Built in the 17th century, this still-functioning observatory offers amazing views over Copenhagen. While most buildings which offer panoramic views of a city have hundreds of steps to tackle, or a sneaky lift to the top, the Round Tower – Rundetaarn in Danish – is just a winding slope to the top.
Circling the central column 7 and a half times can be quite tiring, but there are places to stop on the way up to take a break. A small museum (only a few exhibits) and restrooms are the first stop, with more benches offering a break further up. It’s interesting to stop every now and then to peek out of the windows, but the most interesting thing was the glass shelf in the central column.When you near the top of the slope, there’s an archway in the column that allows you to take the few steps to the centre of the building. The glass shelf stops you plummeting the 25 metres! to the bottom, and you’re also able to stand on the shelf if you so wish. I didn’t initially realise that you could stand on the shelf, so I teetered carefully trying to take a photo which showed just how far down the drop was. This alone scared the life out of me, convinced I’d lose my balance and fall through the glass and down however many stories. It was only when I was coming back down the slope that I saw two people standing on it, yes…two!, and I realised the real attraction behind it.
Strongly encouraged by my boyfriend, I took a tentative step onto the glass shelf and looked for something to hold on to, as I was absolutely convinced that would be the exact second the glass shattered. There was nothing. It absolutely scared the life out of me, and I’m sure my mum appreciated the text just hours after I’d left England telling her I’d nearly died. And no, I still don’t think I was overreacting…
The main attraction of visiting the Round Tower is the amazing view afforded from the rooftop. After winding your way to the top of the building, a few steps lead you outside to the terrace which wraps around the observatory, giving 360 degree views of Copenhagen. Even when the weather is less than desirable, the views are still amazing.
Bear in mind it can be get a bit windy up there…
- If you’re super fit, stay close to the centre for the steepest but shortest route. If you’re more like me, the outside of the slope offers a marginally longer walk but is a more thigh-friendly incline.
- Entry is 25DKK (about £2.50) or free if you have the Copenhagen Card.
- Copenhagen is very walkable, so you can easily walk here from another attraction such as Torvehallerne, Rosenburg Castle or the main shopping district.
- Hold on to your hat while up there!
You can read more about my time in Copenhagen here.