City Hopping | Two days in Copenhagen, Denmark

Statue of The Little Mermaid

Okay, so the title may be a little misleading as we didn't have two full days in the Danish capital and due to our tour, we didn't spend much of the second day there either. But Copenhagen was first up on our cruise itinerary, and I thought I'd share what we got up to.

On both days we booked excursions through Celebrity Cruises. The first was called ‘Best of Copenhagen’ and was three hours in duration, while the second was much longer – 7 hours – and was titled ‘Castles of North Zealand with lunch’.

First things first we were super touristy and, on both days, saw The Little Mermaid statue. While diminutive, she was still impressive. Our tour guide compared it to seeing the Mona Lisa and The Louvre (I’ve done that too)! She was incredibly popular, and I'd recommend going earlier in the day to beat the crowds – and get a decent photo. In fact, as the sun rose and set would create a stunning backdrop, and I'm glad we got to see the statue in all her glory.

There are several stories about her being, as well as accidents that have seen her beheaded, defaced and moved from her original location. In fact, when we were there, a man draped a football scarf around her neck before posing with her!

Front of Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish queen

Best of Copenhagen

During our city tour we saw Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish royal family. The residents consisted of four buildings, one in each corner. I was surprised how close we managed to get to the front of the buildings – not like Buckingham Palace, with its large gates. There was still the presence of the guards who all marched up and down in front of their respective buildings.

You may be wondering why the four buildings? Well, we were told that one is the residence of the current Queen, Margrethe II. The second is where her son (Frederik, the Crown Prince) and his wife and children live. The third is where other members of the royal family stay and the fourth is for other guests – the likes of international royalty, politicians and other guests. We then had some free time to explore the area known as Amaliehaven, and we didn't see too much of note.

Once we re-boarded the coach, we drove past Nyhavn, the 17th century waterfront – famed for its brightly coloured buildings – before reaching the Tivoli Gardens. Sadly, we didn't get to visit them as part of the excursion and as we went straight back to the ship after the tour, will have to visit them another time. We both said we would love to go back. Tivoli and Nyhavn are both very much on my Copenhagen bucket list.

Fun fact: Tivoli actually means funfair and while many amusement parks across Scandinavia will be known by this name, the one in the one in Copenhagen is the OG. It's also the third largest amusement park in Europe.

View of Frederiksborg Castle, from across the water

Castles of North Zealand

History was on the agenda on our second day. We had a full day tour of North Zealand, home to some of Denmark's most notable castles and palaces. We had a tour of Frederiksborg Castle – set within stunning grounds… if only we had more time to explore them. The castle is also home to the Museum of National History, and there really is so much to do. Sadly, we didn't see it all. From paintings to porcelain and tapestry to artefacts, our tour took us to all the highlights. I particularly enjoyed the room dedicated to the different outfits worn by the Danish royal family.

The next stop was Kronborg Castle, said to be the inspiration behind ‘Elsinore’, the location of Shakespeare's Hamlet. This was just a visit to the exterior, and we didn't really get that close, but it was still a beautiful piece of architecture. Also interesting was our proximity to Sweden – we could see the land from across the water, and our guide said it was only 4km away.

We even got lunch – traditional Danish fare at a building I believe is the Culture Yard. A really big, open space which resembles a warehouse, which has shops, a cafe and also hosts all manner of events and exhibitions. We got to try Smørrebrød – open sandwiches made with rye bread, and so many different toppings. They were mainly fish, although there were a couple of meat options too. It was self-service, and we were treated to three per person – but they were incredibly filling. While I took three, I could only manage one-and-a-half.

From there, it was back to the ship to depart Copenhagen, ready for another day at sea.

Next stop – Helsinki.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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