Things to do

Copenhagen harbour festival 24 to 26 August with many activites

The coming weekend is a busy weekend on the water all over Copenhagen Harbour. Not only is there the cliff diving event, the canal swim and the Swoop championships, numerous other harbour events take place celebrating the harbour festival.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Despite the not so awesome weather report; winds, rain and clouds with some sun in between, do not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy one or the other of the activities related to water.

Being so close to water is really what makes expat life in Denmark so special.

The Copenhagen Harbour festival is unfortunately not really aimed at foreigners and you will find a lot of information available in Danish only, so take the time to try to translate some of the information, if you want to try out a specific activity for yourself or your children.

They do have an English language program site which will give you basic information about each activity.

All activities are free to try, as about 150 associations (in Danish foreninger) have signed up to participate and together with all of their volunteers more than 250 different activities can be tried out, not all of them water related though.

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As something special, you can take the bus boat – Havnebussen – as well as the festival harbour boat’s, Kulturhavn båd for free in order to visit all five festival areas:

Islands Brygge

The festival runs 24 to 26 August from:

Friday 16:00 to 22:00
Saturday 10:00 to 21:00
Sunday 10:00 to 20:00

Even if participating in one of the activities is not your thing, just taking the harbour bus from one end of Københavns havn, crossing to Refshaleøen and back to the other end at Sydhavnen is quite a nice excursion – remember you can bring your bicycles with you, although this weekend it might get a bit more crowded than usual.

You can find more information and the full program in our link below. It is a bit confusing as it is organized alphabetically and there are really many different activities.

You could also just select one of the five harbour areas to visit and see, once you get there, which activities could interest you.

More information at :

Here a few water related tips:

1.Try out sailing with the city’s sailing scouts  – this could have your interest if you have children aged 3 to 18 who could be interested in sailing:

Saturday 25. August 12:00- 18:00 Meeting point: Kajak- og robådsforposten – Nordhavn
Sunday 26. August 12:00- 16:007. Meeting point: Kajak- og robådsforposten – Nordhavn
The trip takes about 30 min and no pre-registration required.

2. Guided tours of the Århusgade district

Saturday 25th August from 16:00 to 17:00 – Meeting point at the Himmel og Hav! – Nordhavn exhibition.

The tour includes a visit to the recreational area a the top of the parking house – called Konditaget Luders, the promenade Sandkaj near the water, and a walk through the new residential area. The guide will tell you about the vision’s which Copenhagen City has for this new district 2150 and you will also travel back in time to hear the history of this fascinating area and see first-hand the plans for this up and coming residential section in Nordhavn.

The guided tours start at the exhibition “Himmel og hav!” at Helsinkigade 29, 2150 Nordhavn.

3.Guided tour of the new harbor area Nordhavnen with the  local historical society, the Østerbro Lokalhistoriske Forening og Arkiv ( we do not have information if this tour is also done in English).

24 August from 17:00 to 19:00 from Göteborg Plads – Nordhavn
25 August from 15:00 to 16:00 from Göteborg Plads – Nordhavn
26 August from 13:00 to 14:00 from Göteborg Plads – Nordhavn

On this guided tour of the Nordhavn historian, Morten Lander Andersen, will also speak about the Danish Rifle syndicate, Riffelsyndikatet’s, weapon’s production for the German army during WW II and the sabotage against the production facilities placed in Nordhavn.

The tour will last approx. 1 hour and is limited to 35 participants.

Vist the Østerbro Lokalhistoriske Forening og Arkiv at Göteborg Plads. This is also, where the guided tours will depart from

4.Try out Kayak, Surf Ski and SUP for big and small with Kajakklubben Nordhavn

24 August 16:00 to 21:00 at Sandkaj Brygge (the bathing zone ) – Nordhavn
25 August 11:00 to 21:00 at Sandkaj Brygge (the bathing zone ) – Nordhavn
26 August 11:00 to 18:00 at Sandkaj Brygge (the bathing zone ) Nordhavn

For big and small the Kayak Club Nordhavn offers the opportunity to try some of their many water sports activities in the Nordhavn area. They have both SUP boards and sea kayaks from beginner level to expert.

5.Come and paint a water color motif of the harbour

The expert watercolor painter Lena Gemzøe holds a workshop for adults in the lille Nokkehus in HF Nokken, Nokken Strandvej 9, 2300 Copenhagen S.

She has room for eight painters at a time and participation only requires you to sign up in advance (on a fist come first served basis). It is important that you come on time.

Watercolor painter Alice Thomsen assists during the workshop. You can choose between 24 August from 17:00 to 20:00 and 25 August from 12:00 to 15:00. Registration via mai to : More informantion about the painter at

6.Drop-in Springboard diving with Move Copenhagen.

Move Copenhagen’s program consists of free drop-in classes where everyone can join regardless of your experience with the activities on offer. You set your schedule, come and go as you please.

Move Copenhagen’s teachers have a background in many different movement disciplines, and the day will include Yoga, martial arts, dance and water activities including diving.

It takes place on 26 August from 11:oo to 16:45 with the springboard dive lesson at Havnebadet Islands Brygge:

11.00-12.30: Wing Chun (Kung Fu) (Bevægelsesplænen, Islands Brygge)
12.45-14.00: Yoga – A celebration of the diversity of movement (Havnebadet Islands Brygge)
14.30-15.30: Springboard diving (Havnebadet Islands Brygge)
15.45-16.45: Dance and impove in water (Havnebadet Islands Brygge)

7. Sailing excursion through Sydhavnsslusen

The guides on the boats, Sydhavnsguiderne, will tell you about the transformation of the South Harbour area from industry, freight ships and fishing, to modern homes, leisure and green areas.

Experience it all on a sailing excursion through the center of Copenhagen to the southernmost point of the habour, Sydhavnsslusen.

On: 25 August you will find numerous boat rides starting from 11:30 until 18:40 – check the program for more information. Departing points from Slusen – Sydhavnen and Bådstoppet Inderhavnsbroen

8. The new harbour bicycle ride – jump on your bike and join in on 26 August from 11:00 to 13:30 from Bryghuspladsen

Jump on your bike and join the Danish Architecture Centre as they follow developments in Copenhagen Harbour, including updates on bridges, residential buildings and construction sites.

The tour starts and stops from BLOX the Danish Architecture Centre’s new home next to the Black Diamond. They will also tell you more about the new cycle and pedestrian bridge, Lille Langebro. The bridge will be completed later this year.

The tour takes place in Danish and requires registration at this link:

9.. Try sea kayak sailing – with instructors from Havkajakklubben Svanen

25 August from 12:30 to 18:00 at Kajak- og robådsforposten – Nordhavn
26 August from 12:30 to 16:00 at Kajak- og robådsforposten – Nordhavn

Test your ability in a sea kayak, under expert supervision from the Havkajakklubben Svanen’s instructors. All you need to bring is a change of clothes, towels and a positive attitude.