Postcard from fairy tale Copenhagen
This is the third in our series of “Postcards from…” brought to you in conjunction with Budget UK. This time we’re in a city of fairy tales. The famous Palaces of Amelienborg (above) have their own very real Queen and Princes in residence, which of course is the stuff of many fairy tales. But your Copenhagen story takes you down a different path; where nothing is obvious and everything enchants. So settle down, get ready for some postcard Copenhagen magic and when you’re ready, we’ll begin…
1 Spiral up Rapunzel’s tower
Sketch a constellation on your postcard from the top of a tall tower
To get your bearings in this fine Danish capital city, we suggest you send your first postcard from the Rundetaarn. Copenhagen is the fairy tale city and Rapunzel would probably feel at home in this 17th century tall round building. Climb its 7.5 turn helical tower to the top, where you’ll get a superb view over the city. The tower is wide enough to allow a horse and carriage to climb the spiral and even unicycles have done it so there’s no excuse for wimping out. It’s also the oldest astronomical observatory in Europe and from mid October until mid March amateur star-gazers can watch the stars through a professional lens. In the summer months you can view the sun (on a good day).
2 Free up your imagination in Christiana
Capture the wierd and wonderfully free spirit of Christiana
Our next postcard suggestion comes from an unmissable area to the east of the city; on a man-made peninsula called Christianshavn. If Copenhagen was a cool urban building, then Christiania would be the squat next door. In fact therein lies its roots. The Free City of Christiania is one of Europe’s only surviving 1970’s communes – squatters created their own city here and the Danish government eventually gave the commune some autonomy. And residents certainly let their imaginations run free; from the wonderland of the Alis Skate Park to the open-air urinals, graffiti art and interesting architecture. And Christiania’s seaside location gives it the feel of a strange fairytale land where anything could happen. If it does, make sure you capture it on your postcard and send it home.
3 Tell your own fairytale in the house of Hans
Write a pocket sized tale of your adventure in the house of Denmark’s most famous author
If you’re in Copenhagen with a family, it’s pretty much compulsory to visit the famous Sculpture of the Little Mermaid at Langelinje Pier. This year the city’s most famous resident celebrated her 100th birthday. But the fairytale story doesn’t end there. The north side of Copenhagen boasts the seaside area of Nyhanvn; an enchanting mix of 18th-century town houses and tall-masted ships. It’s there that you’ll find the Hans Christian Andersen Fairytale House. (Children under five have free entry.) Could there be a more stimulating place to write a postcard? For inspiration wander like the little match girl through tableaux depicting the famous fairy-tales, in three languages, with lighting and sound guiding your way.
4 An adrenaline fix in Tivoli Gardens
Scribble your fourth postcard from a big wheel or roller coaster and try and make it legible
Your kids are going to love us. Two of the oldest theme parks in the world lie in Copenhagen, and our itinerary takes you to one of them, the famous Tivoli Gardens. (The other, Dyrehavsbakken, is just a few kilometers away so you could make it a double.) 2014 marks the centenary of one of the world’s most famous wooden roller coasters; perhaps you can try and write your postcard upside down from one of its little carriages? Opened in 1843 and designed to resemble something from the Far East, Tivoli isn’t anything like the scale of Disney, but it’s just as charming. There are some thrilling rides too.
5 Outdoorsy art in Louisiana
Sculpt your lines from a garden packed with modern art
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art mixes art, architecture and landscape in a unique way. Located directly on the shore of the Oresund Sound in Humlebæk, 35 km north of Copehagen, it is the most visited art museum in Denmark. And you’ll soon see why. Its vast collection of modern and contemporary art includes a unique sculpture garden with pieces from a wealth of world famous artists including Max Ernst and Henry Moore. Send your final postcard from above, beneath, next to or within one of these sculptures, under the ancient trees with a prime view of the sea. Could there be a more story-book ending to your adventure in Copenhagen?
Disclosure Note: This post was brought to you thanks in part to the support of Budget UK. All the research, ideas and opinions remain, as ever, entirely our own.