Copenhagen, København, one and the same. The capital of Denmark, the city of the people & a place I’ll definitely be going back to.
Copenhagen is a vibrant, fun, tasty & historical city with a town like feel. We had a great time exploring it’s in’s & out’s & now I get to share my top 5 places with you. I hope you get some tips & some inspiration to visit this beautiful city. A city that gave me a sense of peace & a feeling of home.
So get out your pen or bookmark this post on your browser as these are 5 things you need to do while you are here in this beautiful city.
Now first, I recommend going & getting yourself a Copenhagen Card. This gives you access to the majority of sites in the city & free transport for the whole time it is valid. To read more on the Copenhagen Card check out my previous post ‘Travelling on a Budget | Copenhagen’.
5. The Aquarium
Now I know what you’re probably thinking an aquarium? Seriously I can go to one of those anywhere! That exactly what my husband said as soon as the opportunity to go arose. But I & our friends who were here at the time wanted to go so we went anyway and had a brilliant time.
The aquarium is called “Den Bla Planet” and is a little way out of the city but as the public transport is so great there it is still really easy to get to.
Copenhagen is the home of Northern Europe’s Largest Aquarium. It is split up into 5 different sections that cater to different aquatic environments. Each area is well worth visiting, showcasing some very unique animals. But the highlights in my opinion are;
Sea Otters that can be seen playing around in their ice baths. Their enclosure is very large & allows you to see in from inside & out, as well as above & below the water.
The Ocean tank which is the largest tank we have ever seen. It houses the Hammer Head Sharks and many other large fish & sea creatures. The tank also has your classic aquarium walk-through tunnel as well as a huge viewing window & a theatre section where they put on shows for the children in front of the large tank.
Puffin exhibit, which houses a bunch of other birds but who are we kidding I’m here for the puffins, & this guy, the most quizzical bird I’ve ever seen.
And finally but not least I want to mention the tropical section which houses its own school of piranhas. As well as the biggest dinosaur looking fish I have ever seen, the Arapaima.
It was a great morning out and would take anywhere from 2 hours to a full day to explore all of it depending on your level of interest and if you read everything and watch the presentations available.
4. Carlsberg Brewery
The Carlsberg Brewery was awesome & great value for your money. Being the birthplace for one of the most well-known beer brands in the world the visit is fascinating.
They offer the self-guided tour that takes you through the history of how the company formed right through to where the company is at today. I’m not normally that interested in all of that but they have done a fantastic job of showcasing it as well as showing how the beer used to be made. It kept my attention the whole way & was truly fascinating.
Your ticket also includes a tasting session with a guide talking you through the different flavours. You then move onto the stables, where still to this day the brewery houses it’s horses. These massive horses would have once pulled the carts of supplies that powered and produced their product.
Finishing the tour you end up in the courtyard where you can find another bar with more beers to try. They also have a restaurant so if you time it right head there for lunch or dinner after your tour.
We really enjoyed spending time here as it was easy to reach by public transport and a great spot to sit and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in their beer garden. The free drink at the end of the tour was a great touch and the staff were really friendly and knowledgeable about the many different beers on offer.
3. Our Saviors Church
We found this one totally by accident, every day we went out and explored different parts of the city. Always making sure we went to places that were not as well advertised to try and find some of the hidden treasures we knew must be hidden down the back streets.
On one of these excursions, we hired bikes & as we were riding along heard the loud chiming of a church. Heading in the direction we thought the sound was coming from we spied this massive golden spire towering in the distance. We knew then we had to get a closer look.
We were weaving our way through the suburb of Christianhaven and eventually, standing before us was the massive structure of Our Saviours Church.
Inside we were first struck by how perfectly silent it was, there were other people around but no one said a word. We were all struck dumb with the massive space we had entered & the overwhelming feeling of reverence.
I’m not even that religious, but I can definitely appreciate the feeling this church gave us
Before us stood high ceilings, stained glass, golden chandeliers and carved angels of stone. Walking forward we saw the massive altar and the ornate carvings and detailed paintwork that latticed it. But it wasn’t until we turned back and saw what had been hung above our heads as we had walked in. An absolutely enormous wooden organ the size of which I don’t think will ever be recreated.
