Where in Copenhagen can you get food, drinks, entertainment and a bit of history with a scenic view by the canals? Only in Nyhavn, the city’s colorful waterfront area that has been bustling with all sorts of activities for over 300 years. Built in the 17th century by King Christian V, the “New Haven” or “New Port” was a trading, fishing and shipping passageway between the old inner city and the sea.
Sailing ships were always docked around the area and a part of it even became notorious for attracting shady characters such as prostitutes. But because it was a center of commercial activities, many residents started building their houses around Nyhavn and the quayside became a fashionable place to live in. The world-famous children’s story writer Hans Christian Andersen lived in Nyhavn for most of his life. The brightly-painted mansions and townhouses can still be found standing around the area and are part of the tourist attractions. Aside from the historical houses, Nyhavn is also known for the Veteran Ship and Museum Harbour where restored ships can be found on display on the canal.
Some of the ships that can be found include a 1920s smuggling ship, a two-masted schooner from the 19th century and a barge that served as a theatre boat in the 1970s. There is also a Memorial Anchor monument erected to commemorate the Danish naval soldiers who fought during World War II.
During the summer, Nyhavn is a favorite place for the locals to hang out – bars and restaurants that line the harbor set up tables outdoors, making it possible for the people to enjoy their drinks and meals amid the picturesque views. Canal tours are also part of the popular activities in the area.