castle.

May:
Copenhagen Fashion & Design Festival; Copenhagen City Center (33 55 74 80). Every year, the city’s leading fashion shops and designers take over the city to celebrate the very best in Danish and foreign fashion design

Late May:
Swingin’ Copenhagen jazz festival in Swingin’ Copenhagen focuses on more traditional jazz and also takes place in the clubs, concert halls, streets, and squares of the city. Further information is available on www.swingin-copenhagen.dk

May:
Copenhagen Carnival includes boat parades in Nyhavn and costumed revelers in the streets.

May-August:
The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen open with rides, concerts, and entertainment. Special activities and concerts are planned for the 145th anniversary of the Tivoli Guard.

June:
The Roskilde Festival is held on the last weekend in June in a huge field near the city of Roskilde, half an hour’s drive from Copenhagen City. It is becoming more and more popular. The 70,000 tickets available are usually sold out long before the program is published. It is one of the biggest rock events in the world.

The Roskilde Festival is a huge party, where people eat and drink in vast quantities. Apart from the concerts, there are hundreds of stalls selling everything from jewelry and clothes to massage and tattoos. There is a computer café, cinema, theatre, dance hall, and much more. The festival mainly attracts a young crowd from all over Europe.

In recent years, more attention has been given to safety and security. www.roskilde-festival.dk

June:
Images of Asia is a cultural festival taking place in Denmark in the second half of 2002 in the cities of Copenhagen, Århus, Odense and Ålborg. The festival aims at fostering cultural understanding and cooperation between Denmark and partners in Asia, and will address the issue of Images by providing a platform for dialogue among makers and creators of images, artists, scholars, critics, NGOs, educators, media, business and the general public.

The festival continues a tradition of Images festivals in Denmark, based on a concept where art institutions, NGOs, media and cities work jointly to develop the project with partners outside Denmark. Previous festivals include Images of Africa (1991, ’93 and ’96) and Images of the World (2000).

Images of Asia will coincide with the ASEMIV, which also takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the second half of 2002, where Denmark chairs the European Union’s Council of Ministers.

July:
The Copenhagen Jazz Festivals. This festival is held for ten days in July. Copenhagen has a long tradition as a jazz metropolis. Over the years, many of the great international jazz musicians have been based permanently in Copenhagen. Together with the city’s own wealth of skilled professional jazz musicians, this has created a unique environment for jazz that can be experienced live every day, all year round, in Copenhagen. During the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, jazz comes bubbling out of every corner of the city.

Squares, parks and a wide range of cafes and clubs are involved in the biggest jazz event of the year, featuring around 450 concerts. Many of the concerts are free. The festival has become immensely popular and attracts jazz fans not only from Denmark and its neighboring countries, but also from countries as far away as China and Australia. Throughout the years, Copenhagen Jazz Festival has presented a line of important international artists. (33 93 20 13, fax 33 93 20 24) www.cjf.dk.

August:
Between the 7th and 10th, the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Race brings more than 100 ships to the Copenhagen harbor.

August:
The Copenhagen International Ballet Festival is held every summer in Frederiksberg, a few minutes outside the city of Copenhagen. This is the venue for the annual summer festival, featuring the Copenhagen International Ballet Group, founded by Danish ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin, with principals and members from the New York City Ballet, Ballet Béjart, Lyon Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and the Hamburg Ballet. The ballets are always staged outdoors in beautiful surroundings in the atrium courtyard of The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. Here audiences can experience the well-loved classics as well as completely new works, under the wonderful night sky. (33 32 52 52) www.xproduction.com

Mid-September-Mid-December:
The Kulturbro 2002 biennial. To celebrate the birth of the new Danish-Swedish region – the Øresund Region, an extensive cultural biennial has been founded. This biennial was launched in 2000 as a celebration of art, design, music, theatre, and dance in the Øresund Region. More than a hundred Danish and Swedish museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, and dance stages hosted a vast number of special exhibitions, plays, and performances, whose common aim was to draw international attention to the cultural potential of this new region. The next celebration will be in 2002.

For further information on Kulturbro 2002, contact:
Wonderful Copenhagen
tel: 33 55 74 00
fax: 33 55 74 10
or by visiting www.kulturbro.com

First week of November:
A few years ago the Copenhagen Jazz Festival gave rise to an offshoot, which has become another important part of the city’s musical scene; Copenhagen Autumn Jazz. Includes indoor jazz concerts at a number of the city’s best venues.

December and January:
Tivoli’s Christmas Market

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Prague Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Prague Travel Deals

Prague is the capital city of the relatively small Czech Republic which lies in the heart of Europe, bordering Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.

prague overview

Prague (Praha) has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. No other European capital contains six hundred years of architecture so completely untouched by natural disaster or war. Prague’s rich collection of Gothic, baroque, and Renaissance buildings has emerged unscathed from centuries of strife.

