The Caribbean Princess arrived at our second port of call of our Baltic cruise in the morning at 8 am. This marked our fourth day on board the Caribbean Princess, sailing and reaching Bruges by the second day, and spending the entire third day sailing towards Copenhagen.
The Caribbean Princess attempting to dock at the Port of Copenhagen.
While waiting for it to dock, we took in the splendid views of the port.
Waters around the port is slightly murky, but at least we can see to the bottom.
Copenhagen has four cruise terminals – Langelinie Quay, Nordre Toldbod, the Freeport (Frihavnen) and Ocean Quay (Oceankaj). The Caribbean Princess docked at Ocean Quay (Oceankaj), the newest cruise terminal.
Unlike our first port of call at Zeebruge, Belgium where it was relatively tedious to get to places of interest via public transport, Copenhagen does connect its port to the city centre with public buses. The public buses has plenty of room for improvement, but it is still a good alternative to taking the expensive Princess cruises shore excursions.
Another alternative would be to take the Copenhagen City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off bus. These red opened top buses are easy to spot but are very expensive at 245 Danish Krone (DKK) (approximately $50 SGD per person) for a 48-hr ticket that covers all lines inclusive of the boat line. The price includes a shuttle from the cruise ship and covers most of the major sights in the city, making it possible for you to explore more in a day. Buses however arrive at a frequency of only once every hour.
Being on a budget, we of course took the cheapest option of taking the public bus to Copenhagen city. From our balcony on board the Caribbean Princess, we spotted the Unicef building which was where we will walk towards upon disembarkation.
Our destination was this bus stop marked as Oceankaj.
This photo of our cruise ship was taken from the bus stop. Not too far a distance to walk.
Before leaving for this vacation, we already bought this Copenhagen Card online. The Copenhagen card costs 48 Euros per adult for a 24-hour card.
Note: Cards of longer duration are available at higher prices, but they are in general of better value than the 24-hour card).
The Copenhagen card gives the holder free admission to 74 museums and attractions, discounts on restaurants, attractions and entertainment, and free access to public transport which includes bus, train and metro. It also counts the Copenhagen canal cruise as one of its 74 attractions, so that’s free as well.
We chose to pay 60 DKK ($12 SGD) to cover the service and postage charges to have the card sent to our home prior to departure. To do this, the card must be ordered at least 14 days in advance for the card to reach you in time. The alternative is to purchase the card at selected sales point in Copenhagen itself, but it is not desirable for us since we already needed to use the card once we disembark from the cruise ship.
There is a bit of confusion as to which bus to take to Copenhagen city centre, but the confusion generally revolves around buses 25, 26 and 27. Therefore, your best bet is to flag down the bus and ASK the bus driver.
The Caribbean Princess docks at Copenhagen for only 8.5 hours, sailing off at 4:30 pm, which meant that we had to try and get back to the port way before that time to avoid missing the boat (literally speaking!). With only less than a day on our hands, there were only so many places that we could visit. The key places that we managed to cover (with the help of public transport and the Copenhagen card) are:
1. The Little Mermaid
Contents in this Article
A tourist’s nightmare in the number of people attempting to get a shot at this one lone statue, this is nevertheless THE monument to visit when you are in Copenhagen. So hey, yeah, we got to do the touristy thing and jostle with the rest of the crowd.
2. Rosenborg Castle
Constructed in 1606 as the summer residence of King Christian IV, this fairy tale looking castle (which reminds me of Cinderella castle in Disneyland) is now a museum and holds the crown jewels, coronation chairs, family portraits and other precious articles of the royal family.
3. Rundetårn (Round Tower)
Commissioned to be built by King Christian IV who was interested in astronomy, this building was meant to be an astronomical observatory. It’s special point lies in that instead of stairs, the top of the tower which is the observatory is reached by a spiral corridor, notably built this way to accommodate King Christian IV’s request to ascend the tower on horse carriage.
4. Grand Canal Cruise
5. Christianborg Palace
Spanning 800 years as the site for the Danish Parliament and royalty, the palace you see today dates to the early 20th century, built on the ruins of former royal palaces.
6. Stroget (Shopping Street)
Copenhagen’s version of Orchard Road, with luxury and high-street labels to entice you.
The other attractions on the list that we did not manage to visit.
1. Kronborg Castle
Built as a fortress in the 16th century to defend the Kingdom of Denmark, this magnificent Renaissance castle was immortalised by the famous Shakespeare as the setting for his play ‘Hamlet’.
|Kronborg Castle (Credits: https://www.spottinghistory.com|
2. Fredensborg Castle
This beautiful 18th century Baroque palace is used by the royal couple for state visits and events. When Queen Margaret the II is in residence, the Changing of the Guard takes place every day at noon.
|Fredensborg Castle (Credits: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com)|
3. Frederiksborg Castle
This magnificent Dutch Renaissance castle sits on three small islands on Lake Slotso and is home to a historical museum renewed for its outstanding collection of portraits – the largest of its kind in Denmark.
|Frederiksborg Castle (Credits: http://gallery.rezio.dk/photos/slots/images/dsc_1585.jpg)|
4. Amalienborg Palace
This was the one attraction that we had planned to visit, but had to forgo at the eleventh hour due to limitations of time. The prime winter residence of the Danish royal family, the Amalienborg Palace is a palatial complex comprised of four identical palaces planned around a beautiful octagonal courtyard.
|Amalienborg Palace (Credits: http://copenhagenet.dk/Images/Amalb-View.jpg)|
This is THE place to visit, because this is where the Copenhagen postcards comes to life. Yes, this is the backdrop for so many of the promotion materials of Copenhagen that to me, it is more synonymous with the city than the Little Mermaid. Perhaps it is better known as the home of Hans Christian Anderson, the master fairy tales story teller. This colourful 17th century waterfront district features brightly coloured 17th and 18th century townhouses, restaurants and cafes and a canal packed with old wooden ships. A perfect place to chill and relax (and suntan!).
|Nyhavn (Credits: http://www.visitdenmark.com)|
Join us next as we bring you to our first attraction stop in Copenhagen – The Little Mermaid.