Some of Copenhagen’s parks are really famous both in Denmark and abroad, whereas others are much less known and a lovely surprise in the city! Pick your favourites from the 9 urban oases and historic parks in Copenhagen described below.
Ascot Hotel (mid-range) set in a charming 19th-century building near Tivoli and the Central Station. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet and has free gym access.
Copenhagen Island Hotel (top) this modern, stylish hotel is located on an artificial island in central Copenhagen near Fisketorvet and is only one train stop from Tivoli and Copenhagen Central Station.
Of course, you can’t miss the magical and historic Tivoli Gardens when talking about notable gardens in Copenhagen. Besides being an attractive amusement park with a historic roller coaster and many other iconic rides, Tivoli also features a beautiful garden with ponds and nice flowerbeds often arranged according to theme.
Late in the evening you can enjoy the lights illuminating the entire park – before a gigantic firework display lights up the sky at midnight.
The historic amusement park was founded by Georg Carstensen in 1843 on a piece of land provided by King Christian VIII himself! In a short time, it became a favourite place in Copenhagen for musical entertainment and cultural events, including the traditional Pantomime Theatre with the famous characters Pierrot, Columbine, and Harlequin on stage.
Another almost equally famous garden is the King’s Garden. It dates from 1606 and belongs to Rosenborg Castle, the famous castle in Copenhagen built by King Christian IV – and today home of the crown jewels in Denmark. As a pleasure palace, Rosenborg Castle was constructed with both a moat, a drawbridge, and a lovely Renaissance-style park area with sculptures and symmetry. The garden was originally the castle’s vegetable garden and orchard from where fresh produce was brought to the castle kitchen.
In 1721, the garden architect J. C. Krieger created a baroque garden in front of the castle with boxwood hedges.
In the Rose Garden there is a statue of Queen Caroline Amalie (1796-1881), and statues by Aksel Hansen, Viggo Hørup, as well as Arthur Jacques Le Duc can be found scattered through the park, the latter being a gift from the brewer Carl Jacobsen.
King Frederik III added 20 large stone balls to the garden architecture of which only 16 are left today.
The Botanical Garden belongs to the University of Copenhagen and is a part of the Natural History Museum. The garden was first established in the 1600s, although at a different location. The lush garden contains a wide variety of vegetation from Denmark, a rhododendron garden, an arctic section, as well as holds in a herbarium a large collection of preserved plants.
Moreover, there is both a tropical Palm House, that dates from 1874, and a Butterfly House with beautiful butterflies. In total there are 13,000 plant species and 27 glass houses.
Not surprisingly, the Botanical Garden is a favorite place to hang out, both for the city’s students and other locals. There is a hilly terrain with a rock garden containing species from Central and Southern Europe, as well as a lovely pond with water lilies and ducks. The pond is a remnant from the time when there was a moat around central Copenhagen. On the other side of Sølvgade, the green spaces continue into Østre Anlæg, which has a similar (even longer) lake formation.
Ørstedsparken belongs to the row of parks that were once part of the Copenhagen fortifications. It was laid out as a public park in 1879, designed by the landscape architect Henrik August Flindt. The elongated lake here is also a remnant of the former moat and the original bastions appear as tiny hilltops.
The park is named after Hans Christian Ørsted (born 1777), the Danish physicist who discovered electromagnetism, as well as after his brother, the politician and former prime minister Anders Sandøe Ørsted (born 1778). There are monuments commemorating the brothers in Ørstedsparken, as well as sculptures of other famous people such as Natalie Zahle, founder of Zahle’s School, and the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.
Copenhagen’s first public playground was established in Ørstedsparken.
5 bastions overlook the water-filled moat at the northernmost point of the former ramparts. They belong to the Citadel that was constructed under King Christian IV. Construction began in 1626 with the establishment of Sankt Anne’s Redoubt.
Inside the moat you will find a military complex with dormitories and store houses, as well as the Commander’s house, an old granary, a former prison, and a church building.
There are two gates as access points, the King’s Gate and Norway Gate. In the Battle of Copenhagen (1807), the Citadel was used in the defence of the city against England.
The Citadel, easily recognisable by its characteristic red colour, is actually one of the best preserved fortresses in the whole of Northern Europe.
Tucked away behind larger buildings, a real gem can be found. A lovely public garden, the Royal Library Garden, exists on Slotsholmen between the parliament building Christiansborg Palace and the Royal Library. Designed in 1920 by the architects Jens Peder Andersen and Thorvald Jørgensen, the small park gives associations to the city’s maritime past with its centuries-old mooring ring.
It is a beautiful garden with blossoming trees and flowers surrounding a central pond with a remarkable copper column dedicated to the written word and a statue of the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, well matched with the contents of the old Royal Library.
A unique nature preserve belongs to the alternative autonomous community, the freetown Christiania, which was created in 1971 by a group of squatters who took control of the former military baracks. The unconventional community of hippies and experimental ideologies still exists and is a popular site to visit in Copenhagen. The lush green spaces here, Christianshavns Vold, used to be part of the bastioned fortification ring surrounding Copenhagen.
Nevertheless, today, the green surroundings are a leisurely area for both the local residents, Copenhageners, and other visitors to Christiania. Two of the former gunpowder magazines are today popular venues for concerts and art displays in Christiania. You will soon discover that you are in a ‘different’ part of Copenhagen with quite unusual, primitive house constructions and interesting recycling architecture.
The original moat has been transformed into the wide canal that runs between Christianshavn and central Amager. A footbridge connects the two sides. If you continue along the path in a northeasterly direction, you will also come across the Old Execution Site in Copenhagen (1946-1950).
Frederiksberg Gardens is a lovely park surrounded by a wealth of cultural offers – from fascinating museums and historic theatres (such as the Betty Nansen Theatre) to stylish traditional restaurants and a unique Walk of Fame of Danish actors at the prestigious Frederiksberg Allé. The lush garden is one of the most popular parks in Copenhagen.
In 1703, King Frederik IV finally saw his summer residence, the palace Frederiksberg Castle, completed. The palace park was laid out as an attractive baroque garden over the following decades. A Chinese Pavilion is one of the park highlights.
Frederiksberg Gardens was designed as a spectacular landscape garden with romantic canals such that the Danish monarchs could sail through it, greeting people who were strolling around in the idyllic park. Today there is a frequent boat service in summer which allows visitors to experience the park from a different angle!
Another fine garden situated in a ‘corner’ of Frederiksberg Gardens is the garden of the Royal Horticultural Society (Haveselskabets Have).
Some kilometres north of Copenhagen you will reach Dyrehaven, the Deer Park, which is an amazingly scenic area of woodlands, open spaces, and small lakes. Not surprisingly, the park is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area of natural beauty is the playground of a multitude of deer, probably more than 2,000, and other fascinating animals that live in the centuries-old park. For many years it was used for the Royal hunting, originally with hounds, and the Royal hunting lodge, the Hermitage, still stands in the middle of the park.
It is in many respects a favourite park to visit north of Copenhagen and people come here on excursions with picnics and entertainment for a day in nature. Others go jogging, explore on horseback or go for a bike ride through the landscape, looking out for the herds of grazing deer.
Finally, a visit to Bakken, the amusement park located in a tiny corner of the huge Deer Park, is also extremely popular.
9 Coolest Parks in Copenhagen
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9 Coolest Parks in Copenhagen:
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