Prague has been called ‘the Rome of the North’. Rome was built on seven hills, and Prague was built on nine hills: Letna, Vitkov, Opys, Vetrov, Skalka, Emauzy, Vysehrad, Karlov and the highest of all, Petrin. The mountains, forests and lakes surrounding Prague are enchanting and ideal for outdoor holidays as well as winter sports.

Central Prague is made up of four towns, joined together in 1784. The River Vltava (Moldau in German) divides the capital into two unequal halves: on the steeply inclined left bank, are Hradcany and Malá Strana (the Lesser Quarter). The more gentle, sprawling right bank includes Staré Mesto, Josefov and Nové Mesto.

Hradcany, on the hill, contains the most sights: the castle itself, the cathedral and the former palaces of the aristocracy. Below Hradcany, Malá Strana (Little Quarter), with its narrow eighteenth-century streets, is the city’s ministerial and diplomatic quarter, with attractive Baroque gardens for all to enjoy. Over the river, on the right bank, Staré Mesto (Old Town) is a web of alleys and passageways centered on the city’s most beautiful square, Staromestské námesti. Enclosed within the boundaries of Staré Mesto is Josefov, the old Jewish quarter, now containing only a few synagogues and a cemetery. Nové Mesto (New Town), the focus of the modern city, covers the largest area, laid out in long wide boulevards, the most famous of which is Wenceslas Square. These boulevards stretch south and east of the old town.

In the years since students took to the streets and the communist regime ended, Prague has enjoyed an unparalleled cultural renaissance. Amid Prague’s cobblestone streets and gold-tipped spires, new galleries, cafés, and clubs serve “expatriates.” Prague has somehow emerged as Eastern Europe’s new Left Bank

Prague Castle has stood on the hill overlooking the Old Town since the 10th century. The city grew around the castle over the centuries. A good way to begin exploration of the wonders of Prague is to take a ride on tram #22 for a free sightseeing tour of downtown Prague. From Vinohrady in the west, it will travel across the river, around several hair-pin bends, finishing up outside Prague Castle.

Then walk or ride the Royal Route downhill from Prague Castle, through Malá Strana (Lesser Town), and across Charles Bridge to Old Town Square. The crossing of the 1,700 foot span of the bridge is an adventure in itself! The bridge is lined with more than 30 sculptures and serves as a venue for performances of puppeteers and musicians. The trip retraces the route taken by the carriages of the Bohemian kings, with the difference that today the way is lined with galleries, shops, and cafés. Be sure to glance up on the hour as the Astronomical Clock of the Old Town Hall on Staromestské námestí comes to life with its procession of mechanical figures.

Take all the time you can to wander through the narrow winding streets of Staré Mêsto (Old Town). This is the moment to be wearing a comfortable pair of broken – in walking shoes. The cobblestones and hills of Prague require that careful attention be paid to preparing the feet for the journey.

When it is time to rest, numerous cafés offering food, coffee, tea, and fine varieties of locally brewed beer are readily available. Another activity providing relaxation as well as a fascinating afternoon or evening, is a tourboat trip down the Vltava past the castles and palaces of the region. Some tours provide a meal as well. For the more adventurous, there is the possibility of a “do it yourself ” boat tour via rowboat. Lanterns are added at night to create an aura of romance in and around the rented dinghies. Visitors to Charles Bridge after dark will encounter a lively scene, as musicians and street performers congregate to celebrate the night.

An afternoon with the family in the park at the site of the Citadel on Vyserhad also provides a break from the bustle of the city.

A 30-minute train ride south of Prague leads to the most visited Czech landmark in the area around Prague, Karlstejn Castle built by Charles IV in the 14th century to protect the Holy Roman Empire’s crown jewels. This Romanesque hilltop fortress is of interest to adults and children alike.

Mozart experienced moderate success in Vienna, but he triumphed in Prague! Classical music still seems to be everywhere in the city. Tickets are reasonably priced, and the musical performances are superb.

Food in Prague is often based on Austro-Hungarian dishes. Specialties include bramborak, a potato pancake filled with garlic and herbs, and Prague ham. However, a wide range of culinary options exists. Among these are American, Italian, Lebanese, and Japanese cuisine.

Shopping is a favorite pastime also. Arcades under the buildings of Wenceslas Square, along the pedestrian only street of Na Príkope and also along Narodní tríada shoppers discover a variety of quality products ranging from books to antiques, to crystal. There are interesting craft shops on Karlova, near the Charles Bridge. Puppets and marionettes that are works of art can also be discovered in these areas.

The beauty and classical elegance of the buildings, streets, passageways and alleys of this “Golden City” will provide a colorful mosaic of memories that will remain long after the visit has concluded

Population:
1,184,000

Area:
496 sq km

Elevation:
235 m (average)

Time Zone:
Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour (two hours in summer): Time in Prague is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in New York. (7 hours ahead of central time in Chicago, etc.) Prague uses the 24 hour clock, so the numeral 1 on a US watch would be read as 1 in the early morning or 13 in the afternoon, etc. Transportation timetables and schedules will use this method of representation of time. (designations of AM and PM are unnecessary)

Language:
Czech, a Slavic language closely related to Slovak and Polish, is the official language of the Czech Republic. Learning English is popular among young people, but German is still the most useful language for tourists. Don’t be surprised if you get a response in German to a question asked in English.

