Svanemølle Beach

Some places are destined to be classics. When Svanemølle Beach opened in 2010, it was an instant success. Visitors are already clamouring for it to be expanded, because on hot summer days the beach becomes so packed that sunbathers barely have room to turn over.

At 4,000 square metres, this triangle of fine, soft sand isn’t very big. But it has a 130-metre swimming jetty that stretches way out into the water, with a bench that runs its full length, affording visitors a beautiful view of the water and city, especially the impressive Svanemølle Power Station.

The beach is the second most popular place to spend a summer’s day in Copenhagen, surpassed only by the established tourist magnet, Nyhavn. Not bad for a callow youth.

The original boardwalk is also still in use. On warm evenings, when the coffee and ice-cream vendors arrive, and families promenade under the trees, the atmosphere is almost Mediterranean.

The promenade is popular with joggers, and at weekends it’s the kind of place parents teach their kids to ride bikes. It’s mainly locals who use the beach and promenade.

Svanemølle Beach is extremely child-friendly, as the tide comes in very slowly. Lifeguards are on duty during the high season, and the soft sand is also better for making sandcastles than the coarser variety at Amager Beach.

A winter bathing club is based at the marina nearby. There is a long waiting list for membership – but if you fancy a cold dip, the beach is open to everyone throughout the year. Just remember that you should never swim alone, especially in winter.

Photo: Scanpix/Bax Lindhardt

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  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Relaxation
  • Sunbathing
  • Play
  • Walks
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Outdoor baths were once very common in Copenhagen, because it was difficult for people to take baths at home – they had to fetch water in buckets, which wasn’t a great deal of fun for those who lived on the fourth floor.

  • In 1906, less than 3% of people in Copenhagen had a bathroom in their home. Instead, they used bathhouses around the city, as well as outdoor baths in and around the harbour. In the Østerbro area, people used the harbour baths at Kalkbrænderihavnen. The floating Helgoland baths, complete with bowling alley, café and patisserie, opened in 1885.

  • One winter, the baths broke anchor and ran aground at Saltholm. They were replaced twice, but eventually closed in 1932 due to pollution. At the time, sewage, including waste from the tuberculosis hospital, was discharged directly into the bay where the baths were located.
  • Helgoland was rebuilt in Amager, where it still stands to this day.
  • The water in Svanemølle Bay is clean enough for swimming, but to be on the safe side, an underground purification tank uses strong ultraviolet light to kill germs.
  • There are many fish and invertebrates. If you snorkel, you’ll encounter eel, plaice and gobies. In the summer, when there is an offshore wind, jellyfish are seen.
  • The pier and promenade are suitable for wheelchairs.
  • A ramp leads down to the beach, about 50 metres from the water.
  • Café and stalls.
  • Picnic spots.
1 km

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