Copenhagen, the largest city in Denmark and all of Scandinavia, has been a center of culture, business and science since the early 15th century. The city, known for its high quality of life, began as a merchants’ harbor. Today, the modern city is very welcoming to cruise ship passengers.
Disembark at Langelinie Pier and take a short walk to the first photo opportunity of your visit: the statue of the Little Mermaid, a memorial to poet and fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen. There are shops and cafes right in the pier area, but it’s just a 10-minute walk (or a quick taxi or bus ride) to all the sights of downtown. Copenhagen also has hundreds of brightly colored “City Bikes” that residents and visitors can use for free – you’ll just need to insert a 20-kroner coin to unlock a bike (you’ll get another coin back when you return the bike to any of the 125 City Bike racks around town). Some great neighborhoods to tour include Stroget, which is full of wonderful shopping, and the fashionable Christianshavn district.
Tivoli Gardens is a must-see for visitors to Copenhagen. The romantic park is filled with more than 400,000 flowers; two dozen amusement rides, including one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters; and 38 restaurants, which range from casual to elegant. If you’re able to stay until dark, you’ll see the park beautifully illuminated by hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. You may also be able to catch a performance of music, pantomime theater or ballet.
Amalienborg Palace consists of four 18th century mansions that have been the winter home of the Danish royal family since 1794. If a swallowtail flag is flying above the palace, a member of the royal family is at there, which means you can watch the Changing of the Royal Danish Guard ceremony at noon.
To learn about 14,000 years of Danish history, visit the National Museum of Denmark and its huge collection of artifacts, including rune stones, Viking helmets, ancient coins and the Trundholm Sun Chariot, a gilded bronze sculpture from about 1400 BC. If you’re more interested in crown jewels, visit the Renaissance-style Rosenborg Castle. The well-protected Danish crown jewels are on display in the basement of the castle, and there are two dozen more rooms filled with royal family artifacts.
If you need some exercise, the Church of Our Savior in Christianshavn can accommodate you and will reward you with a fabulous view of the city. All you need to do is climb up the 400 steps that wind around the interior and exterior of the corkscrew spire. To learn more about what you can see and do on a port call in Copenhagen, contact a Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert