Denmark's Copenhagen stands out as a popular capital city, known for its relaxed vibe, friendly environment, and a mix of cultures. The city have parks, beaches, top-notch cuisine, safe cycling paths, impressive cultural sites, and much more. It's no wonder Copenhagen frequently ranks as the world's happiest place.
If you're planning a visit during a cruise stop, it's essential to get acquainted with the city. Keep reading to find out more and get ready for your stay.
About Denmark's Copenhagen?
Copenhagen is located in an unexpected place. Despite being Denmark's capital and one of its biggest cities, Copenhagen isn't situated on the mainland. Instead, it resides on the islands of Zealand and Amager to the east. Surprisingly, the nearest city to Copenhagen isn't even in Denmark; it's Malmö in Sweden where Öresund Bridge connects the two cities.
Because of Copenhagen's unique position spanning these islands, you'll come across numerous rivers and canals while you explore, creating a genuine port-city atmosphere. This location also grants the city excellent weather throughout the year, with warm sunshine in summer and snowy winters.
Things to do in Denmark's Copenhagen
Let's see what you can visit in Denmark's Copenhagen
#1 Visit Nyhavn
A must-visit spot is Nyhavn, the charming street you've likely seen on many postcards showcasing Copenhagen. This historical area, once home to sailors, has a wonderful vibe. The street is lined with cozy restaurants and cafes. You can have food while boats gently float in the canal.
Instead of just strolling along the more popular side of Nyhavn, make sure to cross the canal. This not only offers the best view of the colorful houses but also takes you past house number 20. This is where the beloved Danish author Hans Christian Andersen resided in 1835 when he published his first collection of fairy tales.
#2 See The Little Mermaid
Denmark's Copenhagen is the birthplace of many contemporary fairy tales, including The Little Mermaid. As a tribute to this, a statue displaying a mermaid gazing out to sea was presented to the city by Carl Jacobsen.
Since 1913, this statue has become a significant attraction for tourists. Despite its small and unassuming appearance – there's something incredibly special about this artwork and its significance to the city. You can also visit Svanemølle Beach in Copenhagen, Denmark on a private charter cruise.
#3 Wander the Botanical Gardens
Entry to the botanical garden is free. Each garden boasts the largest assortment of living plants, with more than 13,000 species. This includes 600 types of Danish plants, 1,100 perennial plants, 1,100 annual plants, and plants from mountainous regions in Central and Southern Europe.
Within the Botanical Garden, you'll encounter 27 glasshouses, with the primary one being the old Palm House. A notable feature is the cast-iron spiral stairs that lead to a walkway at the top.
#4 Explore Royal Residences
For those who adore history and the monarchy, a must-visit spot is the Rosenborg Castle, located at the heart of the city. This royal dwelling, originally constructed during the renaissance as a summer retreat, is nestled in Kongens Have, known as The King’s Garden.
Its appearance is reminiscent of a fairy-tale setting. Within, you'll be treated to a glimpse of the Crown Jewels, the Danish Crown Regalia, a Coronation Carpet, and the Throne Chair of Denmark.
#5 Amalienborg Palace
Another captivating recommendation is the Amalienborg Palace, the official residence of the Royal family. Found in a spacious cobblestone square, the palace features four identical classical facades and a statue of its founder at the center.
If your schedule permits, don't miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony that happens daily around noon in the square – it's a spectacle worth witnessing.
#6 Arrange/hire a cruise to explore Copenhagen
Embark on a remarkable cruise adventure to uncover the beauty of Denmark's Copenhagen. Sail along the Baltic Sea's calm waters as you delve into the city's history and culture. Admire the iconic Nyhavn Harbor with its charming colorful facades, explore the magnificent Amalienborg Palace, and witness the architectural wonder of the Royal Danish Opera House. Indulge in delectable Scandinavian cuisine and enjoy top-notch onboard facilities.
Let the experienced guides illuminate Copenhagen's past and present, making this cruise a truly unforgettable journey of discovery.
#7 Take in Some Art
Exploring art and Danish design is a must when discussing Denmark's Copenhagen. The city is filled with incredible artistic stuff, and you'll come across numerous world-class art museums to explore.
A great point to start is the National Gallery of Denmark, the largest art museum in the country. Portraying an extensive array of Danish and international artwork spanning from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, this is a place where you can easily spend a whole day.
If you lean towards more contemporary art, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a prominent global art museum that beautifully integrates art, nature, and architecture. With over 4,000 pieces of modern artwork and ever-evolving exhibitions, it offers a delightful and captivating experience, ranking among the city's top attractions.
For a truly distinctive experience, consider visiting The David Collection. This museum boasts the biggest compilation of Islamic art in Scandinavia, along with an impressive assortment of 18th-century European fine and applied art, as well as early Danish modern art.
#8 Enjoy some Michelin Dining
While Danish and new Nordic cuisine might not have been widely known before, the situation has shifted significantly. Copenhagen has emerged as a premier global hub for gastronomy.
The city proudly boasts 13 restaurants with coveted Michelin stars. If you're seeking an exceptional dining experience, consider these top three options on your list.
Noma is renowned for presenting the finest Scandinavian cuisine, sourcing ingredients from Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark. This upscale eatery attained two Michelin stars in 2008, a distinction it retains. It has secured the title of the world's best restaurant on four occasions since its inception, and it's been within the top ten six more times.
Many credit Noma's head chef, Rene Redzepi, with catalyzing the renaissance of Nordic cuisine and reshaping dining room dynamics. At Noma, the chefs themselves serve the dishes to diners, adding a unique touch to the experience.
#10 Restaurant Geranium
Copenhagen is a constellation of stars, and our next recommendation, Restaurant Geranium, shines with three. It stands as the lone Danish restaurant to achieve this remarkable culinary distinction. Under the guidance of Rasmus Kofoed, who himself was previously crowned the world’s best chef, Geranium offers an experience that is vivid, airy, and full of energy.
The Bottom Line
Given the wealth of experiences awaiting, it's clear that anyone on a Denmark cruise will undoubtedly enjoy their time, regardless of their interests. From charming streets that seem straight out of a postcard to a profusion of art, Copenhagen has it all.
Whether you're voyaging in 2023 or aboard a 2024 cruise, ensure you organize your itinerary to fully embrace the marvels of this incredible city.