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Hans Christian Andersen’s Copenhagen : a city of fairytales

Copenhagen, home of Hans Christian Andersen has an air of fairytale about it

There’s something about Copenhagen. Denmark’s capital city and home of Hans Christian Andersen has an air of magic about it.

Born in 1805, Hans Christian Andersen dreamt up the fairytales that many of us grew up reading before bed. The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina and Princess and the Pea are just some of the stories gifted to us by the Danish writer.

Copenhagen has a fairytale-like quality, with hints of Han Christian Andersen’s memory found all around the city. Even without looking for it, you will stumble across beautiful hints of a fairytale world of Hans Christian Andersen as you explore.


The Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen hans christian andersen copenhagen fairytale

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is one of the country’s most iconic landmarks, and a nod to one of Hans Christian Anderson’s much-loved fairytales.
Created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, the statue was inspired by the ballet of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid. Eriksen’s wife was the model for the mermaids’s body, while the head was inspired by the ballerina who played the mermaid.


Fairytale-like buildings

Copenhagen - Denmark -Fairytales

As you wander Copenhagen’s streets, beautiful, grand buildings continue to surprise. It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s something special.

hans christian andersen copenhagen palace fairytale

From the Amalienborg Palace to the Marble Church, it’s almost like Copenhagen was designed to inspire fairytales.

hans christian andersen copenhagen palace fairytale



Hans Christian Anderson’s Homes

hans christian andersen house copenhagen fairytale

While Andersen’s childhood home is located in Odense, on the island of Funen about an hour from Copenhagen, the writer lived in three separate homes in Copenhagen’s Nyhavn harbour.

Hans Christian Anderson lived in no. 67 for twenty years. He lived in no. 18 – pictured – for two years and no. 20  for four years, which is where he wrote The Princess and the Pea and The Tinderbox.

READ MORE : Freetown Christiania – Exploring Copenhagen’s alternative state

The writer also lived at Vingårdstræde 6, in an attic room when he was a student. His old room is now a museum in the building owned by the Magasin du Nord department store. You can access the museum from the third floor.

Copenhagen City Hall

Copenhagen city hall grand hall Hans Christian Andersen Copenhagen fairytale - city hall

Copenhagen’s City Hall is not where you might expect to find the stuff of fairytales, but there is something special inside its heavy wooden doors.

Have you ever seen Sleeping Beauty? Do you know when the princess is dancing with her prince inside a grand hall? Well, Copenhagen’s City Hall could be mistaken for that very hall, even though Hans Christian Andersen didn’t write that story!

There was something very grand about City Hall and its corridors and details. It seemed like every turn we took, there was something else to catch your eye.

Hans Christian Andersen Copenhagen fairytale - city hall



Hans Christian Andersen statues

Hans Christian Andersen statue - Copenhagen fairytale

Percita, Flickr

There are a few Hans Christian Andersen statues dotted around Denmark. The most well-known is the statue aptly situated on H.C Andersen Boulevard. The man himself is featured gazing towards Tivoli Gardens amusement park, perhaps dreaming up his next fairytale.


Picture-perfect fairytale scenes everywhere

Copenhagen bridge church -hans christian andersen copenhagen fairytale

On the walk to see the Little Mermaid, you pass under a beautiful bridge and walk along a little lake surrounding a hilly mound land, which is home to the Kastellet military barracks and fortress.

The view of the bridge, the frozen water and the old church of St Albans looked strangely familiar, just like something from a fairytale book.


Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen - Hans Christian Andersen fairtytale wikicommons

Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second oldest operating amusement park, and opened in 1843. Located in the heart of the city, Tivoli is a wonderland of imagination and fun, with retro rides and inventive themed areas. Within the park is The Flying Trunk ride, inspired byHans Christian Andersen’s work.

Hans Christian Andersen was a fan of the amusement park, which inspired The Nightingale story.

Warning: Tivoli closes from January to April. 

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Hans Christian Andersen's Copenhagen - a city of fairytales

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  • Reply
    Gokul Raj
    March 13, 2017 at 5:20 am

    The Little Mermaid Statue is pretty famous one. The city itself has such an architectural wonder.
    Gokul Raj recently posted…A Horrible start for Day 1 in ThailandMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I would love to visit Denmark! Everything I’ve heard sounds great and this post just backs that up. I want to see the Little Mermaid statue in person.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Lovely pictures. I would like to go finding all the Hans Christian Andersen statues all over the city. The architecture looks wonderful too. What was your favorite photogenic spot?

  • Reply
    stacey veikalas
    March 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I love this, we alway fly through Copenhagen but have never explored there, it does look magical and like a fairytale for sure! My kids would love Tivoli Gardens!

  • Reply
    Castaway with Crystal
    March 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Looks awesome! Can’t wait to visit that amazing part of the world! thanks for the post 🙂
    Castaway with Crystal recently posted…Eerie Photos from an Abandoned Ice Cream factoryMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Can you believe that I was in Copenhagen and I did not see the little mermaid? Two male friends tried to pose like mermaids for me but it was not the same. I have to go back, with less cold and better weather and enjoy some of your tips. Thanks

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    We loved Copenhagen just as much as you did, and we also went to Hans Christian Anderson’s birthplace in Odense. It was a great little museum as well.

  • Reply
    Brian - EatWorkTravel
    March 14, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Wow, those streets do look like a fairytale. The architecture is gorgeous and I love how well manicured everything looks. I could wander through the streets for days.

  • Reply
    Juliette | Snorkels to Snow
    March 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Copenhagen does look and sound quite magical! I hope to get there soon, Im obsessed with Scandinavian and Nordic countries! Great bit of history in this piece about ol Hans that I never knew!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 4:31 am

    I went there during winter, and it was so much more fairytale-ish. Especially Tivoli!!!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Love this. I dream that one I would go to this place. I huge fan of fairytales

  • Reply
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