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Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen (Self Guided), Copenhagen

Follow the footsteps of the beloved Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, in Copenhagen on this self guided tour.
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Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen Map

Guide Name: Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen
Guide Location: Denmark » Copenhagen (See other walking tours in Copenhagen)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: EmmaS
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hans Christian Andersen Statue
  • H.C. Andersen Fairy-Tale House
  • Vestergade No 18 - Hans Christian Andersen's Former Residence
  • Rundetårn
  • Stork Fountain
  • Magasin du Nord (The Attic Room)
  • Royal Danish Theatre
  • Nyhavn
Hans Christian Andersen Statue

1) Hans Christian Andersen Statue

Author Hans Christian Andersen is a very important part of Danish culture, and his fairytales are known worldwide. Around Copenhagen, you will find many statues of the world-famous author and poet. At Copenhagen City Hall Square, facing H.C. Andersens Boulevard, features a statue of Hans Christian Andersen who sits with a book. The bronze statue is made of Henry Luckow-Nielsen and was erected in 1965. It can get pretty busy here, so you might have to wait your turn to climb onto his knee and have your photo taken.
H.C. Andersen Fairy-Tale House

2) H.C. Andersen Fairy-Tale House

The Hans Christian Andersen's fairy house is located near the City Hall Square and Tivoli Gardens.

Inside the H.C. Andersen Museum see and listen to Hans Christian Andersen’s many fairy tales in colorful displays with exciting light and sound effects! Experience the entire story of his life – from his childhood to his adult life and his many travels world-wide. The fairytale world comes to life! The displays are “alive” with light and sound effects. You can also read and listen to his fairy tales in Danish, English or German.
Vestergade No 18 - Hans Christian Andersen's Former Residence

3) Vestergade No 18 - Hans Christian Andersen's Former Residence

Vestergade (lit. "West Street") is a street in central Copenhagen which defines the southern boundary of Copenhagen's Latin Quarter. Most of the buildings in the street date from the years after the Copenhagen Fire of 1795.

The name Vestergade ("West Street") testifies Gammeltorv's original status as the most important square in Copenhagen. In the Middle Ages, Vestergade was Copenhagen's main street, linking the square with the Western City Gate at its western end. The north side of the street was lined with guesthouses. The city gate was moved a little further to the south in 1668 but Vestergade maintained its role as the principal entrance road for traffic coming from the west. The street was completely destroyed in the Copenhagen Fire of 1728 and again in the Fire of 1795.

No. 12 is the former guesthouse Tre Hjorter ("Three Deer"). Gardergården at No. 18 is another former guesthouse. It received its current name when it was rented out to the Royal Horse Guards . 14-year-old Hans Christian Andersen stayed the first couple of weeks at Gardergården when he first arrived in Copenhagen.

The Metropol department store (Vestergade 9/Kattesundet 3/Frederiksberggade 16) was built in 1906–08 to design by Anton Rosen. In 1924, the Jugenstil building was converted into a theatre by Viggo Jacobsen and Albert Oppenheim.

The C. W Obel House at No. 2 was built as a combined inn and brewery in 1797. No. 5, which is also from the 1790s, was built for aleading tobacco manufacturer, Christian Augustinus, whose company was later merged with C. W. Obel. Politikens Hus (Vestergade 28/Rådhuspladsen 37) is the headquarters of the newspaper Politiken. The building is from 1896 and was designed by Philip Smidth. The building on the opposite corner (Vestergade 37 / Rådhuspladsen 45-47 / Frederiksberggade 40 ) is the former Hotel Bristol, now also known as Absalons Gård.
Sight description based on wikipedia

4) Rundetårn (must see)

Located in central Copenhagen, the famous 17th-century tower known as Rundetårn – or the Round Tower – was constructed to serve as an astronomical observatory as a part of Christian IV’s architectural projects. Tourists from all over the world come especially to enjoy the expansive view of Copenhagen from the top of the tower that can be climbed through its 7.5-turn helical corridor.

Astronomy grew to be very important in 17th century Europe and this led to the mushrooming of many observatories. The Rundetårn observatory came into existence in 1637 and was originally referred to as STELLÆBURGI REGII HAUNIENSIS. It consisted of an academic library, the Trinitatis Church and a university chapel where scholars spent their time. A part of the Trinitatis Complex, Rundetårn is the first purpose-built facility of the Copenhagen University Library.

Walk along the ramp of the tower to access the Library Hall above the church. This hall is always bustling with activity as regularly plays host to exhibitions and concerts in its capacity as an active cultural venue.

***Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen****
The library hall once housed the entire book collection of the university. Denmark`s famous writer H.C. Andersen used to visit the library and he found inspiration for his work here.

As a new attraction you can now see the tower's core by standing on a glass floor, hovering 25 metres above the ground. The glass is more than 50 mm thick and can carry up to 900 kg per square meter.

Why You Should Visit:
Another tall tower with a city view, this one is slightly more interesting on the inside with its slow increasing grade walkway, some good information as you go and a gallery half way up.

There's a little café above the church next door that has a really cool vibe. It's a good place to stop for a simple coffee where you won't have to fight with crowds.
There is also a clean toilet and baby changing room halfway through the tower, as well as a good quality souvenir shop before you access the outside balcony.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Wed: 10am-9pm; Thu-Mon: 10am-6pm
Stork Fountain

5) Stork Fountain

Stork fountain has always been a popular tourist attraction in Copenhagen. Locals and tourists of different age groups enjoy meeting each other at the square around the fountain known as Amagertorv.

