So I’m back from my little wander to Copenhagen and I have to say, I can see why it is that they top the polls when it comes to the happiest nations.
I’m going to be sharing a few more nuggets from my trip (including some recipes) over the next few days but for now, here are the three things that I think makes Copenhagen the perfect City.
They offer SUPER healthy fast food.
Before I went to Copenhagen, I was slightly concerned about the price of things over there. I was told by various people that it was an incredibly expensive city so my plan was to live on the famous open sandwiches for the entire time. But I didn’t find it that expensive. Certainly no more expensive than London. However, I had no idea that the food on offer would be so healthy. Let’s take the offerings in 7-11 for example, raw cakes, paleo salads, raw juices – all at extremely low prices. And that’s just in 7-11 – think about your local spar – the gingster pasty alternative isn’t really the same is it?
There were juice bars and healthy eating joints dotted all across the place which made eating well really easy. And most shops sold little apple and ginger tonic shots for around £1.20. Joe & The Juice bars were EVERYWHERE too, including 2 in the airport. Raw and paleo restaurants are also not uncommon, basically, whatever your dietary need – Copenhagen can serve it up.
Bike lanes are extensions of the pavement, not on the road – and they work. I’m not a natural bike rider. As much as I love the idea of getting on my bike, it’s not really for me (unless it’s a spin bike or the stationary bike at the gym). But a lot of that is that I just don’t feel comfortable on the roads. My boyfriend used to cycle back and forth to work and have to tackle some of the main roads in Cardiff and that was bad enough. But, the Danes have it right. There are 249 MILES of cycle lanes in Copenhagen and they are safe – no worries a bus or erratic driver will knock you off. Plus, the Danes follow the rules of the road. I think we’ve all seen cyclists run red lights or not stick to the rules of the road, but they’re strict over there and it works. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a traffic jam of cyclists! And believe me when I say EVERYONE cycles, it’s not just for mamil’s (middle aged men in lycra), I saw one lady in a fur coat and heels whizzing around on her bike. It’s the norm.
They have a lot of access to green space. The local government have a policy that all residents must be able to reach a park or beach by foot in less than 15 minutes. Of course, it’s not possible to build great, big parks, especially in the middle of the City so they have ‘pocket parks’ which are small, green spaces for City residents. The hope is that this will keep residents fit and help the environment by reducing traffic and pollution. #LOVE
There are a whole host of other reasons why it’s a great city (environmentally friendly, they’re socially connected, they have a good work/life balance etc) but these three are really what I noticed in my time there.
Have you been to Copenhagen? What did you think?