Explore 19th-century Copenhagen through the eyes of world-famous author Hans Christian Andersen. You’ll get the full story of this ugly duckling’s transformation into the most widely read Danish writer of all time—from the humiliations and disappointments of his early years to finally finding the formula on how to become the beautiful swan he always knew he would be. From the humble beginnings on the lowest steps of the social ladder to hanging out with royalty, Andersen worked tirelessly throughout his life to achieve his goals—and indeed he did. The first part of our walk will follow the path he took on his very first day in the city after arriving from his hometown of Odense in 1819, when he was only 14 years of age. You'll get the story of the strangest boy in town and how he made his way from rags to riches in a society where social mobility was almost nonexistent. Part two will give you the story of his fight to make it in the big city. You'll learn how he tried his luck as an actor, dancer, and singer before finally cashing in on his ability to befriend the right people. The final part of our stroll will concentrate on his first years as a struggling author and how the first of his famous fairytales came to life. There are no guarantees, but perhaps we'll get to sit on his bed and I'll tell you the very first fairytale he wrote—I'll bet you don't know it.
Like everyone else, I grew up loving the classic fairytales, including "The Ugly Duckling," "The Tinderbox," and "The Little Mermaid." I taught them for years and never grew tired of them. So in 2014, when I decided to quit working as a teacher and tell stories for a living, the story of this strange man was first on my list. Since then I’ve done this walk more than 300 times and each time, it’s like falling in love all over again. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Andersen's arrival in Copenhagen. For this reason, I have cut a little off the price and I've added extra dates to choose from.
I'll provide a coffee or cold soda along the way, or a cold beer after our walk.
Umbrellas if needed
We'll visit places where the renowned author lived and worked, including off the beaten path courtyards and side streets and some more mainstream must-sees. We'll begin at City Hall and end near the Nyhavn and canal. We'll walk for approximately two kilometers and the places we'll pass include City Hall Square, the Old and New Squares, the canals, the Danish Parliament, and the Royal Theatre.
Wear sensible walking shoes and clothes suited to danish weather.
Be prepared for almost three hours of walking. No hills or steep stairs will be tackled, but some cobblestones will need to be conquered, which we'll do it at our own pace.