Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    The (very) Little Mermaid

    by aaaarrgh Written Jan 25, 2005

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    naked fish lady on rock

    The one thing I knew about Copenhagen, since I was a child, is that it has a statue of a mermaid in the harbour. My mother visited on a school trip in the 1960's and had a black&white photo of her sitting next to the statue.

    So I had strong romantic notions of a brave Danish mermaid heroicly challenging everything that Scandinavia's weather could throw at her in the middle of a cold sea.

    Nothing could be further from the truth! Copenhagen's mermaid is (as I guess you would expect) very little. She is perched on top of a medium-sized pile of rocks within 2-3 metres of the shore. Nowadays she even has a 'close-circuit TV' camera guarding her! She faces the shore, but is a great distance from the main city, so from the tourist boats you only see her back!!

    Unique Suggestions: Well, it is a good excuse to take one of the boat rides along Copenhagen's canals and harbours. Most of them stop briefly near aforesaid aquatic lady for a photo opportunity. The boat trips are well worth the money because Copenhagen's history is bound-up with its watery location.

    The Little Mermaid represents a character created by the storywriter, Hans Christian Andersen. I think she fell in love with a human and the relationship didn't work out - a romantic tale a lot of us can relate to ;-)

    The statue was put in place in 1913. Since that time it has been regularly vandalised - for example her head has been chopped-off and she has become the proud wearer of painted underwear. Hence the CCTV camera.

    Fun Alternatives: Buy a postcard of the Mermaid and pretend to your friends you have been there :-)

    There is lots and lots of other more exciting things to see in Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city.

    The large Kastellet, with its five-pointed moat is nearby, so you can go to have a look at the statue if you have spare time.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Arts and Culture

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  • mizzzthanggg's Profile Photo

    The Really Little Mermaid

    by mizzzthanggg Updated Dec 15, 2004

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    spot the mermaid

    Yes, yes, we have all heard it before... The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, symbol of Denmark... people expect her to be as big as The Statue Of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York, but no.. she's a little lifesized mermaid, no bigger than me!

    When I went, she had all her body parts intact, so that was nice! Apparently they steal her head or her arm all the time! Poor little mermaid...

    Unique Suggestions: It's fine to go and see her anyway, but it's probably more worth it to see her when you do a harbour canal cruise so you see other things as well... just don't expect a big statue.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    Symbol of Denmark?

    by xeberus Written Nov 28, 2004

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    The statue of the Little Mermaid has been a recognizeable symbol of the city of Copenhagen and Denmark for years. So every visitor should see her, right? Well, I guess you'll be in the area anyway, so why not. But don't expect much. The statue isn't any more exciting than any other piece of public sculputer you'll see in the city and the view over the water is particularly unattractive - a typical port view of cranes and the like. So if you don't find her, don't sweat it. If you stumble across her, take the oblig snap shot and move on.

    Unique Suggestions: While in the area, go visit the lesser-konwn Gefion Fountain. It's the largest monument in Copenhagen and much more worthy of being the symbol of the city than the Mermaid. Gefion was the Nordic goddess who is credited with the creation of the island of Zealand where Copenhagen stands.

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  • reverb's Profile Photo

    Little Mermaid-yeah key word is Little!!!

    by reverb Updated Jun 28, 2004

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    Ok if your going to Copenhagen ,then you've heard of the Little Mermaid. Ok don't waste your time. It's quite a walk to see her, and you'll only be disappointed when you do. You can see so many other more spectaculare sculptures all around town that are just way more impressive. But if ya wanna waste your time feel free. But dont say I didn't warn you.

    Unique Suggestions: If you have to go see the Mermaid then at least take some beer with you, so maybe when you get there you'll be drunk and it wont seem so disappointing. Also dont wear dress shoes. Wear some sneakers or good walking shoes.

    Fun Alternatives: If you really want to see some of the best statue's around then just tour down town area. There are more than enough statue's to wet your appetite, and they are much more impressive. Trust me on this one.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

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    Fish Girl

    by TNPETER3 Updated Jun 9, 2004

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    If you have never been to Copenhagen, like me, you have to go see the Little Mermaid. Apparently this poor unappreciated girl has a few enemies and on more than one occasion, has had her head removed!
    She was in good shape when I went to see her and the only problem I had was in waiting to get a picture of her minus the excited tourists climbing all over her!

    Unique Suggestions: You can walk from Nyhavn along the boardwalk out to the Little Mermaid and although it's kind of an industrial area along the harbour/canal it was interesting to see the cruise ship and a couple of tall ships.

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  • The Little Mermaid

    by Annebl Written Nov 29, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Over the years I've been to see many touristy places in Copenhagen over and over again with visitors. Not so with the little mermaid. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty little statue...but not much more.Since Denmark is often a windy country, you will probably get really cold on the long walk out to see her, thinking it will all be worth it of course....but no.

