Copenhagen 2021: Top city for swimming

Copenhagen is bustling with great locations for a dip

Just three years ago, CNN named Copenhagen as the best city in the world for swimming thanks to its urban beaches and waterfront swimming areas in the harbour.

With crystal clear water and minimal salt content, a dip on a warm summer’s day is always highly advised.

But be warned: you can’t just jump in anywhere: new rules enable the authorities to fine you for swimming in undesignated areas – particularly in Copenhagen Harbour.

All types of spots
For the full beach experience, head to Amager Beach Park, a quick Metro ride away, where a 2 km long artificial island has created one of the country’s top beaches, along with a lagoon perfect for a paddle. 

Or why not try the newly-opened beach at Valbyparken, a beautiful park to get lost in.

Closer to the centre, the harbour baths at Islands Brygge and Fisketorvet are just two more great alternatives. Read on for our selection of the best.

Islands Brygge Harbour Bath
Islands Brygge 7, Cph S; open 06:00-22:00, lifeguards on duty 10:00-18:00; free adm
Islands Brygge Harbour Bath – designed by famed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels – has now become a crucial fixture on Copenhagen’s waterfront. Nestled just below Langebro bridge, bathers can take a rigorous plunge into the harbour’s depths whilst surrounded by the pulsing cityscape. There are also harbour baths at Fisketorvet and Sluseholmen. All three have lifeguards and are free to use. 

Amager Strandpark
Amager Strand Stien, Cph S; open 24/7, lifeguards 10:00-18:00; free adm;
Just 5km from the city centre and easily accessible by the Metro, Amager Strandpark is rammed in the summer. From its sandy shores you’re treated to an arresting view over the windmill park and Øresund Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden.

Bellevue Beach
Strandvejen 340, Hellerup; open 24/7, lifeguards 10:00-18:00; free adm;
If you have a little more time and want to experience a bit of suburbia, then Klampenborg’s Bellevue Beach – about 10km from downtown Copenhagen – is the place to head to. The beach has several piers to jump from as well as watchful lifeguards and freshwater showers. Whilst you’re there, pay a quick visit to Bellevue Theatre – designed by Arne Jacobsen.

Svanemølle Beach
Strandpromenaden 36, Cph Ø; open 24/7, lifeguards 10:00-18:00; free adm
Svanemølle Beach’s shallow gradient makes it perfect for families, while a 130-metre pier provides access into deeper waters for any adventurous types.

Bavnehøj Friluftsbad
Enghavevej 90, Cph SV; open  Mon & Wed-Thu 07:00-20:00, Tue & Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00; free adm
The large paddling area and 25-metre pool, which has cordoned-off lanes for serious swimmers, are situated next to a large grassy area with climbing frames for children and volleyball, which make it the ideal spot to picnic and laze around. There’s also a similar pool in Bellahøj. 

Bathing/Dipping Zones

Various locations
In total there are seven designated bathing zones to look out for: Halfdansgade, Halvandet, Havnevigen, Sandkaj, Søndre Refshaleøebassin, Kalvebod Bølge and La Banchina, along with two dipping zones that often switch locations. Remember, bathing in the zones is at your own risk and there is no lifeguard supervision. Most are open 24 hours a day.

(photo: visitDenmark/mette johnsen)

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.