Copenhagen Denmark

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

by and - last updated on 5/8/2024

This was our first stop on our next European Adventure (click here to view that trip overview page). Since we were traveling using United Airlines miles, our trip research & planning had revealed that we could fly into Copenhagen via SAS Airlines for fewer miles than any other European city served by any United Airlines or Star Alliance Airline flight.

I had not been to Copenhagen since I had worked for Siemens in the 1980's, and Celeste had never been there, so it was an easy decision for us to make Copenhagen a "stop & explore" city.

The decision to go there was made even simpler after I showed Celeste pictures of various Copenhagen interesting locations, and since our next trip stop was Oslo, Norway, then Copenhagen made that flight much shorter than it would have been from other European cities.

Consider a "City Card" for Copenhagen

Copenhagen City Pass Card Although we were not in Copenhagen long enough to have needed a discount card, you can obtain discounts for most of the popular city sights with a "Copenhagen Card". Covers admission to 80+ attractions, includes public transportation including to and from the Airport. Click the image to the left to go to their website to learn more.

Some of our reasons for selecting Copenhagen
  • Copenhagen boasts the most Michelin stars per capita in the world, with innovative chefs redefining Nordic cuisine.
  • The Tivoli Gardens; an amusement park reborn as a wonderland of twinkling lights, whimsical rides, and enchanting gardens.
  • It is a very walkable city, for example, it is only 1.6km from the Nyhavn area to Tivoli Gardens.
  • Copenhagen is the second-largest airport in the Nordic region, the fourth-busiest airport in Northern Europe, and sees the most international arrivals in Scandinavia. There are direct flights from 7 US cities on both coasts, and the airport is the main hub for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). For our trip, it was less expensive than London or Paris and gave us a less time consuming flight into Oslo to start our "Norway in a Nutshell" tour.
Some Interesting facts about Copenhagen
Copenhagen Official Logo
Copenhagen Official LogoImage is the property of Ssolbergj via Wikipedia using the GNU Free Documentation license
  • Cycling is huge In Copenhagen - over 55% of all Copenhageners commute to work by bicycle.
  • Copenhagen has a Self-Governing Freetown.
  • Copenhagen has the longest Pedestrian Shopping Street in the World; Stroget.
  • Copenhagen is a Green Capital.
  • You can’t pay with Euros in Copenhagen - you pay with Danish Krone.
  • Copenhagen contains fifteen Michelin Starred restaurants.
  • Copenhagen has an Amusement Park right in the City - Tivoli Gardens.
  • The largest aquarium in Northern Europe is in Copenhagen.
Travel Tile
Copenhagen Day One - Hotel Christian IV       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Image property of the Hotel Christian IV Copenhagen
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Image property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC

During our trip planning, we discovered that this hotel got good reviews and was located nicely, ie; just across the street from the King's Garden & the Rosenborg Castle, less than 1.2 kilometers from the Harbor and there were numerous restaurants in the area. The hotel also served a complimentary breakfast, which we found to be good.

By the way, if you read "reviews" about this hotel, you are going to find that they are all over the place where some people liked it, some people didn't and some people had unique "complaints" about it. We found it to be comfortable, reasonably priced and the food was good (free breakfast). Is it a "five star"? No, but we knew that we were going to be out exploring much more than we were going to be in the hotel - so for us it was a perfect hotel.

Click here to go to the hotel website, or Click here to view a Google Map to view a map of the Hotel Location.

Jet Lag & Breakfast
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

We arrived early in the morning of July 18th, and we took a taxi from the airport to the Hotel Christian IV located at Dronningens Tvaergade 45. After arriving, we took a short nap and then headed out for a bite to eat at the Bistro Pastis, just around the corner from our hotel.

It is easy to see from the expression on my face, that jet lag has already set in - however - hunger was the motivating force at this point! If you are ever in this area, these folks serve a very tasty breakfast!

After finishing breakfast (and lots of coffee!), we decided to take a hike around the city. The plan was to walk towards the southern end of the city, and to return via the beautiful park ("The King's Garden") that surrounds Rosenborg Castle. This castle was originally built as a summer house by King Christian IV in 1606, and was used as a royal residence by Danish regents until 1710.

As you can see in the images below, the King's Garden and the Castle itself, are extremely beautiful!

