A trip to Copenhagen
Since we travelled using United Airlines miles, our trip research & planning revealed that we could fly into Copenhagen via SAS Airlines for fewer miles than any other European city served by any United flight or Star Alliance Airline.
I had not been to Copenhagen since I 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.
If you have never been to Copenhagen & either you are planning a trip there, or you just want to know more about it, here are some good sources of information;
Copenhagen Day One
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!
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 from the Garden: We are approaching the castle to take the interior tour, and the garden was so pretty we decided to take a picture.
Rosenborg Castle Interior: The building is comprised of two upper floors, a ground level floor and a basement. This picture was taken in the "Knight's Hall" (second floor). The hall, which was the last room to be furnished, was completed in 1624. It was originally intended and used as a ballroom. Around 1700 its functions had changed and was mostly used for audiences and banquets. The name “The Knights’ Hall” was attached during Romanticism.
King's Garden: A beautiful Trellis - everywhere you look the park is beautifully sculpted & tended and is a great place to stroll about!
Copenhagen Day Two
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.
Royal Danish Playhouse: 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.
Nyhavn District: 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.
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 Garden Entrance: This was the first view we had of Tivoli Gardens, as we walked up along the Tietgensgade to the Glyptotek entrance.
This was one of the first rides we walked by, it is called The Himmelskibet Star Flyer. 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.
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! We had a nice lunch in one of the cafes and then on to the next adventure.
Copenhagen Harbor: The building with the slanted roof, 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 – will cater for skiers at four different levels, and includes a 45% 180-metre black run.
These bicycle 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.
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.
Kastellet Bridge: 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.
Gefion Fountain: A large fountain on the harbour front in Copenhagen, Denmark. It features a large-scale group of animal figures 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.
Vore Faldne: ("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: in Copenhagen Harbor. We found out later (in Norway) that some of the cruise ships we had seen in the harbor had traveled next to Norway. There are a number of cruise lines that sail up the fjord to Flam and elsewhere.
Copenhagen Day Three
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 fast, frequent, and less expensive than a taxi into Oslo.
Suggested links for more Copenhagen Information
- Wikipedia Copenhagen Article
- Google list of Places to eat in Copenhagen
- Google list of accommodations in Copenhagen
- Copenhagen History at Visit Denmark
- Britannica Copenhagen Article
- Things to do and see in Copenhagen on The Crazy Tourist site
- Things to do and see in Copenhagen on the Visit Copenhagen site