The Little Mermaid Sculpture in Copenhagen

Little Mermaid statue

TripSavvy / Maria Ligaya

The Little Mermaid is a fairy tale in herself. Hans Christian Andersen wrote the story in 1836, later Disney produced the movie, and Copenhagen maintains a statue in her honor. The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen continues to be the most popular tourist attraction in Denmark and one of the most photographed statues in the world. She can be visited by travelers year-round, but make sure to check the weather in Denmark before you plan for your trip!

The Story of the Little Mermaid

A sad story indeed. At 15 years old, our little Mermaid (in DanishDen lille havfrue) breaks the surface of the sea for the very first time and falls in love with the prince she saved from drowning. In exchange for legs, she sells her voice to the evil sea witch—but sadly, she never gets her prince but is transformed into deadly, cold sea foam instead.

History of the Sculpture

In 1909, Brewer Carl Jacobsen (founder of Carlsberg Beer) attended Hans Beck's and Fini Henriques' ballet 'The Little Mermaid' which is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale by the same name. Deeply impressed, Carl Jacobsen asked Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen to create a sculpture. The 4 ft tall Little Mermaid was unveiled at Langelinje in 1913, as part of a general trend in Copenhagen in those days, using classical and historical figures as decorations in the city's parks and public areas.


The Little Mermaid sits close to the shore of the cruise harbor "Langelinie" on her granite resting place, in the old port district of Nyhavn. It is a short walk from the main cruise pier, nearby many of Copenhagen’s other major attractions.

When photographing the Little Mermaid statue take a look at the background. If you move somewhat to the left/North of her, you'll get the Holmen area as a background, which is preferable to the industrial cranes you get if you just walk down straight in front of her.

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