25 photos that show why Copenhagen is the best city in the world for European expats

Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen's most popular areas.

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Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most popular areas.
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Frederic Soltan / Corbis via Getty Images

Copenhagen is a pretty good place for European expats to live – at least according to the latest annual Location Ratings Report from ECA International. The Danish capital came out on top of the rankings of 490 cities around the world, with health services, housing and utilities, access to a social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, climate, personal safety, political tensions, and air quality all taken into account.

It’s the second year in a row Copenhagen has won the title of the most liveable city – this time in joint first place with Bern, Switzerland.

The win adds to accolades such as US News and World Report naming Denmark as the best country to be a woman in, the World Happiness Report ranking Denmark as the second happiest country in the world, and Lonely Planet naming Copenhagen the best city to visit last year.

Here are 25 incredible images that show why Copenhagen is such a fantastic place to live.


Copenhagen has been ranked as the best city in the world for European expats to live in for the second year in a row.

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Nikita Fedotov of Russia dives from the roof of the Opera House during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on August 24, 2018, in Copenhagen.
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Romina Amato / Red Bull via Getty Images

Source: ECA International Location Ratings Report


Lonely Planet also named Copenhagen the top city in the world to visit last year.

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Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen.
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Hermes Images / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: Lonely Planet


Copenhagen is in Denmark, which has been ranked as the best country in the world to be a woman.

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Players celebrate in Copenhagen in August 2017 after the Danish women’s soccer team finished second at the UEFA Women’s European Championships.
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Martin Sylvest / AFP via Getty Images

Source: US News and World Report


Copenhagen is also a very clean city — one of the cleanest in Europe, in fact.

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A large bed of crocuses in front of Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.
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Mads Claus Rasmussen / AFP via Getty Images

Source: The Local Denmark


Human rights are highly respected in Copenhagen. The city has a large annual Pride parade that draws tens of thousands of participants.

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Participants at the 2018 edition of the Copenhagen Pride Parade.
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Ole Jensen – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

Source: Copenhagen Pride


Being the capital as well as the largest city in Denmark, there’s no shortage of things to do. The former port area of Nyhavn is especially known for its restaurants, cafes, and bars by the water.

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Colorful houses along a canal in Nyhavn in August 2019.
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Ole Jensen / Getty Images

Sources: Visit Copenhagen and nyhavn.com


Copenhagen has a rich food scene, with lots of cute streetside cafes and restaurants.

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People relax at a restaurant in the Grabrodretorv area of Copenhagen.
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Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


Copenhagen is also the home of Noma, ranked as the best restaurant in the world four times in the past decade, and famed for using foraged ingredients.

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Chefs at Noma use ingredients found locally to make their dishes.
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Reuters / Fabian Bimmer

Source: World’s 50 Best


Copenhagen has an active nightlife. There are bars and clubs for many tastes, such as live music venue Rust, which plays rock, pop, hip hop, and electronica.

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Electronica musician Karl Bartos behind his keyboards at a live concert at Rust.
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PYMCA / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen and Rust


Copenhagen’s public transit network is extensive. Tickets for buses, trains, the metro, and even boats can all be integrated on a mobile app.

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A train at Copenhagen Central Station.
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Oscar Gonzalez / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


If you like to ride bikes, you’re in luck as about 40% of residents commute to work or school on a bike every day.

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People ride their bikes in May 2018 in a bike lane in Copenhagen.
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Alexander Demianchuk / TASS via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


Nature lovers are in luck, too — there are lots of parks and gardens, including the University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden near the city center.

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Visitors relax at the Botanical Garden.
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Hermes Images / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden


You can also enjoy nature indoors at the botanical garden.

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An indoor greenhouse at the University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden.
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John van Hasselt / Sygma via Getty Images

Source: University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden


If you like to hit the beach, Copenhagen has plenty of options, like Amager Beach Park and its soft white sand.

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Sunbathers and swimmers relax on a sunny day at Amager Beach Park.
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Francis Dean / Corbis via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


Copenhagen was also named the best city in the world for swimming by CNN Travel last year, who called it “a joy for swimmers, especially as midsummer looms and winter becomes a distant memory.”

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Islands Brygge Harbour Bath in Copenhagen.
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De Simone Lorenzo / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: CNN Travel


Denmark’s royal family lives in Copenhagen. Margarethe II has been queen for nearly 50 years, and her home at Amalienborg Palace is open for visits.

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Queen Margarethe II, second from right, and her family at Amalienborg Palace in 2018.
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Ole Jensen / Getty Images

Source: The Royal Danish House


There are plenty of cultural events to enjoy. In July, you might spot the World Santa Claus Congress at Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park.

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Delegates at the 2016 edition of the World Santa Claus Congress.
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Ole Jensen / Corbis via Getty Images

Source: Bakken


You can attend regular events including plays, concerts, and performances, at venues like the Royal Danish Theatre.

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Outside the Royal Danish Theatre.
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Heilke Heller / ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Royal Danish Theatre


Scandinavia’s style is world-famous. Copenhagen Fashion Week, held in January and August, is a great time to check out the latest trends.

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Guests seen outside Blanche during Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 on August 6, 2019.
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Christian Vierig / Getty Images

Source: Copenhagen Fashion Week


For kids, and kids at heart, there’s Tivoli, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks and among Copenhagen’s most famous attractions.

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The Moorish Palace at Tivoli Gardens.
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Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Source: Tivoli


Sports fans can check out soccer matches at Telia Parken, where you also might get to play with beach toys while cheering on your team.

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Fans of FC Copenhagen during a match against FC Nordsjalland at Telia Parken on May 12, 2019.
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Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

Source: Sky Sports


On the more relaxed side of things, you can stop by the Royal Library, which has more than 35 million items.

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Inside the Royal Danish Library.
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myLoupe / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


Art lovers can enjoy a visit to the National Gallery of Denmark, the country’s largest art museum, which contains historical and modern art.

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The National Gallery of Denmark is in Copenhagen.
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View Pictures / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: National Gallery of Denmark


You can also visit The Little Mermaid statue, one of Copenhagen’s most famous symbols inspired by the fairy tale of the same name.

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The Little Mermaid statue is a popular sight in Copenhagen.
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DeAgostini / Getty Images

Source: Visit Copenhagen


If you’re still not convinced to move to Copenhagen, consider this: Denmark is the second happiest country in the world, behind only Finland.

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Participants at the Copenhagen Color Run.
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PYMCA / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Source: World Happiness Report 2019

Read more:

Lonely Planet’s No. 1 city to travel to in 2019 is Copenhagen – here’s why it’s worth a visit

I paid $350 to eat at Noma, the 2nd best restaurant in the world where guests feast on mold, potted plants, and a giant kebab made from vegetables – here’s what it was like

6 mistakes everyone makes when visiting Copenhagen for the first time

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