During my first cruise to Europe, my friends and I chose a Scandinavian itinerary to see the beautiful countries of Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. In Denmark, we opted for a cruise excursion to visit the Rosenborg Castle and then stroll the fabulous streets of Stroget for lunch and shopping. We booked a second excursion that included the famous Tivoli Gardens and a canal cruise.
Rosenborg Castle Excursion
The Rosenborg Castle, or Rosenborg Slot, is the smallest castle in Copenhagen but is extravagant and lovely in Renaissance style. The palace was built by Christian IV and completed in 16s4. Rosenborg translates to “castle of the rose” and once housed Denmark’s most famous kings and queens with the last being Christian VII, who took refuge here from an attack on the city in 1801. Afterward, the palace was converted to a museum and is still functional today.
Our tour took us through the ornate castle, decorated in dark colors and fabrics, which I wasn’t all that fond of. I did love seeing the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia. It was also fun hearing the stories of the royal families who called the palace home. My favorite rooms at Rosenborg Castle were the Ceremonial Room, with a gaudy but magnificent ceiling, and the Great Knights’ Room, guarded by three silver lions and an ivory throne.
Bonus Offerings Included
The Rosenborg Castle excursion had several attractions for us to see and do, aside from the castle tour itself. We were given 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 around all day and still not see it everything because Stroget is one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe.
My friends and I grabbed a crepe during our free time. As I bit into my first ever Nutella crepe, I felt as if I had died and gone to heaven. Amazing! While on Stroget, we enjoyed visiting the Fountain of Charity, which once supplied the city of Copenhagen with drinking water.
Perhaps the most famous thing we did in Copenhagen was to see the iconic 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 since it is such a huge tourist attraction. Still, the Little Mermaid looked charming sitting on her rock in the harbor with the beautiful sea and surroundings.
Last, but not least, we visited Gammel Strand, the street encircling Christianborg Castle or Palace. It is a lovely place to photograph 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. The Stork Fountain was another good photo op.
More Castles and Sightseeing
Another great castle to see in Copenhagen is Amalienborg Palace. This is the winter home to the Danish Royal Family 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. At 11:30 AM each day, the guards march in front of the castle and do a changing of the guard ceremony at noon. 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.
Gefion Fountain is the largest monument in Copenhagen and is used as a wishing well. Be sure to stop by this beauty during your visit.
Amusement at Tivoli Gardens
The second excursion we chose in Copenhagen was a visit to Tivoli Gardens, one of the worlds oldest amusement parks. A canal cruise was also included in this option. Tivoli first opened in 1843 and is a great testament to days gone by. The Chinese Pagoda and Pantomime Theatre (think ballet performances) were two of the more interesting things to see at the park.
Tivoli Gardens was neither a grand adventure, as I had been told by friends, nor a lot of fun. Being from the United States, I was expecting more from an “amusement park”. Tivoli seemed like just a place to walk around, see cool lights and fountains, and have dinner. It had a few rides but nothing all that exciting. Though glad we went, the excursion had us leaving the park before dark so I do not know about the park’s late night entertainment.
Cruising Copenhagen’s Canals
A canal cruise in Copenhagen is a must. It proved to be the most exciting thing we did all day. The waters of the canals were perfectly clean, much different than the ones in nearby Amsterdam. During the cruise, we saw the Church of our Savior. It had a curved spiral atop of the building and stairs to climb up the golden dome. It was so beautiful. We were told that from the top, one can see the entire city as well as the Island of Amager. I admired all of the architecture that we saw and the friendly people perched on their boats enjoying being outdoors.
The Copenhagen Cruise Port is a Winner!
Visiting Copenhagen was thrilling! From the many things to do and see, to the great knowledge of history I had at the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the gorgeous city. Copenhagen and its people were lovely. Denmark just moved up to one of my favorite countries that I have visited.
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