In 1671, King Christian began work on a new harbor for Copenhagen. Nyhavn has been the home of Danish artists such as Hans Christian Andersen and countless writers, ballerina and musicians. The brightly colored buildings are home to restaurants, shops and clubs. Once a notorious red light district, activities today range from getting a new tattoo to cruising along the canals on a flat boat.At one time the area was frequented by sailors who came for the seedy taverns and loose women. Today, the area is a vibrant neighborhood where you can enjoy one of the bars and restaurants or purchase a bottle of wine and sit on the wall overlooking the canal. This stretch is referred to as the longest bar in Scandanavia. In the old days, the neighborhood was split into the Sunny Side and The Shady Side. Today both sides are family friendly.
One of the unique restaurants is called KOMPASSET (The Compass) – the building used to house several manufacturers of compasses. KOMPASSET features a menu of smørrebrød/open sandwiches and craft beers from local breweries.As you walk along the waterfront, don’t forget to look up. This building features a diving helmet as a monument to Em. Z. Svitzer Bjergnings Enterprise, a marine salvage company.
In the mood for a burger, try Hereford House, but don’t be surprised at the price. A burger and beer can set you back more than $20 USD.
For the adventurous drinker, the ideal place to order a shot of Fisk “Fisherman’s Friend” vodka, Ga-Jol liquorice vodka, Akvavit or Gammel Dansk is the Fisken Pub. Located in the basement of the Skipperkroen Restaurant, the abundance of nautical decor gives you the feeling of what it may have been like to visit here 350 years ago.Hyttefadet is a good little restaurant for a quick Danish lunch of an open faced salmon sandwich and a beer. Sit back and watch the world go by. Nyhavn 17 is a more elegant dining choice. Heering is a cozy restaurant, known for traditional Danish entrees as well as European Bistro specialties. The inside is very small and don’t be surprised if your dinner is interrupted by servers poking you to move out their way as you eat.Hong Kong is one of the old school strip clubs and bars in Copenhagen. If you’re looking for a local dive bar with a rough clientele, this may be the spot for you.If you visit Copenhagen, a trip to Nyhavn is well worth a few hours of your time.