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Uber Cool Copenhagen In A Day

Ben Hall

As the ship bears right, two large land masses appear on either either side with one of Europe’s great modern architectural wonders dead ahead. The Øresundsbron, or Oresund Bridge, spans the eight kilometres from Denmark to southern Sweden and as we sail under it, we gain a real appreciation of the scale and scope of the ambitious project. Just ahead and we arrive in the port of Copenhagen, and we’re greeted by the world famous The Little Mermaid, a major tourist attraction that’s emerged as the icon of the beguiling Danish capital. A small and unimposing statue at just over one metre high, The Little Mermaid is a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale character who sits on a rock near the cruise terminal in Langelinie, and she greets maritime visitors as an elegant and fitting welcome to the port of Copenhagen. Langelinie is a deep ocean port right which means most cruise ships can dock here and it’s a stone’s throw from the CBD which allows for an easy and accessible exploration of a city that’s widely regarded as one of the most walkable and enchanting places in the world.  

Copenhagen is home to some of the best preserved medieval architecture in Europe, and as visitors quickly discover, it is also a cosmopolitan and laid-back city with people who know how to kick back and have fun. The city enjoys a mix of historical buildings, church spires, and inspired modern architecture all connected by cobbled streets, but at its heart the buzzing cafe, bar and shopping scene make this one of the hippest places in Scandinavia. And while Stockholm may have a problem with that, Copenhagen is a place that’s also setting new benchmarks in the culinary world and on the fashion scene. Getting out and about couldn’t be easier. You wander past The Little Mermaid and straight ahead is the Kastellet, or The Citadel, which is one of the best preserved fortifications in northern Europe. The pentagram shaped complex was built in the 17th century and now serves as a peaceful and serene park although it’s easy to see how this ringed the city as a fortress during several major battles including the Swedish siege in 1658 and the Battle of Copenhagen against the British fleet in 1801. 

Less than a kilometre away in the city centre and Amalienborg Palace is one of the most visited sights in Copenhagen. It’s a real royal castle and this is where the Queen of Denmark welcomes foreign dignitaries, and even though it’s home to the royal couple, visitors can walk through some of the chambers that are not in use. For lovers of fabulous historical architecture, Copenhagen is a fantasy come true and Christiansborg Palace is the only building in the world which is the home of all three of a nation’s supreme powers: the Danish Government, the Supreme Court and the monarchy all use the complex. For culture vultures the National Museum and National Gallery provide fascinating insights into Danish history and art but that’s not to say the city doesn’t know how to let its hair down and have a bit of fun. 

The Tivoli Gardens, right in the heart of the city, is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and is not just for tourists - locals love this fairytale garden which is a vibrant meeting place where classical concerts are staged, while people stroll the lovely gardens and lunch under the trees. But perhaps the heart and soul of Copenhagen can be found around Strøget, which claims to be the longest pedestrian street in the world at just over one kilometre in length. Here you can wander the cobbled streets and check out everything from designer stores, to bargain chains and do what the locals do - discover a convivial bar or restaurant down a side street and kick back and watch the world go by.

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  1. Posted by on 7th Jan 2019 Verified Customer

    On My Bucket List 5 Star Review

    I have been to Europe quite a few times but never to Copenhagen although I have friends there (from my backpacking days). It's definitely on my bucket list. What is great about your article, though, is that you have pulled together some of the best things to see and do in a day, which could be a layover on a flight. Love it, thanks for sharing.

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