Although we’ve been home for a few hours, it feels like we were moving all day! My Fitbit tells me we walked over seven miles though, so I guess we were on our feet quite a bit. But it was a great day nonetheless! With our first of two full days here, we wanted to tackle quite a bit. Here’s what we got to see:
- Tivoli Gardens – well, it’s an amusement park, so it’s got everything in it that you’d expect to find at such a place. This one is a bit unique in that it’s the second-oldest amusement park in the world (it opened in 1843!) and it houses one of the oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation (built in 1914). I don’t mind an amusement park now and then, but they aren’t something I’m hugely enthused by, but since it was here to visit, we gave it a whirl. Although it felt much smaller than US parks I’ve been to, it gets millions of visitors each year, so it’s clearly very popular! It’s unique in that you can choose to pay a flat entrance fee of ~$15 USD and then pay for each ride you want to go on or pay a higher fee of ~$32 USD to get the freedom to go on all the rides. If you choose the former (that’s what we did), then you just buy tickets for the rides you want to go on based on how many tickets are needed for each ride (1-3 tickets, depending on the ride). There are automated ticket machines near each ride, so you just buy the tickets you need and you’re on your way. We only wanted to ride Rutschebanen (aka The Roller Coaster), so that’s why we didn’t opt for the ride-all-the-rides entrance fee. Pick the one that works for you though! Aside from Rutschebanen, wandering around, and possibly enjoying some ice cream, we didn’t do much else at Tivoli. It feels like one of those things you should do when you visit Copenhagen, but unless you’re really amused by amusement parks, you probably won’t get much out of it.
- Strøget – as we continued on our way post-Tivoli, we ambled down Strøget, a long avenue of shops and restaurants similar to La Rambla in Barcelona. We aren’t big shoppers, but the walk was nice! There are TONS of pedestrians here, especially later in the day, so keep a sharp eye out for pickpockets (always sage advice in a big city) and be prepared to navigate around groups of people, screaming kids, and the like. It’s pretty easy to include a walk down Strøget on your Copenhagen itinerary and it’s a must-do if you’re interested in shopping, so do check it out.
- Rundetårn (that’s Round Tower to those of us who don’t speak Danish) – our next destination was a big ol’ tower and we had to climb to the top of this one (no elevator option this time). The Round Tower is a 17th-century tower originally built as an observatory (it actually still houses an observatory and telescope) that now offers great views over the city once you get to the top. Although you do have to walk your way up, it’s not done by stairs, but rather by a curving ramp. This may make it more challenging for some people as there are no hand railings to support you going up or down. Only at the top do you have to climb any stairs (probably 50 or so) and that’s to get onto the roof to enjoy the views. As you’ve surely noticed, I love a good view, so I was excited to see Copenhagen from above. While it was nice, it felt a bit more industrial and wasn’t giving me that great vibe that other cities have. Nonetheless, you always have to take advantage of these great views, so I recommend visiting, especially as the entrance fee is a perfectly reasonable ~$4 USD.
- Trinitatis Church – unbeknownst to us (in our initial research about the city), the Round Tower is connected to a church, Trinitatis Church. Being right next door meant we had to visit and I’m glad we did as it’s a great building! You actually get a peek at it as you being to ascend the Round Tower (through a clear door), but you need to go outside and back in through a separate entrance if you want to go inside. Both the church and the tower (along with a number of other buildings) are the work of Christian IV, longest-ruling monarch of Denmark-Norway. This church is free to visit, so do yourself a favor and pop in.
- Lunch – we had planned to go to a place called Schønnemann Scott found while doing some research as it came highly recommended for Danish food. Unfortunately, the recommendations left out the fact that you really need to have a reservation to go there as we were turned away when we tried to go in because they were fully booked. Since we didn’t eat there, I can’t comment on the food, but if you do check it out, reference their website to book a table! We ended up at a nearby little place that also serves Danish food and it was quite nice, so we were happy. 🙂
- Rosenborg Castle – next up was Rosenborg Castle. I do so love a castle! It was originally built as a summer home by Christian IV (yep, same guy), so it’s not huge (by castle standards), but it’s very nice. It’s situated in The King’s Garden, which is a lovely park with lots of green space, flowers, and benches to enjoy, so don’t forget to wander around there before or after (or both!) you visit the castle. There’s lots of great art and furnishings to be seen throughout the castle as well as a basement full of goodies in the Treasury, including the Danish Crown Jewels. There didn’t seem to be any restrictions on photography (always appreciated) and the place isn’t so big that you have to devote a huge amount of time to your visit. We actually only arrived 30 minutes before closing time and had no problems hitting the highlights as we walked through each floor. In fact, I think our visit was made better by going then because there weren’t very many people there and those that were there were moving at a good pace because they wanted to see everything, too. The entrance fee is ~$13 USD and it’s certainly worth it, so be sure to add this one to your must-see list.
- Frederik’s Church – also known as The Marble Church because of its architecture, this building is not to be missed. The outside is certainly nice as compared to many other churches I’ve been to, but the inside is totally amazing. There isn’t a lot I can say other than be sure to look at my pictures below and don’t miss this when you’re in Copenhagen! Entry is free and they offer opportunities to see the dome on Saturdays and Sundays at 1p and 3p. We’re going to try and go back tomorrow!
I had a hard time narrowing down the pictures for this post, so basically…I didn’t narrow them down. Enjoy the expanded selection!
Getting ready to enter Tivoli. The “mountain” is what The Roller Coaster is built around/into.
Checking out the map of Tivoli.
Obligatory sign for The Roller Coaster.
Bust of Niels Henrik Volkersen, a Danish pantomimer.
Random church sign as seen from Strøget.
A peek at the walk up the tower. Like I said, no stairs (until the top, that is).
One of the two “privvys” (toilet rooms) in the tower. Fun fact – when the latrine pit the two toilets emptied into was finally cleaned out in 1921, eight truckloads of waste were removed. Gross.
The telescope in the tower’s observatory.
The view of Copenhagen from the rooftop.
Looking towards the altar of Trinitatis Church.
The view we had at the restaurant we eventually settled on for lunch.
Walking through the trees in The King’s Garden.
On the approach to Rosenborg Castle from the gardens.
The crown of none other than Christian IV.
Denmark’s coat of arms, as seen on the ceiling of the Long Hall, where the Throne Chair of Denmark is held.
Speaking of thrones, there it is! Legend says the throne (the white one on the left) is made from the horns of unicorns.
Not sure what this room is, but it sure is fancy!
It has a fancy astronomical clock in it, too.
I got a much better shot of the castle on our way out.
The lack of flash made this picture look not as amazing as I’d hoped, but it’s still pretty cool.
This picture, on the other hand, I absolutely love. One of my favorite shots from this whole trip!
We made a quick detour to see some of Nyhavn on the walk home.
Hope you enjoyed that quick tour of our day in Copenhagen! As I said earlier, I’m not vibing with Copenhagen as much as I thought I would, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of it tomorrow. Maybe the city will grow on me!