Talking a walk around Copenhagen’s revitalized waterfront is an ideal opportunity to see some of the city’s best architecture, both old and new, as well as to witness the many changes the city has undergone over the past decade on both sides of the harbor.
The perfect way to do this is to cross over the water in Copenhagen’s inner harbor via the city’s newest bridge Bryggebroen, so named because it connects the two ‘Brygge’ quarters: Islands Brygge and Kalvebod Brygge.
Built in 2006, Bryggebroen allows those on foot or on bikes (no cars allowed, folks) to cross from the newly developed Kalvebod Brygge area of Vesterbro over to revived industrial quarter Islands Brygge (that takes its name from the many Icelandic ships that docked there during the late 1800s). Immediately on the other side is the striking form of the Gemini residence, twin grain silos from the ‘60s that were converted into apartments between 2002 and 2005.
The 190-meter (almost 208 yards) long bridge is a partial swing bridge, with one section able to open enabling boats to sail past. A total of 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists are believed to cross the bridge daily, and there are great views on either side that vary greatly depending on the time of day.
Start your walk outside the Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center. Walk down the side of Fisketorvet shopping mall and past the Hotel Island and Copencabana open air swimming baths to cross Bryggebroen with a great view of the Gemini residence on one side and plenty more exclusive new apartment blocks on the other.
Beyond the Gemini building, to the south, you should just be able to see the futuristic residential building, Metropolis, jutting out into the water.
Once over the bridge head north along Islands Brygge, which takes you past the former A-Huset artists’ building, now modern lodging concept STAY Copenhagen – the vision of Danish design group HAY. You might want to pause for a cold drink or brunch on Islands Brygge at Kulturhuset KIB or Cafe Alma on Isafjordsgade for the perfect cafe view.
To check out more of Copenhagen’s stunning modern architecture, like the new Playhouse on one side of the harbor and the Copenhagen Opera House on the other, try using the public ‘havnebus’ or harbor bus, a yellow passenger boat that operates along the same principles as the city’s bus routes (bus no. 991-993).
Image of Bryggebroen and the Gemini residence courtesy of Stig Nygaard/ Creative Commons.