Rosenborg Castle Exterior       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Castle from the King's Garden

We are approaching the castle to take the interior tour, and the garden was so pretty we decided to take some pictures.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Castle Garden Entrance

Once you cross this little bridge, the interior tour ticket office is just a few yards away, on the right side of the building from this angle.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Garden Grounds

This image is looking back across the Gardens area towards where we entered the park at Gothersgade.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Castle Garden View

This is the view the Royal Family had from a window in one of their bedrooms. That is the King's Garden, and the Castle entrance bridge.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
King's Garden Bench

Surrounded by beautiful flowers and statues - it is a very pretty area. Having a bench where one could pause and enjoy the stunning garden was a very good idea.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
King's Garden Trellis

A beautiful Trellis - everywhere you look the park is beautifully sculpted & tended and is a great place to stroll about! I can only imagine what kind of maintenance budget this area must have!

 Quick History Lesson 

The King's Garden is Denmark's oldest royal garden and is a popular place for everyone to meet and relax and for children to play in the artistic playground. The Renaissance style garden was established by King Christian IV in the early 1600s. Among the attractions to be enjoyed here are the impressive herbaceous borders, numerous historical sculptures, and Krumspringet ('The Caper') - a restored Renaissance park with a pavilion, espaliers and rose gardens.

 More Info for Rosenborg Castle 
  • Rosenborg Castle Wikipedia Article:
  • Rosenborg Castle Google Images Set:
Rosenborg Castle Interior
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

The upper two floors of the Castle are the living areas, and they contain objects from the days of Frederik IV and Queen Louise, who were the last royal couple to take residence at Rosenborg.

Rosenborg Castle was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710. After the reign of Frederik IV, Rosenborg was used as a royal residence only twice, and both these times were during emergencies. The first time was after Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794, and the second time was during the British attack on Copenhagen in 1801.

 More Info for Rosenborg Castle 
Copenhagen Day Two - Royal Danish Playhouse

With jet lag a bit more under control, we decided that today would be the major hiking day. We ate breakfast at the hotel (since it was free), and decided that we would visit the harbor, Tivoli Gardens, and then hike up to the other end of the harbor to see the Little Mermaid statue.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

We hiked from our hotel directly to the Amalienborg Palace, and from there to the Harbor where the Royal Danish Playhouse building is located. This is a beautiful building, right on the edge of the harbor.

IMAGE CREDITS: Image # 2 (right) is the property of Olivier Bruchez via Wikimedia Commons and CC BY-SA 2.0.

Nyhavn District
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

A short walk just around the corner from the Royal Danish Playhouse, is the Nyhavn district. This area is where most of the harbor tours depart from, and there are a number of very nice sidewalk cafes there.

Once a busy commercial port, Nyhavn has transformed into a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The canal that runs through the district is lined with charming restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a wide range of culinary delights and refreshing beverages. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, soaking in the beautiful scenery and observing the historic sailing ships docked along the quay.

Nyhavn also boasts a rich cultural heritage, as it was once home to famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. Today, visitors can explore the Hans Christian Andersen House, a museum dedicated to his life and works, located just steps away from the canal.

Image # 2 above is the Memorial Anchor, located at the base of the Nyhavn canal, adjacent to Kongens Nytorv, is a maritime memorial in Copenhagen, Denmark, commemorating the civilian sailors who lost their lives at sea during the Second World War.

IMAGE CREDITS: Image # 2 (right) is the property of Medien-gbr via Wikimedia Commons "Public Domain". All other images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

After exploring the Nyhavn area, we decided to hike over to Tivoli Gardens, a 2.6 kilometers walk. As you can see in the images below, Tivoli Gardens is not only very pretty, it is the oldest Amusement Park in Europe - first opened on August 15, 1843.

Tivoli Gardens Entrance
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

This was the initial view we had of Tivoli Gardens, as we walked up along the Tietgensgade to the Glyptotek entrance. We wanted to visit it because it is a "must see" for all visitors to the city, young and old. The central location of the more than 175-year old park adds an extra dimension to this unique place.

 Quick Tivoli History Lesson 

Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg, also in Denmark.

With 4.6 million visitors in 2017, Tivoli is the second-most popular seasonal amusement park in the world after Europa-Park. Tivoli is the most-visited theme park in Scandinavia, and the fifth most-visited theme park in Europe, only behind Disneyland Park, Europa-Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and Efteling.

