New York City has the Statue of Liberty, Rio de Janeiro is home to Christ the Redeemer, and Brussels’ biggest tourist attraction is Manneken Pis. There are so many famous statues in the world, and luckily one of them is located right here in Copenhagen – The Little Mermaid.
While the Little Mermaid Statue may not be as grand as the Statue of Liberty or as quirky as Manneken Pis, it still means a great deal to Copenhagen. In fact, the statue has become one of the most important landmarks in all of Denmark.
Therefore, we naturally need to devote a FULL blog post to the Little Mermaid statue!
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the history of the Little Mermaid, fun facts about the statue, why you should visit, best tips and tricks, plus some practical information. So when you’re done reading this blog, you’ll hopefully be fully prepared to go visit this iconic landmark yourself.
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The history of the Little Mermaid Statue
It all began in 1837 when Hans Christian Andersen wrote the famous fairytale “The Little Mermaid”.
The story is about a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince and trades her life at sea for two legs and the chance to win the prince’s heart and to obtain a human soul. The prince eventually marries another princess, so the sad Little Mermaid throws herself into the sea only to be dissolved into sea foam. The mermaid then becomes a spirit with the chance of obtaining an immortal soul in heaven.
So in a way, this sad, sad fairytale has a happy ending.
Since the story was written, it has then been reinterpreted into the classic Disney film “The Little Mermaid”, which most people know, but the story has also become a musical, a ballet, a movie – and much more!
The statue itself was actually ordered in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen (the son of Carlsberg’s founder). Carl Jacobsen had been so fascinated with the ballet “The Little Mermaid”, which was played at the Danish Royal Theatre in 1909. The ballerina from the ballet was named Ellen Price, and she eventually modeled for the statue to the Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen.
The statue was finally revealed in 1913, and has since become one of the most famous landmarks in all of Denmark.
Facts about the Little Mermaid Statue
- It’s more than 100 years old.
- The statue is only 1,25 meters tall.
- The statue is made of bronze and weighs 175 kilograms.
- The Little Mermaid has often been vandalized and her head has been stolen twice.
- The Danish name of the statue is: “Den Lille Havfrue”
- The Little Mermaid is located on top of a rock in the ocean of Copenhagen.
Why you should visit the Little Mermaid Statue
There are many reasons why you should visit the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. If it’s your first time in the city, then we’d definitely recommend you to go and see her.
First of all, it’s an important landmark in Copenhagen – it’s just a must visit. It’s like visiting Manhattan without seeing the Statue of Liberty or like visiting Paris without catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I know that she is a tiny statue compared to the two grand landmarks I just mentioned, but nevertheless she’s of great importance to Copenhagen.
Secondly, visiting the Little Mermaid Statue is a great way to enjoy the nice scenery and get some fresh ocean air. One of my favorite things about Copenhagen is that it’s located by the sea. So you’re never far from the ocean if you need to take a breather from the busy city.
Lastly, there are many great things to do and see next to the Little Mermaid Statue. Here are some ideas on what to see in the area:
- Kastellet: Take a walk on the star-shaped citadel right next to the mermaid. It’s a great way to gain a bit of altitude while enjoying some views of Copenhagen.
- Langelinie: Go past the Little Mermaid and follow the road to the end of Langelinie. This is a popular place to go get an ice cream.
- Toldboden: Fancy a drink while sitting in a sun lounger? This is the place to be! It’s located closely to the mermaid, and you can even go on top of the restaurant’s roof for some great views of Copenhagen’s Opera House.
- Gefion Fountain: Another great gift from the Carlsberg family and another great thing to see in Copenhagen. Located very close to the Little Mermaid, you should definitely pass by this fountain on the way.
Related blog post: Best things to do in Copenhagen.
Tips for visiting the Little Mermaid Statue
Here are the best tips I can give you about visiting the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen:
- Go early or late to avoid the big tourist crowds.
- Book a canal tour and see it from the ocean.
- Get up early and catch a nice sunrise next to the mermaid.
- You’ll find many toilets close by (just follow the signs!)
- There is a kiosk right by the mermaid that sells coffee, hot dogs, and ice cream.
- Don’t touch the mermaid! Some people crawl on the statue, and I just hate to see it honestly…
- Lower your expectations (it’s not a big statue, but it does have its charm)
Related blog post: Canal tour in Copenhagen
Practical information about the Little Mermaid
It’s located in Langelinie, 2100 København Ø.
There are no opening hours. She’s just sitting there in the ocean, ready to welcome you at any time of the day.
There is no entry fee or any tickets you need to buy. The Little Mermaid Statue is sitting in a public space, meant for anyone to be able to come and enjoy the view of her. So don’t worry about having to buy tickets or anything.
How to get there
There are several ways to get to the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. You can either walk from the city centre (just follow the ocean), go on a Hop-on-Hop-off bus (they’re always parked here!), take a taxi, or take the train/metro to Østerport Station from where you can expect a 10 minute walk.
Related blog post: How to get around in Copenhagen
It’s honestly super easy to go see here, so I really advise you to take a moment to see the most iconic landmark of Denmark. I mean, it’s just a MUST – especially for any first-time visitors in Copenhagen.