It's hard to pick one favorite thing about Copenhagen, which is easily my favorite city on the Scandinavian tour. From the quaint bike-friendliness and hip college-town vibe to the deep sense of history and national pride manifest in the preponderance of beautifully maintained castles and churches, Copenhagen manages to feel both cosmopolitan and traditional. And whereas other cities felt as though we had exhausted all the major attractions within less than two days, I would love to stay here longer. (Or, alternatively, come back real soon).
We got our royal family fix at Christianborg Palace, Amalienborg Castle and Rosenborg Castle, but outside the city proper are even more regal residences. Because apparently it was a thing for newly anointed kings to build their own castles rather than inheriting the one from his predecessor. I especially liked Rosenborg because the surrounding gardens reminded me a lot of Central Park.
The Rosenborg grounds are located just a bit inland from The Little Mermaid, which honestly was a little underwhelming up close; the sheer volume of tourists detracted from the experience. South of the statue, at Ofelia Beach, the Copenhagen Sandsculpture Festival displays impressive works by artists from all over the world. Their medium is a mixture of sand and clay, which is then periodically sprayed with water to prevent drying out. The exhibit has been going on since the end of May so, sadly, some of the sculptures looked as though they were beginning to decay.
Copenhagen has a plethora of museums, but after visiting all those castles we were feeling a little burnt out on looking at old things. Even so, we still enjoyed Thorvaldsen's Museum and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek - both sculpture museums. The latter is also renowned for its architecture, with an inner courtyard that's like a greenhouse.
For similar reasons I also tend to get bored of visiting churches but the Church of Our Savior, a baroque masterpiece, is not to be missed. The interior and altarpiece are quite intricate, but the real reason for going is the 90 meter corkscrew spire. And maybe I just have a thing for heights (I've realized through writing that a majority of places I choose to visit tend to be up high), but the view from the top is unbelievable. Another tower we visited was the Rundetårn, or observatory. While not quite as tall as the spire it's equally interesting structurally.
There are also lots of little things that I like about Copenhagen; small details that I tried to capture in photos. Like the way that locals congregate near the water - either on the wharf or in private boats - soaking up the sunshine and each other's company, perhaps drinking a bottle of wine or sharing some ice cream. Or sitting at a café on the sidewalk watching people go by (Copenhagen is much cleaner than Paris so it makes for a more enjoyable outdoor dining experience).
On our last night we visited Tivoli, the world's second-oldest amusement park and supposedly the inspiration for Disneyland. Secluded by trees in the heart of the city center, once the sun had set and the park lit up, it truly felt like a magical place to relive childhoods long gone.