The capital of Denmark is Scandinavia's largest city and one of its most vibrant. Within its compact centre lie a selection of attractions, from museums and art galleries, and renaissance palaces and historic merchant houses, to pavement cafes and a surprisingly extensive network of live music venues. Luckily, all the main attractions are easily negotiated by foot, or you could take up the locals' tradition of getting around on cycle. An obvious place to start is heart of the city, Stroget, which lays claim the world's longest pedestrian mall and houses numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. Then move on to the Nyhavn canal area, once the haunt of writers including the famous storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, and take a break at the Tivoli gardens or at one of the artsy cafes of the Norrebro, Christianshavn and Christiania districts.

When the exertion of cycling around the city leaves you longing for a cool drink, head to one of Copenhagen's thousands of bars for a pint of the city's most famous export, Carlsberg - what better way to refuel before heading over to another iconic image of the city, the famous Little Mermaid statue, which sits on the waterfront and stars on countless images of the Danish capital. Relaxed, welcoming and surprisingly easy on the wallet, Copenhagen makes a great introduction to the varied charms of Scandinavia.