Copenhagen Harbour – Winter Swimmers’ New Paradise


Rikke Houkjær
City of Copenhagen
Phone: +45 2677 2295

, February 01, 2012

Copenhagen residents are head over heels over the city’s new harbour bath – even though it’s January and the weather is frightful.

Temperatures in Copenhagen are around the freezing point at this time of the year but that doesn’t matter to the enthusiastic users of the city’s newly opened third harbour bath. Thanks to the efforts of a local winter swimming club, the season for harbour swimming is now all year round.

Harbour water is swimming water

“I’m proud that the water in our harbour is so clean that Copenhagen’s residents and our guests are able to go swimming right in the heart of the city – summer or winter. This would have been unthinkable earlier, but thanks to a thorough modernisation of our sewerage system the water in our harbour has become so clean that we’ve been able to let people swim here for a decade,” says Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen.

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Online warning system of high bacteria levels

Copenhagen is one of the only cities in Europe where the harbour water is clean enough to swim in. But should health risks such as high bacteria levels spoil the fun, an online warning system alerts residents to the problem. In the event of any health concerns, the harbour baths are closed immediately.

New facilities in Sydhavn

Copenhagen’s newest harbour bath, located in the newly developed area of the Sydhavn neighbourhood, features three separate swimming areas and a sauna.

“We’re ecstatic about the new facility. Winter swimming improves people’s health and their quality of life, and the new harbour bath allows us to do it in an attractive setting,” says Ulla-Britta Buch, the president of the local winter swimming club, which has a membership of 300 and a long waiting list.

Winters swimming is a popular activity among Danes. Some 11,000 people are registered members of winter swimming clubs.

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