Copenhagen named world’s top city to visit by Lonely Planet

Architecture and food culture are among the things highlighted by travel guide giant Lonely Planet, which has named Copenhagen at the top of its prestigious Top 10 Cities to Visit list.

Copenhagen named world’s top city to visit by Lonely Planet
A postcard image of Copenhagen. Photo: sepavone/Depositphotos

Lonely Planet published its Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2019 on Monday night.

“Denmark’s capital of cool is unstoppable. New-Nordic Noma has gourmands swooning with its new digs, urban farm and groundbreaking Scandinavian menus. The city’s booming street-food scene is smashing it on Refshaleøen, where a former shipyard is now rebooted food and craft market Reffen,” Lonely Planet writes on its website.

Other Copenhagen attractions cited by Lonely Planet include iconic 19th-century amusement park Tivoli, the rooftop ski slope installed on the top of the waste management facility at Amager Bakke, and BLOX, the new harbour-front building which houses the Danish Architecture Centre.

Next year’s planned opening of extensions to the city’s Metro system are also noted for easier travel within the capital as of next year.

Editor Gemma Graham explains in a three-minute video on the Lonely Planet website why the city was chosen for the top spot on the list.

“Copenhagen is full of beautiful old architecture from monuments to Rosenborg Castle with its gorgeous gardens, to the Round Tower, and of course there’s the iconic Nyhavn Harbour,” Graham says.

“There’s plenty of cutting-edge design and modern architecture to see too,” she adds.

Tourism organisation Wonderful Copenhagen said it welcomed the positive attention from Lonely Planet.

“Lonely Planet’s selection of Copenhagen is a huge reward for all of the good energy that goes into making Denmark’s capital worth travelling to all year round,” Wonderful Copenhagen CEO Mikkel Aarø-Hansen said via a press statement.

“The things Lonely Planet highlight in the new guide reflect the core narratives on which we have promoted Copenhagen internationally for a number of years,” Aarø-Hansen added.

Shēnzhèn in China is number two on Lonely Planet’s list of cities to visit, followed by Novi Sad, Serbia; Miami in the United States and Nepalese capital Kathmandu.

Mexico City, Dakar, Seattle, Zadar and Meknés complete the top ten list.

READ ALSO: Aarhus named 'second best place in Europe'


Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.