Nyhavn. Road in Copenhagen, Denmark


Road in Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn Photo © Ross G. Strachan

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Nyhavn. Photo by unknown
Copenhagen’s New Harbour (Nyhavn) is the ideal place to spend the last few hours of the day, soaking up the sun, people watching, and enjoying a Carlsberg lager. Located near Copenhagen’s city center, New Harbour is a postcard photographer’s dream. The colorful buildings lining the canal provide a perfect background for a quintessential, European, vacation photo album. History abounds in the shops, bars, and landmarks lining the boat-filled harbor. There is no doubt that a day spent in Copenhagen’s New Harbour will leave you with beautiful memories of a fairytale European harbor. It has all the convenience of being in the city center of Denmark’s capital city and all the charm that a historic port harbor could ever hope to provide.

Nyhavn. Photo by Ross G. Strachan


Constructed under the reign of King Christian V, Copenhagen’s New Harbour was dug by Swedish
prisoners from the Danish-Swedish war. Construction, which began in 1670, was completed three years later and the inauguration took place in 1673. The harbor led from the old city center of Kongens Nytorv (Wikipedia
	Article) out to the sea. Like most harbors in the 17th century, New Harbour was not only a place for sailors to dock and unload their goods, but also a thriving place of business for the seedier side of a port city. Alongside brothels and bars, grand houses were built that later housed famous artists like Hans Christian Andersen (Wikipedia Article). As time went on, ships got bigger, land transport became more efficient, and Nyhavn went into disuse. After World War II, the harbor was all but abandoned, and it was not until the 1960s that the city made an effort to revitalize Nyhavn. Today, the sailors and prostitutes are a thing of the past and Copenhagen’s New Harbour has a new life as a destination for tourists and families. The buildings have been saved from disrepair and now houses fine restaurants, bars, luxury apartments, and museums.


A day in Nyhavn can be enjoyed on foot or by sitting outside at one of the many fine restaurants or bars offering up fine Danish Ale and traditional or modern Danish fare. Many people find a nice spot in the sun and share a drink with friends. This is arguably the best spot for people watching in the entire city. The backdrop of colorful facades and historic ships lining the canal make for a wonderful place to sit and let the day linger by. There are still some ships passing up and down the canal, but these days it is mostly tour boats offering a unique way of seeing the city of Copenhagen.

New Harbour can easily be reached from anywhere in the city. A short 2.5 km walk from Copenhagen Central Station, or the Kongens Nytorv is a stop on the city's bus or metro lines. Canal tours can also be arranged here or in the city center.

Nyhaven - Nyhavn
Nyhaven - Nyhavn. Photo by Baron Reznik


Kongens Nytorv, at one end of New Harbour, is home to some of Copenghagen’s most famous buildings including the Royal Danish Theatre (Wikipedia Article), Charlottenborg Palace which now houses the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the Thott Palace which now houses the French Embassy, the Magasin du Nord department store, and the Hotel D’Angleterre. Near to Kongens Nytorv lies the Memorial Anchor which commemorates the sailors and servicemen that bravely sacrificed their lives during World War II. New Harbour’s oldest house dates from 1681 and sits at address No. 9.
The famous Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen, was known to have lived at No. 18, No. 20, and spent twenty years living in No. 67.

New Harbour is also home to several veteran ships, and the inner section is the Museum Harbour, where ships of historical importance and now kept by the Danish National Museum. Nyhavn Bridge, originally built out of wood in 1874 and then replaced with a steel version in 1912, separates the inner canal from the outer harbor. At the far end of the canal lies the Royal Danish Playhouse (Wikipedia Article) which was built specifically to show dramatic theater.

Old houses in New Port -
Old houses in New Port - Nyhavn. Photo by Jacob Surland


The Metro lines M1 and M2 stop at the Kongens Nytorv at one end of New Harbour. Nyhavn is also serviced by the Copenhagen Harbour Bus lines 901, 902, 903, and 904, which stop at the other end of the canal near the Royal Danish Playhouse. The beginning of New Harbour lies at Kongens Nytorv, which is at the end of the pedestrian street, Strøget. There are also Canal Boat Tours that run regularly through the city and offer a stop in New Harbour. Bike tours have popped up recently and offer a local’s view of the city since Copenhagen has become one of the world’s premier cycle cities. A walking tour can be arranged and might offer one of the most in-depth ways of experiencing one of Europe’s most famous and picturesque harbors.

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Author: 30literbackpack. Last updated: Feb 02, 2015

Pictures of Nyhavn

Nyhavn. Photo by Jim Nix


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