We start our day with breakfast in the basement of our hotel – it is probably one of the best set ups I’ve seen for buffet breakfast and has everything we need. We even manage to make a ham and cheese sandwich and take a pear for lunch as well.
We set off to explore, this time heading towards the Rosenborg Slot (or castle). Daniel told us yesterday that if we only had time for one castle then it should be Rosenborg – it is fairly original 17th century and some of the items exhibited in the castle are also used by the Royal Family on occasion: all royal children from 1671 to the present have been baptised in the font there. Rosenborg is also the site of the Treasury where the Crown Jewels are held.
We surprised ourselves by finding our way there fairly easily, starting back up the main Stroget pedestrian street and then veering off through the Latin district towards the Kings Gardens. We walk through the gardens and then across the green bridge to Rosenborg. We have to get a ticket (using our Copenhagen Card) and put our bags in a locker before we can go inside.
Inside is well laid out with quite a range of different rooms from marble chambers, stone corridors, garden rooms, writing rooms, a glass cabinet and a porcelain cabinet, and most surprisingly to me an enormous hall on the 2nd floor. The marble chamber was the most ornate with three dimensional ceiling relief, and some of the jewelled and inlaid furniture was just beautiful.
The Long Hall was originally intended as a ballroom (built in 1624). Around 1700 it was used as Royal Reception Room and for banquets. The twelve tapestries depict King Christian V’s victories in the Scanian War (1675–1679). The stucco ceiling shows the Danish Coat of Arms. The Long Hall also contains the coronation chair of the absolutist kings and the throne of the queens with three silver lions standing in front.
Only after you have been through the rest of the castle are you allowed in the basement to see the treasury (we tried to go reverse order to beat a crowd but were turned back). The Treasury contains everything from weapons to wine, carved ivory pieces, jewelled riding gear, astronomy items as well as the expected elaborate jewellery and of course the Crown Jewels and royal regalia.
From the Castle we also get a good view of the Royal Life Guards’ barracks and of guards getting ready for the Changing of the Guard – they march from here to Amalienborg Square every day. We watch them lining up, practising, and getting inspected and titivated.
We stop for a cuppa in the Garden Cafe before exploring the Kings Gardens (Kongerns Have) some more. Then we head down the street to the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). The Round Tower dates back to 1637 and is still a functioning observatory (the oldest in Europe) alongside the Trinity Church and Library.
Inside the Round Tower is a spiral ramp that twists 7.5 times around a hollow core – you can step into a glass floor and look 25 metres down. There is a planetarium showing the current positions of the solar system as well as a telescope right at the top of the building. From the top you can also get a spectacular 360 degree view of the city.
As we exit we indulge in twists of toffeed almonds still warm from the pan, and then head to Kings New Square to sit on a park bench and eat our sandwiches. Then we head to Gammel Strand to catch a boat for our canal cruise. We are lucky that a boat has just returned and we are one of the first onboard for the next trip so get our choice of seats.
Once the boat has filled up we head off around the canal network under impossibly low bridges (and sometimes impossibly narrow too). We see a different side of the city with waterfront apartments each with their boats outside, expensive houseboats, ramshackle huts on floating platforms, waterside cafes, working wharves, military areas, and even the royal yacht. We pass the newer opera house, playhouse and the old Stock Exchange, Christiansborg Palace, and the beautiful Amalienborg Palace with a view straight down to the Marble Church. We see the Little Mermaid from the water and are reminded again how insignificant it really is.
After our walk we amble back to our hotel for a rest. Later we walk past the railway station and Tivoli Gardens in search of a meal. We end up in the Tivoli Food Hall – an upmarket selection of food stalls where it seemed everyone was indulging this evening. We manage to find ourselves a table, and purchase a pizza to share and a glass of pale ale each.
Please join me over the next several posts as I take you on our Journey to the Arctic (and more).
Arctic Express: Northern Lights
Day 1: Copenhagen to Reykjavik
Day 2: Reykjavik to Constable Point, Greenland
Day 3: Scoresby Sund: Frederiksdal & Flyvefjord
Day 4: Scoresby Sund: Nordvestfjord & Ingmikortilaq
Day 5: Scoresby Sund: Eskimobugt & Immikkeerikajik
Day 6: Scoresby Sund: Danmark Island & Vikingsbugt
Day 7: Scoresby Sund: Cap Hope & Ittoqqortoormiit
Day 8: Scoresby Sund: Steward Island & Constable Point
Day 9: Constable Point back to Reykjavik
Day 1: Reykjavik: Blue Lagoon
Day 2: Golden Circle
Day 3: South Coast
Day 4: Jokulsarlon
Day 5: Eastern Fjords & Moorudalur Valley
Day 6: Moorudalur Valley & Lake Myvatn
Day 7: Akureyri & Trollaskagi Peninsular
Day 8: Grabrok Volcano & Snaefellsnes Peninsular
Day 9: Snaefellsness to Reykjavik
For this and other similar tours see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
Note: After people telling me they had booked an Intrepid Tour on my recommendation, I now have affiliate links with the Intrepid Travel group of companies and may receive a commission if you book a tour online within a couple of months after clicking through to these sites. So if you are enjoying my tips and stories and finding them useful in choosing your own travel, please click on these links and help me to bring you more .