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Top Things To Do in Copenhagen

By: Cityseeker
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Denmark's scenic capital, Copenhagen shines with modernity and cosmopolitan urban life. It is the proud home of world-class museums, cycle-friendly streets, and splendid Nordic gastronomy. Not only is it an embodiment of la dolce vita, but it's also a container for history, culture and wonderful diversity.


Tivoli Gardens

Founded in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is a unique amusement park located where the once-fortified city's ramparts used to be. In fact, the on-site lake is a remnant of the city's moat. Known around the world for its infectious carnival-style atmosphere and exciting attractions, Tivoli Gardens combine the charm of the yesteryear with the dynamism of the future. The park spans a staggering 80,000 square meters (861112.8 square feet) of space in the heart of Copenhagen, making it one of the largest amusement parks in the country. Tivoli Gardens has great attractions like a historic rollercoaster, a mythical pirate ship, and magically lit carousels. There are around 40 bars and restaurants, some of which are gourmet and many date as far back as 1843. World-class live entertainment is always provided, and the festivities get kicked into high gear during the Christmas season.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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The National Museum of Denmark

Established in 1819, the National Museum of Denmark is housed within the remarkable grandeur of The Prince's Palace. This comprehensive museum features a varied collection that spans numerous continents and significant periods in history. From ancient Stone Age relics and sacred exhibits such as the pre-historic Sun Chariot, to exhibits procured from the Renaissance and beyond, the museum's collection is truly awe-inspiring. There are also collections of ancient treasures from Egypt and the Viking Age, as well as ethnographic collections about natives. Through a spellbinding collection that speeds through varying events in time, the National Museum of Denmark lets one relive glorious moments of a long lost past.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Rosenborg Castle

The ornate turrets of the regal Rosenberg Castle can be seen piercing the sky from a far distance, much like the far-reaching impact of Danish royalty. Built by charming Danish monarch Christian IV in characteristic Dutch Renaissance style, the castle has an almost fairy-tale-like location in Kongens Have. Rosenborg was originally a summer mansion outside the walls of the city, and was used as the royal residence sometime during the early eighteenth century. The castle is well-renowned for its opulently decorated rooms and copper roof, although the pièce de résistance is the Great Hall. It is known to feature stunning stucco ceilings, royal insignia, delicate frescoes and twelve tapestries that detail the victories of the throne in the Scanian War. The castle is surrounded by moats, and just outside the castle an exquisite rose garden makes its way along the manicured landscape. Ever since the absolutist monarchy, Rosenborg has been the home of the royal crown jewels and also serves as a museum of the royal family.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Rundetårn

The heart of Copenhagen is home to this striking spherical tower that was built by Christian IV to advance astronomical research in the country. Built in the 17th century, the Round Tower was originally an observatory connected to Trinitatis Church, and formed part of the Trinitatis Complex. Highlights of this ancient observatory include the gently sloping equestrian staircase, the helical corridor, and the viewing platform at the top of the tower. King Christian IV's monogram is displayed on the building, as is a beautiful lattice designed by Kasper Fincke. Inside the Rundetaarn, the spiral walk leads to the library hall that once functioned as an age-old repository of university books, and was frequented by Danish literary Hans Christian Andersen. With its clever architecture, well-planned interiors and imposing presence, it is no wonder that the Rundetaarn is one of Copenhagen's most iconic landmarks.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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The Little Mermaid

Gazing watchfully over the sparkling Copenhagen harbor, The Little Mermaid is one of the most iconic landmarks of both the city, and the Langelinie Pier where it delicately sits atop a rock. Artist Edvard Eriksen sculpted this legendary statue that came to dominate Copenhagen's global imagery in the years that followed its unveiling. Built in 1913, the bronze statue is inspired by the fictional work of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, and depicts the titular mermaid. The face of the bronze mermaid was modeled after ballet star Ellen Prince, while Eriksen's wife Eline was the muse for the mermaid's figure. Having withstood vandalism over the years, the mermaid still adorns the harbor in her beautifully stoic form.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Nyhavn

