Copenhagen’s $5 Cultural Thing to Do: The Round Tower

Things to Do, Travel Tips — By Jane Graham on October 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

How Cheap is Cheap?

Trust us, in Copenhagen, $5 is cheap. At current exchange rates, this will get you just under DKK 30. In comparison, an adult ticket to Tivoli Gardens costs more than three times this – DKK 95 – while a day-pass for the local Zoo will set you back DKK 140 – about $25! While many museums are free or offer free days, the average ticket to – for example – Rosenborg Palace is DKK 75.

The Best $5 You’ll Ever Spend

We recommend visiting The Round Tower, for a number of reasons: Not just because the it’s one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Copenhagen, or the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, but also because of the fantastic view of the city that can be obtained from the top. Built – like Rosenborg Palace – under orders from King Christian IV in the 1600s, reaching the top of this fascinatingly-constructed tower means walking up a 209-meter-long spiral ramp that twists around the tower an entire seven and a half times. Once at the top, Copenhagen’s low skyline – which hasn’t changed much over the past 360 years – means that it is possible to see right over to the Øresund, as well as the Bridge.

The Low-Down

The view may be magnificent, but there are other things to see before you get there. One is the 17th-century latrine, hidden away inside the wall halfway up the ramp (but not, unlike the observatory, still functioning). There is also the tower gallery, where modest changing exhibitions are held in the atmospheric old hall formerly used by the University of Copenhagen. The exhibition “Shape, Space and Colour,” for example, is opening this Saturday, October 9, and will run until late November.

Now You Do It

The Round Tower is open daily from 10am until 5pm. During high season (May 21-Sept 20), the tower is open until 8pm. Admission is DKK 25 (around $4) for adults: Pay the helpful cashier in the booth at the entrance, where additional information on the Tower’s history (in various languages) can also be obtained.

It’s also possible to visit for evening concerts: For example on October 10 at 8.10pm, when Frederik Graversen will perform on the piano in a debut concert after nine years of study.

What to Do With Leftover Change

To be quite frank, DKK 5 won’t buy you anything much – perhaps a small bottle of mineral water in a nearby market or kiosk.

If You’d Like to Splurge

Relax with a coffee in the Round Tower’s new cafe, or treat yourself to a small souvenir figure of the Tower for DKK 30. For a healthy fast food alternative, try one of the organic hot dogs from the ‘Den Økologiske Pølsemand’, whose stand is located right next to the Round Tower’s entrance: They cost a reasonable DKK 36 and offer an organic alternative to one of Copenhagen’s most traditional street snacks.

Photos of the Round Tower (and the view from the top) by Hunter Desportes.

Tags: Cheap things to do, copenhagen on a budget, Copenhagen sight-seeing

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