One of the best ways to see Copenhagen, Denmark is the way the locals do. On the seat of a bike.
Bicycles play a major role in the life of any local in Copenhagen. The bicycle is transportation for work, school, even night on the town with a date or night at the opera. A special bike famous from Copenhagen is designed for transporting construction materials or appliances, bringing children to kindergarten, going for a ride. No matter what the purpose will be, the bike is the answer.Why do they pick a bike over a car or public transport? It’s the fastest way of getting around in the city!
One of my favorite parts of town is Nyhavn. These beautiful buildings have so much color and character. First you must stroll along this street either on the seat of a bike or strolling along on a walk. There are canal tours for those who want to see it from the water side as well. Great food along there as well. I often ended my day along Nyhavn.
If you’re in Copenhagen for a conference, or cruise, or a holiday. You will find plenty to do to fill your 24 hours in beautiful Copenhagen.
2. Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the Danish monarch’s winter residence on the waterfront in Copenhagen. It’s in Copenhagen, so not hard to get to. Time your visit to watch the changing of the guard.
3. Frederiksborg Castle
is a palace in Hillerød, Denmark part of the . It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV. Heading out to this place could be part of a day trip.
It is on the Castles tour from Copenhagen: North Zealand and Hamlet Castle tour There are multiple tours, so you’ll need to decide what you want to see most.
4. Carl Bloch paintings
If you like religious art. I highly recommend tracking down the Carl Bloch (very famous Danish Painter) paintings in the Carl Bloch’s paintings in the Frederiksborg Palace collection. They are very moving and are considered some of the best in the world.
After I got home and started looking through all of the pictures from my castle tour I noticed I couldn’t tell which photos where from which palace.
5. Kronborg Castle
complete with moat, in Helsingor known as Elsinore Castle from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This castle is a couple hours outside of Copenhagen. Ask about it in relation to a castle tour. Lonely Planet details: Hamlet Castle Tour
If you do have multiple days and looking at day trips out of Copenhagen, consider Malmo Sweden. It’s an easy train ride over a very long and fun bridge. There are a few things to see, and easy to make an afternoon out of it.
The halls are so ornate I ended up taking hundreds of photos of columns, and gold and amazing sculptures and art work. My first trip to Copenhagen was one of my first trips to Europe, and hence blew my mind in terms of seeing so much history and royal wealth. It was mind numbing to see multiple days worth of palaces, castles, and cathedrals with so much history. My eyes are now much more trained to recognize the history. Now when I look at a marble column that doesn’t match I can imagine that it was likely borrowed from an earlier time period likely from a pagan temple.
There are quite a few palaces, parliament buildings, castles, and historic buildings within and near Copenhagen. Consider a Castle tour or two. Your head will be spinning with ancient places that you’ll be wondering what it was or what it is.
6. Tivoli Gardens
(Left – above at night, right from SAS Raddison Blue hotel window)
Tivoli is ancient and modern at the same time. The structure and property has been an old amusement park from 1843. It is world famous and shows up in many movies and may be the most famous places to visit in Copenhagen. Inside the garden you’ll find amusement park rides, activities and exhibits. In the winter it becomes a winter wonderland decorated with lights and mechanical elves and Christmas decor. I use Tivoli and the Train Station as a landmark when I’m walking around the city. As well I will often try to book hotels close to Tivoli as it’s very central to downtown Copenhagen and walking distance of all of the good stuff including the Stroget walking street.
Strøget – The Strøget is 1.1 kilometers long and claims to be the world’s longest urban pedestrian zone. It’s a very enjoyable walk with interesting high street shops. You may find this is the best route from place to place on your bike or strolling along.
We did end up going up the round tower Rundetaarn at night. It was interesting. It has specific time periods where it’s open. Apparently it’s the oldest observatory in Europe. It is worth tracking down.
8. Frederiks Kirke (The Marble Church)
this stately building is well worth a visit (above)
Speaking of churches. There are some other great churches in Copenhagen.
9. Church of Our Lady
This church has a very special feel with amazing sculptures. This church is all focused on a greater than life sized Christ and his apostles grace the church. As well a massive pipe organ plus a second story filled with columns in a very bright white church. It has a very strong spirit about it. This church is in Copenhagen and easy to walk to and open till 5pm most days.
All of the sculptures were designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen. If you like his work. There is a museum dedicated to his works next to the Christiansborg Palace.
Speaking of sculptures. There’s one statue that most guidebooks will tell you that you can’t miss. It’s the Hans Christian Anderson Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. It’s become quite the icon for the city. She’s also loved to be hated. She has gone through some rough times herself as she often gets chopped up and stolen.
10. The Little Mermaid
This isn’t the only statue in Copenhagen, but she is the most famous. Since she’s by the water there are multiple ways to view her. She is out near the old fort. It’s quite a walk from downtown, but not impossible.
If you like art and statues. Be sure to take it in. There is a lot of variety around the city that is worth checking out.
They love to eat in Copenhagen. The Danish are known for their food. They have very elaborate long sittings with a variety of wines, beers, and non alcoholic drinks as well, I tried a rhubarb drink. Often when you sit down to dinner at a nice place in Copenhagen, you’re sitting down for a 4+ or up to 6 course meal. I think I had 5 forks in one meal. They keep bringing out plates and plates of different little dishes of food for you to eat. There’s a lot in the presentation. The portions are small in the fine dinning arena.
Then there’s the traditional meat and potatoes. Often meat balls and some small vegetables. You can also get open faced sandwiches. Copenhagen does have a variety of food, but in most cases you are committing yourself to relaxing and enjoying yourself. If you’re use to American style, where you are there for the food and not the ambiance, you may have to let your waiter know when you need them.
Alternative living… was founded in 1971 when a group of citizens knocked down the fence to an abandoned military area and set up a new hippie community, completely independent of the Danish government. In 2012 the Christiania fund bought the land. It’s now a bunch of artists, but they’ve gotten creative. They now have their own beer.
This place is unique in the world. It’s a bit of burning man every night. It’s a place that means different things to different people and the expression that comes from it has a wide variety as well.
– Real freedom of different types to different people: Check your politics and biases at the door.
– Anarchy – No RULES! Well, this has definitely changed over time.
– Shared living, shared everything. Those hey day are over. Now you’ll find there are businesses and art studios, where years ago anyone would be obliged to share.
– A place to do drugs in peace without the law. There are still soft drugs a plenty. Be careful with your camera.
– While capitalism was what they were trying to get away from, there’s quite the little cottage industry from the artists during the day, and at night it’s the bars and cafes
There has been spouts of violence in the past, but this is really a unique place. I have really enjoyed my time there, but it’s not or everyone.
Vor Frelsers Kirke (The Church of our Saviour)
is located at Christianshavn and was built in the years 1682 to 1696.
I hope you enjoyed this story among some of the others that I have posted. I put this post together for my sister, Tamra who is doing a cruise from Copenhagen. I hope she enjoys it. She has a passion for travel that’s contagious. Please like or rate the post, and I definitely welcome feedback. As a traveler I love telling the stories and pointing out places to see or things to do. I’ve been to Copenhagen twice, most recently in January and the first time with my wife. I loved it both times. I’m sure you’ll love it too.