Walking the streets of Copenhagen
Nordic city gaining favour with cruisers
The day was cloudy, with not a breath of wind. I skipped breakfast and as soon as the ship cleared customs in the port of Langelinie, I was off. Only a few minutes away and having barely stretched my body into daytime mode, there I was, face-to-face with the diminutive sculpture of The Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale.
You have now surely figured out I was in one of my favourite Nordic cities — Copenhagen — and I was walking. If you have the ability to walk all day in this city, do it. If not, rent a bike and from the centre of town you will find it’s no further than 15 minutes to Copenhagen’s main attractions.
The city’s attractiveness to cruisers has grown exponentially as more cruise lines have elected to make Copenhagen their summer home, offering shorter cruises to the main Scandinavian and Baltic ports.
While Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, it has more of a small-town feel. It was built for walking, and nothing drives that home more than Stroget, a pedestrian-and-bike warren with no cars allowed on streets that cover 1.1 kilometres in the heart of the city. Upscale stores along with more moderately priced stores exist here in this mecca of shopping, with restaurants and coffee houses abounding. It’s a great place to sit with a coffee and people watch.
Walk to the west end of the main street and you will run into City Hall Square
You would have thought I had my fill of canals in Amsterdam, but my first stop was Nyhavn, where I joined others on a mini cruise around Copenhagen. I saw The Little Mermaid again, and the new Opera House looming over the water. Only a visit inside will show the enormity of this musical home. Your camera will be busy, but watch your head because the canal boat barely clears pedestrian bridges.
Nyhavn (New Port) goes back to the 1600s as a gateway from the sea to the old inner city. Today, a series of picturesque, colourful old houses line both sides of the canal, surrounded by restaurants, cafés and bars that all face the water.
Don’t feel like paying bar prices? No problem. Pick up a craft beer, dangle your feet over the jetty and enjoy the fun — it’s perfectly legal — and the entertainment lasting well into the night.
For me, having two days in Copenhagen meant seeing Tivoli Gardens at night, when it is lit up from end to end.
The famous old amusement park offers many kinds of rides, and concerts featuring local talent and the odd superstar, plus cultural activities and more. It’s simply a fun place where you can go with high expectations and not be disappointed.
In two days I was also able to squeeze in visits to the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the indoor-outdoor Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (35 kilometres away), King’s Garden and Rosenborg Castle, where the crown jewels are kept.
Mainly, I walked in this city full of many happy people.