9 Cultural Things to Do in Copenhagen
Rich in history, Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, is a fascinating city featuring a wealth of cultural things to see and do, as well as historical places to be explored. It is a mix of modern, top-notch architecture and impressive, old buildings, erected by the renowned King Christian IV and other Danish monarchs.
Ainnelise Niyvold Liundbye UPDATED: 09 AUG 2020
A canal tour or a stroll along the waterfront is an excellent opportunity to discover some of Copenhagen’s historical gems. Captivating castles built by influential Danish kings, in particular the famous and ‘productive’ Christian IV, as well as charming, traditional gardens and cobblestoned, historic squares, are all part of the Danish heritage.
Afterwards, continue into the city to explore some of the enticing, authentic neighbourhoods, which will set you a few centuries back in time, or reveal creative structures and modern design. Within a few metres you will be able to dive into the Danish culture and history, spot cutting-edge, contemporary architecture, and get insight into the Danes’ lifestyle in the cosy streets seething with people and ambience.
Visit the enticing Tivoli Gardens abounding with flowers, history and atmosphere. It is the world’s second-oldest still existing amusement park, after Dyrehavsbakken located north of Copenhagen.
The founder of the famous amusement park, the Tivoli Gardens, was the first director, Georg Carstensen, who obtained a royal permission to open it in 1843. Tivoli was established on the grounds of a military base outside the city ramparts. It was laid out as an innovative amusement park right in the centre of Copenhagen.
Among the first visitors was Hans Christian Andersen who found inspiration here to write the fairy tale The Nightingale. The Tivoli Boys Guard dates all back to 1844, where Carstensen introduced this innovation to the public for the first time.
Also Walt Disney sought inspiration in Tivoli for his own amusement park in California.
The present open-air Pantomime Theatre, the Chinese Peacock Theatre, was constructed in 1874 and replaced the previous theatre built of wood and canvas. The peacock curtain folds to each side like a fan, and originally it required 13 men to open and close the curtain! Today, it is the oldest structure in the Tivoli Gardens. Its architect was the Dane Vilhelm Dahlerup, who was by the way also one of the main architects of the Copenhagen Royal Theatre, likewise inaugurated in 1874. Often accompanied by music, the pantomime is a theatrical genre where the actors use mute gestures to perform.
The composer and music director Hans Lumbye wrote abundant pieces of music for Tivoli, among other works the well-known Champagne Galop, which is still being played today.
The original Tivoli concept and many of the beloved traditions in the remarkable gardens, full of charm and atmosphere, have survived until today. So have the iconic characters Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine playing at the Pantomime Theatre, as well as the Roller Coaster from 1914, one of the world’s oldest, wooden roller coasters!
The current main entrance is from 1890, whereas the Apollo Theatre and the restaurant Wivel, later Wivex, have not been preserved. Instead, you will today be able to enjoy the oriental Nimb palace and restaurant, the Brdr. Price restaurant, or eat fresh shrimps, smørrebrød and other Danish lunch menus at Grøften, one of the oldest restaurants in Tivoli, dating back to 1874. At the same time as holding on to the traditional image, Tivoli also keeps up with the times, and the beautiful amusement park continuously renews its attractions and presents new approaches to retain its attractiveness.
Besides the attractions and rides, Tivoli offers weekly concerts and professional entertainment at Plænen and in the Concert Hall by a wide range of prominent artists, making it as popular as ever. Since the 1990’s the popular Friday Rock has drawn a younger audience as well.
On Saturdays, at midnight, a formidable firework takes places right above the Tivoli Lake and the attractions. You will also be able to experience a sound and light show across the lake. Each year, since 1994, Christmas in Tivoli has been a recurring event. Tivoli is today a national treasure with historic buildings, unique traditions and a wonderful fairy-tale atmosphere.
Take a stroll in Christiania.
Christiania, or Fristaden Christiania, has drawn much attention worldwide during the last decades. It is a ‘freetown’ in Copenhagen, situated in the borough of Christianshavn, just off the idyllic city canals.
