Once, Havnegade was crowded with ferry passengers. Boats would call here en route to Sweden – small ferries at first, then bigger car ferries, and eventually hydrofoils with enough space for a bar and duty-free shops. In the end, only the hydrofoils remained, but they too vanished when the bridge to Sweden opened. Now, Havnegade has been given a new lease of life and the opportunity to make its mark once more.

Along the promenade are cages for ball games, multi-courts for basketball and football, trampolines, and a playground for children of all ages. There is more space for cyclists and pedestrians, and plenty of runners make use of the area, especially in the mornings and evenings.

Of all ofCopenhagen’s waterfront stretches, Havnegade offers one of the best views. Once a dead no-man’s land, it has been transformed into an attractive promenade.

For those uninterested in exercise, there is plenty of space to sit and enjoy the view or sunbathe, while the sweet scent of the newly nurtured lavender beds fills the air. There is, as yet, little in the way of shade. That will come though when the young oak trees begin to grow and spread their foliage.

A large, open-air arena, ‘Bornholmerknasten’, is used for a variety of events, especially concerts, and it has a cover for inclement weather. There are plans to build a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians that will link the city centre with Christianshavn, although a date for this has not yet been decided.

The City of Copenhagen also has plans to allow a floating fish market to dock here, and to make space for houseboats. On a warm summer’s day, it is difficult to imagine how deserted and windswept Havnegade was just a few short years ago.

Photo: Kontraframe

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  • Ball games Playground
  • Trampolines
  • Running
  • Relaxing
  • Picnics
  • Sunbathing
  • Havnegade was built during the major expansions of Copenhagen in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 1870s, this was where the ‘emigrant boats’ took Danes to the United States in search of a better life.
  •  Throughout the 20th century, ferries from Sweden docked here. At its height, a number of shipping companies and routes were in competition with each other.

  •  The last hydrofoil sailed the route in 2002, when it could no longer compete with the new Øresund Bridge to Sweden.
  • Sweden was a veritable wonderland for the Danes after the Second World War.  The occupation had led to shortages, and the Swedes had all sorts of goods that were not available in Denmark. This made boat trips to Sweden popular.

  • Duty was paid on imported goods in the customs house building, which now houses restaurants.
  • Good facilities for wheelchair users.
  • No disabled toilet; the nearest is on Ved Stranden, just before Højbroplads.
  • Several cafés in the area.
  • Tables and benches for eating packed lunches.
  • Barbecuing on portable grills is also permitted.
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