Safe and stable, but still a nice place to visit

Lacking a military dictatorship, entrenched homophobia and site of a nuclear meltdown, Denmark only comes in fifth on Lonely Planet’s list of top destinations

November 11th, 2011 8:55 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

 

The back-packersÂ’ bible, the Lonely Planet, has released its top ten must visit destinations for 2012 – and Denmark comes in at a rather average fifth.

The list is voted for by Lonely PlanetÂ’s panel of in-house travel experts, who judged Denmark to at least be a more worthy destination than Cuba, Taiwan or Switzerland.

And why? After repeatedly topping standards of living and happiness surveys, the Lonely Planet suggests visiting Denmark just to see how itÂ’s done.

“Danes have long tried to make the world a better place (think generous foreign aid programs and the pursuit of green technology) and they make sure that they lead by example: their homes are stylish recycling-savvy havens of hygge (a sense of contented cosiness) and their public spaces are enjoyed by all.”

Residents of expensive, cramped and bathroomless flats in Nørrebro and operators of trash incinerator plants might question this assessment. But the tip of their hat to Danish bicycle culture is definitely something most people here can associate with.

“You’re rarely more than a short pedal from the bracing seaside, the picturesque countryside or an architectural delight, making Denmark the perfect place to put pedal power into practice.”

Interestingly, DenmarkÂ’s cosy lifestyle and highly-coveted bicycle culture managed to lift it higher on the list than the Pacific island of New Caledonia and its “fabulous islandscapes and unique mélange of Gallic and Melanesian cultures” and Bhutan with its “Royal Manas National Park, prowled by some of the planetÂ’s last remaining tigers”.

Still, Denmark had a lot to live up to when compared to Uganda (number one of the list) with its enviable wildlife that has made remarkable comeback after the fall Idi Amin. 

And even tough the people in Burma (number two on the list) might still live under an oppressive military dictatorship, they still want you to visit. The National League of Democracy is now encouraging foreigners to visit after the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from 20 years of house arrest. Witness “timeless towns and countless pagodas” in a country “rimmed by mountains and white-sand beaches”.

But there are ways that Denmark can compete with the top two countries, however. Unlike Uganda, homosexuality is not illegal and punishable by death (a recent proposal). And while Burma might have some impressive beaches, the sand from Danish beaches is exported globally due to its light colour and fine grain.

Finally, while number three Ukraine might list the exploded remains of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor as a top tourist destination, a meltdown at the (sadly decomissioned) Barsebäck nuclear power plant in Sweden, a scant 20 kilometres from Copenhagen, could prove a big draw to the capital.

See the full list on the Lonely Planet’s website.

Join the debate – join us on Twitter or Facebook, or leave a comment below.

SEE RELATED STORIES

World’s most balanced, satisfied nation

Study: Danes work less than most

Danes are still the happiest, or so they say

Oprah praises Danes on show

Denmark happiest country in the world

Rockstar pig nursed a brutal hangover in style over the weekend (photo: Landsskuet - Dyreskuet i Herning Facebook page)
A lying pig, but no porkie pies
You can imagine that some of the cleaners' comments following a party for 1...
Glostrup, Rødovre, Ballerup and Frederiksberg were among the 15 municipalities that received nothing from 2011-2013 (photo: iStock)
Smaller municipalities missing out on welfare funds for the vulnerable
Not all of Denmark's 98 municipalities reap the rewards from the slush fun...
Wozniacki will regret this loss more than most given her easy draw (photo: si.robi)
Wozniacki out of Wimbledon
Caroline Wozniacki has once again failed to advance beyond the fourth round...
About 30,000 Jersey bull calves are put down in Denmark every year (photo: iStock)
New Danish project to curb euthanisation of Jersey calves
Every year some 30,000 Jersey bull calves are put down at Danish farms and ...
Passengers with bikes have increased from 2.1 to 9 million since 2010 (photo: Leif Jørgensen)
Every tenth S-train passenger travels with a bicycle
There has been a marked increase in passengers taking their bikes onto the ...
Pranov hopes that Heliac can be used to replace open fires used for cooking in developing countries (photo: Paul R Caron)
Danish project could save lives in developing countries
Danish engineer Henrik Pranov has developed a solar panel using plastic fil...