Copenhagen or Vienna?

Apr 14th, 2003, 04:26 AM
  #1  
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Copenhagen or Vienna?

I've narrowed my June vacation plans down to one of these two cities. What are the pros and cons of either city? Sights? Food? Shopping? Weather? Cheap Hotels? People?
richardab is offline  
Apr 14th, 2003, 04:46 AM
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That is a tough one. Vienna has grander, more impressive particular sites (main cathedral, palaces, museums, etc.), so if you are into memorable sites, perhpas pick Vienna. (The Austro-Hungarian Empire was bigger than the Danish.)

I think I like the general ambience of Copenhagen a bit better - more laid back, though of course with all the big city amenities - somehow less of a "heavy" feeling.

Both are fairly expensive cities. The difference in weather is not great, so I don't think that would be a factor. Language would not be a problem in either place, but in Copenhagen almost everyone speaks English.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Some of the more impressive sights in Copenhagen are a little more spread out . . . Kronborg Castle is about 30 minutes north, Fredricksberg Castle is about 30 minutes northwest . . . both of which rival the grandness of anything in Vienna. But there are plenty of things to see in the city -- Rosenberg Castle, the Round Tower, Changing of the Guard at Amalienberg Palace, Nyhavn.

Except for seeing the topiary at Schoenbrunn, I am a fan of Vienna in the winter. I enjoy walking in a light snow, ducking inside a cafe for a coffee and pastry and hearing Strauss. Copenhagen in the summer is one of my favorite cities, Grey Friar's Square is one of my favorite spots in the world.

Howard is correct about the cost. At one point Conde Nast ranked Copenhagen as one of the 5 most expensive cities in the world. And Vienna can be a real test of your financial will. However, that's far different from saying that there are no bargains in either city.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 08:10 AM
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ira
 
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Hi richard,

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is unique.
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Apr 14th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Thanks, ira, and so is Bakken an amusement area north of Copenhagen where there are some beautiful parks with wild deer and nude sunbathing.

There's a thread running about "touristy" stuff and I thought about Tivoli when reading through that thread . . . but it didn't seem right to include it there because it is very Danish, even though at any one time the majority of people in the park are from somewhere else. I don't know this to be a fact, however, I hear a lot of different languages there and although I don't speak Danish I can distinguish it from German and Dutch. I heard a lot of Italian, French and Swedish there as well.
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Apr 15th, 2003, 04:34 AM
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I still haven't decided...
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Apr 15th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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ira
 
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Hi snoopy,
Don't be gun shy about "touristy" places. Sometimes there is a reason why so many people go somewhere.

The great thing about Tivoli is that it is *not* fake.

Do the deer at Bakken wear clothes while the people sunbathe nude?
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Apr 15th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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no, ira, the deer are sunbathing in the nude.

I started travelling to Copenhagen in the early 90s and would spend a couple of weeks there every three to four months. In the summer in the early 90s there would be nude sunbathers in the park just across from my hotel, the SAS Scandinavia, as well as anywhere there was a patch of grass in the sun.

Over the years, there seemed to be fewer and fewer nude sunbathers and a couple of summers ago I mentioned this to the concierge at the (now) Radisson SAS Scandinavia. He said that at one point no too long ago there were equal numbers of photographers and nude sunbathers and some of the nude sunbathers were actually posing and some of the photographers were actually not tourists. The city considered briefly a law which would prohibit commercial exploitation of the nude sunbathers but there wasn't much agreement that any sort of prohibition was appropriate.

Such is Copenhagen.

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Apr 15th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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Well we seem to have wandered off the subject and into nude sunbathing. We have been to both places and both have there good points. I would choose Vienna 9 times out of ten because it has almost everything you could want in a very reasonable space. The sights are there and the weather is usually pretty good that time of year. There is a good night life as well. Lots of food and shopping everywhere. Friendly people and the cost is not that bad, especially compared to Copenhagen. That's my vote. Have a good trip.

Greg
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Apr 16th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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i will pass on the nude sunbathing in favor of shopping or esating.
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Apr 16th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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eating
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Apr 16th, 2003, 04:36 AM
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Both nice places for different reasons..and please, Tivoli is quaint but in terms of not being "fake" if you really believe those flowers and lights at night just kinda "happened"..well...
I've been to both and loved them both...but I suppose the fact that Vienna was once the center of an EMPIRE with the glorious "remains" still very much in evidence I'd opt for Vienna. Hope it works out for you.
 
Apr 16th, 2003, 05:20 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Bootman,

What I meant by not fake is that Tivoli was created by Danes for Danes, not as a place to "experience" Denmark.

You say a Chinese Pagoda is not indigenous to Scandinavia? >)
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Apr 16th, 2003, 08:03 AM
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What a fun but tough choice to make! Both are great cities full of history, art, culture and wonderful food. Both of them are also quite expensive.

I agree that Vienna is probably the grander and more imposing of the two. If you are a classical music and history buff, you may want to go there. However, I must say that I did find the Danes a tad friendlier and more laid back than the Viennese, who were for the most part nice, but a bit more reserved. I also suspect that the Danish are more willing to speak English than are the Viennese although I encountered almost no problems there either with my extremely rudimentary German.

Copenhagen has a lot of quaint charm and a more relaxed atmosphere. And as for food it is a tough call as both cities can best be described as dieters' nightmares. I love Copenhagen's "smorrebord" (open face sandwiches) and "polser" as well as their authentic Danish pastries that are truly to die for (and if you eat too many this may be taken in a more literal sense)! Vienna with its wonderful cafes, pastry shops, heurigers and confectionaries is no slouch in the food department either.

Both great cities and neither of them should be missed. See one this year and visit the other one in 2004, why don't you?

Have a wonderful trip, richard!
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Apr 16th, 2003, 08:47 AM
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bootman4u . . . that was kind of a low blow against Tivoli. It's a freakin' amusement park.

richardab . . . the cities have a lot of similarities; there are only two or three buildings in CPH that are more than 7 floors high, and I think at one time in Vienna there was a "law" against building anything taller than St Stephens. Both have beautiful surrounding areas, both have grand castles and palaces, both have exquisite restuarants and low priced eatieries. The only "clearly head and shoulders above" aspect of the two cities in my opinion is the Vienna Opera.

In deciding between Copenhagen and Vienna try to decide which of the two cultures interests you most.
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