Following my visit to Oslo and discovering that Scandinavia is closer to London Airports than I had realised, I decided to take another trip, this time to Copenhagen.
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Arriving in Copenhagen
If you are planning on visiting a number of the tourist attractions in Copenhagen, its worth purchasing the Copenhagen Card. There are varying durations which can be bought and as well as the attractions, it can also be used on all public transport including the 13 minute train journey from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station. The Copenhagen Card can be used for 80+ attractions and is a great way to make a saving whilst visiting the city.
Where to stay
I would recommend a stay at the Copenhagen Island Hotel which is just a 5 minute taxi or bus ride from Central station. The hotel is located alongside the lovely harbour, right next to the Fisketorvet shopping mall and IMAX Cinema. Staying in a balcony room will reward visitors with lovely views and spectacular sunrises over the harbour.
Where to visit
Tivoli was built in 1914 and is the third oldest theme park in the world. Also famous for the oldest wooden operating roller coaster in the world it is a popular attraction in Copenhagen. A visit to this main attraction is a must, however be aware that Tivoli gets incredibly busy and can attract long queues. There is lots of see and do in Tivoli, including rides, shops, restaurants and performances. conveniently located next to Copenhagen Central Station
I didn’t have high expectations for Copenhagen Zoo based on a misconceptions from previous experiences in city zoos. However I was pleasantly surprised. Like many zoos, Copenhagen has grouped the exhibitions into zones based on the animals home continent and there were a few animals which i had not previously seen before. In the Australia area, I was excited to see the Tasmanian Devil and the Wombat. If you like zoos, Copenhagen Zoo is a larger than expected zoo and is definitely worth a visit.
The Nyhavn district is a popular area and before my visit i wasn’t aware of the canals in Copenhagen. Visit this area to view the colourful houses, enjoy the bars and restaurants or take a canal tour. Nyhavn has a nice vibe and because my visit was in December, i visited the Christmas market and sampled the local drink Gløgg, which is similar to a mulled wine. Enjoy a boat trip with Stromma Canal Tours whilst discovering the Copenhagen canals. You will learn a lot about the history of the area from the tour guide and also view Hans Christian Andersons house which dates back 17th century.
Little Mermaid (Den kille Havfrue)
Probably the most famous tourist attraction in Denmark is the Little Mermaid statue known as Den Lille Havfrue. It is a Bronze Statue by Edvard Eriksen and is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The statue is located outside of central Copenhagen and can be visited via a short train ride. Whilst you are in the area I would recommend visiting the Kastellet, which is an impressive 17th century fortress.
Rosenborg Castle is a beautiful castle built in the 17th century. During busy periods, visitors are given timeslots to ensure that the castle doesn’t become over crowded. There are many rooms to explore including the large Knight’s Hall with the coronation thrones. I was surprised to learn that the castle is 400 years old due to the well kept interiors and exterior. Don’t forget to visit The Treasury where you will view the stunning Crown Jewels which are on display.
Amalienborg complex is the residence of the Danish Royal Family. It consists of four palaces built around an octagonal courtyard, one of which the Queen uses as her winter residence. The changing of the guards can be viewed here as well as a museum which has free admission on the Copenhagen card.
A short walk from Nørreport Station, is historic Botanical Gardens and palm house, containing Denmarks largest collection of living plants. The Palm House was build from 1872 to 1874 and the design was inspired by Crystal Palace in London. A spiral staircase takes a visitor to the top of the palm house, providing an alternative viewpoint of the plants. A found the collection of cactus and succulents particularly interesting, which are exhibited in a separate greenhouse.
The roundtower in the centre of the shopping district and boasts amazing views over the city. This tower is unique as most of the ascend is through the use of a spiral ramp. The top of the tower is accessed via pedestrian controlled lights which manage the flow of visitors through a narrow staircase. As I stepped out onto the observation deck, the sun was just setting over Copenhagen which provided a lovely backdrop to the cityscape.
Public transport – I found travelling around Copenhagen a little harder than I expected. A couple of times i arrived at the metro station and the displays were not functioning making the city difficult to navigate. I would therefore recommend that you thoroughly research your route ahead of starting your journey.
Tivoli – Avoid the crowds at Tivoli by avoid peak periods. The queues into Tivoli were crazy in the second week of December and queued all the way along the street.
Copenhagen Card – If you plan on hitting all the tourist attractions during your stay, make great savings with the Copenhagen Card which also has a phone app.
When I visited Copenhagen it was December and very cold. During a winter visit, ensure that you arrive prepared with the appropriate warm weather clothing. Navigating the public transport system wasn’t as easy as I had expected and the tourist attractions are spread across the city. Good route research before heading for an attraction is recommended.
Copenhagen, like any city, gets very busy in the tourist hot spots, therefore plan your day so you avoid the crowds. Getting the Copenhagen Card is a great a buy and saved me a lot of money. There is plenty to see in Copenhagen with a long weekend not enough time to see everything; I can’t wait to visit again and see more of the sights. If you have more time, consider visiting outside the city – Malmo in Sweden is just 30 minutes by train!
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