Telephones:
The country code for the Czech Republic is 42.
The city code for Prague is 02.

Entertainment Listings:
To find out what’s on for the month and to get the latest tips for shopping, dining, and entertainment, consult Prague’s weekly English-language newspaper, The Prague Post. It prints comprehensive entertainment listings and can be bought at most downtown newsstands as well as in major North American and European cities. The monthly Prague Guide, available at newsstands and tourist offices provides an overview of major cultural events and has listings of restaurants, hotels, and organizations offering traveler assistance.

Emergency Numbers:
Police (158).
Ambulance (155).
Breakdowns (154 or 123).

Packing:

Take a pair of sturdy walking shoes and be prepared to use them. Dress shoes will present considerable problems on the cobblestone streets of Prague.

Many items that you take for granted at home are occasionally unavailable or of questionable quality. Take your own toiletries and personal hygiene products with you. Few places provide sports equipment for rent; an alternative to bringing your own equipment would be to buy what you need locally and take it home with you. In general, sporting goods are relatively cheap and of good quality.

Bring an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses in your carry-on luggage. Contact lens wearers should bring enough saline and disinfecting solution with them, as they are expensive and in short supply

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):

 

High

Low

January – March

44F

23F

April – June

70F

38F

July – September

73F

55F

October – December

53F

27F

When to Go:
The tourist season runs from April or May through October; spring and fall combine good weather with a more bearable level of tourism. Bear in mind that many attractions are closed November through March. Prague is beautiful year-round, but it might be wise to avoid midsummer (especially July and August) and the Christmas and Easter holidays, when the city is crowded with visitors, provided there is flexibility in the travel schedule.

 

Czech Republic Holidays:
1 January – New Year, Independent Czech State Renewal Day
March or April (varies) Easter Monday
1 May – Labor Day
8 May – Liberation Day (1945)
5 July – Cyril and Methodius Day – the Slavic Christianity Prophets
6 July – Master John Hus burning at the stake (1415)
28 September – Czech Statehood Day
28 October – Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day (1918)
17 November – Day of Fight for Freedom and Democracy
24 December – Christmas Eve
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – St. Stephen’s Day

Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz Electrical sockets take plugs with two round prongs or sometimes three. American appliances will need a plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability. Most hotels will supply guests with an ironing board and iron if requested.

Money:
The unit of the Czech money is Ceska Koruna, or Crown, abbreviated KCZ or CZK (for Koruna Ceska). The crown is divided into 100 Haler, or Heller (h). Notes come in 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 KCZ denominations and coins in 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 KCZ and 50 h sizes. All old notes from the days of the united Czechoslovakia ceased to be a legal tender in the Czech Republic in October 1993, so beware of being offered Czechoslovak currency. The Czech crown is now freely convertible on world currency markets; exchange rates are fixed daily on the Prague Stock market.

Changing Money:
The best place to exchange is at bank counters, where the commissions average 1%-3%, or at ATMs. The koruna is fully convertible and can be purchased outside the country and exchanged into other currencies. Ask about current regulations when you change money, however, and keep your receipts.

 

Between the airport and town by bus:
The Cedaz minibus shuttle links the airport with Námestí Republiky (a square just off the Old Town). It runs hourly, more often at peak periods, between 6 AM and 9:30 PM daily and makes an intermediate stop at the Dejvická metro station.

The Czech complex of regional bus lines known collectively as CSAD operates its dense network from the sprawling main bus station on Krizíkova (metro stop: Florenc, lines B or C). For information about routes and schedules call 02/2421-1060, consult the timetables posted at the station, or visit the information window, situated at the bus unloading area (open weekdays 6 AM-7:45 PM, Sat. 6-4, Sun. 8-6). The helpful private travel agency Tourbus, in the pedestrian overpass above the station, dispenses bus information daily until 8 PM. If the ticket windows are closed, you can usually buy a ticket from the driver.

 

Traveling by Train:

Because European countries are compact, it often takes less time to travel city-to-city by train than by plane. Prague is about 5 hours by train from Munich, Berlin, and Vienna. The European East Pass is good for first-class unlimited rail access in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Also available is the Czech Flexipass, good for rail travel within the Czech Republic for 5 days of travel within a 15-day period.

Passengers traveling to Prague by train typically pull into one of two central stations: Hlavní nádrazí (Main Station) or Nádrazí Holesovice (Holesovice Station). Both are on line C of the metro system and offer a number of services, including money exchange, a post office, and a luggage-storage area.

Hlavní nádrazí
Wilsonova trída, Praha 2
02/2422 3887

Nádrazí Holesovice
Partyzánská at Vrbenského, Praha 7
02/2461 7265
Prague’s second train station, is usually the terminus for trains from Berlin and other points north. Although it’s not as centrally located as the main station, its more manageable size and location at the end of metro line C make it almost as convenient.

