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Copenhagen - Europe
Me2Desi Travel Information
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark. It is situated on the Zealand and Amager Islands and is separated from Malmö, Sweden by the strait of Øresund. With the completion of the transnational Oresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö are connected by a car/rail link and are in the process of integrating their labour markets, resulting in the number of commuters from both sides growing annually.

In 2008, the magazine Monocle listed Copenhagen first in their Top 20 Most Livable Cities Chart, and gave the city the special award as "Best Design City". In addition, it has also been classified as a GaWC Cultural World City, while it is 3rd in Western Europe in terms of attracting regional headquarters and distribution centers, only surpassed by London and Paris. The original designation for the city, from which the contemporary Danish name is derived, was Køpmannæhafn, "merchants' harbor". The English name for the city is derived from its Low German name, Kopenhagen. The element hafnium is named after the city's Latin name, Hafnia. From its humble origins as a fishing village to its heyday as the glittering capital of the Danish Empire, to its current position as one of the world's premier design capitals, the stories and characters of Copenhagen's history can be discovered in its sumptuous palaces, copper-roofed town houses and atmospheric cobbled squares. From the Viking Age there was a fishing village by the name of "Havn" (harbour) at the site. From the middle of the 12th century it grew in importance after coming into the possession of the Bishop Absalon, who fortified it in 1167, the year traditionally marking the foundation of Copenhagen. The excellent harbour encouraged Copenhagen's growth until it became an important centre of commerce (hence its name - the first part of the word denoting commerce in Danish language). It was repeatedly attacked by the Hanseatic League as the Germans took notice. In 1254, it received its charter as a city under Bishop Jakob Erlandsen.

Copenhagen is located on the eastern shore of the island of Zealand (Sjælland) and partly on the island of Amager. Copenhagen faces the Øresund to the east, the strait of water that separates Denmark from Sweden, and that connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea. On the Swedish side of the sound directly across from Copenhagen, lie the towns of Malmö and Landskrona. Copenhagen is also a part of the Øresund region, which consists of the eastern part of Zealand in Denmark and the western part of Scania in Sweden. The greater Copenhagen has a very well established transportation infrastructure making it a hub in Northern Europe. By a quality service of roads, railways, airports and harbours has earned Denmark a top ranking in the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook and in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for several consecutive years Copenhagen has a large network of toll-free highways and public roads connecting different municipalities of the city together and to Northern Europe [20]. As in many other cities in Europe traffic is increasing in Copenhagen. The radial arterial roads and highways leading to the Copenhagen city center are critical congested during peak hours.

The city's bicycle paths are extensive and well-used. Bicycle paths are often separated from the main traffic lanes and sometimes have their own signal systems. Copenhagen is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, with up to 32% of people commuting to work by bicycle and is a center of bicycle culture. The city provides public bicycles which can be found throughout the downtown area and used with a returnable deposit of 20 kroner. Copenhagen's well-developed bicycle culture has given rise to the term 'copenhagenize'. This is the practice of other cities adopting Copenhagen-style bike lanes and bicycle infrastructure.

Copenhagen has two airports, Kastrup (the large international airport) and Roskilde Lufthavn (a smaller international and general aviation airport). Kastrup, also known as Copenhagen Airport, is Europe's 17th busiest airport and has four times won the award as being "The best airport in Europe", and two times as "The best airport in the world". Another nearby and busy airport, Malmö Airport, is found outside Malmö, across the bridge on the Swedish side. It's situated about 55 km from central Copenhagen, and this airport is often used by low-cost carriers and chartered airplanes as their Copenhagen destination. In certain circumstances, like heavy fog and strikes, it sometimes works as a complement to Copenhagen Airport. The public transportation system of Copenhagen consists of commuter trains (called "S-trains" (S-tog)), buses, and a metro. The S-trains form the basis of the transportation network, stretching to most areas of metropolitan Copenhagen, with their main hub at Copenhagen Central Station (København H). Regional trains supplement the S-train services with lines extending further such as to the Copenhagen Airport, Elsinore, and Malmö. The Danish State Railways' Intercity network has its eastern terminus and main hub at Copenhagen, with most trains extending to Copenhagen Airport. The fare system is based on 95 zones covering the capital area. Tickets are transferable from one means of transport to another within a time limit. The more zones a ticket is valid for, the longer its time validity with a maximum of two hours. Discount cards (punch cards, klippekort) and period cards are available. Ticket prices are high and have increased substantially in recent years leading to a decrease in passenger numbers.In fact, the percentage of trips made on public transportation in Copenhagen is quite low by northern European standards.
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