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Essentials

Language: Danish, although English is well spoken.

Currency: Danish krone or crown.

Docking/Anchoring: Docking at either the Langelinie Pier or Freeport Terminal.

Itineraries: Features on Europe and Baltic cruises.

Getting Around: There are usually taxis at the pier and the city centre is about a half hour walk, or you can take one of the buses, either regular service or hop-on-hop off.

Overview

Located on the southern shore of the island of Zealand, Scandinavia’s largest city is also the historic gateway to the Baltic Sea. A charming and architecturally interesting city, it is great for exploring at leisure on foot, an interesting blend of cobblestone streets, historic building, museums and places to eat and drink and enjoy the great outdoors. The city became Denmark’s capital at the beginning of the 15th century, and today is widely recognised as a place to live which offers a high quality of life. It’s also one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities, with a clean harbour and a high percentage of local people using bikes.

Must See

Nyhavn: Once a place for sailors to gather when visiting Copenhagen, this waterway had two sides – one nice and one naughty. Today it is a pretty harbour known for its brightly colour buildings, old boats and it’s a popular starting point for canal tours. Be like a local – buy a few bottles of beer from a shop and sit on the kerbside watching people go by; it’s a lot cheaper than the cafes and perfectly legal!

Little Mermaid: This city has many photo ops, but one of the most famous is standing on the rock beside this gal. The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour, and it was believed by Danish sailors that the waters surrounding the spot were full of mermaids. The sculpture there today was commissioned in 1909 by the Carlsberg brewer after seeing a ballet, and the sculptor, Edward Eriksen, made the mermaid from bonze using his wife as a model.

Carlsberg Brewery: You don’t have to love beer to enjoy a tour of this famous brewery, but it probably helps! One of the most famous Danish brands, it was founded by J.C. Jacobsen in 1847, who pioneered steam brewing and single yeast strain. The Visitor Centre attracts 150,000 visitors a year who want to learn about the brewing process, and enjoy a tasting.

The Tivoli Garden: Since 1843 this interesting site has entertained locals and visitors alike. Reminiscent of a fairy tale village, yet right in the heart of the city, it’s the place to find all manner of attractions from theme park roller coasters, to theatres and restaurants.

Amalienborg Palace: There are dozens of popular landmarks in Copenhagen but one of the most impressive is undoubtedly the residence of Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik (yes Princess Mary’s hubby!) This stunning building isn’t actually a single palace but four different ones linked by an impressive square, and built by four noble families in the 18th century. A real treat is arriving as the changing of the guard takes place at noon.

Shopping: The Sroget is a pedestrian stretch and one of the oldest shopping areas in Europe, packed with boutiques, large shops and cafes. Good purchases include Danish crystal and porcelain, along with amber jewellery, furs and silverware.

City Hop-on, Hop-off Tour: If you don’t fancy an excursion but want to see as much of the city as possible, this is a good option. For a single fee you can get on and off these buses as many times in a day as you like and they include many of the major sights including the Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Palace and The Tivoli.

Excursions

If you have been there and done that, take a trip over the Oresund Bridge to the Swedish town of Malmö. It takes only 30 minutes by train from the centre of Copenhagen, and once there there are plenty of sights to se including Malmöhus Castle, which dates back to the 15th century, and the Turning Torso, a unique building.

Other interesting excursions often available to cruise passengers include a visit to Legoland Billund, doing a Viking tour to famous pillage towns, or visiting the Danish countryside and some of the area’s incredible castles such as Kronborg Castle, built by Erik of Pomerania in the early 15th century and the setting for the famous Shakespeare play Hamlet.