Click here to view the Wikipedia Article where the above information came from.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
 The Himmelskibet Star Flyer

This was one of the first rides we walked by, at 80 metres (260 ft), it is one of the world's tallest swing rides and affords sweeping views of the city's historical centre. It was manufactured by Funtime and opened in May 2006.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
 More Tivoli Rides

Dragon Boat lake and Dæmonen roller coaster in the background.

Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
 Tivoli's Moorish Palace

The Nimb Hotel and Restaurant are located in this building. This is a an exclusive boutique hotel like no other in the world, and for families with children, this is a great location to stay for your Copenhagen visit.

 Tivoli Quick Facts 

The Tivoli Gardens contains; 25 rides, 28 restaurants, 110,718 outdoor lights, 134,000 tulips and narcissi, 876 trees, 6,200 square meters of water, and 20,679 square meters of buildings.

The Concert Hall (Koncertsalen)
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

Tivoli Concert Hall is a 1,660-capacity concert hall at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. The building, which was designed by Frits Schlegel and Hans Hansen, was built between 1954 and 1956.

Image Credits: Image # 2 (right) is the property of Dannebrog Spy via Wikipedia Commons. All other images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

After an excellent lunch at one of the Tivoli Gardens restaurants, we decided to hike up to the northern side of Copenhagen, so that we could see the Little Mermaid statue. This was a more ambitious hike, as Tivoli Gardens is 3.7 kilometers from the Little Mermaid statue area.

I cannot begin to stress how beautiful Tivoli Gardens is, flowers, flowers and more flowers! Click Here to view a Google Images set for Tivoli Gardens and see for yourself.

 More Info for Tivoli Gardens 
Copenhagen Harbor Area
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

The building with the slanted roof (Amager Bakke), is the world's greenest power plant with a ski slope on top of the building.

The roof has a 440-metre slope on the slanted roof of what will be the world's greenest power plant, designed to turn waste into energy and it will cater for skiers at four different levels, and includes a 45% 180-metre black run.

Copenhagen Bicycle Racks
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

These racks are all over the city, as bike riding exceeds the number of cars by a mile!

There are approximately 560,000 bicycles in the city of Copenhagen, more bicycles than people, yet they share only 48,000 bicycle stands. With a view to remedying the situation, in 2008 the Danish Cyclists Federation published a "Bicycling Parking Manual" with a number of guidelines.

POST EDIT 1: As of early 2022, there are now 675,000 bicycles in Copenhagen and there are only 120,000 cars ! Almost one third (29%) of all journeys across Copenhagen are done on a bike, and 41% of commutes (to work or study) are the result of pedal power.

POST EDIT 2: As of February 2024, there are now 745,000 bicycles in Copenhagen.

Little Mermaid Statue       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

After hiking from the city, and passing through Langelinie Park, we arrived at the famous statue. The Little Mermaid Statue is really little - it is only 1.25 metres/4 feet high. The statue turned 100 years old on 23 August 2013.

 Quick History Lesson 

The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid becoming human. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is 1.25 metres (4.1 feet) tall and weighs 175 kilograms (385 lb).

Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since its unveiling in 1913. In recent decades it has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists.

Kastellet Fortress       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

This fortress is a star shaped island immediately behind the Little Mermad Statue, and the Kastellet Bridge (image # 1) allows you to cross back to the mainland. As we walked from the Harbor area to the Kastellet Fortress, one of the best preserved Star Fortresses in Europe.

The Castle is constructed in the form of a pentagon with bastions at its corners. Kastellet was continuous with the ring of bastioned ramparts which used to encircle Copenhagen but of which only the ramparts of Christianshavn remain today.

Image # 2 is the King's Gate entrance to the Kastellet Fortress, and is the property of Casey Goodlett via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Gefion Fountain       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

A large fountain on the harbour front in Copenhagen, Denmark. It features a large-scale group of oxen being driven by the Norse goddess Gefjon. It is located in Nordre Toldbod area next to Kastellet and immediately south of Langelinie, close to the Little Mermaid Statue.

St. Alban's Church       Map
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

Opened in September of 1887, it is located just south of the historic Kastellet Fortress in central Copenhagen and just immediately west of the Gefion Fountain.