Initially, in 1971, the fence to an old military base was broken down by a group of people in the neighbourhood, who wanted to use the area as a playground. However, it did not stop here. Copenhagen had, at the time, a lack of affordable housing and the military barracks and grounds were by a group of people seen as an opportunity to acquire some unused buildings and empty spaces for residential purposes.
The intentional community was now established by this brigade of young squatters, led by Jacob Ludvigsen, who turned the military complex and surrounding bastions into an alternative ‘village’ within the Danish capital, an autonomous society with a liberated lifestyle beyond the reach of Danish law.
Soon the settlers had established a self-governing community with everything needed to survive. The hippies and anarchists built their own primitive houses and made use of existing buildings, such that they got their own electricity plant, a bath-house, an athletics building, theatre halls and much more. It became a flourishing success for the residents with all kinds of creative activities in line with the hippie ideologies.
Over the years this social experiment managed to exist in more or less harmony with the conventional Copenhagen – despite the fact that drugs were freely sold here in ‘Pusher Street’, and that the traditional norms and customary laws were not enforced here.
The experiment went on for some decades, while it continuously was subject to political debate in the established society. Cannabis trade was tolerated in Christiania by the Danish authorities until 2004, when an end was put to it. Since 2010, Danish law is again enforced in Christiania, and the cannabis trade is now forbidden. In 2011 the Christiania Foundation purchased the Christiania land from the state at a very reasonable price, which meant that the squatters now, after 40 years, eventually became landowners of ‘their’ properties. However, the government doesn’t any longer allow new constructions here.
The place has seen both shooting, riots and hard drugs throughout its existence. During the last decade the freetown has, though, approached more lawful norms. However, the police still keeps a presence in Christiania to ensure the safety of both residents and visitors. In fact, visitors are welcome – and today provide an important basis for the economy here.
The hippie community still thrives in Christiania, making it an attractive spot both to local ‘Christianites’ and visitors. You can visit and have lunch in one of the restaurants, attend a concert, study street art, galleries or unusual museums, or simply chill out together with the residents and other tourists.
Walk at Kastellet, the Copenhagen’s citadel, also named the Citadel of Frederikshavn, ‘King Frederik III’s harbour’. It is a well-preserved fortress from the 17th century, with a surrounding moat, which has a long and fascinating history !
To protect the harbour Kastellet was constructed as a pentagon with bastions at its five corners. Originally, it was part of the ring of bastioned ramparts encircling the city. Today, only the circular stretch of rampart at Christianshavn still remains from the old ring.
The remarkable citadel was initiated in 1626 under the reign of King Christian IV with the construction of St Anne’s Redoubt, or in Danish Sankt Annæ Skanse. For the architectural work and engineering design a Dutch engineer, Johan Semp, was employed. Later, it was remodelled and improved by another Dutch engineer, Henrik Rüse, after the Swedish siege of Copenhagen (1658–1660).
Also during the British bombardment of Copenhagen, the Battle of Copenhagen (1807), Kastellet was used for the defence of the city.
In recent years, in 1989–1999, the fortress has been renovated with funds from A.P. Møller.
You will enter the old fortress through one of the two gates, the King’s Gate or the Norway Gate, both dating back to 1663. Inside it contains guard houses, store houses, as well as a complex of six barracks with dormitories each having two triple bunks, which could perfectly house the garrison of 1,800 men.
Over the years also the Commander’s house, a granary, an arsenal, gunpowder stores, a windmill, a church and a prison were all added to the original complex. The prison was constructed with small windows turning to the church, such that the prisoners would be able to follow the church service!
At some point in time a railway was actually built right through the east side of the citadel to facilitate transportation of goods to the quays and dock buildings of the Free Port! However, the railway closed down in 1985, and there is no longer any sign of it. Only reminiscence from those times is the ornate ironwork bridge from the Gefion Fountain to Langelinie which would allow people to cross the rail tracks to go to see the Little Mermaid on the other side.
Walk up the spiral ramp of the Round Tower.
One of the iconic buildings in the Copenhagen cityscape is the Round Tower, Rundetårn, from 1642, built by the renowned Danish King Christian IV as an astronomical observatory, and believed to be designed by the Flemish-Danish architect Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger.
Denmark was at the time known for the striking astronomical results that Tycho Brahe had achieved. Therefore, after Tycho Brahe’s death, the king intended with the construction of this new observatory, as a replacement for the former observatory Stjerneborg from 1584 on the island Ven, to continue this path of astronomical research.
Despite the devastating Great Fire of 1728 where the Trinitatis Complex was severely damaged, it was successfully rebuilt and continued operation. Notably, the Round Tower observatory in Købmagergade is still today being used by both amateurs and Copenhagen visitors.
Moreover, surrounding the observatory, you will find an outdoor platform, located 34.8 m above street level, where you can observe the city from above. Here you will be able to study and experience an amazing aerial view of Copenhagen’s architectural highlights.
In particular, the tower is known for its helical riders’ staircase, which was used by Czar Peter the Great, who reputedly ascended the staircase on horseback with his wife, Catherine I, following him in a carriage. Later, in 1902, a Beaufort car ascended the tower, and since then several bicycle races have been held here. The ramp turns 7.5 times around the core of the tower.
The Round Tower is also connected to the Trinitatis Church, which used to be a university chapel. Moreover, the tower and the Trinitatis Complex features a library, which was established as the Copenhagen University Library. Obviously, the location was convenient for research purposes since it was within easy reach from the university, and also from the Regensen dormitories just opposite. Today, a library hall above the church still exists and is being used for both concerts and exhibitions.
On the literal side, the Round Tower is also referred to in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale ‘The Tinder Box’, where the largest of the three dogs is described as having eyes as large as the Round Tower.
Visit the Danish Parliament at Christiansborg – by some visitors also ‘known’ from the Danish popular TV-series Borgen. It is possible to go on a free guided tour here or attend a sitting in the Chamber.
Christiansborg is the former royal palace, which now houses the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Danish Prime Minister’s Office. It is located on the islet Slotsholmen together with the Old Stock Exchange, the Royal Library and Royal Library Gardens.
Although today mainly used for political and governmental purposes, the palace still serves a few purposes related to the Danish monarchy and its functions. It is used for gala banquets and public audiences. Visiting foreign ambassadors are received here by the Queen, and it is also from the balcony of Christiansborg that the Danish monarchs traditionally are proclaimed.
At Christiansborg also the Royal Stables can be found – which over the years have housed the kings’ horses and carriages. In the past there was a significant number of horses being stabled here in central Copenhagen. According to some sources it reached 270 in 1789! Today, the number of royal horses has been reduced to 20 in the Christiansborg stables. Outside you will find the baroque showground, dating all back to 1738-46.
The present palace construction, mainly designed in a Neo-baroque style, goes back to 1928, but other great palace buildings have stood here on the same location for centuries, actually since 1167! At that time the very first palace was erected by Archbishop Absalon, who wanted a castle on the small islet, Slotsholmen, outside Copenhagen Harbour.
In the centuries to come the castle was attacked and demolished several times, and other castles followed on Slotsholmen. Copenhagen Castle was built in the 1400s, and from the 15th century it became the residence of the Danish Kings.
King Erik VII of Pomerania built a prison, the notorious Blue Tower with a bluish roof, here. King Christian IV’s daughter, Leonora Christina, sadly ended up as a prisoner in the Blue Tower for 22 years! During the imprisonment she wrote the famous book ‘Jammers Minde’.
In the period 1731-1745, King Christian VI built the first Christiansborg Palace in a baroque style, and later King Christian VII built the second Christiansborg Palace adopting the lines of neoclassicism. Eventually, in 1906, the architect Thorvald Jørgensen was commissioned to design the current Christiansborg Palace.
For a long time the palace was the royal residence in Copenhagen, but since 1849, it has served as the seat of parliament.
Several parts of Christiansborg are open to the public. The Royal Reception Rooms are sumptuously adorned with furniture and magnificent arts works by prominent Danish artists such as A. Abildgaard, C. W. Eckersberg, L. Tuxen, J. Skovgaard and B. Nørgaard, who has created an elaborate tapestry series depicting 1000 years of Danish history! It was a gift from the Danish business community for Queen Margrethe’s 50th birthday in 1990. In addition to the Reception Rooms you can explore the Royal Stables, Royal Kitchen, the Palace Chapel, as well as the ruins under the palace for a fee. Moreover, if you fancy a sublime view of the Copenhagen cityscape, you may ascend the tower of Christiansborg! There is even free admission for this!
Take a stroll at Kongens Nytorv, the iconic old square in Copenhagen, which in the past – a few centuries ago – was the King’s New Square!
More precisely, Kongens Nytorv dates from the 17th century and was paved with cobblestones in 1670 under King Christian V. The beautiful square, which is still today the heart of Copenhagen city, is flanked by impressive buildings on all five sides:
The Charlottenborg Palace built by Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve in the 1670s. Today it is used by both the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the institution for contemporary art, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, and the Royal Art Library.
The Royal Theatre was built in 1748 as the king’s theatre, although with public access. It was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved, who also stood behind Amalienborg Palace. The Royal Theatre features a world-famous ballet school, established in 1771. Both the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and the fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen fell in love with the national theatre in Copenhagen. Over the years the Royal Theatre has undergone transformations, and today it comprises the Old Stage at Kongens Nytorv, the Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse, also centrally located in Copenhagen.
The Hotel d’Angleterre: Its history dates back to 1755, when a royal servant, Jean Marchal, together with his fiancée established a restaurant here, The Strong Man’s Garden. Throughout the years it both changed name, burned down and overcame other difficulties – but the hotel and restaurant still survived at Kongens Nytorv. The famous Danish composer H. C. Lumbye gave his debut concert here, and since then the hotel was for many years known as the city’s flourishing concert location.
Magasin du Nord: In 1870 a shop opened at Kongens Nytorv in the old Hotel du Nord, which had been home to Hans Christian Andersen from 1838 until 1847. The shop was named after the hotel as Magasin du Nord in 1879.
Kongens Nytorv is also surrounded by other impressive buildings such as the French Embassy and baroque Thott Mansion, built for the naval officer Niels Juel in the 1680s.
Kongens Nytorv is also just a stone’s throw away from the lively harbour, Nyhavn, which in summer is always crowded with Danes and tourists.
In the centre of Kongens Nytorv, inside an elliptical shaped garden, you will notice the equestrian statue of Christian V, erected in 1688. It is actually the oldest royal sculpture in Copenhagen! For a long time it has been part of the Danish student graduation tradition to arrive here from near and far during the festivities and perform a chain dance around the horse statue with fellow students.
Watch the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace.
Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family. Four identical classical palace façades flank the octagonal courtyard, Amalienborg Slotsplads. In the centre of the square you will immediately spot the equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederik V.
The palace was originally built as a residence for wealthy families in Copenhagen. However, when Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794, the royal family seized the opportunity to take it over. Since then they have continuously resided in one of the four Amalienborg Palace buildings.
Several palaces have stood here. The first palace was called Sophie Amalienborg and was erected 1669-1673 under Frederik III, named after his wife Queen Sophie Amalie. The second Amalienborg was built by Frederik IV. It was a summerhouse comprising a central pavilion, the orangeries, a French-style garden, as well as military drill grounds.
Amalienborg Palace became with its matching architecture the centrepiece of the later neighbourhood Frederiksstaden, designed and established by Frederik V and his proficient architect Nicolai Eigtved.
The four identical mansions or palaces of Amalienborg, surrounding the central plaza, were initially intended to make up homes for noble people, and they stood ready in 1760. The four mansions are: Christian VII’s Palace ( Moltke’s Palace), Christian VIII’s Palace ( Levetzau’s Palace), Frederik VIII’s Palace (Brockdorff’s Palace) and Christian IX’s Palace (Schack’s Palace).
A visit to Amalienborg Palace should also include watching the changing of the guard. The castle is guarded by the Royal Life Guards, Den Kongelige Livgarde. They march from Rosenborg Castle at 11.30 am through the streets of Copenhagen in order to perform the changing of the guard at Amalienborg half an hour later.
Between the waterfront and Amalienborg Palace, you will find the garden Amaliehaven from 1983. It was a gift from A. P. Møller to all Copenhagen citizens, designed by the Belgian architect Jean Delogne. It is still today a popular place with its beautiful marble sculptures and refreshing fountain. On the other side of the waterfront you will catch sight of the Opera House which lies on a straight line with Amaliehaven, Amalienborg Slotsplads and Frederik’s Church.
Frederik’s Church is also known as the Marble Church and is a magnificent church in Copenhagen with a copper green dome, also planned as a part of Frederiksstaden. Anyway, the project failed and therefore the current Marble Church is only from 1894. It is a most impressive marble construction with lavish decorations – and of considerable size (it can actually contain the Round Tower!).
Behold the Crown Jewels at Rosenborg Castle and have a picnic in the surrounding park, Kongens Have!
During the productive reign of King Christian IV the Renaissance pleasure palace, Rosenborg, was built. It is today considered one of the enterprising king’s main constructions in Copenhagen. From 1606 to 1633 he erected the impressive castle in several steps, including laying out a delightful park and kitchen garden. The architectural assistance for the comprehensive project was provided by the architects Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel.
Rosenborg Castle included a gate tower with a drawbridge, a turret, apartments and, not least, the magnificent Great Hall which Christian V decorated with 12 tapestries of his victories.
The palace existed as a royal residence until 1710, when his successor Frederik IV turned it into the home of royal collections. It has now become a place where significant royal art treasures are kept, including items from Christiansborg after the fire ravaged there in 1794.
One of the collections, you will experience at Rosenborg today, is the collection of the outstanding Crown Jewels. Their history goes back to Christian VI’s queen, Sophie Magdalene, who dedicated her jewellery to ‘the Crown’ – this being the beginning of the collection. Later, Frederik VIII’s queen, Lovisa, specified which jewels could be considered Crown Jewels, now adding some of her own!
Also Christian VIII’s queen, Caroline Amalie, had her own ideas of the Crown Jewels and had a number of them redesigned to her liking. Still today, the Crown Jewels are subject to traditions and can only be worn by the Queen and entirely within Denmark’s borders!
Rosenborg Castle opened to the public in 1838, and it is today an enticing place to visit including the public garden, Kongens Have (the King’s Garden). The lawns here are awfully popular in summer with the Copenhagen citizens!
One of the outstanding museums in Copenhagen is Glyptoteket, or Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, a remarkable antique sculpture museum initiated by Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914). He was the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries in Valby, which were named after him (‘Carl’s Mountain’ or ‘Carl’s Berg’ in German after Valby Bakke or Valby Hill). Also being an art lover with a special focus on sculptures, he contributed with his personal collection to Glyptoteket, becoming a patron of the museum. Over the years the museum collections have expanded, and Glyptoteket has been extended with great pieces of art, both within sculptures and paintings.
With time a need to expand the museum arose, and the museum was moved to a new location near the Copenhagen City Hall. The new building was designed by Hack Kampmann, while Vilhelm Dahlerup designed an enticing winter garden with a mix of plants and sculptures. In 1906 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek stood ready for inauguration.
Again in 1996 the museum was extended with the design of Henning Larsen, bringing it to its current state.
The collection of paintings contains French impressionists, Post-impressionists in addition to Danish Golden Age pieces by Eckersberg, Købke and Lundbye. Artists include prominent painters such as Renoir, David, Monet, Degas, Cézanne, van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.
