During my first cruise to Europe, my friends and I chose the Scandanavia itinerary and I had my first encounter with the incredible country of Denmark. The excursion we chose while visiting the Copenhaven cruise port was to visit Rosenberg Castle then stroll the streets of Stroget for some lunch and shopping.
In fact, our tour had a hodgepodge of many things to do and it also included a visit to see the uber famous Little Mermaid Statue, made popular by their world famous author, Hans Christian Andersen. I was quite surprised at how small the statue is, especially because it plays such a huge tourist roll for visitors. Still, she looked charming sitting on her rock in the harbor with the beautiful sea and surroundings. We booked a second excursion that included the famous Tivoli Gardens and a canal cruise.
Copenhagen Cruise Port Rosenborg Castle Excursion
First up was the visit to Rosenborg Castle, which translates to “castle of the rose”. This is the smallest castle in Copenhagen, but it is pure indulgence and extravagance. The palace was built by Christian IV and completed in 1634. Many other royalties lived at the castle, with the last being Christian VII, who took refuse here from an attack on the city in 1801. Afterwards, the palace was converted to a museum and is still functional today. The castle was very ornate, however it was dark and I felt it stifling. My favorite rooms were the Ceremonial Room, with a terribly busy but magnificent ceiling, and the Great Knights’ Room, which is guarded by three silver lions and an ivory throne.
Following the castle tour, we managed some free time to stroll around Stroget, a promenade formed by a series of streets and squares. This is “the” place to shop in Copenhagen. You can seriously walk and walk and walk and still not see it all. Stroget is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. We started our shopping adventure by breaking for my first ever Nutella crepes. Boy was I a huge fan! Make sure to see The Fountain of Charity, which once supplied the city with drinking water, and the Stork Fountain.
Gammel Strand is the street encircling Christianborg Castle, also referred to as Christianborg Palace. It is a lovely place to walk and take pictures of the scenery and statues. Christianborg Castle is the seat of political power in Denmark and the castle houses the three most important constitutional institutions, which are the Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office, and Parliament.
More Castles and Sightseeing
Another great castle to see is the Amalienborg Palace, where the Danish royal family has resided during winters since 1794. Amalienborg has four identical palace facades with an equestrian statue of King Frederick V, founder of Amalienborg, in the center. The castle is guarded both night and day by the Royal Life Guards and at 11:30 AM each day, they march in front of the castle and do a changing of the guard ceremony at noon in front of the castle. When the Queen is in residence, a band accompanies the guards and plays a military march.
Frederiksborg Castle is without a doubt the most splendid in Denmark. It is located on three small islands in lake Hillerød. King Frederik II, who converted it to a residence, purchased the palace. Christian IV rebuilt pretty much the whole thing and brought it to the grand Renaissance estate we can still see today. The castle has three wings; King’s, Chapel, and Princess’s Wings and a large courtyard with a guard tower at the entrance.
Tivoli Gardens- More than an Amusement Park?
The second excursion we chose was a visit to Tivoli Gardens, one of the worlds oldest amusement parks, followed by a canal cruise. Tivoli was neither a grand adventure, as I had been told, nor a lot of fun. Perhaps being from the states I was expecting more from an “amusement park” but to me, this was just a place to walk around, see some neat lights and fountains, have dinner, and maybe see a concert or play. There were few rides and nothing much exciting, but we left before it was dark so I do not know about later night entertainment.
Tivoli first opened in 1843 and they conserve the air of days gone by. The Chinese Pagoda was one of the more interesting things to see there. The Pantomime Theatre puts on ballet performances as well. The canal cruise is a must in Copenhagen and proved to be of the most excitement. The waters of the canals are perfectly clean, much different than the ones in nearby Amsterdam.
During the canal ride, we passed a lovely place to visit, the Church of our Savior. It had a curved spiral atop of the building and stairs to climb up the golden dome. From the top, one can see the entire city as well as the Island of Amager.
Yes, I Would Gladly Return To Copenhagen
Visiting Copenhagen was certainly thrilling from the many choices of things to do and see, to the great remainders of their history they left behind to share with tourists. I appreciated all the beauty Copenhagen had to offer as well as the people, food, and souvenirs. Denmark just moved up to one of my top countries I have ever visited.
Copenhagen Photo Gallery:
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