One day in Copenhagen


The cruise ship MSC Armonia calls at Copenhagen. Duration of stay: five hours. This is far too little time to enjoy this beautiful city. MSC Cruises offers organized bus tours, which on closer inspection all turn out to be unsuitable city tours or panoramic trips. We prefer to explore some of Copenhagen's many attractions on a walking tour.

Our way leads us to the city center

MSC Armonia is located at Langeliniekaj, one of the three Copenhagen cruise terminals. The berth close to the center is a good starting point for a walk into the center of the Danish metropolis.

Copenhagen - Langeliniekaj

Copenhagen - Langeliniekaj


First we go to the Kastellet, a pentagonal fort surrounded by water. The fort is one of the most beautiful and best preserved structures of its kind in Northern Europe. It is still used for military purposes today. Coming from the ship, you enter the area via a bridge on the Langelinie and leave it after about 500 meters via a second bridge at Esplanaden. Barracks, ammunition bunkers and a small church are on the way. The area is very well maintained. It offers raked places and lots of green.

Access to the Kastellet
Raked place in the Kastellet


The Kastellet is followed by Kongens Have, the spacious park in front of Rosenborg Castle. The royal family once resided in the beautiful castle. It has been a museum since 1838, of which the royal treasury is an indispensable part.

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle


We head west and walk towards Landemærket. We follow this to Købmaergade. We have reached the next point on our tour, the Rundetårn. The 34,80 meter high structure was originally built as an observatory for the University of Copenhagen. We recommend climbing the tower. There are no stairs to overcome. Instead, the tower can be comfortably climbed via an inclined plane that is more than 200 meters long. From above we enjoy a wonderful view over the sea of ​​houses in Copenhagen. Even the cruise ship that took us into town is easy to see. There is a fee to climb the tower. Money well spent: The modest entrance fee offers high value.

The Rundetårn
Copenhagen's sea of ​​houses


From Rundetårn we walk through the lively university district to the town hall. The martial dragon fountain stands in front of the town hall. It shows a bull fighting a dragon. The town hall is designed in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Its 106 meter high tower can be climbed. We didn't have time for that. We take another look at the statue of Absalon von Lund attached to the town hall. As Archbishop of Roskilde, he had a monastery founded in what is now Copenhagen. This is how Copenhagen developed.     

The dragon fountain in front of Copenhagen's City Hall

The dragon fountain in front of Copenhagen's City Hall


There is no time to pay a visit to Tivoli, it is opposite the town hall. Instead we walk through the courtyard of the town hall towards Nybrogade and Gammel Strand.

At the end of Gammel Strand is Højbro Plads with the equestrian statue of Bishop Absalon. The monument depicts the church superior in a sporty pose with a helmet on a shy horse. We infer from the depiction that in the 12th century it was not enough to be a pious man as a bishop. Rather, bishops had to be good riders in order to control a shy horse at all times. Maybe that's why the helmet?

Bishop Absalon on horseback

Bishop Absalon on horseback


Our next stop: Christiansborg Palace 

From the equestrian statue of Bishop Absolon the path leads us along Frederiksholms Canal to Christiansborg Palace. The Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Danish Supreme Court reside in the building, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The castle tower can be climbed.

Facade of Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace

 

Børsen followed the castle. The 17th-century commodity exchange is one of Copenhagen's attractions because of its Renaissance facade and winding tower.

The Børsen

The Børsen


A good quarter of an hour later we are at Kongens Nytorv, the Royal New Market. The largest, representative square in the center of Copenhagen appears to us to be irregular in terms of its layout. Important palaces and public buildings crowd around the square. One is the Royal Theater, the main building of which was completed in 1874. You can't tell from the look of the building that it can accommodate up to 1.600 spectators for opera and ballet performances.

Kongens Nytorv

Kongens Nytorv


The Nyhavn Canal joins the Kongens Nytorv. There are some traditional ships in the canal. On both sides of the canal are old buildings that have housed cafes, bars and restaurants. The Nyhavn region is the trendy district of Copenhagen.

Hustle and bustle on the Nyhavn Canal

Hustle and bustle on the Nyhavn Canal


Two cultural focuses and Amalienborg Palace

We follow the Nyhavn Canal to the end of the road. In front of us lies the theater, which only opened in 2008. The huge stage tower and the glazed facade impress us very much. Opposite the theater, on the other side of the harbor basin, is the new Royal Danish Opera, which opened in 2005. It also impresses with its size and impressive architecture. The opera is considered to be one of the most modern stages in the world.

Copenhagen's New Playhouse
Opera House on Holmen

 

It has been a long time since leaving MSC Armonia. We start the way back. Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family, is on the way. Soldiers of the Royal Guard stand guard in front of the castle.

Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace


The Gefion Fountain and the Little Mermaid 

There is still so much to see; but we are running out of time. We take a look at the Russian Nevsky Church before walking over to the Gefion Fountain. According to legend, the Nordic goddess Gefjun (Gefion) separated the island of Zealand from Sweden with a plow in one night. For this purpose she turned her four sons into oxen, which she harnessed to the plow. An ox tour in the truest sense of the word. The fountain is big and nice to look at.

The monumental Gefion fountain

The monumental Gefion fountain


The sculpture of the Little Mermaid is also appealing. She is sitting on a boulder near the well and looks over her shoulder at the water. So far we assumed the sculpture was bigger. Her 1,25 meters are not too impressive. Still, we like what we see. Soon afterwards we see the alternative mermaid at Langeliniekaj. In contrast to the Little Mermaid, this beautiful stone carved beauty can confidently be described as an attractive, voluptuous woman.

The little mermaid
The alternative mermaid on Langeliniekaj

 

summary 

We spent about five hours in Copenhagen. Although the time was far too tight, we saw a lot of beautiful things. We recommend that you forego the bus tours offered by the cruise companies and instead take a tour of central Copenhagen. Our opinion: Copenhagen is best explored by a visitor on a tour of this kind. 

Update November 2020

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