Built in the English Gothic style, the church was consecrated in 1887. Designed by Arthur Blomfield, it boasts stunning features like red brickwork, intricate stained glass windows, and a prominent spire. St. Alban's serves as the only Anglican church in Copenhagen and is renowned for its serene atmosphere. Situated near the Little Mermaid statue, the church offers a tranquil escape for visitors exploring the city. Its historical significance and distinctive architecture make St. Alban's Church a notable site for both religious and cultural exploration.

Vore Faldne Statue
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

In english "Our Fallen" is a six-metre bronze & travertine monument, by Sven Linhart - which was paid for by nationwide public subscription and erected in memory of those Danes who gave their lives as volunteers in the service of the Allies of World War II.

The monument depicts an ordinary soldier, in British Army battle dress and the characteristic British Tommy helmet with his head bowed, in silent remembrance of his fallen comrades, as he faces the nearby St. Alban's English church. Located in Copenhagen's Churchill Park, just outside the Citadel's Royal Gate.

Celebrity Eclipse
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

In Copenhagen Harbor. We found out later (in Norway) that some of the cruise ships we had seen in this harbor had travelled next to Norway. There are a number of cruise lines that sail up the fjord to Flam and elsewhere.

When you look at a map and realize that Flam Norway is several hundred kilometers from the North Atlantic, yet via the Sognefjorden, Nærøyfjorden, and Aurlandsfjorden fjords it is capable of ocean-going vessels visiting there - it will amaze you.

See our Flam Norway Page by clicking here note that this page is primarily about our train trip from Oslo to Bergen via Flam, but there are good images and narrative about Flam that you may enjoy.

Langelinie Lystbådehavns Bådelav Marina
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

Located just a block north of the Little Mermaid Statue location. A sharp contrast to the large cruise ships in the harbor immediately to the east of the marina!

The marina is also home to the Langelinie Yacht Club, which offers a variety of activities and events for boaters and members of the public.

For boaters, the marina is a convenient and affordable place to moor their boats. The marina is located close to the city center, making it easy to access shops, restaurants, and other attractions. The marina also offers a variety of services, including boat maintenance and repair.

Copenhagen Day Three - Oslo, Norway is Next
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital

We caught a Norwegian Air Shuttle to fly to Oslo, Norway. Our flight arrived at 10:40AM and we took the Flytoget Train from the airport into the city. As usual, the train station was beneath the airport, so all we had to do is wheel our luggage down the escalator and hop onto the train.

Note to the seasoned traveler: the Flytoget Train Service is very fast, frequent, and less expensive than a taxi into Oslo.

  • Just Traveling Thru European Travel Tips
  • Just Traveling Thru Travel Planning Tips
  • Google Search Results list for "Restaurants in Copenhagen"
  • Google Search Results list for "Accommodations in Copenhagen"
  • Copenhagen History on the "Visit Denmark" site
  • Copenhagen Article on the "Britannica" site
  • Things to do and see in Copenhagen on "The Crazy Tourist" site
  • Things to do and see in Copenhagen on the "Visit Copenhagen" site
  • Six Reasons to visit Copenhagen on the 'CNN Travel' Site
  • Copenhagen Day Tour from the "Get Your Guide" Site
  • Amazon Search Results list for "Copenhagen Denmark"
  • Youtube Search Results list for "Copenhagen Denmark"
  • Visit our Youtube Channel
  • The best things to do in Copenhagen, from history to hipster hangouts on the "Lonely Planet" site
  • Our Image Gallery for Copenhagen
  • Wikipedia Article for Copenhagen
  • Google Image Gallery for Copenhagen
Expedia Advertisement
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Trip Overview
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Copenhagen, Denmark
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Oslo, Norway
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Norway in a Nutshell Tour
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Bergen, Norway
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Bruges, Belgium
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Lake Hallstatt, Austria
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Grindelwald, Switzerland
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Susten Pass, Switzerland
Discovering Scandinavia's Enchanting Capital
Lake Como, Italy

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are Affiliate Links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, that we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. So we would appreciate any click throughs, if you are inclined.

Note: All images on this page are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

Note: If you are interested, click here to view our European Travel Tips & Warnings. Or to take a look at our methods for planning, click here to view our Trip Planning Page..


To review any of our content, make suggestions and/or comments, please click the "Info" menu button at the top of this page. You will find our "Contact Us" link on that drop-down menu.

Matomo Link