the information panel at Nyhavn
on the far side of Inderhavnsbroen looking across to Paper Island
With the opening of Belvederebroen at the south end of the harbour at the end of last year … along with Cirkelbroen or Circle Bridge designed by Olafur Eliasson that opened in August 2015 to cross the canal on the Amager side of the harbour and the Inderhavnsbroen that opened in July 2016 to link across the harbour between Nyhavn and Holmen … it is now possible to bike, run or walk around the harbour in Copenhagen.
The complete circuit is 13 kilometres although shorter loops around smaller chunks using the older bridges at Knippelsbro or Langebro or by crossing over Bryggebroen - the bridge at Fisketorvet - there are shorter circuits of two or four or seven kilometres.
At intervals there are distinct signs in dark blue … appropriately close to the paint colour called Copenhagen Blue. Each post is at a key point on the route and they give, in Danish and in English, a short description of the immediate area and its history. If I was running the circuit I’d probably be using the sign for support as a tried to regain my breath … well beyond taking in the information but trying to pretend I was doing a few stretches before lurching off on the next section. My guess would be that most Danes running and certainly all Danes on bikes are going much too fast to read anything as they dash by.
These signs also have a map that shows the route and the stops of the harbour ferry - the Havnebus - if you feel like seeing the harbour from the water. But what is interesting, and more important, is that the maps mark the dedicated cycle routes into and across the city. This tells you something significant about the planning policy in Copenhagen … there is a historic core where transport has to be co-ordinated and there is the well-known and well-established and coherent policy to encourage cycling rather than car use but, more than that, the cycle routes and the harbour circuit are about linking the city together, to make places accessible to everyone so this circuit is about much more than the regeneration of the docks.
A map of the harbour can be downloaded if you want to plan your route but why not live dangerously and just go for it ... follow the signs ... you could end up back where you started ... or somewhere you hadn't planned to end up ... so much more interesting.