Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Denmark, have a long tradition of painting the facades of their houses bright colors. These often change from building to building creating a veritable rainbow of color as one looks down the street. While this practice is somewhat common throughout the city, there are several prime examples hidden away along the city’s historic back streets. While the most famous of these is Nyhavn which can be found on nearly ever postcard from Copenhagen, the rest are far more obscure. This list is intended as a local’s insight to showcase locations you won’t find in your average guide.…
For Danes and their expat guests alike summer is a special treat. It comes as a reward for those who have survived the long dark winter months and while Denmark is not nearly as cold as one might imagine, days with more than 17 hours of near complete darkness can be a hefty challenge. So, it is with an unusual zeal and zest for the sun that Danes embrace the spring and summer months where the opposite occurs. With less than four hours of darkness at the summer’s apex, there is ample time to bask in the warmth of the sun.
This creates an incredible sun-centered summer culture in Denmark where locals flood the streets for no better reason than spending a few relaxing moments outdoors. Visitors often note a certain level of surprise at the hundreds of Danes lounging along the city’s many bridges, wonderful outdoor cafes, and the thousands of Danes that add color, vibrancy, and the scent of BBQ to the city’s many parks.
I snapped this photo while meandering my way through Christianshavn’s back streets. The Christianshavn part of town lies in the heart of Copenhagen and is crisscrossed by a series of small canals. It is a wonderfully historic district, full of beautifully painted old buildings and sagging cobblestone streets. The building’s walls are decorated by thousands of leaning bicycles, while doorways are often framed by blooming rose bushes. In the photo above, I captured a Danish woman relaxing in the sun while chatting on her phone. Half lost in conversation and half distracted by the afternoon’s warmth. For me, it helps showcase the charm and spirit of summer in Copenhagen – something that everyone should experience.
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One of my favorite things about Scandinavia is the brightly colored houses. With fairly uniform front facades the Scandinavians have added rich flavor and color to their cities in the form of multi-hued buildings. While these streets are fantastic in the golden summer shades of early morning and late afternoon, anyone who has spent (dare I say survived?) a winter in Scandinavia will attest to the smile color brings to your face in the midst of a cold, dark, gray winter. Though it obviously wasn’t overly cold, or dark during my February visit to Malmo, Sweden I was still thrilled to stroll down the city’s picturesque streets. The combination of well maintained buildings, clean cobblestone streets, hearty plants and bicycles – often in nearly as many colors as the buildings – definitely adds to the city’s charm.
Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.