Green Island in Copenhagen harbour

7 awesome floating experiences you ought to try in Copenhagen

Photo: Green Island

It's almost a rite of passage to experience Copenhagen from the waterside. Most go on a canal tour, but sometimes you just want to do something a bit out of the ordinary. Here are 7 unusual and awesome experiences that are quite literally floating around in our capital's clean harbour.

1. Eating at the water’s edge

Some restaurants might boast of having an ocean view, but we’ve taken seaside eateries to a whole new level in Copenhagen. You can enjoy a bite to eat and a refreshing beverage from our floating cafés and bars that are spread across the city. These are unique spots to take a break from the bustling city while still being right in the middle of it.

If you head to the neighbourhood of Christianshavn, you’ll find the grand old lady of floating cafés, Christianshavn Boat Rentals and Café, just across from the Christianshavn Metro station. This charming boat rental actually dates all the way back to 1896, and for over 20 years, we’ve been able to relax right at the water’s edge in the Christianshavn canal with a drink in our hands. (You're more than welcome to join us btw.). 

Alternatively, you might want to check out the semi-floating Kayak Bar which is hiding from plain sight under Knippelsbro (i.e. the bridge close going to Christianshavn from the Parlaiment building). As the name of the bar indicates, you're able to rent kayaks to tour the canals, or you can simply just relax in one of their beach chair if that's more up your alley.

If you're looking for a floating oasis, however, a visit to Green Island might just be the place for you. Green Island is a pop-up café and bar that's open during summer, and being the new kid on the block, it's still one of our lesser-known gems. The island is located next the harbour bath on Kalvebod Brygge, which means you'll get to enjoy a 360° view of the harbour.

2. Going for a swim at our harbour baths

Allow us to blow our own trumpets for a quick moment: Copenhagen is the BEST city for swimming! Don't believe us? Well, it's not even us stating it (though we definitely agree), it's CNN.

A city surrounded by water, Copenhagen is a joy for swimmers, especially as midsummer looms and winter becomes a distant memory. (CNN)

And since CNN has already blown our cover: yes, this activity peaks in summer as our four harbour baths (Islands Brygge, Kalvebod Brygge, Sluseholmen, and Fisketorvet) open to the public and become popular spots for us to meet up.

Nonetheless, it shouldn’t stop you going for a refreshing dip during the colder winter months as well (who knows if you’re actually a Viking at heart?). If you need to be a bit more convinced before taking an ice-cold plunge, the next experience might just be what you’re looking for.

3. Relaxing in floating hot tubs

Can you think of anything more relaxing than floating around in a hot tub while you enjoy a stunning view? We sure can't. But CopenHot might know how to top it, because while you float around in one of their hot tub, the hot tub sails around in the harbour of Copenhagen. How cool is that!

And it doesn't even matter if it's cold outside, you can keep warm and toasty in the hot tubs, go for a refreshing dip in the water (we dare you), and dry off in one of the barrel saunas in which you keep enjoying the stunning view of Copenhagen.

4. Exploring the harbour like the locals

If you've ever dreamed of being the captain of your own boat, Copenhagen harbour is the perfect place for you to test your navigation skills. And you get to do it in an eco-friendly manner (talk about a win-win situation) by renting a solar-powered GoBoat. You'll be sure to blend in with the locals cruising around the harbour as the GoBoats encapsulates the Danish concept of hygge

And talking of sustainable ways to conquer the waters in Copenhagen, we also have an eco-friendly option for those seeking a bit more action. You can rent a Green Kayak for free and explore Copenhagen from the water while collecting waste from the water surface. 

Finally, do you remember those awesome floating cafés and bars we mentioned earlier? (Hint: if you don’t, may we suggest you read No. 1 again). You can actually rent a Green Kayak at both Kayak Bar and Green Island (convenient eh?).

5. Taking a break on our 'parkipelago'

Now you might think "a parkipe-what"? Let us introduce you to the future of cosmopolitan public parks: the floating park of Copenhagen Islands. At the moment you can head to the island "CPH-Ø1" by kayak or GoBoat. CPH-Ø1 is the aesthetic prototype which consists of a 20 m2 wooden platform with a linden tree at its centre. But it'll be joined by many more islands before long - each built for a specific activity such as floating saunas, floating sail-in cafés, floating gardens and mussel farms and much more. (We'll most definitely have to update this list once the parkipelago truly gets going.)

6. Our BIG futuristic housing communities

Ever heard the phrase "today's students are tomorrow's future"? Being a student city, Copenhagen has taken this phrase quite literally and built the futuristic student housing called Urban Rigger. And it's done with the help of the world-renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG) of course (because we do have a reputation of brilliant design to maintain).

Urban Rigger is made up by uniquely designed floating shipping containers turned awesome and CO2 neutral accommodation. But the reasons why we're particularly jealous of these lucky students is the view of Copenhagen harbour and their proximity to the scrumptious Reffen Street Food Market.

7. Staying in a floating hotel

How does the prospect of sitting on the roof top of a house boat-like hotel with a 360° view of the Copenhagen harbour sound? Like the ideal accommodation for your city break perhaps? Then you should most definitely look into staying aboard our floating hotel, CPH Living

"Hotel v floating hotel? CPH Living wins hands down. Stunning views, quirky accommodation with friendly staff and a fab roof terrace. There’s something very relaxing about being on water and this was just what was needed for our short stay." (Review on TripAdvisor by @indiaEdinburgh, March 2019)

If you’re looking for more than just an average hotel room, you should check out our list of unusual places to stay in Denmark.