Many cruise ships visit the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, and stay a few days in this charming small capital. This isn’t a bad encounter with a capital of a country that has been there as a kingdom for more than 1000 years. Lying very far to the east of the country Copenhagen might seem to have a strange geographical position in the country.
Maps of Denmark will show how the east coast of Zealland (Sjælland) with Copenhagen and its harbour at the border of Oeresund, (Øresund) is lying at the entrance of the Baltic Sea, a water of huge importance at present days, and of even more importance through former history of Northern Europe.
The real background for the geographical position of Copenhagen that far east is that the Danish kingdom included for 800 years a large part of what is now southern Sweden, the counties Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, (up to year 1645). During hundreds of years this location of the capital was the ideal position exactly in the middle of the Danish Kingdom concerning east-west.
When you land with an airplane in Copenhagen you will land at the Kastrup Airport convenient situated just 12 minutes by the train to the central station of Copenhagen and in fact to the heart of Copenhagen. From the central station you will have easy access some of the main tourist attractions like Tivoli, the central square, museums and art galleries.
You should ask for a window seat for your trip to Copenhagen as you will often cross the water between Sweden and Denmark at the in-flight and you can enjoy seeing islands, lots of windmills and the big bridge between Denmark and Sweden. You will land at the very flat island of Amager and the train or taxi or Airport bus will quickly take you to the city centre.
What to see in Copenhagen
Hope you have a number of days – you will not regret it. This makes it possible for you to explore the central part of Copenhagen by walking. This will probably give you the most enjoyment and you will have the best chance to absorb the atmosphere of the Danish capital and the Danes’ way of behaving. Firstly you will remark the lots and lots of bicycles of the streets of Copenhagen. Danes like to bike as a convenient way of transport most of the year. Going by bike give no pollution and bikes are a nice and democratic way of moving around as all people will be able to afford a bicycle.
You will remark that Copenhagen is still free of skyscrapers, and the old classic buildings with green roofs and many spires are covered by corrugated cobber and give Copenhagen a special charm. The public transportation system is very good with yellow busses, the subway, called the S-train, and a Metro-line, and Copenhagen is very suitable for pedestrians.
In many places in Copenhagen you will find water, as channels, or lakes, or to the coast (harbour) towards the Sund. The water creates many nice sights and places you can rest and enjoy the local people.
Copenhagen also has a number of safe and attractive green parks and the admission to the Botanical garden is free, just near one of the main stations, Nørreport Station.
This is also just opposite to the charming castle Rosenborg, build by the Danish King Christian IV in the beginning of 1600 and surrounded by a nice park. One of the most visited tourist attractions of Copenhagen. And again when you are here, you are very near the National Gallery that hosts paintings and other kinds of art from much of the world in a nice building.
Other obvious places to visit in Copenhagen are Glyptoteket, next to Tivioli. Glyptoteket, full name Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has outstanding collections of antic art and have a attractive small café, too.
On your route though the main walking street, Strøget, you will at at Kongens Nytorv and from there you can easily visit Nyhavn (‘New Harbour’) that was a sailors’ amusement area, but now is a very attractive place for tourists and Danes enjoying a beer and the good atmosphere.
From Nyhavn you can walk to the living place of the royal family at Amalienborg, a rather small but charming castle build around a large open square. On Sundays the Royal Garde will march and play back and forth to Amalienborg from their residence near the mentioned castle Rosenborg.
Copenhagen has many other attractions, one of the most visited in recent years has been the are Christiania, called a social experiment with many alternative ways of living and organising local inhabitants. You might have to hurry up to Christiania, as the part of Copenhagen is now becoming more mainstream like other parts of Copenhagen.
After some days in Copenhagen you might like to visit other parts of Denmark. This is easily done by train or buss. For example you can take the train to the small city Roskilde that has the graves of the kings an queens in its cathedral, and a very impressive museum with wiking ships at the coast of Roskilde fjord.
You can also take the train to the north of Copenhagen to the small city Ellsinore and visit the castle Kronborg, the famous castle of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. On the way back you can make a stop at Humlebæk and walk the Lousiana, a museum of modern art, and one of the very best and most attractive in Northern Europe.
And finally from Copenhagen you will have easy access to most of the remaining parts of Denmark, e.g. visiting the house of the fairy teller Hans Christian Andersen in Odense or Legoland in Billund. With train you can easily cross the water to visit Sweden with the city Malmoe in half an hour from Copenhagen Central Station.
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