Prague contains two smaller rail stations.

Masaryk Station
Hybernská ulice at Havlíckova
02/2461 7260
Is primarily for travelers arriving on trains originating from other Bohemian cities or from Brno or Bratislava. Situated about 10 minutes by foot from the main train station, Masaryk is near Staré Mesto, just a stone’s throw from Námestí Republiky metro station.

Smíchov Station
Nádrazní ulice at Rozkosného
02/2461 7686
Is the terminus for commuter trains from western and southern Bohemia, though an occasional international train pulls in here. The station contains a 24-hour baggage check and is serviced by metro line B.

 

Getting Around:

Prague City Transport Fares
Traveling by city transport is only possible with a valid ticket. Passengers have to obtain their tickets before boarding the vehicle or entering the Metro system. Tickets can be bought at selected Metro stations or in Dopravni podnik Information Centers, hotels, at news stands, travel bureaus, department stores, etc. Single tickets can also be bought from the slot machines located at Metro stations or near some stops of surface transport. To see Prague properly, there is no alternative to walking, especially since much of the city center is off-limits to automobiles. And the walking couldn’t be more pleasant-most of it along the beautiful bridges and cobblestone streets of the city’s historic core. Before venturing out, however, be sure you have a good map.

By Bicycle
Prague is a particularly fun city to bike in, when the crowds are thin. Vehicular traffic is limited in the center, where small, winding streets seem especially suited to two-wheeled vehicles. Surprisingly, few people take advantage of this opportunity; cyclists are largely limited to the few foreigners who have imported their own bikes. The city’s ubiquitous cobblestones make mountain bikes the natural choice. Check with your hotel about a possible rental or try Cyklocentrum at Karlovo nám. 29, New Town and fax 02/294 312 www.cyklocentrum.cz

By Public Transportation
Prague’s public transportation network is still remarkably affordable. In central Prague, metro (subway) stations abound. You can buy tickets from yellow coin-operated machines in metro stations or at most newsstands marked Tabák Or Trafika. Hold on to your validated ticket throughout your ride–you’ll need to show it if a plainclothes ticket collector asks you.

By Bus \& Tram
The 24 electric tram (streetcar) lines run practically everywhere, and there’s always another tram with the same number traveling back. You never have to hail trams, for they make every stop. The most popular trams, nos. 22 and 23 (the “tourist trams” and the “pickpocket express”), run past top sights like the National Theater and Prague Castle. Regular bus and tram service stops at midnight, after which selected routes run reduced schedules, usually only once per hour. Schedules are posted at stops. If you miss a night connection, expect a long wait for the next. Buses tend to be used only outside the older districts of Prague and have three-digit numbers. Both the buses and tram lines (which have two digits) begin their morning runs around 4:30am.

By Metro & Light Rail
Metro trains operate daily from 5am to midnight and run every 2 to 6 minutes. On the three lettered lines (A, B, and C, color coded green, yellow, and red, respectively) the most convenient central stations are Mustek, at the foot of Václavské námestí (Wenceslas Square); Staromestska, for Old Town Square and Charles Bridge; and Malostranská, serving Malá Strana and the Castle District. The Prague Metro network consists of 3 lines designated by letters and differentiated in colour: green colour (Skalka station – Dejvicka station), yellow colour (Cerny most station – Zlicin station), red colour (Nadrazi Holesovice station – Haje station), with transfers possible at Museum station (lines A and C), Mustek station (lines A and B), Florenc station (lines B and C). Metro operates daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.. The time interval between train departures is approximately 2 minutes during the rush hours and 4 to 10 minutes during off-peak hours.

By Taxi
AAA Taxi ( 02/3399) and Sedop ( 02/6731-4184). Many firms have English-speaking operators.

The Funicular
The Funicular onto Petrin Hill operates along the route Ujezd – Nebozizek – Petrin. The Funicular operates daily from 9:15 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. with traffic intervals from 10 to 15 minutes

Areas of the historical center:
Hradcany, Mala Strana (Lesser Town)
Stare Mesto (Old Town) including Josefov, Nove Mesto (New Town) and Vysehrad

The main attraction for many is simply walking along the winding cobblestone streets and enjoying the unique atmosphere. Exquisite examples from the history of European architecture–from Romanesque to Renaissance, baroque to art nouveau and cubist–are crammed next to one another on twisting narrow streets.

Alfons Mucha Museum (Muzeum A. Muchy):
Panská 7, Praha 1.
02/628 4162.
Daily 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Mustek.
This museum opened in early 1998 near Wenceslas Square to honor the high priest of art nouveau, Alphonse (Alfons in Czech) Mucha. The new museum, around the corner from the Palace Hotel, combines examples of his graphic works, posters, and paintings as well as shows his influence in jewelry, fashion, and advertising.

