Discover Copenhagen by boat

Discover Copenhagen by boat

Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, is a livable and lovable city. The port city on the islands of Seeland and Amager has many sights: castles, churches, busy streets and squares, almost small-town idylls, monuments and much more. It takes a few days to visit and appreciate most of Copenhagen's attractions. The one-hour boat trips offered along attractive waterways allow visitors with a tight time account to take a quick look at the major attractions of the metropolis. The special feature of the boat trips is the unusual perspective from which the passengers perceive the sights.

Start in Nyhavn

Boat tours depart from Holmens Kirke and Nyhavn. We recommend starting the cruise in the pub district of Nyhavn. The quarter is located on a 400 meter long artificial canal. On both sides of the harbor arm, which was completed in 1673, there are colorful buildings with bars, pubs and restaurants. There are a few dozen boats in the harbor basin. Nyhavn is a promenade and trendy area rolled into one.

Copenhagen - trendy district Nyhavn

Copenhagen - trendy district Nyhavn

Past Frederiksholm

The Nyhavn Canal is followed by the Skuespilhuset, the New Royal Playhouse, on the left. And before the flat boat passes the New Royal Danish Opera on the right side of the waterway, the skipper turns into a canal. The surrounding Holmen region served as Copenhagen's naval base for more than 300 years. Nowadays, Holmen is a mixture of old, repurposed warehouses, modern commercial buildings and diverse educational institutions. In addition to the New Royal Danish Opera, the Danish Film School, the State Theater School, the Conservatory for Rhythmic Music and the Architecture School reside on the island of Frederiksholm.   

Copenhagen - Holmen

Copenhagen - houseboats in front of Fredens Havn 

The next destination is an area of ​​water where Frederik's Bastion and parts of the Freetown of Christiania lie. The houseboats of Fredens Havn follow, behind which the waste incineration plant towers. The 400-metre-long artificial turf ski slope "Copen Hill", which can be used all year round, leads down to street level from the modern structure.

Museum harbor Skibene på Holmen

The museum harbor Skibene på Holmen is attached to Fredens Havn, which it says is “the floating museum of the Cold War on Holmen”. Museum items include several warships, command and radio stations and the fire control center. The mast crane belongs to the museum harbor. The crane system built in 1748 lifted the masts onto the ships of the line. The area also includes the cannons of the Sixtus battery. Cannon salutes are fired from the old fortress in the morning and evening in honor of the Danish flag.

Skibene på Holmen - museum ships and mast cranes

Royal yacht Dannebrog in front of Holmen 

Den Lille Havfrue - the Little Mermaid

After the museum harbor, the ship heads for the opposite Langelinie. In the background is Langeliniekaj, one of Copenhagen's three cruise terminals. In the foreground, onlookers surround Den Lille Havfrue, the Little Mermaid.

Copenhagen - Langeliniekaj cruise terminal

Copenhagen - the little mermaid 

The return trip

The return journey towards the center is through the Hønsebroløbet Canal. After the Little Mermaid, the ship passes the old customs post at Nordre Toldbod with the second cruise ship dock, the Royal Cast Collection, Amalienborg Palace and the Royal Theater playhouse

Copenhagen - the royal cast collection
Amalienborg Palace with Frederiks Kirke
Copenhagen - Playhouse of the Royal Theater

Opposite the theater on the island of Holmen is the New Royal Danish Opera, which opened in 2005 and is one of the most modern opera houses in the world.

New Royal Danish Opera

New Royal Danish Opera

After a short detour to the trendy “Freistadt Christiania” district, passengers see the National Library, the “Black Diamond”. The library is followed by the Royal Danish Armory Museum (Krigsmuseet) and Christian IV Bryghus, a brewery from 1608.

Copenhagen - National Library
Copenhagen - the Royal Danish Armory Museum
Copenhagen - Christian IV Bryghus

Between the brewery and the ultra-modern, glass ensemble of the BLOX opposite, the boat turns into a canal that runs alongside Christiansborg Palace. Behind the Stormbroen the captain makes a sharp right turn. To the left is Gammel Strand, the popular photo motif with the colorful houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. Thorvaldsen's Museum is on the right side of the Slotsholmen Canal.

Copenhagen - the BLOX
Copenhagen - Christiansborg Palace - back side
Copenhagen - Gammel Strand
Copenhagen - Thorvaldsens Museum

There is still time to take a quick look at the Nikolaj Kunsthal. The former church presents contemporary art. The boat then sails past Holmens Kirke and the glass building of the Danish National Bank. On the other side of the canal is the Børsen, the former trading exchange. A few hundred meters later, the journey ends in the Nyhavn Canal. There is only a few meters distance between the canal boat stop and the traffic junction of Kongens Nytorv.

Copenhagen - Nikolaj Kunsthal
Copenhagen - Holmens Kirke and the Danish National Bank
Copenhagen - Børsen
Copenhagen - Kongens Nytorv

useful hints

Canal trips depart from Holmens Kirke opposite Børsen and at the head of Nyhavn Canal.

Nyhavn - Stromma Danmark boats mooring

Nyhavn - Stromma Danmark boats mooring

Nyhavn - berth of the net Bådene boats 

Stromma Danmark offers the one-hour boat trip from Nyhavn for adults at the price of 109 Danish kroner, equivalent to around 14,60 euros (as of 2023). It is cheaper to take the boats on the Netto Bådene. The company calls on its German-speaking Website eight euros for a comparable tour.

August 2023