I've been lucky enough to visit Copenhagen twice, although the second time was during a cruise and was nowhere near enough time here. Both visits have been during winter and I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I would love to return, maybe during the summer months to get a different feel for the city. The first time I was here for New Year, and it was crazy! Apparently fireworks are banned a part from a few days before New Year. Citizens buy these up and then set them off in the street. It was like a war zone trying to avoid being hit by fireworks narrowly passing over my head whilst dodging explosions in the road.
What to see
Whilst I'd suggest visiting Amalienborg, Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle if you have the time, below are my favourite sights and attractions. Tivoli Gardens
My second visit to Copenhagen was 23rd December, and it was my first visit to Tivoli, the inspiration for Disney Land. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this theme park, if you can call it that. In the UK we have many Christmassy attractions, such as Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. But Tivoli was on another level and felt so much more Christmassy! It's hard to explain why, but the lights, the fake snow, the smells of Christmas food and drink seemed much more charming here. Although there are many rides in Tivoli, for young children and thrill seekers alike , there are also unique shops, bars and restaurants. I'm not one for thrill rides, but decided to try out the oldest wooden roller coaster in the world, from 1914. It's the most popular ride in the park. For a ride that's over 100 years old, this was still a bit too much for me. There are some really steep drops! When it gets dark there is an illumination show each evening, filled with lights, music and fireworks.
A 17th century waterfront lined by colourful houses. There is a quaint charm to this area. It's pretty during the daytime, but even more so in the evenings when it's all lit up. This is something that anyone visiting Copenhagen should see at least once. The bars and restaurants along here are a little pricey, but if you can afford to eat here, why not treat yourself.
The Little Mermaid
One, if not the most popular landmark in the city. A statue of the Little Mermaid from the Hans Christian Andersen tale sits on a rock watching the ships at Langelinie Promenade. It[s a bit of a walk from the city centre and it's quite often surrounded by tourists. You'll likely have to queue for a picture. Still, I think it's worth seeing, and if you go very early or later in the day, you may avoid the bigger crowds.
The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid
Not too far from the genuine Little Mermaid, you'll find one which is genetically modified. This obviously isn't to everyone's taste, but if you're nearby and want to see something slightly different, then check it out. There are several other distorted and abstract statues here too. Adam, Eve, Mary Magalene, Jesus and a pregnant man.
What to say about this place? It's considered by it's residents to be a separate country to the rest of Denmark. It was originally a military base, which when left deserted attracted squatters. For around 40 years this has been named Freetown Christiania. It's a very unique place, and I can't think of anywhere I've been quite like it.
Photography isn't allowed once you reach a certain point, I think due to the amount of drugs being sold and smoked. But don't let that put you off. Although the smell of weed is exceptionally strong, this small shanty town is filled with creative people. There's lots of street art and sculptures situated around the town, and lots of art materials on sale. I'd love to have spent a bit longer here. I'd love to have stopped for a beer in one of the bars and tried talking to the locals, unfortunately due to being on a cruise, time did not permit. It's hard to describe quite how it is inside until you visit for yourself, but I found it to be a fascinating experience.
Originally built as an astronomical observatory, it's now a tourist attraction dedicated to views of the city. It's only a small fee to enter, so if you are in the area I'd recommend popping in to see some city views. As you enter you'll have to walk up and around a windy slope until you get to the top. It actually took quite a bit longer to walk up than I'd anticipated. Although there are some great views at the top, I actually enjoyed the walk up and down the windy slope more.
The Lego Shop
There are various large Lego stores around the world, and the biggest is now in London. But Lego was invented in Denmark, so why not pop in here? You can buy a typical set of Lego, create your own custom mini figures or pick from various different bricks to build your own designs. Although you can do all of this in other stores, I'm sure that having Lego from it's origin country would make a great souvenir.
Something which I didn't notice on my first trip. There is a street with trampolines!
I guess these are meant for children, but there seem to be plenty of adults using them too. You'll find these on the Havnegade.
It was dark by the time I visited these and thankfully less busy, which meant I could bounce from trampoline to trampoline. A great spontaneous activity to do if you're passing by this area!