Copenhagen’s Top 5 Attractions

The Danish capital city of Copenhagen is a wonderful city break destination. Many of the cities fabulous attractions and places of interest are within walking distance of each other around the city centre.  But if you only have a couple of days to explore you’ll never get around to seeing it all. So Project Travel has put together a list of its top 5 favourite things to do in Copenhagen to help narrow down your choices.

The Little Mermaid

No doubt one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions, the sculpture of The Little Mermaid has looked out wistfully over Copenhagen Harbour for over 100 years. Originally a gift in 1913 from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen, the sculpture was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with her handsome prince on land. The sculpture has been vandalised several times, but every time she has been rescued and restored by the city.

Strøget

Strøget is one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets with a wealth of shops, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world’s most expensive brands. The stretch is 1.1 kilometres long and runs from City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) to Kongens Nytorv.

Strøget is actually a nickname from the 1800s and in reality incorporates several streets and squares: Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet and Østergade and Nytorv square, Gammeltorv Square and Amagertorv Square.

However, Strøget is not just about shopping. Look up and down the side streets and you will see several of Copenhagen’s beautiful sights and attractions. From Amagertorv you can also see across the canal to Christiansborg Palace, where the parliament sits.  It is also a popular hangout for the city’s street performers. Especially at Amagertorv Square you can often see performances by acrobats, magicians and musicians, but watch out for con-artists too!

Nyhavn

At the far end of Strøget is the old commercial port of Nyhavn where ships from all over the world would dock.  Today the beautiful old houses (some dating back to the 1680s) have been renovated and classy restaurants dominate the old area.  It is the perfect location to end a busy day in Copenhagen when Nyhavn is filled with people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere by the canal, jazz music and great food. During Christmas, Nyhavn’s cobbled streets are home decorated stalls as part of the city’s annual Christmas Market, while the cafés and restaurants offer Danish Christmas delicacies.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Founded in 1888 by the brewer Carl Jacobsen, this amazing art museum displays ancient and modern art in truly unique surroundings. It contains two main departments:  the Department of Antiquities houses excellent collections of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art, providing a delightful stroll through 3500 years of art and history, while the Modern Department focuses on Danish painting and sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as French art of the same period. Enjoy paintings from Denmark’s Golden Age, and experience French Impressionism as well as more than 40 works by Gauguin. It is also possible to see the complete series of Degas’ bronzes and 35 sculptures by Rodin.  Tip: On Tuesdays entrance is free.

Tivoli Gardens

This easy to get to amusement park in Copenhagen is a must for visitors of all ages. Founded in 1843, it has become a national treasure and an international attraction. Fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen visited many times, as did Walt Disney and many other celebrities, who all fell in love with the gardens. The scenery is beautiful with exotic architecture, historic buildings and lush gardens. At night, thousands of coloured lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that is completely unique.  It’s not all about the traditional and modern fairground rides though. The Tivoli Gardens offer a nightly programme of free musical performances during the Summer months. At Halloween it is transformed into a spooky spectacular and in the winter it plays host to another wonderful Danish Christmas market.  There are a wide range of restaurants located within the park so it’s a great way to spend an evening in Copenhagen.

Thanks to connecting flights with both Dublin and Bergen, Copenhagen is an ideal add-on to a holiday in Norway. If visiting Bergen or the fjord region of Norway, ask Project Travel about spending a few days in Copenhagen before or after your visit. Copenhagen also features in several of our escorted group tours in Scandinavia in Summer 2019.

Image credit: Kim Wyon/Visit Denmark

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