My last full day in Copenhagen, I wanted to hit all the spots I had missed in the previous two days. So first things first, I set out for Rosenborg palace and botanical gardens.
When I got to the top, I answered my own question. When I said that Church of Our Saviour offered the best view, I wasn’t just yanking your chain. Research into this subject has expanded over several hopefuls and the Church still holds the title. But in case you don’t believe me, here’s the view from the top of the Round Tower:
Finally I reached Rosenborg Castle. The gardens are free to enter, but the palace charges an admission fee (not that I was surprised). Based on what I had heard about the inside of the palace, I figured it wasn’t really worth my Krona. However, the outside perimeter is definitely worth checking out.
If you get there before noon you can see the official changing of the guard. This procession begins at Rosenborg as the Queen’s Guard abandon their post around the castle and march out into the street on their way to Amalienborg Palace (the royal family’s actual residence). It’s quite authentic and very interesting to watch, though you only need see it one time as it is rather long and the routine doesn’t vary; trust me, I asked.
After seeing the parade of bearskin caps off to Amalienborg, I walked a couple blocks over to the National Gallery. Now, we already know that I’m not much for art. But I still feel like I owe it to myself, the artists, and the high culture of the places I visit to at least pop in and peruse. So I did, and as per usual some of it I understood, and some of it was completely lost on me. However, I did come to the conclusion that should I ever be in need of something to do, modern art seems fairly easy to glom onto. I mean, apparently just repeating basic color palettes can grant you a whole room in the national gallery. I can do that.
Jokes aside, I will say that aside from the slightly confusing modern Danish art, the gallery did house an impressive collection of Matisse. One of his most famous paintings, Green Stripe, can be seen there as well as many other works, both known and more unknown. There are also information stations where you can slap on a pair of headphones and listen to the influences of the artists of the time.
From the gallery, I went back to Frederik’s Church, a site I had previously visited on my walking tour. Due to the time constraints, we did not go into this great domed cathedral, so I went back to see if the inside was as great as the outside. It most certainly was!
On the weekends, you can also pay to take tours of the jolly green dome, but unfortunately I was only in Copenhagen during the week. Oh well, something to do next time!
Since I was “in the area”, I figured I might as well go see Europe’s second most disappointing tourist attraction, The Little Mermaid (if you’re wondering, the first is apparently The Mannequin Man in Brussles). The Little Mermaid was a gift from Carl Jacobsen, son founder of the Carlsberg brewery and creator of the Carlsberg Foundation, to the city of Copenhagen. It pays homage to one of the city’s most famous residents, Hans Christian Anderson, the author of the tale of The Little Mermaid. Like the story, the mermaid statue is purposefully placed to face the harbor so she might catch a glimpse of her landlubber prince. Very nice story, very nice statue, but not a must-see in my books. Whoever started that rumor should be knocked down a peg in their reviewer status on TripAdvisor because it is a long way out to this “little” mermaid and that is seriously all it is. If I hadn’t had time to kill, I would’ve been as disappointed as all the other tourists rolling their eyes as they trekked back into town. So, if you find yourself in Copenhagen and someone tells you that you must see The Little Mermaid, you have been warned. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
After coming back from the boonies of Copenhagen, I decided I had walked enough to earn myself a small treat at Copenhagen Street Food. Yes, I went back; because it’s that good! And there were so many things I hadn’t tried. I spent the better part of the half hour it took to get over there drooling over what new thing I might try this time. Once I got in, it was back to square one.
Eventually after making a few rounds, I settled on a slice of potato pesto pizza that was absolutely divine! And you know you can’t have pizza without beer so it was off to the bar! Then, since I still had 55 Krona and a smidgen of room in my belly, I went straight for the Oreo cheesecake. I’d like to think I walked it off…
On my way back over the bridge from Christianhavn, I came across some of the most iconic buildings in Copenhagen. The Stock Exchange, which has an unusual tower shaped like four twisted dragon tails, is right next to the parliament building of Christiansborg.
Now, you may notice that Christiansborg has the same suffix as the palaces Amalienborg and Rosenborg. That is because Christiansborg was the original home of the royal family.
As we learned on our walking tour, Christiansborg has burned down three times (clearly Copenhagen does not understand the concept of fire), and during its third reconstruction the royal family was sent to Amalienborg for the duration of the redesign. But, they liked Amalienborg so well that they gave Christianborg to the city for use as government offices.
The tower of Christiansborg is open to the public and there is even a lift that takes you straight to the top, so no need wrestle with your own mortality scaling great heights. This tower is also free of charge. Since it was on my way, I made a quick stop just to make sure I got my money’s worth at Church of Our Saviour. And I can once again honestly say, I did. Although,since it is free, this tall tower is a pretty close second!
Walking back to my hostel, I had a little time to reflect on all the things I saw and did in Copenhagen. I met some very nice people, explored a few interesting areas, climbed the tallest towers, and ate some of the best food ever! All this, and I still, surprisingly, came in way under budget!
Originally, I had planned on getting the Copenhagen card which gains you entrance to all the museum and amusements (or most of them anyways) as well as free transportation around the city. The cost is about €67 for 2 days. However, after talking to people both working and staying at my hostel, it seemed like this was a waste of money. After the first day, I realized if most definitely was. Copenhagen is not exceedingly large. You can walk everywhere in not very much time at all, so the benefit of free transportation wouldn’t have done anything for me. Also, most of the museums are free, so that would’ve been another waste. Finally, while the card would’ve gotten me into all the castles, I don’t feel like I really missed anything from the outside to the inside; and usually the outside is the most impressive part anyways. I’m glad I decided against the card. I had more money to spend on food, which I think I enjoy more than castles to begin with.
Whilst on this great adventure, I have made the resolution to reach the airport with no regrets. You never know when you’ll be back, so do all you can while you’re there. Leaving Copenhagen, I couldn’t think of anything I hadn’t done that I wanted to do. In reality, I did more than I had originally planned! Although a third trip to Paper Island might have been nice, but that just gives me reason to return!