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One City, Five Hours: Copenhagen

Great Danes

Author Erin Giunta Illustration Oliver Jeffers

1 Get familiar with the Scandinavian sensibility by swinging through the Danish Design Center (HC Andersens Blvd. 27; www.en.ddc.dk), where you’ll learn about the evolution of the ubiquitous contemporary style and shop the center’s supersleek “Travel Light” line. (0:30)

2 Do as the Danes do and practice pedal power. Even in winter, Copenhagen is very bicycle-friendly. Baisikeli (Turesensgade 10; www.baisikeli.dk) rents out second-hand cycles and helps finance bike donations in Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Ghana. (1:00)

3 Hop on your bike and go back in time at Rosenborg Castle (www.dkks.dk/English), home of the crown jewels. King Christian IV spent almost his entire life at the castle; you’ll spend about 45 minutes. (2:00)

4 Cruise south to the Rundetaarn (Købmagergade 52A; www.rundetaarn.dk), or Round Tower, and walk up a 685-foot spiral ramp to the top of Europe’s oldest functioning observatory, built in 1642. Peek through the powerful telescope and channel your inner Ole Christensen Rømer. (2:30)

5 You’ve worked up an appetite riding around, so grab a “smushi”—a Japanese take on the traditional open-face Danish sandwich, the smørrebrød—at The Royal Café (Amagertorv 6; www.theroyalcafe.dk). The café is on Strøget, the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world, so after you eat, peer into the windows at Magasin du Nord, Gucci and Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory. (3:15)

6 Park the bike and hop into a heated, glass-covered boat. DFDS Canal Tours (www.canaltours.com/dct/en) depart from Gammel Strand and pass the Opera House, the Royal Danish Playhouse and the iconic Little Mermaid statue (yes, that Little Mermaid). (4:15)

7 You have just enough time to return the bike before walking to the hotel district of Vesterbro. Duck down a few steps into Mikkeller Bar (Viktoriagade 8BC; www.mikkeller.dk), a two-year winner of Danish brewery of the year. Treat yourself to one of its creations on tap. You’ve earned it. (5:00)

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