Copenhagen, Denmark

When Copenhagen, Denmark is a port of call on a European cruise, it’s like stepping into a storybook land. The Little Mermaid statue located a short walk from the Langelinie cruise ship pier, sets the tone for the visit. This mermaid statue is a top tourist attraction and has become an icon of both Copenhagen and Denmark.

Tivoli, the world's second oldest amusement park, is a fairytale-like experience for all ages!  It’s a must if you’re traveling with young children, yet still thoroughly enjoyable if you’re young at heart.  Aside from the rides (geared to young children) there is a Pantomime theater, dozens of restaurants and beautiful, lush gardens. There are daily live musical performances, from rock on the Open Air Stage to classical music in the Concert Hall and intimate concerts in the Glass Hall Theatre. Tivoli is especially magical at night, when thousands of lights and colored lanterns illuminate the park.

What would a fairytale be without a castle? Copenhagen and the surrounding area have many! Kronborg Castle, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the setting of Shakespeare’s play "Hamlet". The castle was built between 1574-1585 to protect the area from Baltic invaders and to collect tolls from ships passing through the narrow strait. Frederiksborg Castle is situated in Hillerod, north of Copenhagen. This impressive Renaissance castle was built in the first decades of the 17th century for the legendary Danish King Christian IV.  It incorporates the best of Renaissance architecture and craftsmanship. Rosenborg Castle was originally built as a country summer house in the early 1600's for Christian IV. It was inhabited by the royal family until 1720. Today the castle and all its contents is a museum. Especially interesting is the coronation throne and the crown jewels.

Housed in an 18th century mansion at the center of Copenhagen, the National Museum offers self-guided tours that let visitors navigate an extensive collection of artifacts related to cultural and national history, from prehistoric times to the present. The Viking exhibit with a stunning array of weapons, clothing, coins and jewels is highlighted by a full size long-boat and accompanying animated visuals for an outstanding effect.

Like many old commercial ports, Nyhavn has a salty history, but times have changed. Today brightly colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants line the canal. The area is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or do like the locals and buy an ice cream cone or a beer and rest your feet at the quayside! Canal and harbor sight seeing cruises leave from this area and offer the best vantage point for photos of the area.

When a European cruise includes Copenhagen as a port of call, visitors are sure to have an enchanting time!