Bedr[av]ich Smetana Museum (Muzeum B. Smetany):
Novotného lávka 1, Praha 1.
02/2422 9075.
Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Starome[av]stská; tram 17 or 18.
Concerts are held here, and you can buy tickets on site or at Prague Information Service, Na Pr[av]íkope[av] 20, Praha 1 (187 in Prague or 02/264 022 outside Prague). This museum, opened in 1936 (in what was the former Old Town waterworks) jutting out into the Vltava next to Charles Bridge, pays tribute to the deepest traditions of Czech classical music and its most patriotic composer, Bedr[av]ich Smetana.

Bertramka (W. A. Mozart Museum):

bertramka
Mozartova 169, Praha 5.
02/543 893
Daily 9:30am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 2, 6, 7, 9, 14, or 16 from Ande[av]l metro station.
Chamber concerts are often held here, usually starting at 5pm. Tickets are available on site or at Prague Information Service, Na Pr[av]íkope[av] 20, Praha 1. Mozart loved Prague, and when he visited, the composer often stayed at this villa owned by the Dus[av]ek family. Now a museum, it contains displays with his written work and his harpsichord. There’s also a lock of Mozart’s hair, encased in a cube of glass. Much of the Bertramka villa was destroyed by fire in the 1870s, but Mozart’s rooms, where he finished composing the opera Don Giovanni, have miraculously remained untouched.

Bethlehem Chapel (Betlémská kaple):
Betlémské nám. 4,
Praha 1. (Praha 1).
Apr-Oct, daily 9am-6pm; Nov-Mar, daily 9am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line B to Národní trída.
This is the site where, in the early 15th century, the Czech Protestant theologian Jan Hus angered the Catholic hierarchy with sermons critical of the establishment. He was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415 at Konstanz in present-day Germany and became a martyr for the Czech Protestant and later nationalist cause. A memorial to Hus dominates the center of Old Town Square. The chapel was completed in 1394 but reconstructed in the early 1950s. In the main hall you can still see the original stone floors and the pulpit from where Hus preached; it’s used as a ceremonial hall for Czech national events.

Church of Our Lady Victorious–Holy Child of Prague (Kláster Prazského):
Karmelitská 9, Praha 1.
Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun 1-5:30pm.
Fee for occasional concerts.
Museum of the Infant Jesus: Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská.
This 1613 early baroque home of the Carmelite order is famous throughout Italy and Latino countries for the wax statue of Jesus displayed on an altar of the right wing of the church. The Bambini di Praga (Baby of Prague) was presented to the Carmelites by the Habsburg patron Polyxena of Lobkowicz in 1628 and is revered as a valuable Catholic relic from Spain. Copies of the Bambini are sold frequently on the Lesser Town streets outside the church, angering some of the faithful.

Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel sv. Mikulás[av]e):
Malostranské nám. 1,Praha 1.
Free admission.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská.
This church is one of the best examples of high baroque architecture north of the Alps. However, K. I. Dienzenhofer’s 1711 design didn’t have the massive dome that now dominates the Lesser Town skyline below Prague Castle. Dienzenhofer’s son, Krys[av]tof, added the 260-foot-high dome during additional work completed in 1752. The gilded interior is stunning. Gold-capped marble-veneered columns frame altars packed with statuary and frescoes added through the centuries. A giant statue of the church’s namesake looks down from the high altar, as the midday sun strains through the domes, lighting it and the frescoes.

Church of St. Nicholas (Kostel sv. Mikuláse):
Old Town Square at Parízská, Praha 1.
Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
Free admission, except for occasional concerts.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
At the site of a former Gothic church begun by German merchants, this St. Nicholas church was designed in 1735 by the principal architect of Czech baroque, K. I. Dienzenhofer. He’s the same Dienzenhofer who designed Prague’s other St. Nicholas Church, in Lesser Town (see above). This church isn’t as ornate as the other but has a more tumultuous history. The Catholic monastery was closed in 1787, and the church was handed over for use as a concert hall in 1865. The city’s Russian Orthodox community began using it in 1871, but in 1920 management was handed to the Protestant Hussites. One notable piece inside is the 19th-century crystal chandelier with glass brought from the town of Harrachov. Concerts are still held here.

Dvor[av]ák Museum (Muzeum A. Dvor[av]áka):
Ke Karlovu 20, Praha 2.
02/298 214
Tues-Sun 10-5.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line C to I. P. Pavlova.
Built in 1712, the two-story rococo building, tucked away on a Nové Me[av]sto side street, was Dvor[av]ák’s home for 24 years until his death in 1901. In the 18th century when the building was erected, this part of Prague was frontier land. Czechs willing to open businesses so far from the center were called “Americans” for their pioneer spirit. This building came to be known as America. Opened in 1932, the museum shows an extensive collection, including the composer’s piano, spectacles, Cambridge cap and gown, photographs, and sculptures. Several rooms are furnished as they were around 1900.

