Travel guide and things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark: Nine must-do highlights

THE ONE CANAL CRUISE

At Copenhagen's waterfront area of Nyhavn, there's no shortage of big barges taking tourists along the canals. For a more intimate experience there's Hey Captain, which departs north of the Royal Danish PlayHouse theatre. Small and sleek speedboats for about 16 guests take you for a gentle cruise along the smaller canals so you can glimpse Danish life from the water. See heycaptain.dk

THE ONE FRESH FOOD MARKET

You could easily spend a day eating your way around Torvehallerne, with two halls of permanent stalls plus countless restaurants and bars. We try a taqueria run by ex-Noma chef Rosie Sanchez (every second eatery in Copenhagen seems to boast an ex-Noma chef, such is the three Michelin-starred restaurant's fame). Sanchez's food truck offers simple, homemade tacos, very soft and flaky, and a choice of three fillings. Elsewhere, you can buy the makings of the perfect picnic - cheese, pastries and bread, shucked oysters, charcuterie, wine and chocolate. See torvehallernekbh.dk

THE ONE GARDEN

The King's Garden boasts a spectacular rose garden, planted more than 50 years ago in a fragrant star pattern of contemporary varieties. Beyond the rose garden is Rosenborg Palace, where the crown jewels are kept and displayed; it is nice to imagine Princess Mary as a regular visitor choosing her tiaras. See kongeligeslotte.dk

THE ONE SHOPPING PRECINCT

Stretching for 1.1 kilometres, Stroget is renowned as one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe. Many of the big brands are there, from Louis Vuitton to Zara, and there's a massive Lego store. More interesting are the Danish stores, such as Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. A favourite is Illums Bolighus, specialising in Danish and international design. See illumsbolighus.com

THE ONE AMUSEMENT PARK

The Tivoli Gardens is where Copenhagen locals come out to play. It's a gated theme park-meets-restaurant precinct with an entry cost of about $20. It feels like a compact Disney park, with perfect flower beds and pretty ponds – plus lots of scream-inducing rides for all ages. The centrepiece is the striking Nimb Hotel with its Moorish design and lake dotted with swans and peacocks. Disney couldn't have designed it better. See www.tivoli.dk

THE ONE ART GALLERY

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a 35-minute train trip north of Copenhagen, is highly recommended not only for the art, but also for the gardens and views to Sweden. The centrepiece is a white country house with modern wings running off to the sides, a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions. At the time of my visit, Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist had strung with clotheslines of white underpants through the gardens. See louisiana.dk

THE ONE MUSEUM

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket has more than 10,000 works combining Greek and Egyptian treasures with Danish and French art and sculpture. It is one of only four museums in the world to own a complete collection of Degas bronzes. Don't miss the chance to see it, it's tucked away in an upstairs gallery. Venture up to the rooftop gallery for views over the city or have lunch in the toasty Winter Garden. See glyptoteket.dk

THE ONE ROYAL PALACE 

Amalienborg is a massive square surrounded by four palaces where the Danish royals live. Even when they aren't in residence, it's worth exploring. You can book to visit the museum in Christian VIII's Palace, where Prince Frederic's younger brother and their aunt live, or watch the changing of the guards at noon each day. See kongernessamling.dk

THE ONE CHURCH

There's the fairytale-like Lutheran Copenhagen Cathedral, where Mary Donaldson married Crown Prince Frederik, or our choice, the 1976 Bagsværd Church designed by Jorn Utzon, architect of the Sydney Opera House. Located in Copenhagen's suburbs, it has a stunning, light-bathed interior and is one of Utzon's few post-Sydney Danish commissions. See visitcopenhagen.com

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ONE MORE THING

Locals love to say that Copenhagen has more bicycles than people. You can join the ride but watching the passing parade is nearly as much fun. People cycle in socks, in stilettos, in elegant long dresses, but very few in Lycra or with a helmet. Just when I think I've seen every possible permutation, along comes a well-dressed man cycling one-handed, casually holding a bottle of champagne tied with a bow. Cheers to him.

Monique Farmer travelled at her own expense.

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