Postcard Introductions to Copenhagen’s Palaces, Food, Museums, and Fun Spots
It is perhaps only fitting that I take you through this postcard tour of Copenhagen beginning with Nyvahn, one of the city’s most well-known landmark. The waterfront was built in the 17th century as a gateway from the sea to the old inner city. Once notorious for prostitution and the escapades of drunken sailors, Nyvahn is now a bustling and beautiful landscape for Irish coffee and cold beers, boat tours, and romantic strolls by the brightly colored houses and canal’s calm waters.
Copenhagen is also well-known for its bikes and cyclists, as the above sign (snapped at Copenhagen Airport) exalts. According to Denmark’s Official Website, cycling is not only the healthiest, most affordable, and fastest way to get about Copenhagen, but part of the city’s ambition to become the first carbon neutral capital in the world by 2025. I think it’s an awesome goal!
As a visitor, you can rent a bike and comfortably tour the city. The NY Carlsberg Glyptotek is a great first stop. The museum–with its notable collection of antique and modern sculptures, as well as Impressionist and Danish artwork–is a popular destination for art lovers. However, outside of the art, the museum’s architecture is a wonder worth seeing in itself. The Glyptotek’s outer brick facade leads to a surprising and amazing indoor garden with tall palm trees and soft sunshine pouring through the glass ceiling. When I visited, to my amusement the upper left bench (as pictured) seemed to be a real hot spot for canoodling young couples.
After the Glyptotek, you can bike to the nearby Christiansborg Palace. Above, is one of seventeen tapestries from the Palace’s Great Hall, where royal dinners and events are held. These unique tapestries depict 1,100 years of Danish history from the Viking age to the the year 2000. Beside the royal chambers and Great Hall, the Christiansborg Palace is also the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark. Thus, the palace marks the only building in the world that houses all three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power.
After all that sight seeing, it’s time for a delicious lunch! You can grab lunch at the innumerable restaurants serving Denmark’s famous smorrebrods. Smorrebrods are open faced sandwiches that are typically composed of a dense rye bread with seasonal cheese spreads, fish, cold cuts, or meats. The below smorrebrod was from the gorgeous National Museum of Denmark, which has the largest collection of Danish artwork in the world.
If your tummy is still growling, or if you’re simply just too excited to try more Danish food, their pastries are also most noteworthy. On my Copenhagen travels, we stumbled into the cake shop Mormors. Mormors’ incredibly adorable decor of furniture and hanging nick nack (which all look like they came out of an elderly, Victorian grandma’s house) made the shop irresistible for me to explore. But it was the chocolate filled cookies, buttery scones, and large pastries that really caught my eye! In the end, I ordered what the two ladies before me chose – an apple cake (a choice I definitely did not regret with its warm baked apples, light crumble crust, and fresh whip cream!). Apparently, the shop is also famous with many superstar visitors. You cannot go wrong visiting Mormors, though I’m sure many of Copenhagen’s pastry shops also have the most scrumptious sweets.
Back to sightseeing! The Danish Museum of Arts is an amazing display of Danish and international designs and crafts. According to the museum’s captions, slogans like “New Danish Cool” and “New Nordic” have helped revive Danish design from its 1950s and 1960s golden days of “Danish Modern.” You can also take home some very usable and interesting Danish kitchen ware from shopping along Copenhagen’s shops, such as a mini bike pizza cutter.
Then, of course, you can’t leave Copenhagen without seeing the iconic Little Mermaid statue. Hans Christian Anderson, the Danish author who made the tale of The Little Mermaid famous, moved to Copenhagen at the age of 14 and passed away in the city. Today, his stories are found in colorful children’s books all over the Danish capital.
Finally, with the advent of nightfall, you can head to Tivoli – a magnificent playground of fantastically decorated rides, head-sized cotton flossed candy, innumerable places to eat, and with children and adults alike high on sugar and the magical atmosphere of this wondrous amusement park.