Copenhagen visitors with limited time to spend in the vicinity of Copenhagen’s cruise ports need not despair, as there are plenty of attractions within walking distance of Freeport, Langelinie and the newest Nordhavn cruise terminal. Top of most visitors’ lists will be the Little Mermaid statue; despite being somewhat underwhelming in stature, the bronze monument to Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale is rarely left alone to gaze forlornly at the sea, and visited by hundreds of tourists daily.
The nearby park, Kastellet, actually the old Citadel of Copenhagen, is one section of the city’s fortifications that also includes Østre Anlæg and Christianshavns Vold. Amalienhaven, a landscaped public garden between Amalienborg Palace and the sea, is one of Copenhagen’s newest parks (1983) and centers around a large fountain.
Amalienborg Palace, a pleasant 10 to 15-minute walk from Langelinie and about 25 minutes from Freeport, is a must-see for anyone interested in European royalty. The four identical rococo palaces are placed around an octagonal courtyard; one of them, Christian VIII’s Palace is open to the public. From here, it is a quick stroll down to Nyhavn harbor, a great spot for lunch or dinner.
The area between the cruise terminals and downtown Copenhagen, Frederikstaden, characterized by its elegant wide streets, was built in the late 1700s. Adjacent to each other on Bredgade are two museums: Designmuseum Danmark, formerly Denmark’s first hospital, and Medical Museion, an offbeat treasure trove of medical curiosities. Just across the road from Østerport Station, the museum Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art is a historically important art museum that has been extended in 2014.
Two churches of differing styles dominate the area. Marmorkirken (or more accurately Frederikskirken), is so-called after the Norwegian marble that was used for much of its construction. Nearby, the three onion domes of Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Church are plainly visible above the rooftops.