Disembarking from our ship on a rainy day in Copenhagen, we got into a line for a taxi to take to our hotel. The line was not moving. As in many large cities a good portion of the taxi drivers are Muslims in Copenhagen and as luck would have it, our cruise ended on a Muslim holiday. Travel is like that. There are many situations you can’t control or predict, so you have to be ready to adapt. We decided to take the hop-on, hop-off tour (with bags in tow) around the city to the stop nearest our hotel. The ride itself was probably three times as long, but we got the extra bonus of a recorded tour of the city and saw some sections we were not going to have time to visit. And we learned… that Copenhagen is the greenest city in the world and will likely become carbon neutral by 2025. And we saw lots of bikes!
After a half mile walk to the hotel, we headed to Nyhavn, a touristy little boat harbor with restaurants and shops. We had a nice lunch there (I had the famous Smorrebrod – open faced sandwich) and visited a store in the small building where Hans Christian Andersen lived. We could have taken a harbor tour from there.
A few blocks north of our hotel was the Bosenborg Park and Castle. This is one of Copenhagen’s most popular attractions. It is an interesting contrast to the massive palaces of St. Petersburg…more compact and less ornate. The interior shows how the Royal Family lived from the 17th through 19th centuries with portraits, wall treatments and furniture. Three floor above ground are the living and public spaces of the royal family. The top floor is the throne room. But the highlight of the museum is the treasury housed in the basement, where you will see the gold, royal guns, amber and ivory sculptures and much more.
In the late afternoon we strolled down the city’s main pedestrian shopping street, Stroget, which starts near Nyhaven and ends a block from Tivoli Garden. There were street performers and many tempting shops along the way.
Eating out in Copenhagen is surprisingly expensive. We looked at a dozen or so menus hoping that we would find something with prices closer to what we were accustomed to, but it never happened. We finally settled on a trendy little place across from our hotel. My small pizza and dinner salad were about $20. Being on a cruise insulates you from local prices, since you generally only eat lunch on land and the other likely purchases are of decorative items. Tallinn and St. Petersburg were relatively inexpensive, but the other cities (Oslo, Warnemunde / Rostock, Helsinki and Stockholm) were closer to Copenhagen.
The list of things we didn’t see in Copenhagen is long – Tivoli, other palaces and museums, Christiania, the Little Mermaid. Like Stockholm, this is a city with many treasures and there is no way for a short visit to do it justice. But the nice thing about a cruise is the opportunity to sample many places and find out which are the ones where you want to spend more time. Sadly our Baltic cruise did not help us narrow down the list. They were all wonderful!