Brightly hued townhouses line the banks of Nyhavn, their vibrant reflection in the rippled waters of the canal like swirls of myriad colors upon which sailboats glide. Red, blue, yellow and green, the banks of Nyhavn are akin to a box of assorted crayons. Nyhavn is a canal that links Copenhagen's harborfront with the Kongens Nytorv; an ambitious project undertaken at the behest of King Christian V in the 17th Century. While the southern bank is lined with lavish mansions, the northern side is thronged with 17th-century and 18th-century townhouses, the oldest of which dates back to 1681. Once a lively haunt for sailors, Nyhavn's alehouses and pubs were forever brimming with life. Today, the townhouses have been restored and transformed into fine restaurants and cozy cafes that attract more crowds. Nonetheless, Nyhavn remains a popular summertime gathering place for locals who come here to relax by the quays with a pint of beer. The townhouses of Nyhavn have also been the home of several noted artists, including the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen and the artist H.G.F. Holm whose watercolors drew inspiration from Nyhavn's picturesque scene.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Amalienborg Palace

Built by Frederik V to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the House of Oldenborg, Amalienborg consists of four palaces built around a square. These are Moltkes Palace (Christian VII's palace), Schackske Palace (Christians IX's palace and residence of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik), Levetzau Palace (Christian VIII's palace) and Brockdorfske Palace (Frederik VIII's palace and residence of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary). Architect Niels Eigtved was heavily influenced by the Rococo style. Of the four palaces, Moltkes Palace is considered the most outstanding. When Christiansborg burned down in 1794, the royal family moved to Amalienborg, and since then it has been their official residence. The square is dominated by Saly's equestrian statue of Frederik V (1723-1766) which, together with the palace buildings, forms a breathtaking architectural ensemble. Lovers of the royal family flock to the square once a year to celebrate Queen Margrethe's birthday. Two of the four palaces are open to the public on weekends from July to October.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Slot is home to the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister's Department. Bishop Absalon built his castle on this site as far back as 1167, though in 1732 the building of a magnificent Baroque castle began at the request of Christian VI. Christianborg had to be rebuilt twice after it burned down, once in 1794 and once in 1880. A third Christiansborg was built between 1907 and 1923 in Baroque style according to architect Thorvald Jørgensen's drawings, and this is the one that stands on the site today. Behind the castle, you'll find stables and grounds that date from Christian VI's old Baroque building. In the summer, the riding grounds are used for theater performances and concerts (jazz, rock and classical music).

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Bakken

Bakken is one of the world's most popular and the oldest amusement park in the world. Similar to Tivoli, Bakken is located in the very scenic area of Dyrehaven. Back in the day, people visited Bakken to drink from the Kirsten Piils Spring in order to be cured by its waters. In 1830, the performers and entertainers arrived at Bakken and they have been there ever since. There is an outdoor stage where artists and performers entertain the audience. Best loved perhaps is the clown Pierrot, who performs at his little house several times a day. Pierrot jokes with the children and swallows fire. A visit to Bakken is often combined with a wonderful walk in the marvelous Dyrehaven. Entrance to the park is free, though the purchase of a wristband is necessary to get on the 33 rides in the park.

Gentofte, Denmark
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Strøget

Buses, trams, cars and bicycles were banned in 1964 to make way for the thousands of shoppers who walk down this open air market. From street to high-end fashion like Gucci and Birger Christensen, you will find everything along the stretch of this popular shopping area. For the hungry bellies, this neighborhood has got you covered with numerous restaurants to simple burger joints and pubs. Some come here to shop, others just to see and be seen. Walking down Strøget is always an experience. Denmark's national poet, Klaus Rifbjerg, summed it up in a song titled "Imagine Walking Down Strøget Dressed In Your Light Blue Pyjamas".

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