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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore: Sights to see, things to do & where to shop

Copenhagen, Denmark

The largest city in Scandinavia, Copenhagen was founded in 1167 and is the home of the world's oldest kingdom. Lively and fun-loving, most of the city's old center caters to pedestrians.


Taxis greet cruise ship arrivals and, depending on where yours docks, you could either be a 10-minute walk from the Little Mermaid statue or a short taxi ride away. Beat the crowd to the Little Mermaid, a life size bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen's character from the fairy tale of the same name, and start a walking tour of Copenhagen from there. 

The stately, symmetrical square surrounded by the imposing Rococo-design buildings comprising Amalienborg Palace is about a 20-minute walk from the Little Mermaid. The 11:30 am changing of the guard is a daily event. Close by, the New Harbor area is the spot to enjoy a cappuccino in an outdoor cafe or to catch a canal boat for a tour of the waterways and harbor.

Copenhagen is a wonderful city for walking, with many streets reserved for pedestrians only. Stroll through the shopping district to the Town Hall Square and then it's only a short distance to Tivoli. Enjoy Tivoli's lavish gardens and amusement rides and plan to return after dark when 110,000 light bulbs transform it into a magical lighted fairyland.

Other notable city sights are: Christiansborg Castle where the Queen hosts official galas; the Citadel, an 18th century fortress; Round Tower with a 600-foot ascent made worthwhile by the magnificent view; the neoclassical Church of Our Lady; and the Baroque-style Marble Church. 

Shore excursions through the North Zealand countryside generally will pass the Danish "Riviera" with its beaches and villas and include Helsingor, the site of Kronborg Castle. Known as "Hamlet's Castle" it commands an imposing view of Sweden, only three kilometers from its ramparts. Back on the road, past Fredensborg Palace, summer home of the current Royal Family, tours include the lovingly restored Frederiksborg Castle and its Baroque style gardens.


Copenhagen is a shopper's heaven. Along the linked pedestrian streets of Stroget, Fiolstraede, and Kobmagergade are stores chocked full of fine ceramics, china, crystal, silver, art-household items, clothes, knitwear, and souvenirs too numerous to list. For youngsters, there are Legos, the building block toys that originated in Denmark. Don't get confused by the many-changing street names, the Stroget (not really its official name) changes names four times in under a mile.

Back to Europe, Baltic Ports of Call

For a Cruise Diva perspective, follow the Baltic Capitals Cruise Diary

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