In my previous post, I introduced you to Copenhagen through the eyes of a local - a “Copenhagen’er” as we call ourselves. Now, even though I always prefer skipping all the touristy attractions, somewhat standardised with their souvenir shops, overpriced cafés and boards explaining what you see, these places are attractions for a reason. I have here selected my personal favourites - and believe it or not; the little mermaid did not make the list.
I wont mention the Free Town Christiania or Glyptoteket, as these have both been mentioned in my previous post, but they are also classic tourist attractions and definitely also worth a visit!
1. Tivoli Gardens
Picture borrowed nouw.com
Picture borrowed cntraveller.com
Tivoli creates the perfect mix of terrifying rollercoasters, an ocean of candy floss and waffle shops, old-fashioned rides, and of course the little Tivoli locomotive driving around the park. Furthermore the gardens can also offer you delicious meals at one of the many restaurants, but I’ll warn you; don’t eat too much before trying the Demon or any other ride bringing you upside down.
Lastly, I would highly recommend for you to try Star Flyer, or as we call it “Himmelskibet”. The carousel-meets-watchtower style amusement ride is no less than 80 metres tall and a great opportunity to get an overview of Copenhagen. That is of course only if you’re not afraid of heights, as this is a swing ride, only held by a few strings- completely safe but terrifying if you, like me, are afraid of getting your feed too far from the ground.
Picture borrowed from rundetaarn.dk
Now, if the Sky Flyer did become a bit too much of a nerve wrecker, we do have other options for wonderful viewing spots. In my last article I mentioned the Christiansborg Tower and today we’re looking at a place a little more famous. Rundetårn, or Round Tower as they translated it too, is a nice old tower located in the inner city’s shopping district. My suggestion is to go there by night, because no, you will not be able to see all the pretty buildings as clearly, but in my opinion seeing the lights of Copenhagen by night is definitely something worth experiencing.
If you are lucky enough to have a date you can bring, do so! Grab a dinner at one of the cozy restaurants around (maybe go down to the nice area Gråbrøder Torv close by and eat a dinner outside, wrapped in blankets under the heating lamps, and then go to the tower. Finish of the night with a coffee to get warm again, after the windy tower tour.
3. Rosenborg castle (and gardens)
Picture borrowed from historiful.wordpress.com
Picture borrowed from Tripadvisor
If you find the monarchy and all its glory fascinating, you’ll probably like Rosenborg castle and its gardens. Rosenborg castle was build back in 1606 by king Christian IV as a country summerhouse (yes, this was outside of the city back then), but is now a museum and storage for the crown jewels. In here you will both be able to see a tiny castle with majestic furniture nonetheless and all the jewels the queen and crown princess wear for ceremonial occasions.
The king’s and queen’s crowns are displayed together with various of the most extraordinary necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings you could ever imagine.
If you go outside and take a stroll down through the gardens there as well, it’s not far from the true fairy tale feeling.
If you pay the souvenir shop a visit, I would recommend that you by the “Holger Danske” candies, as these are pretty tasty - maybe you can even get the cashier to tell you who Holger Danske is and why we have candies names after him?
Picture borrowed from Flickr
Now, I know I did recommend an alternative to Nyhavn in my last post, but if you are all in for the tourist attractions and don’t mind more tourists than locals, Nyhavn is definitely worth a visit - if not for the interest in the architecture, then at least for the cozy cafés and to put Pitch Perfect 2 to a authenticity test. Nyhavn is located in inner Copenhagen and is very easy to get to, both via Metro and bus. Here you will also find H. C. Andersen’s old residence and the most beautiful ships along the sides of the harbour.
The place has cafés and restaurants for every taste and at christmas time the area turns into something that could be taken out of a christmas music video, matching all the desires one could have for christmas decorations. Nyhavn is also located right next to Magasin du nord, hotel D’Angleterre, a 5 stars hotel known for its stunning facade - especially at Christmas.
5. The Cisterns
Picture borrowed from cisternerne.dk
Picture borrowed from Twitter
On Frederiksberg hill, hidden underneath Søndermarken, on the other side of the road from Frederksberg palace, you will see a fountain and two triangles a la Louvre (just smaller and not as pretty) on the grass field. These two triangles of glass are not just weird storage units or fancy toilets. No, these are the gates for an underground museum of modern glass design i Denmark. The cave, which is now the museum, used to be a supply of drinking water for Copenhagen. Today however you will find one of the most unusual exhibition locations in Europe. The moist, cold and cathedral like cave is an experience itself with its high roof and many columns, holding the cave.
And if the Caves get too dark for you, a nice stroll around in Søndermarken park afterwards can always help brightening things up a bit again with its beautiful nature.
6. The black diamond
Picture borrowed from kb.dk
The black diamond is a department of the Royal Danish Library, but don’t worry, even if you’re not a book worm, the building is still an amazing sight. Located by the waterfront at Slotsholmen, the modern building rises up majestically with its black glass facade. The building, while having its very modern look also maintained the old inside of the library, which gives it a unique atmosphere, when walking around inside.
The Black Diamond is also more than just a regular library, as it facilities a variety of different activities. This includes a huge auditorium (600 seats), the Queens hall (concert hall), literary event, theatrical performances/conferences, exhibition spaces, a bookshop, a restaurant, a café and a roof terrance. Furthermore the Black Diamond can also invite you inside two museums located here; The National Museum of Photography and a rather small cartoon art museum.
7. Danish Museum of Art and Design
Picture borrowed from broketourist.net
Picture borrowed from cphmuseums.com
The last one here is more of a personal favourite than an essential tourist attraction, but I thought I would mention it anyway, as I think this museum gives a good look into the culture of Denmark as well. The Danish Museum of Art and Design guides you trough (mainly) danish art design throughout history. The museum building is from the 1750’s and was originally a hospital, but the building was renovated and remodelled into a museum in the 1920’s. With that many years of history, the building itself is astonishing, leaving out the exhibition inside!
Admission is free for Students (with valid student ID) and people under 26 years. Otherwise it’s100 DKK.
That was all for this time! My next post will be on a slightly different approach than this (less tourist guide and more over in the personal blog style), so stay tuned and find out more about Copenhagen from an insiders perspective!