When I first planned my trip to Copenhagen, I knew that one of the activities that I really wanted to prioritise was a tour of Copenhagen’s canals, for multiple reasons. The first reason being that I love to be out on the water. The second reason being, that I wanted to see the Little Mermaid Statue, but I also know that it was quite a walk away, crowded, and a bit small. The canal boat goes by it so I can see it alongside many other things without feeling like I wasted my whole afternoon just to see it. And the third reason was that I never went on the water when I was in Amsterdam and I kind of regret that.
So a boat ride was definitely in order!
The boat tour that you are most likely to see around is the Netto Badene. Tickets were 40 kroner or £4.75. The tour lasts just over an hour so I thought that was great value for money. You meet of the tour at Holmens Church opposite the old Stock-Exchange and Nyhavn at Heibergsgade. This sounds complicated but it’s about a 5 minute walk from the Nyhavn subway station. In fact, because I only travel with my backpack, I came out of the airport, jumped on the subway/metro straight to Nyhavn (about a 15 minute ride) and immediately got on my boat tour. Literally less than an hour after landing in Denmark I was tootling along on its canals.
The tour is given in Danish, German and English and you learn a lot about the history of the areas that you are going through. I loved getting to learn a bit more about the Christianhavn (how King Christian IV had to bribe people to move there and now it’s one of the most affluent and sought-after parts of Copenhagen). We also went past a lot of old de-commisioned army and naval barracks and stations that have now been converted into quite chic housing!
We were even able to glimpse the barest hints of the famous Freetown Christiania, the self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood in Copenhagen. I had originally planned to visit Christiania but in the end decided to put off my visit to a time when I wasn’t in Copenhagen completely on my own.
For the most part, the boat stuck to the canals, but there were parts of our journey that went into the open sea and that was really exciting. You could catch glimpses of some of the massive behemoth cruise ships that are moored there! The boat is extremely flat and low so that we can get under all the bridges over the canal and there were a few times when I was positive that we wouldn’t be able to squeeze underneath. More than once, I could stay seated and reach up and easily touch the underside of the bridge.
I’m so glad that I did the boat tour. I was able to see a lot of Copenhagen fairly quickly, and it really helped me orientate myself for exploring the city better for the rest of the weekend.
I absolutely adored my time out on the water and I’m so glad that I made time for it!
Have you ever taken a canal tour before?
Read my other posts on Copenhagen: