Nyhavn is the old harbour of Copenhagen. It’s the first image that pops into your head when you think of the city. The colourful buildings and tall ships lining the streets make this a popular tourist spot. Hopefully, after you’ve read this article, you’ll know exactly the things to do in Nyahvn!
You’ll find this historic area right in the heart of Copenhagen. Its charming squares, cobblestone streets and excellent museums are a hit with locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect place to start your day. Wander down the lively streets, take in the picturesque sight of the colourful 18th century townhouses which line the harbour and pull up a seat at one of the many restaurants and cozy cafes in the area.
Nyhavn also neighbours a lot of major sights, making it the perfect go-to spot for your first visit to Copenhagen. In the area you’ll find the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, the Little Mermaid statue and Strøget – the buzzing pedestrianised shopping high street. You can also head to the royal residence of Amalienbord Slot, where you can watch the ceremonial Changing of the Guard.
Finally, this inner corner of Copenhagen is also a foodie’s paradise where you’ll discover plenty of delicious restaurants and cafes. From the likes of Michelin-starred AOC and Kokkeriet to the popular Torvehalleme market that’s packed with fresh produce. There’s something for everyone’s taste and budget.
Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the must-see Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
Prepare for your visit to Nyhavn
When to visit Nyhavn
As Nyhavn is such a popular part of town, you should visit early in the morning to avoid the big crowds and get the area to yourself. It’s also a popular spot in the evenings thanks to the abundance of great bars and restaurants in the area.
How long is needed to visit Nyhavn
You should reserve at least one hour to visit Nyhavn. This will allow plenty of time to stroll along the main street, take in the beautiful views of the colourful townhouses and even take a quick coffee break at a local café along the way. After taking in this famous area of Copenhagen, you’re just a stone’s throw away from some of the biggest sites of the city.
What should I wear to visit Nyhavn
What you should wear in Nyhavn depends on what time of day, or year, you visit. You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors so be sure to dress for the weather. Winters can get incredibly cold so wear lots of layers, thermals and a good, warm coat.
What is there to see in Nyhavn
Nyhavn is famous for its iconic townhouses which line the water’s edge. The oldest house on the canal is number 9, which has been remarkably unaltered since it was built in 1681. Nyhavn was once a haunt for sailors and writers, including the famous Hans Christian Andersen who spent time living in three different houses here – number 18, 20 and 67. He even wrote some classics like The Tinderbox, Little Claus and Big Claus and The Princess and the Pea while he was living at No 20.
The cafés and restaurants
Nyhavn is Copenhagen’s biggest attraction because of its beauty. So naturally, the best way to enjoy it is to sit down with a drink or a nice meal and soak up the atmosphere. The area is filled with cafés and restaurants so you’ll be spoiled for choice. In the winter, you can cosy up inside one of the charming cafés with a hot drink. While in summer, you can top up on some Vitamin D on one of the many outdoor terraces with a refreshing drink.
The Little Mermaid
A 20 minute stroll along the water’s edge will take you to one of Copenhagen’s other main attractions – The Little Mermaid. Made of bronze and granite, the statue was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale character. Every morning and night, the mermaid swims to the surface and stares longingly towards the shore. She’s hoping to catch a glimpse of her beloved prince from her rock. The Little Mermaid was given as a gift to Copenhagen from Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg in 1913. Today it’s found at Langelinje Pier and over 100 years later, the sculpture welcomes over 1 million visitors each year.