We arrived on a beautifully sunny day and took a free walking tour. The one we chose met at the dragon fountain in front of City Hall. Copenhagen is a lovely city, very clean and safe. Taxes are quite high, making it an expensive place to live, but those funds go toward helping keep people from being homeless. We did see a few beggars, but not nearly as many as you might see in another world capital. Here are a few of the places we saw during our brief stay.
The court house. The inscription reads “With law shall land be built”, referencing the nation.
The jail is reached by walking across the connecting bridge.
These are some of the oldest housing units in the city.
The main entrance and the marble bridge date to 1739.
This is basically the Capitol building, home to the Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court. This is the third version of this building, all built on this site. The first two were destroyed by fire. The main part of this version of the Palace was completed in 1928 though the chapel dates to 1826.
The show grounds in front of the palace are from 1738-46.
Statue of Christian IX that was erected following his death in 1906.
The other side of the palace.
Formerly St. Nicholas Church, this building is now the Nicholas Contemporary Art Center.
The Hotel D’Angleterre is the most expensive hotel in the city, directly across from the the Royal Danish Theater. It was one of the first deluxe hotels in the world. Established in 1755, the current building dates to 1795 after a fire destroyed the first one. During WW II it was headquarters for the Nazi party.
Royal Danish Theater with statue of Christian V
Nyhavn (New Harbor)
New Harbor is the picture postcard perfect location. With its brightly-colored buildings and numerous shops and restaurants it makes for a memorable site. This is where many of the large canal cruises depart. However, we took a tour with a smaller boat that had an easier time navigating some of the turns of the canals.
This palace compound is home to the royal family. There are four identical (from the outside, anyway) residences: one for the queen, one for the oldest son and his family, one for the queen’s brother and her youngest son and one for guests.
In the center is a statue of King Frederick V, who founded Amalienborg in the mid-1700s.
The royal guard keeps watch. We were fortunate to view the changing of the guard.
Frederik’s Church, also known as The Marble Church. Designed in 1740, construction began in 1749 but due to budget cuts and the death of the architect, the plans were abandoned in 1770. It stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years. A developer bought the ruins and the right to be able to develop neighboring plots in 1874. The church was opened to the public in 1894. It is the largest church dome in Scandinavia.
The Church of our Savior is famous for its helix spire. You can walk around it on the outside.
Circle Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge in the Christianshavn area.
The Standard, really three restaurants in one, including one that’s a Michelin-star winner.
The Copenhagen Opera house is an unusual design and one of the most expensive opera houses ever built with a cost of over $500M USD. The roof is also used for platform diving in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event!
The Little Mermaid
A member of a number of “most disappointing tourist attraction” lists, the Little Mermaid is indeed small. However, we were aware of that before we arrived so it doesn’t get such a ranking from us.
Why would the new power plant be worth seeing? As new buildings are built, there is a directive that the rooftops must be useful somehow. That may be housing solar panels or rooftop gardens. But the designers of the power plant took it to the next level. Once this building is complete it will host a dry ski slope! I assume it will also be open in the winter for snow skiers if the building’s own heat doesn’t cause the snow to melt.
The Gefion Fountain features animal figures being driven by the Norse goddess Gefion, who is associated with ploughing and foreknowledge.
On our last night in the city we made our way to Tivoli Gardens. This is the world’s oldest amusement park. But there was a line for tickets and then a line to get in and for some of us with an early flight the next morning that was enough to save it for our to-do list on our next visit. (Pro tip: there was another box office and a much shorter line to the left of this facade.)
Copenhagen is truly lovely. We had no trouble finding English-speakers in the tourist areas. For most of the cab drivers it seemed to be a third language but we communicated well enough. I would love to go back with more time to spend.