The history of Nyhavn is almost as colourful as the famous gables along the quay. Ships, sailors and a lot of booze have marked the history of this harbour. Drinking beer is still the preferred pastime: on a sunny day all of Copenhagen seems to come out for a glass of cold Carlsberg on the quay. But there is much more to Nyhavn.
Many of the houses in Nyhavn were once inhabited by artists and writers. Hans Christian Andersen lived here in 3 different houses over the course of time. Several of his famous fairy tales were written here. Andersen lived for years at number 20, where he wrote the story of the Princess and the Pea. Later he moved to number 67, and after 20 years he moved to number 18 where he lived for another 2 years.
It may be hard to choose from the large number of cafés along the quay. One of the best known bars is Nyhavn 17, a pub that has been popular since the 18th century. Back then, sailors came here to drink, but today a diverse public stops in to enjoy whisky and various beers. The cosy interior of the café is decorated with dark wood but outside is even more fun: on sunny days there are patio tables on the quay, a great spot for people watching and seeing the boats come and go.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, the Hong Kong bar was the bar of choice for sailors looking to blow off steam until the early hours of the morning. Even today, the club is still very popular as the bar remains open after all the other bars have closed. Bartenders tap beer 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. This is the place for a late-night after-party, or for a cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning.