Take me to Copenhagen!

Woot! It’s the last day of November. My sweet host mom gave me an Adventskalender, or Christmas calendar, with chocolate figures to help me with the countdown. 😛

And tomorrow, we will join the Christmas march! It would be my first time, so I don’t know yet how it’s done. But before I worry about the said event, let me share an entry about Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen. Originally a Viking fishing village, the city is located on the eastern coast of the Zealand island and is the most populous city in the country. Its name was derived from the word Køpmannæhafn, meaning “merchants’ harbour”.

The city is 77.20 km2 in size and can be easily explored by walking or cycling. I highly suggest you wear your comfy sneakers and do a walking tour around the city! With an illustrated map in hand, it is impossible to get lost in this small city. 🙂 If you are not into walking a lot, then there’s the Hop On, Hop Off Tourist Bus. It doesn’t come for free though.

Because they sell sweat in CPH. haha
Because they sell sweat in CPH. haha

Here is a simple itinerary for a day of walking around Copenhagen.

Starting off from the Central Station, go across the street and get a glimpse of one of Denmark’s most visited amusement park, the Tivoli. It was founded by Georg Carstensen in 1843.

Vesterport station and Palads Cinema House in the background
Vesterport station and Palads Cinema House in the background

Just at the opposite street is Vesterport Station with the Palads Teatret, one of the biggest cinema in northern Europe. I saw several films there already. Well, movie theatres in PH are much, much bigger, but the Palads is better than nothing. Besides, I like the colorful facade. 😛

Across the street is the City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) where you will find the Dragon Fountain. The square is usually teeming with people, and events sponsored by various organizations are being held there.

Rådhuset (the City Hall)
Rådhuset (the City Hall)
The Dragon Fountain
The Dragon Fountain

Many Filipinos spend time at the square during weekends. That’s because the only KFC restaurant in Copenhagen can be found at the plaza and fried chicken is considered “crap food” by most Danes. (Don’t generalize. I wrote ‘most’.) McDonalds and Burger King also sit along Copenhagen’s shopping boulevard, Strøget, also known as the Walking Street.

Along the Walking Street are local and foreign shops, bakeries, and restaurants. You can actually spend a day just sitting in one of the benches, watching street performances, or merely observing passersby. 🙂 Then on one end of the Walking Street is a famous harbour called the Nyhavn. I think this is one of the must-see spots in the city, with plenty of restaurants and colorful houses. This is where you can go on a canal tour as well.

My sister and I at Nyhavn
My sister and I at Nyhavn

If you’re planning to go on a canal tour, I advise that you do it in summer. Otherwise, it can be very, very cold to the point that you won’t enjoy the scenery at all. 😄 Continuing further along Larsens Plads, you will see the amazing Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen). I am definitely going to see an opera in that theatre in 2014!!! 😀

The Opera House
The Opera House

Walking on, you will reach the main residence of the Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II and Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark. Additional info: They have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. I still can’t believe I’m living in a country with monarchy.

The main residence is called the Amalienborg Slot, consisting of 4 buildings which all look the same.

Amalienborg
Amalienborg

Your walking tour will not be complete without seeing Denmark’s most famous icon, Den Lille Havfrue or The Little Mermaid, a statue made by Edvard Eriksen. There are other monuments on the way, like this replica of the statue of David.

David in Copenhagen
David in Copenhagen
Viking to be?
Viking to be?

Once you reach the Anglican Church of St. Alban, it only means that you are a few steps to meeting the Mermaid.

The Anglican Church of St. Alban
The Anglican Church of St. Alban

Take a break and relax in the vicinity, and look for the famous Gefion Fountain near the church. Then continue your journey and voila!

There will be plenty of tourists in the area, so be nice and ask for your turn to capture a photo or two with the Little Mermaid. By the way, the fairy tale was written by Danish Hans Christian Andersen. 😉

First ever photo with Den Lille Havfrue (the Little Mermaid)
First ever photo with Den Lille Havfrue (the Little Mermaid)

Going back, make sure to pass by the Kastellet, a complex of fortifications with a 5-star design. Here you will see some military barracks, beautiful windmills, and little canyons.

A windmill at the Kastellet
A windmill at the Kastellet
Kastellet
Kastellet

So there, it can be quite tiring, but it’s all worth it! Copenhagen is a beautiful little city that would make you want to visit it again in the near future! What I posted here is just a portion of København. More spots and things to do next time! Enjoy your holidays! 😉

Spring in Copenhagen
Spring in Copenhagen

(NOTE: This post was written last November 2013.)

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