With An Eye On The Past, Copenhagen Stays Ahead of The Curve
By Andrew Belonsky
Danes must think the States's hand-wringing over marriage equality pretty unsophisticated. Homosexuality has been legal in Denmark since 1933, a tremendous interwar accomplishment, and though marriage equality wasn't passed until last year, Denmark became the first country in the world to recognize same-sex union in 1989 when they started granting "registered partnerships," and the entire country celebrated when Axel and Eigil Axgil, two Copenhagen-based activists who led the fight for rights through their League of 1948, were honored with that first same-sex marriage ceremony. Now, according to a poll taken last December, six months after marriage equality was passed, 79% of Danes support same-sex nuptials.
It's amidst this inclusive, welcoming atmosphere that LGBT travelers the world over can bike, meander or simply stroll the country's capital, Copenhagen, exploring its historic streets, diving into the vibrant art scene — the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art makes a great day trip and the Natural History Museum has an impressive collection, including a magnificent Botanical Museum — or sampling the native fabrications celebrated twice a year at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Henrik Vibskov and Mads Nørgaard are always a reliable fit for the fashion-forward but uncomplicated traveler. And of course you'll want to tour the city's canals.
But Copenhagen's real heart remains at its hearth. The hunter-gatherer-inspired Noma continues to impress. The melange of woodsy foods carries a revitalizing essence that also provides fuel for the imagination: Was Hamlet being served pike perch and cabbage or deer moss and spruce needles as he plotted against Claudius in Shakespeare's play? But Maybe the pork-led menu at Nose2Tail would be more appropriate for that twisted tale? The traditional fare served at Restaurant Kronborg would certainly fit the bill: the smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) served at this gay-owned institution harkens back to Denmark's culinary roots. Pickled beef and curried herring and Danish meatballs all make for an excellent meal before transitioning from day to night, while sipping a cocktail outside Oscar Bar Cafe.
A perfect end to a perfect day.
Before you head to Copenhagen, be sure to check out our complete guide to the fabulous city.