Business trip: Copenhagen
Copenhagen may be the best city in the world for a business trip.
It is compact, walkable and easy to navigate. The travel time between the airport and city centre is just 15 minutes via easy, frequent rail links. Its upscale hotel stock is plentiful, varied, well-maintained and design-inspired. Fine dining and entertainment options abound. And while English is widely spoken, most residents possess a firm command of three or four other languages.
Despite its laid-back reputation (and the presence of an amusement park in the heart of the city), Copenhagen is very serious about business. For example, the World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 Index ranked Denmark as the easiest place in Europe to do business for the second year in a row. Companies are drawn to the southernmost Scandinavian country for its sound infrastructure, innovative thinking and efficient government, leading investment bank Goldman Sachs to recently state that Denmark has the highest commercial success potential of any country in the world, thanks to these factors.
Most visitors’ first impressions are formed when stepping off the plane and onto the homey hardwood floors at compact Copenhagen Airport, which has ranked as Europe’s most efficient for eight of the last 10 years by the Airport Research Society. SAS Scandinavian Airlines is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Copenhagen Airport is its primary hub, offering nonstop flights to points across northern Europe and around the world plus a bright two-storey business class lounge.
Also known among locals as simply Kastrup, (the name of a nearby suburb) the airport is located 8km south of city centre, and is connected to the city, suburbs and outlying regions by both metro and rail links. Fares to city centre by S-train or Metro are 36 Danish kroner each way. S-trains depart from Terminal 3 every 10 minutes during the day for the 15-minute trip to Copenhagen Central Station.
Automated Metro trains depart as often as every four minutes during the day, and make multiple stops along the Airport metro line. Taxis take about 20 minutes to reach the city centre (depending on traffic) and cost about 250 Danish kroner; credit cards are accepted.
Copenhagen’s Metro system is in the middle of a massive upgrade and expansion, adding two new lines and 17 new stations, so be prepared for detours around gritty, noisy construction sites on city streets and squares. When complete in 2018, the state-of-the-art system will carry 130 million passengers a year, greatly reducing vehicular traffic and making streets safer for the 40% of Copenhageners who commute by bicycle.
The beloved, neo-classical Hotel d’Angleterre reopened in May 2013 after a two-year, down-to-the-studs renovation resulting in 60 expansive suites and 30 standard rooms. The ornate, sugar-white building is located in the heart of town next to the Royal Danish Theatre Old Stage on Kongens Nytorv Square and connected to the famous Strøget pedestrian shopping street. Even if you cannot afford to stay here (rates start at around 2,900 Danish kroner per night), stop by the hotel’s trendy champagne bar Balthazar or dine at its classy Nordic/French Marchal restaurant where you will rub shoulders with local or visiting dignitaries, celebrities and socialites.
For a refined, boutique hotel experience, check out the 17-room Nimb hotel, located across the street from the Central Station, and adjacent to the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park. All rooms were renovated in 2009 and feature elegant four-poster beds, wooden floors, fireplaces, Bang & Olufsen audiovisual systems and views through arched Moorish windows to the gardens. Any of Nimb’s four restaurants are perfect for entertaining clients or colleagues.