If you have time for a day trip that’s a short distance out of Copenhagen, the 30-minute train ride to Roskilde and its award-winning Viking Ship Museum is well worth it. The museum displays five 1000-year-old Viking ships that were found in the local Roskilde fjord in the 1960s – hundreds of thousands of pieces that have been carefully treated and reconstructed. And it’s a beehive of activity with demonstrations of Viking ship building.

How can one possibly explain Copenhagen’s Christiania? Here’s a description from Rick Steves: “…an ultra-human mishmash of idealists, hippies, potheads, non-materialists, and happy children (600 adults, 200 kids, 200 cats, 200 dogs, 2 parrots, and 17 horses.)” The homes are just a kick to look at – they’ve been cobbled together with whatever building materials people can find, and residents call it “architecture without architects.”

What a wonderful way to explore Copenhagen’s Rosenborg Castle – with tour guide Richard Karpen’s  one-hour tour. He’s witty and very knowledgeable, and brings the castle and its treasury to life with his stories. (The castle was built in the 1600s, and is humble by European standards. It’s very enjoyable, and is just a few minutes away from central Copenhagen.)