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Copenhagen, Two Perfect Days: Day Two

[Holland America Line’s Rotterdam is in Copenhagen today, docked at Copenhagen’s Freeport. Langelinie is only a short distance away for those who would like to follow the recommendations below. Ideally, these reports are for two-day stays before or after your Holland America Line cruise to/from Copenhagen.]

Day two of Two Perfect Days in Copenhagen takes you from Langelinie, where some of the smaller cruise ships dock, to Nyhavn, the colorful “new” harbor, and across Kongens Nytorv (the King’s New Square) to the time-honored Hotel D’Angleterre.

You can do this tour in either direction, and for those on a pre- or post-cruise stay at D’Angleterre, this tour meshes nicely with Day One of Two Perfect Days in Copenhagen. That route takes you from D’Angleterre to Tivoli and beyond.

Setting out from either D’Angleterre or Langelinie, you could walk this entire route in 30 minutes, but there’s lots to see along the way, so you’re setting out instead for a long sightseeing stroll. You’ll see many of Copenhagen’s best attractions along the way. This is certainly one of the Danish capital’s most enjoyable strolls, a popular route for walking or bicycling.

Moreover, the route I suggest is particularly convenient for those on ships only calling on (not terminating in or beginning cruises from) Copenhagen. Free of your luggage, you could combine Day One and Day Two to walk all the way from Langelinie to Tivoli, taking local transport back to the ship, and seeing the best of Copenhagen in one day.

Getting Going

Alongside Langelinie are shops, cafes and a tourist information center where you can pick up a map and ask directions. You’ll hardly need directions, however. Just follow the the water. You’ll need to skirt around a few small harbors as you’re going, but just keep following the walkway and making your way back to the water.

Your first stop is the Little Mermaid. Don’t make the same mistake as one uninformed tourist. He asked to book a table at the Little Mermaid. She’s not a restaurant.

This is not her either. This is a restaurant at Langelinie. The enterprising owner decided to erect the new, and more voluptuous, New Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid is much smaller, and in fact, many tourists pass her by without realizing that, yes, she is the small statue sitting on the rock in the harbor. At least for the moment she sits there.

Little Mermaid

Copenhagen’s beloved Little Mermaid, known from the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, will leave the city soon for a brief tour. A fixture that has never left the spot where she was erected in 1913, the Little Mermaid will travel around the world to be part of World Expo in Shanghai from April 2010 to November 2010. While in Shanghai, her place in Copenhagen will be temporarily taken by a sculpture created by a Chinese artist.

Geflion Fountain

From the Little Mermaid, continue walking along the water until you reach Gefion Fountain. The fountain represents the mythical story of a legendary Norse goddess who turned her sons into oxen to plow the earth to create the island of Zeeland, where Copenhagen is situated.

Adjacent to the fountain is the beautiful Saint Alban’s Church. Known locally as “The English Church,” the small Saint Alban’s is Denmark’s only Anglican church.

English Church

If you’re so inclined, you could make a small diversion to walk across the moat into Kastellet, a former military facility that is now a public park. Otherwise, from The English Church, head away from the water (for now) through Churchillparken to the Museum of the Danish Resistance. Along the way, you’ll pass a charming restaurant, Lumskebugten.


Stop inside for coffee or lunch or just to admire the cozy setting. Serving traditional Danish food, the restaurant’s name translates to “sneaky bay.”

Lumsekbugtan 2

Continue on to the museum.

Museum of Danish Resistance

The museum tells the story of Danish resistance during Nazi occupation from 1940 until 1945. It’s filled with many interesting exhibits and interactive media, many about rescuing Danish Jews and sabotaging Nazi efforts to control Denmark.

Fredricks church

From the museum, make your way along Bredgade to Frederik’s Church, popularly known as The Marble Church. Construction began in 1749, but the church was not opened until 1894. Boasting Scandinavia’s largest dome, the church is worth a brief visit inside.


Directly across Bredgade from the Marble Church is Amalienborg Palace, where the Royal family resides. Behind it, in the photo above, is Copenhagen’s new Opera House, which is situated across the water.

changing of guard

If you’ve timed your walk properly, you’re just in time for the changing of the guard at noon. You may just see the guards marching down the street toward Amalienborg. Denmark, by the way, is home to the world’s oldest monarchy and boasts the world’s oldest flag (you can see the birthplace of the Danish flag in Tallinn, Estonia, which the Danes once ruled.)

After watching the ceremonies in the palace courtyard, make your way back to the water and continue your walk.

You’ll pass the Royal Playhouse before reaching the canal that leads into Nyhavn. Walk alongside the canal, and when you get to the bridge, look to your right for a restaurant called Told & Snaps. It’s time for lunch and the famed Danish smorrebrød. To be assured a table in this popular restaurant, however, you may want to make reservations.

told and snaps

Be sure to try the homemade aquavit and a beer with your open-faced sandwich.

hyhavn, the new harbor

Afterward, stroll along the canal and admire the colorful buildings along Nyhavn. It’s a short stroll, but take your time.

Before crossing the street to Kongens Nytorv, hop on a 50-minute guided canal tour, departing from near the statue of the big anchor at one end of Nyhavn.

After returning, head across Kongens Nytorv to Hotel D’Angleterre. If you’re staying here, consider yourself lucky. If not, take some time to admire the hotel before heading back to your ship. Bus #26 travels between the city center and Langelinie, or you can return by waterbus. Ask for directions in D’Angleterre.

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