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The Best Canal Tours in Copenhagen | Unique & Fun Affairs

blog post about canal tours in copenhagen

If you’re wondering about the best way to check out Copenhagen, let me tell you—grabbing a canal tour is a good start.

I’ve been living here for 10 solid years, and honestly, taking a boat ride through the city’s canals is what we locals do for a bit of fun in the sun, a different spin on work hangouts, or to add some extra sparkle to special days like a friends bachelorette or treating your mum.

I’ve pretty much tried all the canal tours in town and let me be the first to say, it never gets old. It’s like you’re chilling on a floating couch with the city unfolding around you.

So, I’m here to give you the lowdown on the top spots for a canal cruise that’ll show you the best of Denmark from a whole new angle.

I just want to quickly add, that many tours in Copenhagen are included in the Copenhagen City Card. So I can recommend you get one if you plan on doing a few different activities!

Let’s dive into where you can kick back, relax, and sail through the best parts of the city. Ready to find out which boat to hop on?

Just keep reading below.

What is the Best Canal Tour in Copenhagen?

Alright, let’s ease into the juicy part.

So you’re strapped in and ready to glide through Copenhagen’s waterways, but you’re probably wondering, “What’s the best canal tour out there?”

Here’s the scoop: the top tours should not only swing by all the must-see spots but also be easy to get to because, let’s be honest, no one wants to spend their day figuring out a map when there’s so much to see.

The best picks are the ones that take you past the famous Little Mermaid statue, under the kiss of the sun at Nyhavn, and give you those postcard-perfect views of colorful townhouses and ancient castles.

Convenience is key; you want to hop on, chill out, and soak up the sights without a hassle.

So, let’s take a look at the tours that tick all these boxes and more.

The Classic Canal Tour

Jumping into the heart of Copenhagen’s beauty has never been easier than with the Classic Canal Tour.

In just an hour, you’ll be whisked away on a journey through the city’s most scenic waterways, catching sight of famous landmarks like the Little Mermaid, the regal Amalienborg Palace, and the modern marvel that is the Copenhagen Opera House.

Imagine this: you’re comfortably seated with a live guide sharing fascinating facts and stories, so you’re not just seeing Copenhagen, you’re getting to know it—no reading required, no risk of seasickness from looking down at your phone or guidebook.

Finally, this tour is covered by the Copenhagen City Card.

Here’s why this tour is a traveler’s dream:

Key Benefits:

  • See all major Copenhagen sights in a swift one-hour tour—perfect for those with a packed itinerary
  • The live guide provides insights, meaning you get the context behind the sights without getting dizzy from reading on a moving boat
  • Multiple departure times for flexibility, fitting into even the busiest schedule
  • Central starting point from Nyhavn, which is easy to get to and well-known
  • Option to hop off at different stops on the way back, adding convenience to your tour

Price: $18 per person


  • Quick and comprehensive—see the best attractions in one trip
  • Is included with the Copenhagen City Card
  • An informed guide eliminates the need for additional research
  • Covered and heated boats in winter for comfort in all seasons
  • Easy cancellation policy, with a full refund available if canceled 24 hours in advance


  • Only 1-hour long, which might be too brief for some
  • Not wheelchair accessible, which could be a limitation for some travelers
  • Food and drinks aren’t included, so plan to snack before or after your tour

Netto Bådene Boat Tour

If you’re nodding along to the perks of the Classic Canal Tour above but are on the lookout for something with a tad more old-school charm and a friendlier price tag, the Netto Bådene Boat Tour is your match.

It’s the original canal tour that set the scene for all others in Copenhagen, offering a similar route with a sprinkle of nostalgia.

Much like its counterpart, this 60-minute tour sails you by the city’s highlights while you kick back and listen to tales of yore.

The bonus?

A guide chatters away in Danish, English, and German, meaning you’ll get the lowdown in the language you’re most comfy with.

And let’s be real—having a live person spinning the city’s stories beats reading from a screen, especially when you’re trying to actually sightsee.

