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COPENHAGEN

Three great Copenhagen open air swimming spots

On a warm day — or for the Danes, even on a cold day — a dip in Copenhagen's harbors and beaches can do just the trick. Here are three of our favourite spots for an open air swim in Denmark's capital city and advice on where not to swim.

Three great Copenhagen open air swimming spots
Go ahead, bring the stroller -- Svanemølle Beach is great for kids. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Amager Strandpark — a beach’s beach 

If you’re looking for white sand beaches and room to spread out a towel (as long as you get there early enough), Amager Strandpark is your best bet. It’s about 25 minutes by bike or via metro line 2 from downtown Copenhagen. 

Children play on popular Copenhagen beach Amager Strandpark. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Amager Strandpark offers 4.6 km of beachfront real estate with areas for picnicking, ball games, and, of course, swimming. 

It’s also prime territory for watersports (kayaking, anyone?) and the Copenhagen Surf School offers windsurfing lessons for beginners. 

The Islands Brygge harbour bath offers fantastic views of the city. Photo: Kasper Palsnov/Ritzau Scanpix

Islands Brygge Havnebad — an urban swimming experience 

A stone’s throw from the city center, Islands Brygge is perhaps Copenhagen’s most iconic urban swimming spot. 

The Harbour bath boasts three diving platforms as well as five semi-inclosed pools, two designated for children. 

Svanemølle Beach is a hop, skip and a jump from the fashionable Østerbro neighborhood. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Svanemølle Strand 

Literally “swan mill beach” in Danish, this small beach in Østerbro is a favorite haunt for families with young children since the tide comes in very slowly. For the grown-ups, a massive 130-meter pier offers access to deep water. 

Places NOT to swim 

It’s not permitted to swim in the canals at Nyhavn or in Copenhagen’s famous lakes (though with the summer algae bloom, you probably wouldn’t want to anyway). As a rule of thumb, anywhere without a lifeguard in high season or without ladders in and out of the water should be avoided. 

The map below shows the three recommended swimming spots. Zoom in to see where they are in Copenhagen.

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COPENHAGEN

Copenhagen installation critiques lack of women statues

Fifty white pedestals without statues have been erected in Copenhagen to draw attention to the lack of historical women represented in the public domain in Denmark.

Copenhagen installation critiques lack of women statues
“In Denmark, there are 2,500 statues. And only 28 of those statues are of women, which…is about one percent,” said Svante Lindeburg, the head of the Golden Days festival which organised the temporary installation “50 Queens”.
 
“We want that to change”, he told AFP.
 
He acknowledged that it wasn’t possible to change the city landscape overnight, but “what we can do is forward that agenda”.
 
“So we created the 50 pedestals, and we named 50 women to be on those pedestals”, he said.

 
The pillars are statue-less to emphasise the lack of recognition for women, despite Denmark being a bastion of feminism.
 
The pedestals are located in one of central Copenhagen’s most emblematic locations, Kongens Nytorv — which means “The King’s New Square” — positioned so they encircle a statue of King Christian V mounted on horseback.
 
The spot has been symbolically re-named “The Queen’s Square” for two weeks.

 
The women honoured include author Karen Blixen (1885-1962), painter and one of the country’s first transgender women to undergo sex reassignment surgery Lili Elbe (1882-1931), and 16th century scientist Sophie Brahe.
 
Forty-nine personalities were chosen by a jury among hundreds of extraordinary women, with the public tasked with choosing the 50th woman. That pillar is the only one not painted white, instead covered in mirrored glass.  
 
Architect Louise Mould, who helped create the installation that opened on September 2nd, said the mirrored pillar also represents everyone.
 
Everyone ought “to be able to stand up there and look at themselves, look at their friends … look at the people that surround them and realise that they can have as much importance in the world as the women represented here”, she told AFP.
 
Scanning QR codes placed on the pillars, visitors can learn about innkeeper Maren Splids, burned at the stake for witchcraft at the start of the 18th century, as well as activist and women’s rights pioneer Maria Engelbrecht Stokkenbech (born in 1759), writer Tove Ditlevsen (1917-1976) and singer Natasja Saad (1974-2007).
 
The pedestals honour deceased women only, and vary in height from around 50 centimetres to three metres.
 
“It’s a very good idea that all the women portrayed here are from different backgrounds, they come from different professions. It shows that women have made an impact on every part of society for always”, visitor Caroline Virklund told AFP.
 
“It is about time the focus is put on these women and that they are given a place, a very public place in the centre of Copenhagen,” added Louise, a 28-year-old historian.
 
In the Danish capital, only seven historical statues commemorate women, compared to 65 for men and 12 for animals, according to city hall.
 
Inaugurated by Queen Margrethe II as part of the official celebrations for her golden jubilee this weekend, the installation will be in place until September 18th but some pedestals are due to go on display in other parts of Denmark after that.
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