I’ve been thinking a lot about past travels, and keep coming back to a fantastic trip my husband and I took for a long weekend to Copenhagen. Yes, we took a long weekend to Denmark! We couldn’t resist a deal we found, and it turned out to be a great decision because Copenhagen has since become one of my favorite European cities. In fact, Copenhagen is probably one of the absolute most amiable cities in the world. It’s full of vibrancy wherever you go. While it is possible to see a lot that the capital city has to offer in just a day or so, you won’t want the time you have to spend there to be so fleeting. Once you get wrapped up in the city’s charm, history, and culture, you may never want to leave. To make sure you take in all that you can during your visit, here is a list of the top experiences you shouldn’t miss out on.
Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, having opened in 1843. This exciting theme park is fun for all ages and absolutely charming. Among its attractions is one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, the Bjergbanen. But it is so much more than an amusement park – it is a gorgeous 21-acre park designed not only for rides but also for entertainment, people watching, and spectacular dining. Once there, try to catch a performance of the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra.
Nyhavn. Once a busy commercial port, Nyhavn has become a wonderful waterfront and entertainment district for both tourists and locals. The bright and colorful 17th-century homes along the canal have been renovated and transformed into bars, restaurants, and music venues. End a busy and activity-packed day here with a drink or a meal. If you are fortunate enough to visit the city around Christmas, do not miss the Christmas markets along the canal.
Fun fact: Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The Tinderbox”, “Little Claus and Big Claus”, and “The Princess and the Pea” in number 20.
Nationalmuseet. This is Denmark’s largest museum and features exhibits that go back to the Stone Age and Viking Age up through modern Danish history.
The Little Mermaid Statue. This statue was created in 1913 by sculptor Edvard Eriksen as a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen and his famous fairy tale. You can see it by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade.
Strøget. At 0.69-miles, this pedestrian shopping street is one of the longest in Europe. Some of the city’s most expensive stores are here, but there are plenty of affordable places as well to pick up some souvenirs or a sweater or two.
Christiansborg Palace. This stunning palace has been Denmark’s center of power for 800 years. It once was the home of kings and queens, and now houses the Danish Parliament. The Danish Royal Family uses it for various official functions as well. The gold details and meticulous Architecture of this palace will leave you awe-struck. Don’t miss the Queen’s tapestries, 11 tapestries depicting 1000 years of Danish history.
Botanical Garden. Botanical gardens are always a lovely diversion on vacation, and Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden is no exception. It’s the largest Danish collection of living flora with over 13,000 species of plant life housed in glasshouses built in the 1870s.
Dyrehavsbakken Amusement Park. You know how Tivoli is the second oldest running amusement park in the world? Also known as Bakken, this one is number one, dating back to 1583. This park was supposedly the inspiration for Disneyland in California. It features rides and attractions suitable for all ages, and best of all, admission is free.
Rosenborg Castle. Built by Christian IV in the 1600s as a summer home, this palace is a must-see! Explore the king’s chambers, the collection of Venetian glass, and all of the beautiful tapestries.
Church of Our Saviour. This baroque church offers some of the most magnificent views of the city. Take the swirling gold tower to the top of the building for an out-of-this-world sight of Copenhagen. It was built in the 1680s and is also a living parish church for 8,000 people. The organ is original to the church and was installed in 1698.
The next two attractions are not in Copenhagen, but short train rides away. They are nice trips outside the city and a must for history and literature fans.
Kronborg Castle, Helsingor – Located in the lovely town of Helsingor, 24 miles from Copenhagen, Shakespeare fans will appreciate the fact that this castle is Elsinore or Hamlet’s castle. It was built in the 1400s as a coastal fortification on the Baltic Sea and was transformed into a Renaissance castle by King Frederick II in the 16th century. William Shakespeare set Hamlet here, though he never actually visited Denmark.
Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde – In 1962, the remains of 5 Viking ships were excavated from Roskilde Fjord where they were deliberately sunk in the 11th century. It took over 30 years to reconstruct and restore them and they are now housed in this beautiful museum 22 miles from Copenhagen.
Copenhagen will leave you with memories of a lifetime, so make sure you explore as much of the city as you can! For more information or to start planning your visit to Denmark’s capital, send me an email or give me a call, and we can get started.
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