    Unique Suggestions: Go see her if it's one of the things you've always associated with Copenhagen, just don't have too high expectations.

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    Little Mermaid

    by Sjalen Updated Mar 30, 2003

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    What this bunch of Germans are looking at??? The Mermaid! Can you see her??? Nope, she's so small they're obscuring her totally! By all means, go for the trek it means to see her but don't blame me afterwards :-) Although you might get some good pictures of Copenhagen harbour and of starry eyed tourist groups if you go! :-))) See my travelogue pics if you want to see what she really looks like.

    Unique Suggestions: See her quickly from one of the DFDS tour boats starting from Nyhavn. Alternatively, go for a walk in nearby Churchill Park.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    The Statue of the Little Mermaid

    by cheekymarieh Updated Sep 18, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Statue of the Little Mermaid is vastly over rated. It is small and in the middle of a port. If you’re like me, you’ll want to see it for yourself anyway – and feel disappointed afterwards that it didn’t live up to expectations.

    It is a little walk out of the centre and when we arrived we couldn't get near to it at first because two coach loads of tourists were there trying to get photos of the statue from every possible angle. We lingered over our packed lunch until they disappeared and managed to get some shots without people in the way!

    There have been numerous attempts over the years to vabdalise the statue but still Edvard Eriksen's statue remains intact.

    The worst part about seeing the statue was my brother gloating 'I told you it wasn't worth visiting!'

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    If I absolutely had to pick...

    by seamandrew Written Aug 26, 2002

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    If I absolutely had to pick one, I would say the Little Mermaid statue. It's a long walk (albeit a beautiful stroll) and the view is less than what you anticipate. All in all, go for the excercise and make sure to visit the Kastellet near it.

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  • DanielF's Profile Photo

    Every single guide I have read...

    by DanielF Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Every single guide I have read about Copenhagen says that the Little Mermaid is a tourist trap. But I don't agree at all. Of course, if you are going to be in the city for a couple of hours, there are things that you should visit first, but if you have time I recommend that you go there. It is not actually very far away and in the way you will also find very interesting corners (not that you have to go through an industrial area, like I have read). It is true that the statue is very small, almost insignificant; but since the very first time I went there I love this site. I was there during the sunset and there were no tourist at all. The light was fantastic. There were a lot of swans in the water and I found it very romantic. I stayed there for a long time watching the ships go into and out of the harbour. I really had a good time there. The surrounding area is also interesting. Apart from the harbour, there is an old fort which is ideal for jogging and walking, the anglican church...

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  • feline01's Profile Photo

    The Little Mermaid-the statue...

    by feline01 Written Aug 26, 2002

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    The Little Mermaid-the statue based on the story by the great Dane (not a dog!!), Hans Christian Anderson. What's wrong with the Little Mermaid? It's too damn little! Could barely see it-looked like an epileptic seal from the distance. Don't want to insult any epileptics or seals here but take a look at the photo! Skip it!

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    I'm not going to dwell on this...

    by Degsy Written Aug 25, 2002

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    I'm not going to dwell on this too much, as I don't want to upset any Danes, but (here goes!) I must say that I was extremely disappointed with the 'Little Mermaid'.

    Okay, the fact that it was -5C and there was a 'slight' head-wind, may have clouded my judgement. Still, I couldn't justify it to myself why I had walked all that way to see something that would be easier to miss (as it is that small!).

    Sorry Denmark, I don't want any mermaid souveniors, nor do I want the postcards that match!

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  • Cramer_3's Profile Photo

    I ventured on to...

    by Cramer_3 Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    I ventured on to see,
    according to the local guide magazine, 'Possibly the most vistied and famous
    tourist attraction in Copenhagen - The Little Mermaid.'  This statue
    looks out over the water and is in honor of Hans Christian Andersen (who
    wrote the little mermaid), who spent most of his life in Kobenhavn. What
    a joke.  It was tiny, and incredibly boring.  The most interesting
    thing about it is that her head has been cut off twice.  Once in the
    late sixties as a protest by feminists, and again last year as a joke. 
    The feminist must have calmed down a bit, because they returned the original
    head after it was cut off this last time.

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  • bonio's Profile Photo

    The little mermaid. Well what...

    by bonio Written Aug 25, 2002

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    The little mermaid. Well what did you expect? it is a little mermaid!! A short walk from the city along the docks, this is probably the most famous of Copenhagen's sights, a little of an anti climax I think, make your own judgement, you have to see it anyway, no trip would be complete without!

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  • orlikins's Profile Photo

    Invasion of the Terror Tour Buses

    by orlikins Written Sep 12, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Fishy Lady

    Not exactly a tourist trap, as such, you dont have to pay to see the Little Mermaid, but its a lot smaller than I had envisaged. Very nice though. Get there early before the tour-buses arrive.

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