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Percentage of Copenhageners who feel the neighborhood(s) have room for more visitors
Locals experiencing:
No problems
Problems sometimes
Problems (almost) all year
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% of visitors
% of locals
% - No problems
% - Problems sometimes
% - Problems (almost) all year
% feel has room for more

Happy encounter between locals & visitors

57% of locals characterise their encounters with visitors as being positive or predominantly positive and only 7% experience the encounter as being mostly or entirely negative. Visitors also have a positive experience of their encounters with locals, describing Copenhageners as friendly (58%) and accommodating (46%). Interestingly, Copenhageners describe themselves as self-centred (28%), but luckily Copenhageners are not as bad as they think. Only 5% of visitors leave with this impression.

Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer'

A city centre loved by everyone

Iconic Nyhavn in the city centre is Copenhagen’s #1 attraction on TripAdvisor.  The city centre is loved by both visitors and locals. More than 7 out of 10 Copenhageners go to the city centre in their free time, making the centre one of the most popular areas for locals (only topped by the locals’ own area of residence). Following in the locals’ footsteps, 87% of visitors also go to the city centre, resulting in a high concentration of people – visitors and locals alike – in the inner parts of Copenhagen.

Source:' Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer' and 'Den Digitale Samtale’

Clash of expected & observed behaviour

The research of locals and visitors demonstrate a strong mismatch between expected behaviour and perceived behaviour. Local Copenhageners expect visitors to take care of the environment, venture off the beaten track and respect local customs. This matches recent visitors’ perception of their own behaviour but does not, at all, match the visitors’ behaviour as observed by locals. In fact, taking care of the environment, venturing off the beaten track and respecting local customs are the behaviours that locals least observe visitors doing.

Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer'

We bike Copenhagen

Biking is central to the everyday lives of Copenhageners. Many visitors explore the city on two wheels – experiencing the city’s strong and proud bike culture, which 64% of Copenhageners see as the most distinctive feature of their city. Meanwhile, crossing Dronning Louise’s Bridge – connecting Nørrebro to the city centre - during rush-hour is no joke. As locals travel to and from work by bike, their patience for adventure-seeking visitors in holiday-mode is highly strained. Consequently, one of the top items on locals’ wish list for tourism initiatives is stronger education around bike culture for visitors.

Tourists can be extremely disrespectful and annoying on the bike lanes. But, kudos for being brave enough to try!

– Conversation with Copenhagen resident, Israels Plads


Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer' and 'I samtale med København'


Copenhageners are not as bad as they think

Copenhageners have a less than flattering image of themselves. As many as 28% of the locals describe themselves as self-centred, although 87% also responded that they always help visitors find their way and 82% have reflected on the importance of welcoming visitors, as they themselves would like to be welcomed when travelling abroad. Fortunately, visitors have a much better impression of Copenhageners and their show of hospitality. Research shows that visitors experience locals to be friendly, helpful and accommodating – and Copenhageners rank above average in the competitive benchmark with other European cities in terms of ‘local population hospitality’.

Source: 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer' and 'Competitive Index, All Visitors'

Locals value subtle tourism

In the eyes of local Copenhageners, visitors are categorized according to the degree with which they blend in with everyday life. On the one hand, locals express a stronger appreciation for the individual visitors, the subtle visitors that explore on their own, seeking a close-to-local (temporary) lifestyle, using public transportation and contributing to the local economy. On the other hand, travelling in larger groups, standing out in public spaces and demonstrating a ‘ticking off top attractions’ behaviour is viewed with less favour by locals.

It’s negative when tourists just want to “tick places off their list” and move around in larger groups. But, if people come in smaller groups and seem sincerely interested, then it’s positive

– Conversation with Copenhagen resident, Copenhagen Central Station


Source: 'I samtale med København' and 'Københavns DNA og Fremtidige Potentialer'


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What locals & visitors think of Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a bikeable, liveable and easy to visit in the eyes of visitors and locals. However, while visitors are motivated by atmosphere, 42% of Copenhageners pinpoint the famous attractions as a major city characteristic – in contrast with only 17% of recent visitors to Copenhagen.

How Copenhagen competes

Copenhagen is a hard sell, when it comes to value for money across multiple parameters. At the same time, Copenhagen leaves visitors unimpressed by the city’s experiences, and though home to 22 Michelin Stars, Copenhagen’s quality of food is rated only slightly above average.