Copenhagen’s iconic figure, The Little Mermaid is a must to see while visiting this colorful Nordic town. The true story of The Little Mermaid written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837 is actually very depressing. I prefer the Disney-fied edition with the happily ever after ending. Fairy tales in the Victorian age were supposed to scare children into good behavior. Today, they’re more an escape from reality for adults, and maybe an imagination-overload for kids. Regardless, the Little Mermaid still stands (or sits) as an iconic figure of Copenhagen and its literary influence.
Since 1913, the Little Mermaid statue has been a major tourist attraction and iconic figure of Copenhagen. Sadly, she has not had a peaceful existence along the shores of the edge of the sea. Since the mid-60s, she has been decapitated and vandalized several times mostly during political movements. Maybe Hans Christian Anderson had the right idea about scaring little children into good behavior. Too bad it doesn’t work on adults.
Tours by the busload disembark every day from 8am-6pm to see the petite maiden. If you don’t mind the pushing and shoving, people climbing up on the statue and making rude gestures for their Facebook friends, then visit with one of the many tour companies.
But if you prefer to gaze upon her sad, distant-stare loveliness, then visit early in the morning or later at night like 7 or 8pm. There will still be people strolling along the Langelinie promenade, and the occasional tourist, but it will be easier to get the photo you want without weird strangers photobombing your perfect moment.
Late spring, all summer, and early fall there’s sunlight until 9pm or later because of Copenhagen’s northern position on the globe. Take advantage of the light and the quieter time and you’ll get the picture you want.