Sydhavnen is the most authentic neighborhood in Copenhagen. An up-and-coming suburb offering fresh air, harbor mist and a local atmosphere.
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The most authentic neighborhood in Copenhagen

Have you ever heard of Sydhavnen? If you’re looking to stay in a Copenhagen neighborhood that’s authentic, quiet and budget friendly, you might want to consider a stay in Sydhavnen. And with that we mean the old part of Sydhavnen. Once a tired working class area mainly consisting of public housings and poverty, now an up and coming neighborhood with easy access to Vesterbro, Central Copenhagen and the canal towns of Sluseholmen, Teglholmen, Engholmene and Islands Brygge.

While the old part of Sydhavnen was built between 1930-1950, Sluseholmen and Teglholmen, which are technically also part of Sydhavnen, were built built from 2006 and onwards and creates a great contrast to the old part of Sydhavnen. Recently Engholmene popped up as a new addition to the canal towns.

You will love Sydhavnen if…

  • peace, quiet and fresh air is on your agenda
  • the budget is tight and you would like to stay local
  • you enjoy running or walking while you’re on holiday
  • you want to be close by the water
The old part of Sydhavn is as authentic as it gets in Copenhagen.

Where is Sydhavnen?

Sydhavnen is bordering Vesterbro, Carlsberg Byen and Valby with the western part of Amager across the water. South of the residential area in the old part of Sydhavnen, you will find Valby Park, which stretches south to Hvidovre.

Map Sydhavnen
Sydhavnen and the canal towns.

5 things to do in Sydhavnen

Most people who choose to stay in Sydhavnen will most likely use it as a base for daily experiences and activities around the city. However, there are things to do in and around Sydhavnen. Here are 5 things you need to try during your stay in Sydhavnen.

Run, relax and look at alpacas in Valbyparken

Valbyparken – or Valby Park – is one of Copenhagen’s biggest parks, which you will find in the backyard of the old Sydhavnen. The park offers great running paths as well as little theme gardens, such as the Japanese Garden, the Water Garden, Fruit Garden, the Oriental Garden, the Islamic Garden and many more. Bring a sandwich and have a picnic… but wait, there’s more! In the left part of the park, towards the water, you might get a surprise. Valbyparken is also home to alpacas that are running around in their own little gated community. Take a walk and have a look but don’t get too close. For everyone’s sake.

Alpacas in Sydhavnen
Enjoy a day in the giant Valby Park and meet the alpacas. Photo:

Go for a swim at the Sluseholmen harbor bath

Why go to the beach if you can jump in the nearby harbor? Don’t worry. It’s not as dodgy or as dangerous as you might think. The canals in Copenhagen are ideal for swimming. The water is clean and calm and there are even lifeguards at the harbor baths. You will find seveal harbor baths around the city with Islands Brygge being the busiest while this one is more quiet. Sluseholmen harbor bath offers two pools for swimmers and divers, a children’s pool and a youth pool.

Sluseholmen havnebad
Take a dip. Sluseholmen harbor bath is the place to go on a hot summers day.

Visit the sustainable haven at BaneGaarden

This is a true hidden gem, and it can be quite hard to find but Google Maps is your friend. Located behind the railway tracks between Vesterbro and Sydhavnen, BaneGaarden is a little urban, entrepreneurial haven with a garden and some barns. All made of sustainable materials. Even the stage in the courtyard is made from plastic. You can always come by for coffee, food or a drink but it seems like anything could happen here. A workshop, concert, talks or who knows what.

You might have to go on a little adventure to find this hidden gem. But it’s worth it.

Take a stroll around Fiskerihavnen in Sydhavnen

This is one of these places that may not be around too much longer, unfortunately. Fiskerihavnen is a real little fishing village with a proud maritime heritage. Rough yet idyllic. Some people live in house boats, other in creative cottages and some just come here to do their fishing. You won’t find fine dining or cafés. But you will get a sense of what Sydhavnen was like years ago.

Chill time at Teglværket

In Teglholmen you will find Teglværket. A former warehouse, now a venue for big parties, flea markets and much more as well as you can come here to enjoy a drink and have a bite to eat while you have your feet planted in the sand. Still a hidden gem for many Copenhageners.

Teglværket – a place for fun! Photo:

How to get around in Sydhavnen

The neighborhood of Sydhavnen is 4-5 kilometers from the city center, and that means you should either rely on a bike or public transport. Luckily it’s super easy to get around by bike with bike lanes connecting Sydhavnen to Vesterbro or Central Copenhagen. If you prefer public transportation you can catch the S-train from either Sydhavn Station or Sjælør Station to Copenhagen Central, Nørreport, etc.

Where should I stay in Sydhavnen?

Whether you are looking to stay in the modern part of the neighborhood in Sluseholmen or Teglholmen or in “the real” Sydhavnen, Airbnb is definitely your best bet. There are a few hotels around, such as Scandic Sydhavnen, however these are primarily meant for business travelers and big groups and they are all located by the main roads.

In Sluseholmen, Teglholmen and Engholmene you can find modern, convenient apartments in all sizes – with elevators, heated floors and big balconies, probably also with sea view. If you pick an Airbnb in the old part of Sydhavnen you will stay in more traditional apartment buildings, most likely with less convenience but at the same time more budget friendly.

What to expect from an Airbnb in Copenhagen? Read our guide!

If you’re checking into an Airbnb in Sluseholmen, this might be your view. Photo: Maria Sattrup.

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