My exploration of Europe’s oldest capital, Copenhagen, turned out to be more delightful than I expected. Perched on the banks of Nyhavn harbour, Copenhagen is the most high-powered city of Northern Europe. Also, one of the oldest Nordic city! Its establishment dates back to the eleventh century. Once a quiet neighbourhood inhabiting early fishing settlement, Copenhagen, is now ranked as the world’s most liveable city. (Three times in a row, actually) 03Regardless to say, Copenhagen retains every ounce of its historic-heritage entwined in the sweet nostalgia of “Portus Mercatorum,” meaning the Merchants Harbour. These words further translate into København for Danish and Kopenhagen for English. From leisurely walks by the waterway to epoch-making landmarks, Copenhagen thrives with numerous exciting activities. Here’s a rundown of 5 best things that top our must-do chart.
1. Scout The Little Mermaid Statue
The Little Mermaid Statue symbolizes Copenhagen, like the Statue of Liberty does New York, Merlion does Singapore and the Manneken Pis, Brussels. At first glimpse, Little Mermaid is a bronze sculpture stalled on a rock, in a crowded locality of the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen. Illustrating the original, Mermaid story, this iconic 100-year-old statue has been a compelling call out of tourism since the early nineteenth century. Resting against the blue waters of Øresund strait, the promenade also gives a brief glimpse of the Nordic seaplanes, parked next to the Langelinie park. Expect to see a lot of cyclists, souvenir stores, restaurants, and herbal garden sellouts, on this waterside hamlet.
2. Tour The Amalienborg and Christansborg Palace
Visiting the home of the Danish Royal family in Copenhagen is an overwhelming experience. Built along the lines of four identical façades immersed in rococo interiors, Amalienborg Palace was bought by the Royal family after Christiansborg Palace burned down in the seventeenth-century fire. The adjoining Christiansborg Palace is now used by the Danish Parliament to perform governmental duties. During the guided tour, I explored several parts of the palace.
These are in use by the Danish monarch and includes the Royal reception, dining, and the staterooms. This colloquial ‘castle of the realm’ is a fantastic showcase of successive royal history from as early as the eleventh century. In fact, decorated in the Neo-baroque and neoclassical style of architecture, both Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palace trace Danish heritage to its roots.
3. Hit Up World’s Second-Oldest Amusement Park, Tivoli
It’s incredible that both the world’s oldest and second-oldest amusement parks are ‘installed’ in the Danish territory of Copenhagen. However, my magical trip to Tivoli, the second-oldest amusement park on Earth was a story of good fortune. A tale that began with me grabbing a beer, at Hereford Beefstouw and chugging it down while watching the traditional open-air musical. Further leading into a ‘splendid’ arcade full of unique rides, stores, and restaurants, surrounding the white centrepiece Moorish Palace.
While all along, the light drizzles sprinkled a little touch of moonshine to the blossoming surroundings. I was blown away by the modern theme of this 18th-century park. But more than that, surprised by the number of events this venue hosts! From Rock concerts, film screenings to captivating musicals, Tivoli is a fame-packed wonderland.
4. Walk The Harbor of The Nyhavn
A walk, up the Nyhavn harbour, is a must during your Copenhagen visit. This 17th-century canal and waterfront district of Copenhagen stretches from Kongens Nytorv to the Royal Playhouse. However, most importantly, this cove is lined up with vibrant townhouses, cafes and restaurants from the bygone era. During an all too short visit, I took a look at many modern and historical Danish ships. Even though, my interests instantly aligned with the wooden ships, of ‘special’ historical interest. Cocooned, in the quintessential marine highway, Nyhavn harbour is where Denmark begins to tell its ancestral sea etymology.
5. Copenhagen Culinary Drive
The culinary scene of Copenhagen is primarily driven by the finest of Michelin-Starred restaurants. From open-face sandwiches to meatballs, liver paste to flavourful mussels and pork delights to Danish cookies; every culinary idea is far fetched and distinguished. In particular, the ice creams of Copenhagen are a different ballgame altogether. Which, is why Danes consume more icecreams, than anywhere else in the world. If you have your trip planned for the summer, then make sure to grab a creamy Gammeldags ice cream on your way. This old-fashioned ice cream is a delicious mixture of jam, whipped cream, and Flødebolle in a cone. Along with that, Copenhagen also features a great selection of craft beer and hawker-style food.