A large number of marble and terra cotta statues, reliefs, pottery artifacts and mummies can be found here. Predominantly, displayed sculptures originate from the ancient cultures in Egypt, Rome and Greece, although also modern sculptors, such as Auguste Rodin, are represented.
More things to do and see in Copenhagen
Go to see the world-famous and iconic bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen at Langelinie. It was commissioned by the son of the founder of Carlsberg, Carl Jacobsen, and placed on the rock in 1913. The Little Mermaid was based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales of the same name.
As she sits there, she appears real tiny, but still tourists from the whole world flock to catch a glimpse of and make a selfie with the fabled Mermaid.
Over the years the Little Mermaid has been subject to multiple cases of vandalism for political and other reasons. She has both been decapitated and exposed to paint, but each time she has been restored to the original state!
She has nearly continuously sat at Langelinie since her creation. An exception was for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The statue was then moved from its location in Copenhagen to the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai exhibition.
Have a drink in Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s picturesque harbour which has become the iconic image and symbol of Copenhagen.
Nyhavn is a gateway to the sea from central Copenhagen. Its history goes back to the 1600s when it was dug by Swedish prisoners. King Christian V then established a convenient, new harbour in the city, Nyhavn, in the years 1670 to 1675. Soon it was used by both fishermen and tradesmen for transporting goods to and from the city of Copenhagen.
The row of coloured townhouses, and their bars and restaurants, are popular among Danes and foreign visitors, and both the street and the canal seethe with life as soon as the sun appears on the sky.
On a canal tour you will be told that Hans Christian Andersen lived at No. 67 from 1845 to 1864 and at No. 18 from 1871 to 1875. The oldest house at Nyhavn is No. 9 from 1681.
Any ship addict will marvel at the sight of the old harbour ships lining the canal, including the Lightvessel XVII Gedser Rev from 1895, Anna Møller from 1906 and Svalan af Nyhavn from 1924. Nyhavn even boasts a theatre boat, The Boat Theatre from 1898! On the city side of Nyhavn there is a monument, the Memorial Anchor, commemorating the 1,700 Danish sailors, who lost their lives during World War II.
Take a stroll at Christianshavn, the idyllic neighbourhood in inner Copenhagen, located on a number of artificial islands and surrounded by charming canals.
The area was established in the 17th century by King Christian IV as part of the Copenhagen fortifications featuring 12 bastions.
Until some decades ago it was rather a working-class borough, but from the 1970s onwards it imperceptibly developed into a flourishing, bohemian area. Today, it is one of the trendiest places you can live in within the city of Copenhagen, and it is extremely popular with all population groups, whether it is students, families or senior citizens. Christianshavn counts both a residential area located around the attractive Christianshavn Canal, as well as the alternative community Fristaden Christiania.
Discover Thorvaldsen’s works. A gem of a museum in Copenhagen is Thorvaldsen’s Museum, a museum dedicated to the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844).
Inaugurated in 1848, the museum displays the artist’s proficient work throughout his life. It is a fascinating museum of Thorvandsen’s marble and plaster works, as well as models for cast bronze and marble statues. He worked within the neoclassical genre and spent a great part of his life in Rome.
In addition to his own sculptural works, the collection exhibits artworks and other artifacts from the ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures.
Explore modern architecture at Copenhagen’s waterfront. The Black Diamond, or in Danish Den Sorte Diamant, is an untraditional extension to the Royal Danish Library’s original building on the islet Slotsholmen. The glazed black granite block was completed in 1999, and its name obviously refers to its appearance – resembling a black diamond. Designed by the Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the waterfront structure has an absolutely central location at the harbour.
Approaching the building along the waterside at the right time of the day, you will marvel at the reflections of the tiny waves on the façade of the building. It is truly like a sparkling diamond!
In addition to being a library, the structure houses a number of other public facilities. It features an auditorium, the Queen’s Hall, for concerts, theatre plays and conferences. Moreover, you will find a bookshop, a restaurant, a café and a couple of museums on photography and cartoon art.
