A Harbour Walking Tour in Copenhagen

31 Oct 2022


A Harbour Walking Tour in Copenhagen

A great way to see the city of Copenhagen is taking a tour around the harbour front on foot or by bike. Whether you like the bobbing houseboats and backwaters, or skyscrapers and national monuments, the waterfront in Copenhagen provides a unique view of the city and its historical highlights. The harbour front includes the North, South and Inner harbours (Nordhavnen, Sydhavnen, and Inderhavnen) and are diverse experiences to walk around, with the old fishing port, Denmark's largest marina and new urban developments. The inner harbour is the most central and includes some of the famous landmarks.

Copenhagen's harbours offer a walk through time as you pass by historic palaces, parliament and old town, then through to the most modern urban planning and architecture. One of the most scenic, and easy, ways to see the city, we love taking a walk along the waterfront in the capital and seeing the panorama from the bridges and canals.

The ultimate walk around the harbour is The Harbour Circle, a 13km long route that takes you past all the city highlights and through various neighbourhoods. It's also a great route to take by bike, especially as a 13km walk is quite a commitment. You can of course just walk sections of the route and see the highlights of the waterfront, with options of short or medium length walks along it.

The Little Mermaid

Langelinie Park on the waterfront is a great place to wander with a view - here you can check out the famous Little Mermaid statue and see the view across the water.

Inspired by Hands Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Little Mermaid has been in place for over 100 years, a gift to the city from Carl Jacobsen in 1913. The famous bronze lady sits in the water at Langelinie Pier welcoming visitors (although she has had her head cut off a couple of times by vandals) so you can see her walking along the harbourfront. 

From here take a walk through King's Garden next to Rosenborg Castle.

Get on a boat

We love the boat sightseeing tours around the city's canals and waterways. In just an hour you can see some of the most iconic places in the city from the water, taking the boat from Gammel Strand or Nyhavn and see some of the architectural highlights as well as historic old town. Pass by The Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace, Christianborg Palace, BLOX, and The Black Diamond and Opera. They have indoor tours in winter so you can avoid being wind blasted as you sail past the harbour sights!

Nyhavn Harbour

For the best views of colourful Nyhavn harbour from the water once you have walked past all the shops and restaurants you can walk along the Harbour Circle Route starting on the Inner Harbour Bridge. Also known as The Kissing Bridge because of it slides together instead of lifting, this bridge was built in 2016 making it easy to walk across Nyhavn canal to Christanshavn and Holmen neighbourhoods. The views from the bridge are really lovely, especially at sunset.


This former parking area is now an urban space on the harbourfront, carefully planned to become a place for people to meet and come together as an urban living area. With places to eat, shop, enjoy the views and of course the Danish Architecture Centre place right here, it's a place to visit with plenty to do. Check out the lively squares and Lille Langebro bike bridge that have made this area a hub for people to use for walks, bike rides, exercising or just enjoying the waterfront. Summer even has harbour swim areas for you to enjoy a dip in the water.

From BLOX you can take Lille Langebro - the latest bridge that connects the centre of town from the City Hall Square to the neighbourhoods of Islands Brygge and Christianshavn. This is always busy with bikes so watch where you go.

The Circle Bridge - Cirkelbroen

This iconic bridge by award-winning Danish-Islandic designer Olafur Eliasson is made up from a combination of circles and masts that represent the harbour. This bridge was built in 2015 but is already famous and has become a design landmark of the city. The bridge links Christiansbro and Appelbys Plads and has views worth stopping on the linking platforms for.

Stay at Copenhagen Downtown

Just a short walk from the city center harbours, you can enjoy the cobblestoned walk to the historic waterfront from our hostel. Our cosy bar and restaurant area is perfect for a hot chocolate on a cold day or a happy hour drink at the end of a busy day exploring the city. Step inside, our international bar is open to locals and hostels guests to meet and mingle, with party nights, live music, and themed games nights.

We are also part of the Europe's Famous Hostels network, being the hostel of choice for the Genuine Backpacker, as part of a network of over 50 hostels across Europe. Find out more about Famous Hostels here www.famoushostels.com

Copenhagen Downtown is a proud member of Famous Hostels - stay with us for a #GenuineBackpacker experience.