Kinsk‡ Palace (Palác Kinsk‡ch):
Staromestské námestí, Praha 1.
02/2481 0758.
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
The rococo Kinsk‡ Palace houses graphic works from the National Gallery collection, including pieces by Georges Braque, André Derain, and other modern masters. Pablo Picasso’s 1907 Self-Portrait is here and has virtually been adopted as the National Gallery’s logo. Good-quality international exhibits have included Max Ernst and Rembrandt retrospectives, as well as shows on functional arts and crafts.

Loreto Palace (Loreta):
Loretánské nám. 7, Praha 1.
02/2051-6740
Tues-Sun 9am-12:15pm and 1-4:30pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 22 from Malostranská.
Loreto Palace was named after the town of Loreto, Italy, where the dwelling of the Virgin Mary was said to have been brought by angels from Palestine in the 13th century. After the Roman Catholics defeated the Protestant Bohemians in 1620, the Loreto cult was chosen as the device for a re-Catholicization of Bohemia. The Loreto legend holds that a cottage in which the Virgin Mary lived had been miraculously transferred from Nazareth to Loreto, an Italian city near Ancona. The Loreto Palace is thought to be an imitation of this cottage, and more than 50 copies have been constructed throughout the Czech lands. The Loreto’s facade is decorated with 18th-century statues of the four writers of the Gospel–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–along with a lone female, St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary.

Mu[ao]stek Metro Station:
The street follows the line of the old fortifications all the way down to the Gothic Powder Tower at náme[av]stí Republiky.
Václavské náme[av]stí, Praha 1.
Metro: Line A or B.
It’s not the metro station itself, which is hardly 20 years old, that warrants an entry here. Descending Mu[ao]stek’s lower escalators, the illuminated stone remains of what was once a bridge that connected the fortifications of Prague’s Old and New Towns can be seen.

Museum of the City of Prague (Muzeum hlavního me[av]sta Prahy):
The museum is 1 block north of the Florenc metro station.
Na por[av]íc[av]í 52, Praha 8.
02/2481 6772
Tues-Sun 9am-6pm, Thurs 9am-8pm.
Admission Charged
This delightfully upbeat museum encompasses Prague’s illustrious past.
Permanent exhibition: Ancient Prague – the history of the city and its inhabitants from prehistoric times to 1620. Prague between the Middle and New Ages. Langweil´s model of Prague created during 1826 – 1837 – a unique three dimensional representation of the city made of paper and wood.

Alfons Mucha Museum (Muzeum A. Muchy):
Panská 7, Praha 1. Phone 02/628 4162 E-mail museum@mucha.cz.
Daily 10am-6pm
Metro: Mustek
Admission charged.
This museum opened in early 1998 near Wenceslas Square to honor the art nouveau master, Alphonse (Alfons in Czech) Mucha. Though the Moravian born turn of the 20th century master spent most of his creative years in Paris drawing luminaries like actress Sarah Bernhardt, Mucha’s influence can still be seen throughout his home country. The new museum, around the corner from the Palace Hotel, combines examples of his graphic works, posters, and paintings and highlights his influence in jewelry, fashion, and advertising.

Petr[av]ín Tower (Rozhledna):
Atop Petr[av]ín Hill, Praha 1.
Apr-Oct, daily 9:30am-8pm; Nov-Mar, Sat-Sun only 9:30am-5pm.
Admission charged.
Tram: 12 or 22 to Újezd, then ride the funicular to the top.
A one-fifth scale copy of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Prague’s Petr[av]ín Tower was constructed out of recycled railway track for the 1891 Prague Exhibition. It functioned as the city’s primary telecommunications tower until the Emir Hoffman tower opened. Today the Eiffel replica exists solely as a tourist attraction. Those who climb the 195 feet to the top are treated to striking views, particularly at night.

Powder Tower (Pras[av]ná brána, literally Powder Gate):
Náme[av]stí Republiky, Praha 1.
Metro: Line B to Náme[av]stí Republiky
Once part of Staré Me[av]sto’s system of fortifications, the Old Town Powder Tower (as opposed to the Powder Tower in Prague Castle) was built in 1475 as one of the walled city’s major gateways. The 140-foot-tall tower marks the beginning of the Royal Route, the traditional 3/4-mile-long route along which medieval Bohemian monarchs paraded on their way to being crowned in Prague Castle’s St. Vitus Cathedral. It also was the east gate to the Old Town on the road to Kutná Hora. The tower was acutely damaged during the Prussian invasion of Prague in 1737. The present-day name derived from the 18th century, when the development of Nové Me[av]sto rendered this protective tower obsolete; it was then used as a gunpowder storehouse.

Old Town Hall (Starome[av]stská radnice) and Astronomical Clock (orloj):
Starome[av]stské náme[av]stí, Praha 1.
02/2422 8456
May-Oct, Mon 11am-6pm, Tues-Sun 9am-6pm; Nov-Apr, Mon 11am-5pm, Tues-Sun 9am-5pm.
Admission charged to Town Hall tower.
Metro: Line A to Starome[av]stská.
Crowds congregate in front of Old Town Hall’s Astronomical Clock (orloj) to watch the glockenspiel spectacle that occurs hourly from 8am to 8pm. Built in 1410, the clock has long been an important symbol of Prague. According to legend, after the timepiece was remodeled at the end of the 15th century, clock artist Master Hanus[av] was blinded by the Municipal Council so that he couldn’t repeat his fine work elsewhere. In retribution, Hanus[av] threw himself into the clock mechanism and promptly died.

