Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. The City of Copenhagen (Byen København) has a population of 763,908 (as of December 2016), of whom 601,448 live in the Municipality of Copenhagen. The larger urban area has a population of 1,280,371 (as of 1 January 2016), while the Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over 2 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.
Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After further disasters in the early 19th century when Nelson attacked the Dano-Norwegian fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen's architecture. Later, following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the development of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre.
Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. The city is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology. Since the completion of the Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen has become increasingly integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid Statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.
Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and Copenhagen Business School. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the FC København and Brøndby football clubs. The annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980. Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. The Copenhagen Metro launched in 2002 serves central Copenhagen while the Copenhagen S-train network connects central Copenhagen to its outlying boroughs. Serving roughly 2 million passengers a month, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, is the largest airport in the Nordic countries.
Copenhagen is part of the Øresund Region, which consists of Zealand, Lolland-Falster and Bornholm in Denmark and Scania in Sweden. It is located on the eastern shore of the island of Zealand, partly on the island of Amager and on a number of natural and artificial islets between the two. Copenhagen faces the Øresund to the east, the strait of water that separates Denmark from Sweden, and which connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea. The Swedish towns of Malmö and Landskrona lie on the Swedish side of the sound directly across from Copenhagen. By road, Copenhagen is 42 kilometres (26 mi) northwest of Malmö, Sweden, 85 kilometres (53 mi) northeast of Næstved, 164 kilometres (102 mi) northeast of Odense, 295 kilometres (183 mi) east of Esbjerg and 188 kilometres (117 mi) southeast of Aarhus by sea and road via Sjællands Odde.
The city centre lies in the area originally defined by the old ramparts, which are still referred to as the Fortification Ring (Fæstningsringen) and kept as a partial green band around it. Then come the late 19th and early 20th century residential neighbourhoods of Østerbro, Nørrebro, Vesterbro and Amagerbro. The outlying areas of Kongens Enghave, Valby, Vigerslev, Vanløse, Brønshøj, Utterslev and Sundby followed from 1920 to 1960. They consist mainly of residential housing and apartments often enhanced with parks and greenery.