Study art at The National Gallery, Statens Museum for Kunst, the largest art museum in Copenhagen. The collection comprises 260,000 pieces of art located in three distinct collections, spanning over paintings and sculptures, dating from around 1300, paper drawings and over 2,000 plaster statues.
Originally, beginning in the 16th century, it was the Kings’ private collections which were on display here at Statens Museum for Kunst, but from the mid-1800s this changed, and the collections were opened to the public.
Since then new acquisitions have been added every year, making it an intriguing art museum, always updated on the styles, trends and significant artists.
Walk through the cobbled streets of Nyboder.
Naval accommodation in Nyboder was an invention by King Christian IV. He constructed the orangish complex of houses with the characteristic red window shutters for his army to provide reasonable accommodation for officers, sailors and other personnel employed in the navy , also when they retired. He hired the Flemish architect Hans van Steenwinkel, who performed the construction task between 1631 and 1648. Precisely the year that the King died, it was completed!
Nyboder became kind of an extension of Kastellet’s housing for the garrison, with its own guard houses and parade ground, though. At the same time it was just off the royal Rosenborg Castle and Kongens Have.
The oldest houses were single storey, but most of the still existing buildings are two-storey. Throughout the last centuries Nyboder has had thousands of residents and it still belongs to the Ministry of Defence and houses Danish military families.
Chill out at trendy Islands Brygge at Copenhagen’s waterfront. It is centrally located on the northwestern coast of the island Amager, facing the promenade and recreational area Kalvebod Bølge. Islands Brygge is also a site where you will find one of the eye-catching Copenhagen Harbour Baths. It is extremely popular in summer!
This part of Copenhagen used to be an industrial and dockland area, but since 2000 it has undergone an amazing development turning it into an attractive neighbourhood with a blend of old houses and top-notch modern architecture.
The dockland past is still preserved in some of the buildings along the waterfront, including the characteristic Gemini Residence, two old silos, which have been converted into apartments.
Dive into Denmark’s past at the National Museum, Nationalmuseet, in Copenhagen. It is the largest museum in Denmark showcasing Denmark’s cultural heritage and background through a vast number of authentic artifacts, displayed in the exhibitions.
Here you can get insight into unique archeological finds such as the famous Golden Horns and the Egtved Girl in her tomb. Other fascinating objects from the Danish prehistory include the Trundholm Chariot of the Sun and the Gundestrup Cauldron.
The museum will take you through Denmark’s history from reindeer hunting in the Ice Age and primitive life in the Viking Age, through the dark Middle Ages and Renaissance up to present day. It covers 14,000 years of Danish history, the power, the monarchy, the colonies, ethnology, ethnography and much more.
Also the ancient cultures of Greece and Italy, the Near East and Egypt are included in the exhibitions.
Visit one of the most modern opera houses in the world, the Copenhagen Opera House, which is located on the island Dokøen at Holmen. It was built just opposite Amalienborg in alignment with both the castle and the Marble Church, giving it a prominent location. Construction (2001-2004) amounted to more than US$500 million, placing the national Opera House on the top of all opera house budgets worldwide.
The Opera House belongs to and is administered by The Royal Theatre, which traditionally has been located at Kongens Nytorv in the inner city.
An unusual and outstanding design was undertaken by the architect Henning Larsen, the engineers Rambøll and Buro Happold, as well as the theatre consultant Theatreplan. The foundation of A.P. Møller (the co-founder of the Mærsk company) donated the Opera House to the Danish state. The structure opened to the public in 2005.
Not surprisingly, the concert hall has an amazing acoustics and can seat more than 1,500 people.
Check out the Ascot Hotel in the heart of Copenhagen:
Centrally located hotel set in a charming 19th-century building close to the Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station. The hotel features a breakfast buffet and free gym access.
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Check out the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel at the waterfront:
This hotel has a unique location close to Amalienborg Palace and the Copenhagen Opera House. Organic breakfast and a gourmet restaurant are some of the things the hotel offers. Nyhavn, Kongens Nytorv and Strøget shopping street are all within easy reach on foot.
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