Now back in the US for a few days, I’ve been reflecting on my top five Copenhagen highlights. Sure, there are scattered palaces and castles, museums and theaters, but those are everywhere. They’re hardly even a story, and why else would you be travelling? Here are the five attractions that’ll leave your friend’s jaw on the floor.
1) The Paternoster
The “Our Father” elevator in the Danish Department of Agriculture building (Axelborg building) is worth a roundtrip intercontinental ticket in and of itself. Across from Tivoli, walk through the two sets of doors between all the souvenir shops during normal business hours (open late on Wednesdays as a choir will serenade your ride) and be amazed. I’ve given too much away already- just know that you will not be disappointed. Play the piano on top as hard as your fingers can and perform for all the Danish aggies with some beautiful acoustics.
2) Frederiksberg Cisternerne
“The best 15 minutes 40 kroner can buy you!” That’s not their slogan, understandably. But there is some truth in that. The cisterns used to hold the drinking water for Frederiksberg, a town that is more like a neighborhood just northwest of the Copenhagen city center. Taking a bus to the zoo is an easy way to get here, and then simply turn around and look in the park behind you for a glass pyramid. Walk in and enjoy the most interesting museum/art gallery you can find in Northern Europe. It’ll be a quick but worthwhile visit. Near there is also an expansive park, palace, and of course the Copenhagen zoo.
3) Cycle Snake
If on bike, abandon all other plans in order to bike across the “cycle snake” near the Fisketorvet shopping mall adjacent to the Dybbolsbro train station. Luscious, seductive, and irresistible are not usually words used to describe a bridge, but this one deserves them and more. Both sides of this south harbor area are filled with interesting modern architecture, and this is just one example worth seeing even if on foot.
4) Trinity Night Church (Trinitatis Natkirke)
Every Tuesday at 8pm, the church attached to the Round Tower (a more well-known tourist attraction along the walking street) opens up for a free candle-lit concert. Sleeping pads and blankets are handed out and viewers sit and lay on the church floor as a few bands come on and play calm-ish music, interspersed with a nun coming up to the stage and saying something religious-y in Danish. Otherwise it doesn’t feel like a religious event, just a chance to hear interesting music in a sweet venue. Lasts about two hours.
5) The Underwater Sculptures
Between Hojbro Plads and Christiansborg there is a bridge going over the old moat. Walk across this bridge on the east side and look down into the shallow water. An eery set of sculptures lurk down there, hidden from most everyone who passes through this busy area. An interesting story is represented in these sculptures, explained here: http://memorabledestination.com/2014/04/23/cool-attractions-agnete-the-merman-gammel-strand-canal-copenhagen/
A few honorable mentions:
Superkilen park in Norrebro: an interesting urban park in a Copenhagen neighborhood. If stoked on that, check out banana park for a smaller but also neat urban park nearby.
Grundtvig church: Also in Norrebro, an expansive and sparsely decorated cathedral. Never got to try this out myself but I imagine there’d be some good echoes in there for some yodelling.
That’s a wrap for me. Enjoy the blurry conclusion