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Copenhagen canal

Copenhagen harbor & canal tour

Copenhagen is a city known for its friendliness toward both pedestrians and cyclists, but don’t overlook the city’s canals. This private tour offers you a chance to enjoy the capital’s main sights from the water, the way that locals often do. It will also provide some insight into the rapid changes underway on Copenhagen’s waterfront as it transitions from an industrial port to a recreational open space.

During the warm summer months, the waterfront is the beating heart of the city where people come to stroll, shop and enjoy the scenery, as well as water sports.

The tour takes you along Nyhavn, the main canal that cuts through the heart of the city, as well as the quieter, smaller canals that go through Christianshavn. This residential enclave is packed with brightly painted townhouses, cobbled lanes and houseboats, as well as low pedestrian bridges — watch your head.

You’ll meet your captain at Ofelia Plads, a public space on the Kvæsthus Pier, just next to the Royal Danish Playhouse. You’ll be riding on a small, low canal boat, with open sides and a see-through roof in case of rain.

The tour, which takes about an hour, provides an excellent introduction to the city’s main attractions. You’ll see the stately Royal Palace, whose ornate grandeur makes a sharp contrast to the sleek, ultra-modern opera house that stands on the opposite shore.

Another highlight is Olafur Eliasson's striking Circle Bridge. When you approach the bridge on ground level, you’re immediately struck by the fact that it’s made from a series of interconnecting circular platforms. However, it’s only from the water that you can truly appreciate how the platforms are supported by tensioned wires suspended from tall poles that resemble ships’ masts — a nod to the city’s maritime culture.

You’ll also see the Royal Library, the two-Michelin-starred NOMA restaurant and many 17th-century buildings that were constructed during the reign of King Christian IV.

Then, your captain will navigate you to smaller canals that slice through residential areas. You’ll get to see locals going about their lives as you glide past the many bright houses and leafy streets of the Christianshavn area.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Aislyn

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Other experiences in Copenhagen

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.