Copenhagen Canals: The Water Route through Denmark’s Capital

Copenhagen is a great walking city – after all, it’s home to Strøget, the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe, as well as countless squares, parks, and other places to wander. But you’ll be missing out if you keep your feet on solid ground for your whole visit. One of the best ways to get a feel for this dynamic city is to take a cruise along Copenhagen’s canals.

The Church of Our Saviour is known for its distinctive spire with an external spiral staircase.
The 17th-century Old Stock Exchange is topped by a spire shaped like four entwined dragon tails.

The hour-long tour loops through various canals and the harbor area, taking in many of Copenhagen’s main sights, including Nyhavn, the Opera House, the Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Palace, the Church of Our Savior (Vor Frelsers Kirke), the Royal Library (known as the Black Diamond), the National Museum, Christiansborg Palace, the Holmen Church (Holmens Kirke), the old Stock Exchange, and the National Bank. In between, you’ll pass through quiet residential neighborhoods where locals relax along the canal banks or on the many boats tied up alongside.

As you travel through the waterways, multilingual guides share stories about Copenhagen’s history and quirks. You may have to listen closely to avoid missing information since the guides switch frequently between languages – often, it seems, without pausing for breath. They also issue frequent warnings as the boat passes beneath low bridges spanning the canals, so make sure you’re paying attention and keep your head down when cautioned.

The Circle Bridge, opened in 2015, is open to pedestrian and bicycles. It consists of five circular platforms with masts designed to resemble a ship those of a ship.

Practical information:

Canal Tours Copenhagen has frequent daily departures year round from Nyhavn and Gammel Strand.

Netto-Bådene offers a similar tour, with departures from Nyhavn and Holmens Kirke.


Latest update: October 12, 2018


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