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Copenhagen - The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Country Denmark
Things To Do Rosenborg Castle, Christiansborg Palace, The Little Mermaid, Amlienborg, Tivoli Gardens, National Gallery of Denmark, Dyrehavsbakken
Copenhagen - Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace

Copenhagen - Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen - Hans Christian Andersen's Left Knee

Hans Christian Andersen's Left Knee



Copenhagen, the capital and largest city of Denmark, is sited on the eastern coast of Sealand, one of a number of islands lying between the mainland of Denmark and the southern tip of Sweden. Zealand is a strategically important island as it stands guard over the entrance from the Atlantic to the Baltic sea.

The city has its roots in 1167 when the king's advisor Bishop Absalon built a stone castle and a small town fortified by moat and ramparts. In 1445, during the reign of King Christopher III, Copenhagen was promoted to capital of Denmark by municipal decree, so replacing Roskilde. The city's golden years were to come a century later, when many of the most impressive buildings of the city such as Rosenborg Castle, the Round Tower and the Old Citadel were constructed by the celebrated architect King Christian IV, who ruled Denmark 1588-1648.

Today Copenhagen has a reputation as one of the premier destinations in Europe, with a distinctive blend of Medieval and Baroque architecture.

There's lots for the visitor to see and do. A bucket-list might include the following:

#1 The Little Mermaid - Art lover Carl Jacobsen approached the sculptor Edvard Eriksento to create a 'Little Mermaid', inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale with the same name. The bronze statue was first displayed in 1913 at the Langelinie waterfront.

#2 Rosenborg Castle - Built in the 17th century for King Christian IV Rosenborg Castle with its light red brick walls and sandstone ornamentations represents the pinnacle of revival architecture. Rosenborg Castle stays open to the public all through the year, though not during winter.

#3 Amalienborg Palace - Four impressive 18th-century palaces surround Amalienborg Palace Square, with its marble statue of King Frederik V on a horse. The palaces are the winter retreat of the Danish royal family. If the royal family is at home, the visitor can see the changing of the royal guard at 12 noon. Housed in Christian VIII's palace, the extensive Amalienborg Museum offers you a way to view several grandiose rooms and experience royal life.

#4 Statens Museum for Kunst - The museum (often abbreviated to SMK, the National Gallery of Denmark, has a huge number of paintings, installation art, photography, sculptures and drawings. Most of the museum apart from specially presented exhibitions is free to visit.

#5 Hans Christian Andersen's left knee - There's a statue of the famous story-teller outside the town hall, and posing for a picture on Hans Christian Andersen's left knee is a popular tourist activity.

#6 Nyhavn - Nyhavn, or New Harbour, was in the 17th century a hard working commercial port where ships coming from all over the world would dock. Now its gloriously painted townhouses form a beautiful backdrop to the renovated quayside.

#7 Stroget - At Stroget you'll find Copenhagen's busiest shopping street, with hundreds of international flagship stores and style shops. Also make time to visit the side streets either side of Stroget which boast countless arty and quirky shops.
Why in 100 Best?

Sipping Drinks Outside At Nyhavn, Outstanding Design Is Everywhere, Incredible Coffee, Danish Pastries, Everybody Speaks English, Checking Out The Monarchy At Amalienborg Palace

Anything you'd like to say about Copenhagen?

Listing contributed by Jude

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Copenhagen - Copenhagen Skyline
Copenhagen - Rosenborg Castle
Copenhagen - In a Roman Osteria (detail) by Carl Bloch - Statens Museum for Kunst
Copenhagen - Nyhavn


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