Explore Copenhagen

Copenhagen Conveniences: The City and its Toilets

Travel Tips — By Jane Graham on November 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

Copenhagen is a city that takes care of its toilets. Public restroom facilities can be found all over the city, and the vast majority of them are clean and pleasant to use. Should you be caught short in a museum or other attraction, the toilets are often as smart and spotless as the venues themselves, and in addition offer both disabled access and baby changing facilities.

The old signs for “pissoir” (urinal) may make great photo fodder for intrigued tourists, but in actual fact very few of the city’s old and somewhat seedy public urinals remain – instead, the city’s public toilets are generally clean and useable by all members of society. In fact, the City of Copenhagen thinks enough about its toilets to have set up a whole page devoted to the subject on its website (available in Danish only). Out of the city’s 31 public toilets, six of are staffed and cost 2kr (a little under 50 cents) to visit. In addition, there are 9 self-cleaning toilets and 16 automatic , coin-operated bathrooms, which are not only handicap-accessible but also come with baby changing mats.

  • How to ask for the nearest bathroom: “Hvor er det nærmeste toilet?” (voa e-ah deh neh-meste toa-let?)

Some more fun toilet facts:

  • The most used public toilet in Copenhagen is found on Nyhavn and dates from 1900. With art decor design tiling and brown wooden doors, this staffed bathroom requires its guests to place a 2kr piece in the little box – whereupon a lamp lights when it’s your turn.
  • The most well-known are those on Amagertorv on Strøget, found down the steps below the stork fountain in the square’s center. You needn’t be apprehensive about the bathroom’s subterranean nature – despite averaging 1,000 visitors a day (and 50,000 in July) these staffed toilets are impeccably clean.
  • NileGuide’s choice for those with small babies are found close to the play area in Tivoli. They are incredibly spacious and come not only with an extra, smaller stall for children but also with several changing mats complete with free diapers. There are even comfy chairs for breast-feeding. Other especially family friendly toilets can be found adjacent to the cafe in the Zoo.
  • At Nimb Brasserie, (also in Tivoil) the women’s toilets offer  a miniature, child-size toilet next to the regular one – perfect for mom and child to go together.
  • The City of Copenhagen now allows you to pay for your 2kr toilet visit at three of the city’s manned public toilets using text messaging on your cell phone.

Photos: flickr/creative commons – Bjørn Giesenbauer/ loozrboy

Tags: public toilets, restroom facilities

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