Welcome to my place . . . Copenhagen

A trip to Tivoli gardens - which inspired Disney World - is obligatory for visitors, says Daniel Joseph Barry

Daniel Joseph Barry from Athea, Co Limerick with his wife Henriette and daughters Sarah and Mia.

Daniel Joseph Barry from Athea, Co Limerick, first arrived in Denmark in 1991 as an exchange student from DIT Kevin Street. He fell in love with local woman Henriette and has been in Denmark ever since. He has two daughters, Sarah and Mia, who are 15 and 13. In Denmark, he has built a career in telecoms and IT with several high-tech companies, where he today works in strategy and innovation.

Where is the first place you always bring people when they visit Copenhagen?

The two ‘must-see’ sites in Copenhagen are Nyhavn and Tivoli, so a great day in Copenhagen starts with one and ends with the other.

Nyhavn, which means “new harbour” in Danish, is anything but new, as it dates from 1673. In the past, it has been a busy port serving the Danes’ global shipping trade. The many bars serve the millions of tourists who come to admire the colourful historic houses along the quay. The oldest house (No 9) dates from 1681, while Hans Christian Andersen lived in two houses here (No 18 and No 67).


A trip to Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen is obligatory. This is an amusement park built in 1843, which still retains a lot of its historic charm, but also includes modern rides and amusements that will keep the entire family happy. It inspired Walt Disney to create Disney World.

The top three things to do there, that don't cost money, are . . .

Visit some of the many beautiful parks in Copenhagen, such as Kongens Have (The King’s Garden) near Rosenborg Castle, the Botanic Gardens and Frederiksberg Have, all of which are free to enter and popular with the locals.

See the changing of the guard at the queen’s residence, Amalienborg Palace. The Danish Royal Guard march from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace at 11.30am daily for the changing of the guard at noon.

If you are feeling very adventurous, then visit Christiania, near the area of Christianshavn. It has been a symbol of anarchy and free thinking since its founding in 1971. The area is famous for its alternative architecture and hippie culture, as well as its hash trade, which was tolerated until 2004.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Copenhagen?

If you want to try authentic Danish food, then Restaurant Schønnemann is a must. This is where you can get local dishes such as smørrebrød (open face sandwiches) and sild (pickled herring) with the obligatory glass of schnapps.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Copenhagen’s place in history?

Take a canal tour of Copenhagen, which leaves from Nyhavn, which is one of the best ways of seeing all the major sites, like The Little Mermaid, the queen’s palace of Amalienborg, the Opera House and houses of parliament at Christiansborg. During the trip you will be introduced to a lot of sites that will give you a flavour of Copenhagen’s history.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Copenhagen?

Carlsberg and Tuborg beer. Just like Guinness tastes best in Dublin, these two iconic Danish beers just taste better in Copenhagen, so take a few cans home with you!