5 tips for Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark - Royal Danish Opera House

Copenhagen is one of the few places where the term “fairy tale” can be used – from its literary heritage to recent royal traces in the city. The old and the new combine to create an attractive mix for a city break.

The largest city in Denmark was founded in 1167 by Bishop Absalon. He built a fortress on the island of Slotsholmen in that year. Due to its good location, the city’s Baltic trade developed rapidly. In 1461 Copenhagen finally became the capital of Denmark.

Copenhagen is located on the east coast of the largest island of Denmark, Zealand. It is separated from Sweden by the Øresund and consists mostly of low buildings with a few skyscrapers.

Most of the city’s sights are located near the main square of Radhuspladsen and the island of Slotsholmen and Christianshavn.

The warmth of the inhabitants and the flair are really special, no wonder Copenhagen has been named one of the most livable cities in the world several times. A trip to Copenhagen makes you feel warm, comfortable, and safe. Danes describe this with the term “hygge”.

Tip 1: Tivoli

The famous Tivoli amusement park in Denmark is steeped in legend. In the middle of downtown Copenhagen, its breathtaking roller coasters can be seen from far and wide, awakening longings – and not just among younger visitors.

Tivoli Copenhagen
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Tivoli Gardens, as it is officially known, attracts more than four million visitors every year: historic carousels transport you directly to the theme park’s eventful past, tranquil boat tours take you past the picturesque scenery, and modern demons take you on a vertical loop – adrenaline rush included.

At Tivoli, not only does time seem to stand still, but young and old enjoy themselves side by side and rejoice in life. In the middle of the city lies the leisure wonderland.

Since Tivoli opened in 1843, countless new rides have been added – and some have been on the 8.3-hectare site for decades.

Tip 2: Little Mermaid

The world’s most famous mermaid sits on a granite stone at the edge of the harbor on Langeliniekai in Copenhagen and looks longingly out to sea. She is made of bronze, weighs a proud 175 kg and, at 125 cm, is far smaller than many tourists expect.

Little Mermaid Copenhagen
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The figure was financed and made possible by the Carlsberg brewer Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914), who visited Hans Beck’s ballet performance “The Little Mermaid” in 1909 and was so taken by the sad story of the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, as well as by the prima ballerina Ellen Price (1878-1968) as the Little Mermaid, that he commissioned a statue in honor of the ballet, which the sculptor Edward Eriksen (1876-1959) took on. For the face of the mermaid, Ellen Price herself was the model. However, because she did not want to undress, Eriksen’s wife Eline served as a model for the upper body.

In the bronze sculpture, Edward Eriksen has cast in eternity the moment when the fin of the little mermaid splits into two legs. The world-famous pose can also be found in Disney’s “Arielle, the Mermaid”, shortly before her father has an understanding at the end of the film and grants her the longed-for legs.

Tip 3: Nyhavn

The Nyhavn in Copenhagen is a popular attraction Denmark, which is approached both by land and by sea. The harbor was built in the 17th century at the request of the then King Christian V. Later, and especially in the 19th century, Nyhavn in Copenhagen was considered a popular entertainment district, offering numerous dance halls, beer houses and taverns. The typical tattoo stores were of course also present in Nyhavn and some can still be found there today.

Nyhavn in Copenhagen
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Many boats and ships dock in this pretty harbor for the popular city tour. The numerous colorful houses along this sight Denmark, provide a wonderful backdrop that attracts especially amateur and professional photographers. Many houses still have the typical look of the Middle Ages, have large signs above the entrances and have signs of the sea and shipping on the facade. Especially the houses number 18 and 67 are known far beyond the borders of the city as a landmark Denmark. They were at times the home of the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen and are now a much visited sight Denmark.

Tip 4: Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle is a magnificent Renaissance building from the 17th century, which served as the residence and domicile of the Danish royal family until 1710. The castle stands in the capital Copenhagen on the edge of the royal garden Kongens Have. 

Christian IV was crowned King of Denmark and Norway in 1596 at the age of just 19. The young ambitious ruler was not satisfied with the medieval residence behind the city walls of Copenhagen. He wanted his own domicile and for this reason acquired several plots of land outside the ramparts in 1606. Suddenly, the ambitious ruler had enough space to realize his dreams of a summer residence with a pleasure garden. A year after the purchase, the two-story summer house was completed, which was later integrated into the palace building. 

Rosenborg Castle at Copenhagen
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After several construction phases, work on Rosenborg Palace was completed in 1633. The architecture is strongly reminiscent of the Dutch Renaissance, an architectural style that found many adherents in Northern and Central Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. Christian IV had a close attachment to his castle. Whenever time permitted, he stayed in his favorite castle. Against this background, it is not surprising that the king, on his deathbed in Frederiksborg Castle, expressed his wish to close his eyes forever in his private chambers in Rosenborg Castle. At his behest, he was taken to his favorite residence, where he died on February 28, 1648.  

Tip 5: Amalienborg

One of the most beautiful sightseeing tips in Copenhagen is Amalienborg Castle. Today it is owned by the Danish royal family and is used as a city residence by Queen Margrethe II. You can tell if she is currently residing at the palace by the hoisted flag atop Palais Schack. When she is present, she is guarded day and night by her bodyguard.

Amalienborg in Copenhagen
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The naming of the palace of Copenhagen is due to Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Calenberg. Sophie Amalie was a princess from the House of Guelph and married Frederik III, King of Denmark and Norway. According to her middle name, Frederik had the pleasure palace built for her between 1669 and 1673. However, a major fire in a nearby theater completely destroyed the castle in 1689. Years later, Frederik the IV – the grandson of Frederik and Sophie Amalie – had a French garden laid out and a small pavilion built.

Frederik V decided to rebuild the grounds after 300 years of existence. Unable to finance the new construction, he gave away the building plots to four noblemen who were obliged to build the castle according to the plans of the court architect.

Today, Amalienborg Palace consists of four palaces characterized by the typical Danish rococo style.

The palaces are arranged around the octagonal Amlienborg Palace Square. In the center of the square there is an equestrian statue of Frederik V in his memory.