Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Friendly old girl of a town
‘Neath her tavern light
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Well, we didn’t spend much time in taverns, but we certainly had a full and fun day in wonderful Copenhagen. We had planned a full itinerary for the day and we were off the ship as soon as the gangplank was in place, heading downtown to buy our Copenhagen card. We love these all inclusive cards that give you access to public transport and most of the sights without having to worry about finding cash or figuring out how to purchase tickets.
The National Museum of Denmark was first on our list, and frankly we could easily have spent the whole day there. It’s a very well curated museum with excellent signs in English as well as Danish, and a truly fascinating collection. We only attempted the ground floor, which focusses on Danish prehistory – eye-opening artefacts from ancient reindeer hunters, Vikings, and civilisations long gone.
Rosenborg Castle is a 400 year old Renaissance Castle built by King Christian IV, who was king of Denmark & Norway from 1588 to 1648. It was used as a royal residence until 1710, and thereafter used as a place to display the royals’ favourite collections. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1838. Our carefully planned itinerary almost got unstuck when we discovered that despite having free entry with our Copenhagen cards, we still needed to get timed tickets. We did some rapid rearranging and spent our waiting time fruitfully by having lunch at the castle’s pleasant garden cafe.
There are certainly grander castles in Europe, but Rosenborg Castle is packed full of things of interest – whether beautiful, quirky, or mind-bogglingly over the top. Here are a very few of the many photos we took to give you a taste of what it was like.
We walked through the extensive gardens, once the exclusive domain of kings and queens, now a lovely park enjoyed by ‘commoners’, till we reached the canal for a 1-hour canal cruise. It was another unseasonably warm and sunny day and we spent a delightful hour cruising past royal palaces, the opera house and other culture centres, boats of all kinds, cafes and bars (it seemed like everyone was out enjoying the sun), and the hippie commune of Christiania.
We couldn’t leave Copenhagen without visiting Tivoli Gardens. The second oldest amusement park in the world (the oldest one is also in Denmark) Tivoli was founded in 1843, allegedly because “when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics”. With lovely lakes and gardens, and fun themed rides it’s not surprising that it retains its popularity 175 years later.
We made our way back to the ship, past Nyhavn (“New Harbour”), the 17th century waterfront canal lined by colourful townhouses, the Amalienborg Palaces, where the Danish royal family lives (including “our” Mary) and of course, the Little Mermaid. You can’t visit wonderful Copenhagen without a photo of the Little Mermaid now, can you?