As promised, here is the second installment in our series of must-visit places in Copenhagen :
Must – Visit : Little Mermaid
Here is another famous Copenhagen tourist attraction : the Little Mermaid. The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land. Yes, this is a must-see but be warned, it does not look anything like that of the Disney Princess we are familiar with! The statue itself is quite small and underwhelming, but arguably this is also the most photographed sight in the country. So yes, never leave the city without paying her a visit!
Must – Visit : Kronborg Castle
From Copenhagen, we took a 40-minute train ride to get to the town of Helsingør to see the Kronborg Castle. This is the most famous Danish castle as it is known worldwide as the setting used for one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: In Hamlet, Shakespeare referred to this beautiful castle as “Elsinore”, which is the English name of Helsingør, the town where the castle is located.
Kronborg Castle has existed at Helsingør (Elsinore) since 1420. It’s been burned to the ground and rebuilt since, but always maintained its vital position at the head of the Øresund Sound. Ships passing into the Baltic Sea paid tolls at Kronborg Castle and Helsingør was once one of the most important towns in Europe. In 2000, Kronborg Castle became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
So yes, you must put Hamlet’s Castle — which incidentally is Denmark’s most famous castle, on your list of things to see while in Denmark!
Must – Visit : The King’s Garden
On the day we visited The King’s Garden, it was the height of the fall season. It was such a beautiful and relaxing sight to behold! The rich yellow-orange leaves were slowly falling to the ground, the gust of cool, crisp wind was brushing on our faces… and the warmth of the sunlight was peeking through the big, round bushes.
The King’s Gardens is Denmark’s oldest royal garden and is a popular place for the the locals to meet and relax, and for their children to play in the playground. It is a home to a large herbaceous border, a rose-garden and a multitude of different-sized sculptures.
Must – Visit : Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Up next, we paid a visit to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Even if modern art is not your thing, this museum is worth the day trip out of Copenhagen. This place houses a beautiful collection of art and sculptures in a very well designed architectural building that boasts of a garden with a spectacular sea view. And here’s another nice thing about the place : you can spot the neighboring country Sweden from here!
One of the most beloved pieces in the museum is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Gleaming Lights of the Souls, a mixed media art installation inside a small 4×4 sized room. The walls and ceilings are covered with mirrors, the floor is a reflecting pool. Hanging from the ceiling above are a hundred lamps that all look like ping pong balls!
I also thoroughly enjoyed the view from this six-meter high pyramid in the Sculpture Park by artist Poul Gernes. (And that lovely couple sitting above me? They were unscripted and real!)
Must – Visit : Rosenborg Castle
Spotted just a few streets down the road of our hotel is the grand and majestic Rosenborg Castle. This was built by Denmark’s King Christian IV in the 1600’s to become his residence and his very own “pleasure palace”.
Many of the furnishings inside the castle reflect the pomp and pageantry of Denmark’s absolute monarchy. This beautiful palace became the place where the king placed his oldest, finest and rarest objects of desire!
Inside the Rosenborg Castle, the king’s guests can see the wealth and status of the Danish-Norwegian kingdom in Europe. The palace is now open to the public as a museum.
Another highlight inside the Rosenborg Castle are these crown jewels. These are the royal crowns that were used at the coronation ceremonies of the kings — from Christian V to Christian VIII. Each one of them weighs more than 2 kilos and is set with sapphires, rubies and the rarest of diamonds!
Must – Visit : LEGOland
If you have young kids (and extra time in your hands), then LEGOland should also be a part of your must-visit places while in Denmark. (Believe me they will thank you endlessly for it!) So from the bustling city of Copenhagen, we took the 2-hour train ride to Billund, a place known as the Children’s Capital of Denmark, the birthplace of LEGO.
This LEGOland in the city of Billund is actually the first and the biggest LEGOland in the world!
It was only during this time that I also learned that LEGO toys were actually invented by the Danish. Their huge company and factory have always been based here in Billund.
Inside this amusement park, the most fascinating part (and one you should not miss) is the Miniland. This is where 20 million (!) plastic blocks were used to create the world’s most famous cities and landmarks! Just take a look at this lego installation of Nyhavn (which if you remember, I about in Part 1 as one of our must-visit places too).
So there you have it, ladies and gents… Copenhagen’s main attractions broken down for you into 12 must-visit places! As you can see, it is really easy to fall in love with this gorgeous and friendly city, a city of contradiction of sorts : historic and modern, traditional and innovative. And aside from all these, the city is also known for its design scene, top-notch cuisine and hip, laid back atmosphere. No doubt, Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s coolest capital!
So many experiences to be had, so many beautiful sights to see, and yet so little time… all I can say is, you can never have enough time in your hands for this amazing and world-class city!
To read the first part of this series, click here.
To see my other photos in Copenhagen, go to Instagram and type in #TSMinCopenhagen, or click here.