Carved entirely of wood and constructed out of 400 pieces it’s a masterpiece that has withstood the test of time for the last 300 years. If nothing else this is the reason to come here, words cannot truly describe how grand it is.
But that is not all that the church has to offer. At the top is its golden spire. It’s again site to behold and so is the amazing view from the top. You can pay a small fee & climb the many stairs to see the city from a different angle.
2. Christiansborg Palace
Being what the Royals would consider a commoner, walking into this huge, elegantly grand building was jaw-dropping. Just the proportions of it alone are eye-opening. The ceilings are at least 5m high and each room you go into is decorated with beautiful ornate ceilings, chandeliers, silk/embroidery/material wall coverings, huge portraits & lavish furnishings. None of which you can touch of course. Oh & gold trimmings, how could I forget that EVERYTHING is trimmed with gold.
These days the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State are housed in the Christiansborg Palace. Though it is still used by the Royal family on special occasions.
The Queens Tapestries are one of the most eye-catching artworks in the palace. They’re not your traditional tapestries created out of colours toned with brown that you see in most other palaces. They’ve been created with bright & pure colours that stand out & make you want to stare at the scenes on them for hours. I was in awe & could not stop taking photos of them.
After going through the main part of the palace you can also go and see the huge Kitchens, the Stables, the Armoury & the Ruins under the palace. If you’re there on a Sunday you can also see the Palace Chapel.
The NY Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum. The building is massive & it’s very hard to miss. I’d seen a small very well-designed brochure that first caught my interest in visiting it. When I saw the building, I was definitely going to visit. It’s a beautiful façade of red brick & white sandstone, finished with polished granite columns. There are beautiful patterns cut into the brick & sandstone as well as angelic figures framing the huge entranceway. But then again, a lot of the architecture in Copenhagen is exquisite.
It’s just spectacular, especially when you can see the enormous glass domed roof behind the façade with its patinaed copper mouldings. Parts of the glass roof creates the open ceiling for the winter gardens just inside the entrance.
The exhibitions inside were fascinating. They range from Egyptian artefacts to French Art to Roman Sculptures. They also have special exhibitions. We got to see “War & Storm” Treasures from the Sea around Sicily.
Carl Jacobsen was behind the creation of this museum, he donated a huge amount of his collection to the Danish state on the proviso that they’d be put on show for the general public to see. The collection you see today has been built around his personal collection.
A man of fine art & fine beer.
So not only was this man an amazing brewer, yes, it’s the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, he loved art & felt that everyone should be able to appreciate it, not just the rich.
The exhibitions inside are fantastic. My favourite was the current special exhibition “War & Storm” treasures from the sea around Sicily. I love that they are still finding all these amazing lost treasures in the ocean. And they are treasures, look at this basic terracotta pot (below), it has been turned into an amazing piece of art by nature, the world’s greatest treasure.
Monet, Van Gough, Picasso. These are all famous artists that until now I’ve only seen their paintings in books or online. They are soooo much better in real life. I’m not an artist or an art guru but I can appreciate it. There were a lot of other artists displayed and ignorant me only recognised these 3.
The Glyptotek is known for its many sculptures. Personally, I’m not that into a million marble statues, there’s only so many I can see before they all just seem like the same thing. Saying this there were some that have been set up really well & the colours around them give them a whole other dimension.
How could I forget! There was also mummies & they’re sarcophagus’. They had a great collection of Egyptian artefacts to go with them. We definitely enjoyed this part of the museum.
Copenhagen is a huge city & these are just an incredibly small selection of what it has to offer. But hopefully, these will put you on track for seeing some fantastic sites while you’re visiting this beautiful city.
Or if you want some more options try:
- The Tivoli Gardens,
- Rosenborg Castle, there is an awesome treasury room here,
- Nyhavn, great for ice creams & beautiful photos,
- The Little Mermaid,
- Danish Architecture Museum,
- The Design Museum,
- Bike tours, to see lots on a budget.
As I said I loved Copenhagen, & truly hope that you find it as beautiful & inviting as I did.
Travelling on a budget? Check out my post Travelling on a Budget | Copenhagen.
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If you’ve been or are planning to go I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or on my facebook page. Or tag my Instagram @collectively.me in your travel photos I’d love to see them!