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From a breathtaking castle to an amusement park that inspired Walt Disney, Copenhagen is full of colorful charm.
USA TODAY

It’s home to harbors, herring, Hamlet and Harald Bluetooth. Also, to lots of bicycles and one of the oldest monarchies in the world. 

Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark, and one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. And it’s a wet one. This Nordic city is not only surrounded by the sea, but there are canals running through it, creating small islets and regions within the city borders. All that water helped to shape its history. In fact, “Køben Havn” roughly translates to “Merchant’s Harbour.”

There’s no harbour more colorful (literally and figuratively) than Nyhavn, or “New Harbour.” This postcard-perfect spot is lined by brightly colored 17th- and 18th-century townhouses. The oldest was built in 1681. Nyhavn used to be where sailors from around the world would come dock, and where there are sailors, there are ale houses and pubs … and a couple of brothels too. In its more G-rated history, Nyhavn was the home to a Great Dane: Hans Christian Andersen. 

Andersen wrote some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales. You can visit the H. C. Andersen Fairy Tale House to explore and celebrate his works, including The Snow Queen, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Match Girl and, of course, The Little Mermaid. For more Ariel fun, take your picture with the iconic Little Mermaid statue at Copenhagen Harbour. Set out in the middle of the water, this bronze statue was built in 1913, and has since become a pretty little symbol of the city. 

There’s also a statue of Hans Christian Andersen at Kongens Have, or the…