Nyhavn (literally: New Harbour) is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark.

12 Hours in Copenhagen

Posted June 7th, 2017

The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen boasts a wealth of unique history, culture, entertainment and more. Below, you’ll find our guide to spending a day in this popular cruise port.

8am – Visit the Little Mermaid

Situated in Nordhavn (North Harbour), Copenhagen has three cruise terminals at which passengers will disembark: Langelinie, Nordre Toldbod and Oceankaj. To take the short voyage south to the Little Mermaid statue, opting for a taxi may be the easiest option unless your ship docks at Langelinie, in which case you can simply walk! Depicting Hans Christian Andersen’s most famous literary creation, the sculpture is made of bronze and granite and has become synonymous with the city.


8:45am – Enjoy the colourful architecture of Nyhavn

Head further south (under 10 minutes by car) and stop in the picturesque district of Nyhavn. Originally a busy commercial port, it is now filled with beautifully restored houses and restaurants. Tourists flock to the area to take photos of the iconic colourful façades of the buildings, listen to jazz music, enjoy a delicious meal, walk around the canals, and see the houses of past famous residents.


10am – Witness the beauty of Rosenborg Castle

Now it’s time to make your way west to the splendour and history of Rosenborg Castle, which was built in the early 17th century by Christian IV, a Scandinavian king. Members of the public can walk through the ornately decorated halls and rooms, taking note of the stunning tapestries that line the walls and the exquisite, opulent furnishings. Main attractions include the Knights’ Hall, home to the coronation thrones, the king’s private rooms, waxworks of royal figures and, of course, the Crown Jewels, which have been kept in Rosenborg Castle since 1680.


11:30am – Experience the thrills and fun of Tivoli Gardens

One of Copenhagen’s most well-known attractions, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a must-do for visitors to the city. Founded in 1843, the Gardens has a long history of entertaining and delighting locals and tourists, including Hans Christian Andersen and Walt Disney. Wander around and see the exotic architecture, historic buildings and verdant gardens. Stop and watch a musical performance. Go on ride after ride, indulging your inner child. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants or food stalls.

2:30pm – Become acquainted with Denmark’s culture and history

Slow things down with a visit to the National Museum of Denmark, which is only a short walk away from Tivoli Gardens. Here you can learn about Danish Prehistory, the Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, Modern Danish history and more through descriptive exhibitions. The National Museum of Denmark is housed in the Prince’s Palace, which was built around 1744.


4pm – Treat yourself to some shopping at Strøget

Stroll along one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets and make the most of the wealth of shops that can be found here. Whether you prefer high-end designer brands such as Prada and Louis Vuitton, or are looking for less expensive options such as Zara and H&M, you’ll be able to indulge in a little retail therapy. While walking along Strøget, you can also see famous sights such as the Church of Our Lady, where Princess Mary and Prince Frederik were married.


5:30pm – Take in the views at the Round Tower

Rudetaarn or Round Tower is a 17th-century tower and observatory built by Christian IV. The oldest functioning observatory in Europe, the Round Tower is now used by amateur astronomers and visited by tourists, who walk up the 209-metre-long spiral staircase to enjoy spectacular views of the city.


6:30pm – Round two in Nyhavn

Not far from your cruise ship and filled with restaurants and pubs, Nyhavn is the perfect place to end your day in Copenhagen and enjoy a tasty meal, along with a few drinks.


8pm – Return to your cruise ship

After making the most of your time in Copenhagen, return to the comforts of your cruise ship and enjoy a relaxing evening.


Want to tick Copenhagen off your bucket list? Get in touch on 1300 954 661 and we can help you choose an itinerary, make a booking and get set for your Danish adventure. 

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