A FAM trip to Copenhagen – June 2016
Copenhagen is a very cool city. Our first impression of the city was aboard high-speed rib boats which we embarked from Kastrup Havn (5 mins drive from the airport). Having roared around the sound we sedately cruised into the famous harbour, firstly passing the fashionable Copenhagen Street Food market (a large warehouse in The Paper Island district offering over 20 street food vans and stalls). Here people lazed on sun loungers drinking Carlsberg whilst soaking up the glorious sunshine. We were then in the shadow of the impressive royal yacht and the stunning opera house before disembarking at the 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district of Nyhavn – famously recognisable by the brightly coloured townhouses, bars, restaurants and cafes which exude iconic charm.
We started our journey of exploration from the habourside on bicycles. The excellent, safe cycle routes and flat terrain that span the compact city makes cycling the easiest and often fastest way of getting around. Copenhageners love their bikes and 50% of citizens commute to work by bicycle. Everyone from businessmen in suits, top politicians and children going to school to glamorous women chicly dressed wearing high heels cruising with confidence around the city. Just make sure you keep right!
Copenhagen has almost 9 centuries of history leaving its mark with the beautiful cobbled streetscapes and array of world-class museums. Yet it is a very modern city known for its design scene, hip, laid back atmosphere and of course its top notch cuisine (there are 15 Michelin-starred restaurants including Noma, voted the world’s best restaurant in 2014).
We co-hosted the trip with Dennis Mathiesen, Manager of International MICE Sales for Scandic Hotels. Our ‘home’ was the modern 4-star Scandic Front hotel located in the heart of Copenhagen by the popular waterfront, Langelinie, with views across the water to the Opera House. It is a great location with a wide variety of bars and restaurants located just around the corner and along the canal in Nyhavn. The hotel has two modern well-equipped conference and meeting rooms. We also visited the Scandic Palace hotel located on Raadhuspladsen in the heart of Copenhagen. The hotel is known for its beautiful and unique architecture and since 1910 it has been a gathering place for Copenhageners, royal families and international guests. The largest Scandic hotel in the city is the Hotel Scandic Copenhagen which is centrally located near Tivoli Gardens. The hotel has 486 rooms of contemporary design and can cater for meetings and events up to 1100 pax, one of the largest conference hotels in the city.
We were all struck by the vast choice of event venues and spaces available for groups of all sizes, both traditional and contemporary. We visited the impressive Carlsberg Museum and Jacobsen Brewhouse – ‘probably the best venue in the world’ – sorry I couldn’t resist! We also saw the Carlsberg Museum as well as the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek house which Carl Jacobsen built for his art collection in 1897-1906 – one of the most popular museums for events. Tivoli Gardens, the world-famous theme park and pleasure garden cannot be missed. We travelled to Tivoli from our hotel in style by Tuk Tuk and after a pleasant stroll through the gardens we enjoyed a superb meal at the highly acclaimed Nimb Brasserie located in the gardens.
Contemporary venues we visited included Toldboden with its white, clean Scandinavian design and sustainable organic gourmet food offering (the Danes are incredibly environmentally conscious). Langeline Pavilion is another modern offering overlooking the Sound and the iconic Little Mermaid statue, it has a capacity of up to 600 pax. A stand out venue is the Weber Grill Academy where groups can learn barbecuing techniques from the best barbecuers in the world – this is Weber’s European HQ.
With excellent pan-European flight access, a great choice of 4 and 5 star hotel options of varying sizes (including the 812 bedroom AC Bella Sky and adjacent Bella Center), a wide range of event venues and spaces, Copenhagen really does have it all as an ideal destination for conferences or incentive groups. Unless you’ve been you’ll never really appreciate just how much this fabulous city has to offer. It is such a city of contrasts, with a lovely laid back and chilled out vibe. The Danes are known for their friendliness as well as their relaxed way of being, yet they are terribly efficient and hard working – I reckon they’ve sussed the perfect work/life balance!
The DMC Advantage represents BDP Business Events who operate from their city centre base in Copenhagen and across Sweden. Since their 1997 inception they have grown to a 16 strong team, covering cruise, PCO and incentive/meeting services. Their friendly, nothing-too-much-trouble outlook has helped earn them their ‘Best Destination Partner’ initials and Ebbe Kiaer who heads the Business Events team, thoroughly deserves his recent nomination for MPI Meeting Planner of the Year.
We hope you’ll keep Copenhagen and BDP in mind for your next event!