S[av]ternberk Palace Art Museum (of the National Gallery) (S[av]ternbersk‡ palác):
Hradc[av]anské nám. 15, Praha 1.
02/2051 4599
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská or Hradc[av]anská.
The jewel in the National Gallery crown (also known as the European Art Museum), the gallery at S[av]ternberk Palace, adjacent to the main gate of Prague Castle, displays a wide menu of European art throughout the ages. It features six centuries of everything from oils to sculptures. The permanent collection is divided chronologically into pre-19th-century art, 19th- and 20th-century art, and 20th-century French painting and sculpture. Also included is a good selection of cubist paintings by Braque and Picasso, among others. Temporary exhibits, such as Italian Renaissance bronzes, are always on show. The Veletrz[av]ní Palace now houses most of the National Gallery’s 20th-century art collection. The rest of the national collection is divided between Kinsk‡ Palace on Old Town Square and St. Agnes Convent near the river.

St. Agnes Convent (Klás[av]ter sv. Anez[av]ky C[av]eské):
The convent is at the end of Anez[av]ka, off Has[av]talské náme[av]stí.
U milosrdn‡ch 17, Praha 1.
02/2481 0628
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Starome[av]stská.
A complex of early Gothic buildings and churches dating from the 13th century, the convent, tucked in a corner of Staré Me[av]sto, was once home to the Order of the Poor Clares. It was established in 1234 by St. Agnes of Bohemia, sister of Wenceslas I. The Blessed Agnes became St. Agnes when Pope John Paul II paid his first visit to Prague in 1990 for her canonization. The convent is now home to the National Gallery’s collection of 19th- and 20th-century Czech art. In addition to rooms of contemplative oils, the museum contains many bronze studies that preceded the casting of some of the city’s greatest public monuments, including the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas atop the National Theater. Downstairs, a Children’s Workshop offers hands-on art activities, most of which incorporate religious themes. The grounds surrounding the convent are inviting.

St. George’s Convent at Prague Castle (Kláster sv. Jirího na Prazském hrade):
Jirské nám. 33.
02/5732 0536
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm.
Admission charged.
Metro: Line A to Malostranská or Hradcanská
Dedicated to displaying old Czech art, the castle convent is especially packed with Gothic and baroque Bohemian iconography as well as portraits of patron saints. The most famous among the unique collection of Czech Gothic panel paintings are those by the Master of the Hohenfurth Altarpiece and the Master Theodoricus. The collections are arranged into special exhibits usually revolving around a specific place, person, or time in history.

Strahov Monastery and Library (Strahovsk‡ kláster):
Strahovské nádvorí, Praha 1.
02/2051 6671
Tues-Sun 9am-noon and 1-5pm.
Admission 40Kc adults, 20Kc students.
Tram: 22 from Malostranská metro station.
The second oldest monastery in Prague, Strahov was founded high above Malá Strana in 1143 by Vladislav II. It’s still home to Premonstratensian monks, a scholarly order closely related to the Jesuits, and their dormitories and refectory are off-limits. What draws visitors are the monastery’s ornate libraries, holding more than 125,000 volumes. Over the centuries, the monks have assembled one of the world’s best collections of philosophical and theological texts, including illuminated manuscripts and first editions.

T‡n Church or the Church of Our Lady Before T‡n (Kostel paní Marie pred T‡nem):
Staromestské námestí, Praha 1, entrance from Stupartská.
Metro: Line A to Staromestská.
Huge double square towers with multiple black steeples make this church the most distinctive standout of Old Town Square. The “T‡n” was the fence marking the border of the central marketplace in the 13th century. The church’s present configuration was completed mostly in the 1380s, and it became the main church of the Protestant Hussite movement in the 15th century (though the small Bethlehem Chapel in Old Town where Hus preached is the cradle of the Czech Protestant reformation.

Veletrzní Palace (National Gallery):
Veletrzní at Dukelsk‡ch hrdinu 47, Praha 7.
02/2430 1111
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm (Thurs to 9pm)
Admission charged.
Metro: Line C to Vltavská or tram 17.
This 1925 constructionist palace, built for trade fairs, was remodeled and reopened in December 1995 to hold the bulk of the National Gallery’s collection of 20th-century works by Czech and other European artists. .

Nightlife:

Akropolis
Doors open 7.30am. Tram #5, #9 or #26.
Kubelíkova 27, Zízkov.
Decent live arts/gig venue in the backstreets of seedy Zízkov

Agharta, Jazz Centrum,
Krakovská 5, Nové Mesto.
Open until 1am.
Metro Muzeum
jazz club with a good mix of foreigners and locals.

