Copenhagen is Denmark’s biggest, and, arguably, Scandinavia’s, liveliest city. It has a lot to offer all ages and all interests. It’s complex – but it’s compact.

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It takes only about half an hour to walk right across the heart of the city centre, and pleasant green spaces and many pedestrianised areas make exploring Denmark’s capital a relaxed and enjoyable experience.

Most of the 320 or so cruise ships visiting Copenhagen each year will be berthed at Langelinie Pier, which is conveniently close to the city centre.

It’s much nearer than the terminals at many cruise destinations and you can easily walk to the major tourist sights along Copenhagen’s attractive waterfront. In fact the city’s icon, the statue of the Little Mermaid, is only a few hundred yards away from the ship towards the city centre.

A 15-minute bus ride will take you to the city centre where, if you don’t fancy walking, there are more buses or a recently-completed metro system to take you to a wide range of attractions.

The small island of Slotsholmen, the historic core of Copenhagen, is home to the city’s highest concentration of historic buildings. It is dominated by a collection of the surviving parts of the various palaces and castles that have occupied the site since the 12th century. It is also home to Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish Parliament.

Facing Slotsholmen across a canal is Indre By, the bustling heart of the modern city, which is crossed by Stroget, the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe a

Hans Christian Anderson

nd also home to upmarket cafes and bustling bars.

Not far away is Rosenborg Castle, which is home to the dazzling Danish crown jewels and where museum displays including many personal items tell the history of Danish kings through 300 years.

If Royalty is your thing, you can also visit Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish royal family since 1794 and the winter base for the present Queen of Denmark. The courtyard is often buzzing with tourists, many of them there in the hope of seeing the ceremony of the changing of the guard, which takes place at noon whenever the Queen is in residence.

Even on a short visit to Copenhagen the National Museum (Nationalmuseet), is worth a visit. Trying to see everything in one day would mean something of a marathon effort but our guides make it easy to get an overview of the 10,000 square metre exhibition area. The collection based on pre-historic Denmark and the Viking Age covers 14,000 years of history and is undoubtedly the highlight of the museum.

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