Being named the happiest nation on Earth, as Denmark was by the World Happiness Reports in both 2012 and 2013, doesn’t mean this sunny southern Scandinavian country is immune to problems: It’s only now starting to recover from the 2008 economic crisis, and the nation’s ascendant right-wing party is calling for strict anti-immigration policies. And no one has forgotten the city’s February shooting attacks on a synagogue and a free-speech event at a café. But the good news for visitors is that much of what’s contributed to the Danes’ general sense of well-being — abundant public parks, a gold-standard cycling infrastructure, a predilection for prioritizing hygge, a particularly Danish kind of coziness — is available to them too. And the cost of entry has rarely been kinder: Exchange rates for us Borgen binge-watchers haven’t been this favorable since 2003. Even the city’s notoriously expensive food scene has given way to a slew of restaurants at pretty much every price point, competing to feed the new wave of gastro-tourists. And for about $100 per night, the average Airbnb here looks like a mid-century-modern Pinterest board, to say nothing of the relentlessly well-dressed populace, whom you’ll find partying on bike-commuter bridges and piloting boats to semi-secret concerts in the harbor.
Splashing around in the BAD/Copenhagen Harbour Bath. Photo: Iwan Baan