Spectacular Copenhagen Denmark by Ray Raposo

Travel writer Ray & Peg Raposo, standing in Nyhavn port in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. This Scandinavian country is the oldest kingdom in Europe and was once a Viking fishing settlement. Denmark consists of a land mass and several islands and is located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, its neighbors are Germany to its south and Sweden to its north, both are adjacent to Denmark by small land areas.

Peg by the Christiansborg Palace exterior in Copenhagen

Most of the city is located in the eastern coast of the island of Zealand, while a smaller part is on Anger. Any visitor will have plenty to keep them occupied in central Copenhagen alone.

Tourism is a major contributor to Copenhagen’s economy, visitors are attracted by it’s many harbor areas full of varied restaurants and cultural attractions. Some Cruise Ships use Copenhagen a starting and ending point of Baltic cruises, perfect for spending a few days before and after your cruise. The city is easily seen while walking to it’s numerous attractions, although rental bikes are available as well as many taxis. They also feature both Hop-on-Hop-off buses and Hop-on-Hop-off boats. Many travel enthusiast know of some of Copenhagen’s most popular attractions such as The Little Mermaid statue and the world famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park and gardens, the second oldest such place in the world.

The Little Mermaid statue, the symbol of Copenhagen

Tivoli is open both day and night. The Little Mermaid, is a small bronze sculpture and the official emblem of Copenhagen, it is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The small sculpture on a rock is located in the Osterbro neighborhood which also features Denmark’s largest public park.

Tivoli Amusement Park’s gardens and one of many restaurants

One of the most beautiful areas, and my personal favorite, is the harbor port of Nyhavn with it’s brightly colored buildings and tall sailboats moored throughout the canal. It is a must visit where you can eat at one of the many outdoor restaurants and cafes, grab an ice cream cone or Danish sweet treat, all while being memorized by the simple yet beautiful architecture on either side of the harbor. Here you can also catch a canal tour boat for sightseeing trip around the harbor and the canals of the city. We did exactly that and really enjoyed the guided boat tour that pointed out important aspects of the city and structures.

The colorful Nyhavn section and it’s outdoor restaurants

The boat tour will also sail by is the Christianshavn area full of Dutch style houses, and the Christiania neighborhood which is a haven for modern day hippies and others seeking an alternative lifestyle.

Tall sailboats in Nyhavn port

Copenhagen has been referred to as the “City of Spires” due to it’s many spires and towers of it’s castles and churches that dart out of it’s mostly low and flat skyline. Some of those spires belong to Christiansborg Palace (home of Parliament), Rosenborg Castle, the City Town Hall, Frederik’s Church, and the Church of Our Saviour. Of interest is the Round Tower where visitors can climb it’s adjacent spiraling ramp all the way to it’s top for great panoramic views of the city. The Tower also features a glass floor area where you can view the castle’s core including the adjacent Trinitatis Church.

The royal Rosenborg Castle

The Frederiksstaden Districts is where the Royal Palaces are located. Those palaces and castles are a must see as well. They are full of authentic artwork, furnishings, tapestries, and historical Copenhagen elements of past centuries. Built in a Dutch Renaissance style, Rosenborg Castle and it’s surrounding gardens are open to tourists.

Rosenborg Castle throne room with silver lions

The castle houses a museum that features the Royal Collections from the 16th to the 19th century and also features the Danish Throne Chair of kings and queens in large hall. There are 3 full sized silver lions statues by the throne. There’s also a secure underground chamber that features the impressive Crown Jewels and Danish Crown Regalia. All are watched by military guards at all times. Nearby there are also Botanical gardens. History buffs will want to visit Amalienborg Castle, the sister palace of Rosenborg, with it’s serene waterfront gardens; soldiers of the Royal Guards can be seen outside. Adjacent to it is the lovely Frederik’s Church with its distinctive dome.

Art enthusiast will want to visit the National Museum which features an impressive Danish history collection and it’s adjacent Rococo building the Prince’s Palace. Those interested in artistic masters will enjoy the National Gallery of Denmark with works from not just it’s terrific collection of Danish art, but paintings from Dutch Masters to Munch and Picasso. There’s also the Copenhagen Zoo and the National Aquarium of Denmark for animal and nature lovers to enjoy. Copenhagen has an amazing cultural scene one can enjoy. For culture lovers there is also the Copenhagen Opera and the People’s Theater to the Royal Danish Playhouse. Located in an impressive modern glass-fronted building by the water located at the end of Nyhavn’s canal harbor.
Ray by Stork Statue Fountain in Stroget Street central square

If shopping or window shopping is on your list, a must visit is the Stroget Street area, where a number of hip boutiques, luxury brand named stores, as well as larger well known departments stores like Zara and H&M are also located.

Peg with friends from Martha’s Vineyard, Mary Ann and Charles

A number of excellent diversified restaurants, local pubs and cafes are also in the Stroget district. Strogen Street goes on for blocks and is mostly a pedestrian only bricked street, with sevral other streets that cross it also being full of many interesting stores. At one point the street opens up to a small plaza with an impressive and large fountain with a stork sculpture as it’s centerpiece. It is a most interesting and peaceful place to just hang out like we did.

Nyhavn area at dusk

In recent years there has been a boom in modern architecture in the city. This century has seen a surge of international architects adding many projects in Copenhagen, you can see multiple construction cranes in different areas of the city. Copenhagen is now recognized globally as an excellent example of the best in urban planning with it’s mix use of contemporary architecture and truly engaging public spaces throughout the city center.

View of Copenhagen’s rooftops and steeples from top of The Round Tower

Denmark’s people have been voted the “World’s Happiest”, and after visiting Copenhagen, you too might have a good idea why. As much as I’ve covered in this article, there’s that much more to see and experience in Copenhagen. There’s no doubt that Copenhagen should be included when planning your own Travels to Dream Locations.

Peg near The Round Tower
Typical stone street with Round Tower in background