A Guide To Visiting Copenhagen On A Cruise

Visiting Nyhavn Harbour on a cruise to Copenhagen

Visiting Copenhagen on a cruise allows you to sample the delights of the Danish capital in a single day. On the border between the North and Baltic Sea in the centre of Northern Europe, Copenhagen is a home port for several cruise lines exploring Scandinavia, as well as a popular port of call on Baltic cruises from Southampton, England.

The Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish Royal Family

Getting to Nyhavn Harbour from the Cruise Ship terminal

The port of Copenhagen is in an area called Nordhavnen and depending on your cruise line and how busy the port is, you may be able to walk off your ship and into the city. The closest dock is a ten minute walk away from The Little Mermaid statue and around half an hour from the famous Nyhavn Harbour.

#Ad Viking Cruises Jupiter ship docked in Copenhagen
#Ad (previous collaborations) Viking Jupiter, docked in Copenhagen

The main ocean cruise terminal however is around 4 miles away by road from Nyhavn Harbour, so a shuttle, taxi or the local #27 bus from the port will be necessary to make the most of your time – save the following link (or use the Citymapper app) for live bus times to Østerport St. (Folke Bernardottes Allé) from Oceankaj, which is then just a 1 mile walk to Nyhavn or a short journey on the M3 metro to Kongens Nytorv.

Related: Visiting Sopot ‘the Polish Riviera’ from the port of Gdynia

Is it worth visiting The Little Mermaid Statue?

Conveniently the Little Mermaid statue is located between the city and cruise ship terminal, so passengers can pass it on foot without much of a detour. As the birthplace of the fairy tale story by Hans Christian Anderson, I think a trip to Copenhagen wouldn’t be quite complete without visiting the wistful mermaid, who’s been perched on a rock there for over a century.

Canal tours in Copenhagen from Nyhavn HarbourThe Grand tour of Copenhagen

A Canal Cruise from the Nyhavn Harbour

For a taste of Copenhagen’s maritime heritage hop onboard an hour long canal cruise from Nyhavn Harbour. Tickets for ‘The Grand Tour’ with Stromma currently cost around £11/14 for adults and £29/$37 a family of 5 with departures year round. On a typical cruise you’ll pass through several low tunnels into the quieter residential district, see a mix of historical and ultra modern buildings and head north towards the port for another view of the Little Mermaid statue.

Related: St. Petersburg 2-day shore excursion

Copenhagen Opera HouseCopenhagen Grand Canal TourCanal tour in Copenhagen

Is Copenhagen an expensive place to visit?

Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world, recently ranked number 7 (tied with Seoul and New York) in a report by The EIU. If you’d like to enjoy a coffee or beer in one of the many cafe bars along the Nyhavn, expect to pay around £7/$9 for a cappuccino. Visiting Copenhagen on a cruise is ideal for those on a budget as you can fill up on the breakfast you’ve already paid for onboard, explore the city on foot and be back on the ship for a late lunch or dinner.

Cafes and restaurants in Nyhavn HarbourVisiting Copenhagen on a cruise with a canal tour Art in Copenhagen's Harbour

What are the top places to visit in Copenhagen in a day?

If you’re visiting Copenhagen on a cruise for the first time, take a walk to the Nyhavn Harbour (via the Little Mermaid statue) and board a canal cruise for a guided tour of the city. If you have a few hours spare afterwards, enjoy a spot of shopping along the Stroget or take a leisurely stroll back to the ship by the waters edge. If you’ve been to Copenhagen before or have an extended visit, make sure the Tivoli Gardens and city museums are also on your list.

  • The Tivoli Gardens
  • Nyhavn Harbour
  • The Little Mermaid Statue
  • The Amalienborg Palace
  • Copenhagen City Museum
  • Stroget (for shopping)
    …see more top attractions in Copenhagen

Further reading: Enjoying ‘Fika’ in Gamla Stan, Stockholm and 6 of Tallinn’s magical photo spots

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