Just walk into the square and look around to find a variety of old buildings. Most of them are built in Dutch Renaissance style the oldest among them dating back to 1600. The Stork Fountain was created by Vilhelm Bissen, a well known sculptor between 1836 and 1913. In 1888, the city council gave this fountain for the celebration of the silver wedding of King Frederik and Queen Louise.

Amagertorv also holds the distinction of being a square in Copenhagen where the city’s first ever public toilets were constructed underground. An interesting custom at the square is the dance by graduated midwifes. Since 1950, it has been a practice for newly graduated midwives to dance around the Stork Fountain.

This fountain is located on the Pedestrian Street Stroget. It is very close to various popular tourist attractions such as Nikolaj Church, Round Tower, The Church of The Holy Ghost, Holmens Church, the Old Stock Exchange, Thorvaldsens Museum and Christiansborg Palace. Do not miss a visit to Stork Fountain and Amagertorv square on your trip to Copenhagen.

***Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen***
The Stork is also used in the Hans Christian Andersen story and also a reason to The Stork Fountain probably is the most famous fountain in this part of the world.
Magasin du Nord (The Attic Room)

6) Magasin du Nord (The Attic Room)

Magasin du Nord is a Danish chain of department stores. The company traces its roots back to 1868 when Theodor Wessel and Emil Vett opened a draper's shop in Aarhus under the name Emil Vett & Co. It was an immediate success. In 1870 the company opened a shop in Copenhagen in rented rooms in the mondain Hotel du Nord on Kongens Nytorv where Hans Christian Andersen had boarded from 1838 until 1847. The shop occupied an ever larger part of the hotel and the company adopted the name Magasin du Nord after it in 1879.

Magasin du Nord offers fashion for men, women and children as well as luxurious beauty products, interior design and delicacies. At Magasin du Nord you can find an extensive selection of the best Danish brands like Royal Copenhagen, Kähler and Georg Jensen. Magasin du Nord's flagship store in Copenhagen also has a food market in its basement.

****Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen****
Just across the road from the Royal Danish Theatre, 22-year-old Andersen rented an attic room from 1827 to 1828 in the building that is now the Magasin Du Nord department store. Amazingly, the small room has been restored and is open to the public, although it’s slightly tricky to find and is often closed.

On the third floor of Magasin behind the coffee machine displays you’ll see a picture of the famous former tenant’s distinctive face on the wall. Continue down the hallway and through a meeting room until you see the attic room on your right.

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00
Royal Danish Theatre

7) Royal Danish Theatre

The Royal Danish Theatre (RDT, Danish: Det Kongelige Teater) is both the national Danish performing arts institution and a name used to refer to its old purpose-built venue from 1874 located on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. The theatre was founded in 1748, first serving as the theatre of the king, and then as the theatre of the country. The theatre presents opera, the Royal Danish Ballet, classical music concerts (by the Royal Danish Orchestra, which dates back to 1448), and drama in several locations.

***Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen***
After arriving in Copenhagen, the young Andersen had little success as an aspiring actor, singer and dancer at the Royal Danish Theatre. So he soon turned to writing. His early plays were turned down by the theatre, but in 1822 Jonas Collin, the head of the theatre, arranged for Andersen to attend grammar school in other parts of Zealand for the next five years. This helped him get a place at university in Copenhagen, where his writing really hit its stride.
Sight description based on wikipedia

8) Nyhavn (must see)

Nyhavn is a popular entertainment district in the city of Copenhagen. This 17th Century canal and waterfront is located to the south of the Royal Playhouse.

Nyhavn stretches to the harbour right from Kongens Nytorv and the entire stretch is lined with townhouses, restaurants and cafes from the 17th and 18th centuries. King Christian V constructed Nyhavn between 1670 and 1673. This harbour served as a passage to Kongens Nytorv old inner city where fishermen’s catch and cargo were handled by the ships.

Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author lived in this area for a few years. In those days, the area was also notorious for sailors, beer and prostitution. After World War II, small vessel freight traffic was taken over by land transport and Nyhavn’s ships disappeared. Nyhavn was converted to a veteran ship and museum harbour in 1977.

This area continues to charm tourists from across the world with its exquisitely constructed townhouses made of bricks, wood and plaster. Go to the south of Nyhavn and you will find huge and lavish mansions along the canal. Do not miss out the Charlottenborg Palace located at the corner of Kongens Nytorv. A visit to Nyhavn is a must on your trip to Copenhagen.

***Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen***
Andersen was also partial to the famous canal-front area, having lived in three different houses there over four decades. His first fairytales were published while he was living in what is now Nyhavn 20, from 1834 to 1838. It was on the second floor of this building that the young author wrote such classics as The Princess and the Pea and The Tinderbox.

In the early 1870s, Andersen lived next door in what is now Nyhavn 18. Both houses are best viewed from the Nyhavnsbroen bridge, midway along the canal. House number 20 is bright red, while house number 18 is the slightly higher, mustard-coloured building to the right. His longest lodging stint in Nyhavn was at number 67, where he lived on and off between 1848 and 1865. The bottom floor of the white building is now a café.

Why You Should Visit:
Perfect picturesque place to end a long day. You can do as the locals do: enjoy a beer/coffee from a nearby store, rest your feet at the quayside and enjoy the view.

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