Copenhagen is a small city, and I am sure you can easily explore it in one weekend. Don’t do it like us though because besides joining a free walking tour we just strolled around downtown and left out (almost) everything else. Still, our weekend was exactly right. So if you want to know what we see saw just keep on reading.
You might have noticed already that I love to go on a free walking tour whenever I am in a new city. This is best done on the first day so that I really good overview of the “lay of the land” so to speak. Usually I have some concept about what I want to see after in detail and how the locals are ticking.
To get to the meeting point in front of the City Hall we took the scenic route, after a quick coffee at Kalaset, through the Ørstedsparken. The park was nice to look at already in winter, in summer it must be amazing for either sports or just sitting down with a book.
We started our exploration of Copenhagen with the “Copenhagen Free Walking Tours” and our guide was Magnus. He was one of the few Danish guides and after my horrible experience with an American guide in Madrid I vowed to only walk with locals from here on after. Magnus was the perfect choice, knowledgeable, funny and experienced to make the tour worth our while. We walked from the City Hall to Christiansborg Palace which now houses the parliament, to the old city center, Nyhaven harbor and last but not least the Royal Palace of Amalienborg.
Please note that these rocks have been placed in front of the parliament to repell terrorist attacks!
Directly at Nyhaven there was a public toilet, for free and best of all heated. As you can see it was grey day and it was as cold as it looked. Probably even worse. The heated toilet therefore was a godsend.
The Royal Palace of Amalienborg consists of actually four “palaces”, so each family has their own house. Isn’t that really convenient, there is never any quarrel in the morning about the bathroom time.
With a glance at the Royal Opera House we said goodbye to Magnus and were on our own again. To warm up again and to discuss on where to head next we headed to Frederik’s Church right behind the Amalienborg Palace. You can see the dome of the church in one of the pictures. The church was not as warm as the public toilets, but who am I to complain. It was warm enough to get a good look around and to decide on the Rosenborg Castle. We just wanted to get the whole sightseeing done in one day.
Rosenborg Castle was just a short walk away, everything in Copenhagen is in walking distance (or you rent one of the many city bikes). No matter how short the distance we were too late to visit the castle. Denmark only has a 35h work week, so they close right on time. Since we were already there we strolled around the garden and took some pictures.
By then I was cold and hungry and just needed a break. A hyggelig feeling, this is what I wanted to have. Passing Nørreport Station again we made our way into the old city center again and on Størget we found our personal haven for this afternoon, the Royal Smushi Cafe. See how joyous I look when I know food is just moments away?
Thus warmed up and with a smile on our face (after a delicious Christmas beer) we set our sights on the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). It was only up the next street and easy to find. The streets outside were busy with Christmas shoppers, understandable since it was also Black Friday weekend. Good deals are appreciated all over the world, at least something that unites us.
The Round Tower was built as an astronomical observatory but what makes it so special is the equestrian staircase, which has no stairs but allows a rider to gallop all the way to the top. Excellent exercise course if you need to train your hip gold. I enjoyed the most the little kissing bench. Too bad it was just us girls. The view from the top was mostly dark, you should climb to the top during the day. Still, it was worth going up there.
The next day we got lucky with the weather! Not that it was any warmer, but the sun was out and the city presented itself in a new light. All of a sudden everything was sparkling and looked so bright and shiny! We left the hotel for breakfast at Mirabelle and later walked again to the Rosenborg Castle. We hadn’t given up on going in and viewing the crown jewels. Of course besides the crown jewels there is a vast collection of other jewels and priceless knickknacks. And quite a lot of portraits of former kings and queens who were absolutely ugly. Makes one wonder where Prince Frederik gets his looks from? Yours, Pollybert