Nyhavn means “new harbor” in Danish, but this bustling entertainment district was first established in the 17th century. The scenic road and canal, one of Copenhagen’s busiest areas, runs from King’s Square (Kongens Nytorv) to the waterfront just south of the Royal Playhouse. In summer bars and cafés spill out onto the canal side, while winter brings festive lights and a Christmas market.
Most city walking tours include a visit to Nyhavn. The canal is also a strategic starting point for sightseeing cruises, which offer waterfront views of attractions such as Amalienborg Castle, Copenhagen Opera House, and the Little Mermaid statue. Additional points of interest include a WWI navy memorial and the former home of famous fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
Things to Know Before You Go
With a wide selection of bars and restaurants, Nyhavn makes a good place to stop for lunch or dinner while sightseeing.
Don’t miss the harborside walk from Nyhavn to the Little Mermaid statue.
Sightseeing cruises tend to sell out during summer, so you may want to book tickets in advance.
How to Get There
Centrally located in the city of Copenhagen, Nyhavn is easily accessible on foot from King’s Square. There’s a metro station in the square, and hop-on-hop-off tour buses stop at the top of the street.
When to Get There
The harborside is open all year, and different seasons bring different ways to enjoy the area. It’s busiest in the lead-up to Christmas and during the summer months, especially at lunchtime on summer weekends.
What to See Near King’s Square
Copenhagen’s King’s Square is the largest public place in the city. It was laid out in the 1640s by King Christian V, and a statue dedicated to him stands at the center of the square. The square is home to several important Danish institutions, including the Royal Danish Theater and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
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- Kunsthal Charlottenborg
- Amalienborg Palace
- Old Stock Exchange (Børsen)
- David Collection (Davids Samling)
- Christian's Harbor (Christianshavn)
- Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen)
- Ruins under Christiansborg Palace
- Thorvaldsens Museum
- Castle Islet (Slotsholmen)
- Freetown Christiania
- Round Tower (Rundetårn)
- Christiansborg Palace (Christiansborg Slot)
- Kunstforeningen Gl Strand
- Rosenborg Castle (Rosenborg Slot)
- Rosenborg Castle Gardens (Kongens Have)