The Nyhavn (New Harbor) area of Copenhagen dates back to the 17th century. By the early 1900s it had become a run-down waterfront, but Nyhavn is now a modern entertainment precinct full of popular restaurants. Stroll along the harbor’s edge to see some of the historic ships that still call the strait home. Then try local flavors in one of the many restaurants and bars.
Once frequented by sailors and packed with seedy taverns, Copenhagen’s harbor has a history as colorful as its present-day buildings. Today Nyhavn is a modern hub where locals come to relax and families mix with designers and artists.
The waterfront precinct is linked by a series of canals feeding from the harbor. Cobblestone roads are lined with double-story townhouses in pastel colors, providing a charming backdrop. Restaurants, taverns and live music venues are gradually taking over the ground floors of the former residential townhouses. The famous author Hans Christian Anderson once resided here.
Since 1977, the Danish National Museum has preserved part of the area as the Veteran Ship and Museum Harbor, and dozens of classic boats are still in use. Visit the Memorial Anchor, located at the end of the harbor. The anchor is a national monument and honors the 1,700 Danish servicemen who lost their lives during World War II.
The northern side of the harbor offers outdoor dining and is a great place for people-watching on a sunny day. Try some of the pickled fish that Scandinavia is famous for or enjoy a freshly grilled seafood dish with a cold beer. Danish beer is enjoyed around the world, but many say the famous Copenhagen lager Carlsberg somehow tastes better in the place where it comes from.
Nyhavn is located on the eastern edge of the city center and is best reached by bike or on foot. Visitors arriving by car will have difficulty finding a spot to park nearby, since the city center is primarily for pedestrians. Four bus routes serve Nyhavn daily, so there are public transportation options.