Some newcomers see Copenhagen and think they’ve seen Denmark, writes Kay Xander Mellish in a new article for The International, a Danish monthly aimed at expats.
Kay notes that “if the Copenhagen metropolitan area has about 2 million residents, as suggested by Statistics Denmark, then there 3.7 million people in Denmark who do not live in Copenhagen, and not all of them are like the lonely rural studs on the TV2 reality series Farmers Seeking Love.”
Focusing on Copenhagen to the exclusion of the rest of the country isn’t only something foreigners do, Kay writes.
“I recently edited a major Danish organization’s promotional text called Bicycling in Denmark. It went into great detail about Copenhagen shared bikes and Copenhagen bicycle highways and how many sick days Copenhagen residents had saved themselves with their fondness for cycling.
“Could a person also bicycle around Haderslev or Lolland or even Aalborg? Nobody seemed to have looked into that.”
Culture outside the capital
Some of the best of Danish culture is located outside the capital, Kay writes.
“The best contemporary art museum in Denmark is in Aarhus – ARoS, with its wonderful rainbow walkway on the roof and eclectic collection of modern pieces.
“Brandts, a mixed contemporary/traditional art museum in Odense, is also fun and quirky, and even Esbjerg Art Museum is accessible and hands-on. And by that I mean literally hands on – there are small cabinets in the basement where you reach in, grope a small piece of sculpture, and try to guess what it is you’re feeling.”