Radost FX
Belehradská 120, Vinohrady.
Open until 6am. Metro I.P. Pavlova.
Known as the best dance club in Prague, with a great veggie café attached

Reduta
Národní 20, Nové Mesto
Open Mon-Fri until 2am, though the music stops at midnight.
Prague’s oldest-established jazz club, serving up anything from traditional to modern

James Joyce Pub
Liliová 10
02/2424-8793
is authentically Irish (it has Irish owners), with Guinness on tap and excellent fish-and-chips.

Jo’s Bar
Malostranské nám. 7
no phone
is a haven for younger expats, serving bottled beer, mixed drinks, and good Mexican food.

Petrín Hill:
The funicular departs from a small house in the park just above the middle of újezd in Malá Strana
tram 12, 22, or 23 will take you to újezd.
open April to August, daily from 10am to 6pm.
Admission charged (nominal).
Children will enjoy the funicular ride to the top of Petrín Hill, capped by the Petrín Tower, a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower. Once there, look for the Labyrinth (Bludiste), a mirror maze that you walk through. Like the tower replica, the Labyrinth was built for the 1891 Prague Exhibition, an expo that highlighted the beauty and accomplishments of Bohemia and Moravia.Inside the Labyrinth is a gigantic painting/installation depicting the battle between Praguers and Swedes on the Charles Bridge in 1648, a commemoration of the fighting that ended the Thirty Years’ War. In 1892, the building’s other historic exhibits were replaced with mirrors, turning the Labyrinth into the fun house we know today.

Also in the park is the Stefánik Observatory, built in 1930 expressly for public stargazing through a 90-year-old telescope. Open in fall and winter, Tuesday to Friday from 7am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to noon, 2 to 6pm, and 7 to 9pm. In spring and summer spend Tuesday to Friday 6 to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am till noon and 2 to 9pm. Admission charged (nominal)

Havel’s Market (Havelsk‡ trh):
The market is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
On Havelská ulice, a short street running perpendicular to the main route connecting Staromestské námestí with Václavské námestí, is a great open-air place to shop for picnic supplies. Here you’ll find seasonal home-grown fruits and vegetables at inexpensive prices.

Planetarium:
in Stromovka Park
02/371 746
To reach the planetarium, take tram 5, 12, or 17 to V‡staviste and walk through the park to your left about 350 yards. charged.
Monday to Thursday from 8am to noon and 1pm until the end of the last program, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am to noon and 1pm until the end of the evening program. There are shows daily under the dark dome, including one where highlighted constellations are set to music and another that displays that night’s sky. The shows are in Czech, but the sky is still the same.

Krizík’s Fountain (Krizíkova fontána):
In the V‡staviste fairgrounds adjacent to Stromovka park
02/2010 3280
The water/music program runs April to October from 7 to 11pm.
Admission charged for various performances at 7, 8, and 9pm, sometimes 10pm.
Take tram 5, 12, or 17 to V‡staviste.
A massive system of water spigots spout tall and delicate streams of color-lit water in a spectacular light show set to recorded classical and popular music. Small children are especially fascinated. There’s also a small amusement park on the fairgrounds

The Czech government publishes an annual “Calendar of Tourist Events” in English, available from Cedok or the Prague Information Service.

March
Prague City of Music Festival; Czech Alpine Skiing Championships (Tourist Information Center, Box 24, 543 51 Spindlerùv Ml‡n, 0438/93330).

May
Prague Spring Music Festival (Hellichova 18, 118 00 Prague 1, 02/533473); Prague Marathon; Prague Writers’ Festival (Viola Theater, Národní 7, Prague 1, 02/2422-0844) offers dramatic readings by major writers from around the world.

Classical concerts take place throughout the year in concert halls and churches, the biggest event being the Prague Spring (Prazské jaro) international music festival, which traditionally begins on May 12, the day of Smetana’s death, with a performance of Má vlast, and finishes on June 2 with a rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth. As well as the main venues, watch for concerts in the churches and palaces, especially in summer.

June
Prague International Film Festival.

July
Prague Summer Culture Festival.

September
Prague Autumn International Music Festival (Sekaninova 26, 120 00 Prague 2, 02/692-7470).

October
Agharta International Jazz Festival; Festival of 20th Century Music (Festa Arts Agency, Dlouhá 10, 110 00 Prague 1, 02/232-1086).

Mozart in Prague 02/643 7560 Studio Forum Praha. A month long celebration.

November 17
Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which took place on November 17, 1989.

Christmas Market in the Old Town Square. Mid-November- December.

December 5-26
Christmas in Prague is celebrated with many events. Santa, dressed in a white bishop’s robes starts it off on 12/5 with treats for the children who are well behaved, and coal and potatoes to the rowdy ones.

December 31
Enjoying New Year’s Eve in Cesk‡ Krumlov: At midnight in Bohemia’s Cesk‡ Krumlov, the Na plásti bridge at the castle overlooking the town turns into a mini-United Nations, as revelers from all over gather to watch and light fireworks, see who can uncork the champagne the fastest, and just plain celebrate

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