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24 hours in Copenhagen - it's wonderful
In the early 1950s Danny Kaye had a hit record with Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen. He wasn’t wrong. This is a wonderful lively city, nice and flat and not difficult to negotiate on foot.
Cycling is another option – there are thousands of bicycles but it’s intriguing how you know where to find your own once you’ve parked it.
Then there’s the Copenhagen card - it covers unlimited use of public transport plus entrance fees to many attractions. You can buy online -www.europeancitycards.com
Allow me to take you on a visit - 24 hours in this wonderful city.
The Little Mermaid
Say god morgen to the Little Mermaid, synonymous with Copenhagen. You’ll find her sitting on a rock near the shore at the harbour. Hans Christian Andersen wrote the fairy tale in 1837 and she’s been there since 1913.
Despite many vandal attacks she remains an icon, although most visitors are surprised by just how small the little creature is. Luckily, Copenhagen's largest monument is nearby - the Gefion Fountain. It’s also a wishing well.
Never let a chance go by - chuck in a kroner or two and keep your fingers crossed.
Little Mermaid – Gefion Fountain - www.visitcopenhagen.com
Rosenborg Castle is a treasure chest of Danish and royal artifacts, the biggest and best being the crown jewels and regalia. Take a breather afterwards by strolling through the botanical gardens surrounding the Dutch Renaissance style castle.
At 11-30 the Danish royal guard march from the castle for Amalienborg Palace and the changing of the guard.
Rosenborg - Oster Voldgade 4A - www.rosenborgslot.dk/
Watch the guard change at Amalienborg Palace; four rococo buildings, with the equestrian statue of King Frederik V at their centre. This is the winter home of the Danish royal family; Crown Prince Frederik and our own (Australian) Princess Mary are often here.
Judging by the Aussies who frequently gather around, hoping to say G’day to Mary, it’s clear she’s giving Hans Christian Andersen a run for his money - perhaps appropriate, considering they both represent fairy tales.
A section of Amalienborg is open to the public, displaying the private royal apartments of past Danish Glucksborg kings and is well worth a visit.
Amalienborg – Frederiksgade.
Visit the Nyhavn harbour area, where colourful houses lining each side of the canal are more than 300 years old. Moored sailing ships create an historical atmosphere - the perfect place for a stroll while connecting to Copenhagen’s maritime associations.
Nyhavn is as popular with the locals as it is with the tourists; a meeting place for relaxing, enjoying a drink, or having a bite in the many trendy bars, restaurants, jazz clubs.
There’s a literary connection – number 20 is where Andersen lived and wrote his early stories. Later he lived at 67 and 18.
From the Nytorv end of the harbour take a canal boat tour (late April to mid September).
There’s an irresistible small amber museum/shop - upstairs is a display of exquisite carved curios and good photo opportunities from the window. Enjoy lunch wherever takes your fancy – or take a short stroll to the popular and reasonably priced Café Stella, corner of Kompagnistræde and Knabrostræde.
firstname.lastname@example.org - 33 15 19 00
Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum
Time for a slice of culture. In the city centre, you’ll find the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum, founded by the Danish brewer, Carl Jacobsen, who in his time amassed a whopping private collection of ancient and modern art - more than 10,000 works. A glass domed Wintergarden provides an appealing landscape of greenery even in the chilling winter months.
Museums not your thing? Head for the Carlsberg brewery and visitor centre. With the slogan ‘Probably the best beer in the world’ you’ll probably want to suss out how probable that is. You will have the opportunity to sample the amber liquid although there is an admission fee.
Stroget for shopping
Let’s go shopping. The street known as Stroget claims to be Europe’s longest mall. Like most of Scandinavia, Denmark is famed for its design, glass, textiles, silver jewelry, amber, fashion. There are boutiques, shopping centres, upmarket, downmarket. Whether you’re shopping or strolling, the cafes, bars, restaurants and street performers all make for a great atmosphere.
Treat yourself to coffee, pastries or ice-cream - plenty on offer. Look out for the Guinness world records museum. It’s difficult to miss - a replica of the world’s tallest man stands outside.
Guinness Records Museum - Ostergade 16, 45 3332 3131
H C Andersen -
Back to that man again - no way can you ignore Hans Christian Andersen. In the city centre you’ll find his statue next to City Hall. Sitting on his lap makes for a photo opportunity is for young and old. One wonders what he’d make of it since he appears to have been a bit of a grump. “He wasn’t a sweet old man; he was sharp as a razor,” says Danish actress Susse Wold who travels the world reading Andersen’s work to new audiences.
The kids will love his museum, though – it has colourful tableaux recreating scenes from many of his fairy tales, including the Emperor’s New Clothes and the Little Mermaid.
Andersen’s Wonderful World, 57 Radhuspladsen.
The Tivoli gardens, in the city centre, is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Enjoy rides and carnival games but don’t expect Disneyland. It’s fun and relaxing.
Entertainment varies from day to day; symphony concerts, pantomimes, concerts and ballets are performed throughout the summer. The gardens are decorated with flowers, lakes, shrubs and trees - a beautiful sight at night, twinkling with illuminated lanterns and fairy lights. It’s choc-a-bloc with cafes, and restaurants serving everything from fast food to international haute cuisine.
Time to relax
If you haven’t been tempted to eat at Tivoli, try one of the Den Sorte Gryde chain. It means the Black Pot and best known for Buggi-Burger – one is more than enough for two.
Another option is Café Victor, open late for drinks and meals and a trendy place to be seen. Or nip down the pub – they’re everywhere, particularly in basements. Many are called bodega, which seems a bit Spanish, but there you go.