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Copenhagen Harbour - winter swimmers' paradise

Copenhagen residents are head over heels with the city’s harbour bath – even in winter!

Temperatures in Copenhagen are often sub-zero in winter time, but that doesn’t bother the enthusiastic users of the city’s harbour baths. Thanks to the efforts of a local winter swimming club, the season for harbour swimming is now all year round.

“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.

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. In the event of any health concerns, the harbour baths are closed immediately.

Copenhagen’s newest harbour bath, located in the newly developed South Harbour area 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.

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