Key Benefits:

  • Historical tour route offering a blend of classic sights and insights
  • Live multi-language commentary, making it accessible for more tourists
  • Cheaper than some other options, giving you a bargain tour of Copenhagen
  • Heated boats with a clear roof in colder months for year-round enjoyment
  • Flexible departure points from Holmens Church and Nyhavn
  • Private tours can be arranged
  • Fits perfectly with your schedule thanks to multiple daily departures

Price: $9 per person


  • Steeped in history as the first canal tour in the city
  • More affordable, giving you sightseeing bang for your buck
  • Varied language options for the most common second or third language
  • If you’ve got the Copenhagen City Card, you’re cruising for free


  • Might be more crowded given its popularity and lower price
  • The older website could make booking slightly less straightforward

Hey Captain Tours

For those looking to get up close and personal with Copenhagen from its waters, Hey Captain Tours is like the cool friend who knows just the right spots.

This guided tour isn’t your standard large group tour; it’s an intimate get-together with just 12 people on board, where the sailor turns tour guide and shapes the journey around what you and your new mates want to see and know.

Sure, this tour is a bit pricier, but hey, you’re paying for an experience that’s tailored, intimate, and heaps more social than your standard fare.

If you’re someone who enjoys the finer things and doesn’t mind paying a little extra for a premium guided canal tour, Hey Captain is your go-to for exploring the canals.

Here’s the deal with this exclusive little adventure:

Key Benefits:

  • A small group means a more personalized tour, tailored to your interests
  • You get to mingle with the guide and other travelers, making it a social experience
  • A flexible route that can change based on what’s happening in the city that day
  • Beverages are up for grabs on board, so you can toast to the sights as you pass by
  • The starting point is Ofelia Plads, smack-dab in the center, so you can’t miss it

Price: $57 per person


  • The intimate setting with a maximum of 12 passengers fosters a cozy vibe
  • Personalized experience with the driver doubling as a local guide
  • The tour feels unique with the potential to catch special events and festivals
  • English language tour makes it accessible for many travelers
  • A social and fun atmosphere where you can chat and ask questions freely


  • Higher price point compared to larger group tours
  • Not wheelchair accessible, which may not be suitable for all
  • Weather conditions may affect the tour, so come dressed for the occasion

GoBoat Rental

GoBoat sailing in Copenhagen is the ultimate DIY adventure on the water.

Picture this: you, your friends, or colleagues, all together, taking in the city from the cozy confines of your very own picnic boat.

It’s an intimate setup where you’re the skipper, steering through the canals at your own pace, creating that special Danish “hygge” on the waves.

Whether you’re a local looking for a unique day out or a visitor wanting to see the city through a different lens, this is as personal and laid-back as canal tours get.

It’s a bit like the Hey Captain tours, but here you’re in charge, charting your own adventure.

Just remember, while you’re savoring the cityscape and the company, keep the swimming for the shore and the drinks for the dock.

Key Benefits:

  • Be the sailor of your own boat and navigate the waters
  • Private experience for up to 8 people
  • The starting point is Islands Brygge
  • The picnic table is perfect for a lunch or afternoon break
  • No boating license is needed, and you get a neat little map to chart your course
  • The chance to see over 20 bridges and other sights
  • Heated seats are available for those chillier Copenhagen days

Price: $80 per group up to 8 people


  • An electric boat means a quiet ride and no fuel smells
  • Fits up to 8 people, perfect for a small group outing
  • Flexible rental times, from 1 to 4 hours, to fit any schedule
  • You can bring a picnic, making it a moving feast with a view
  • The electric boats are eco-friendly


  • No guide to provide history or fun facts about the sights you’re seeing
  • You can’t take a dip from the boat
  • The sailor must abstain from alcohol, so you’ll need a designated captain
  • The starting location is not as convenient as other tours

Wooden Sailing Ship Tours

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For those with a taste for the traditional and a love for the maritime, the Sejlture i København offers an enchanting sail through Copenhagen’s harbor aboard one of De Forenede Sejlskibes’s stunning schooners.

This tour isn’t just a trip; it’s a step into Denmark’s rich nautical heritage, perfect for families or anyone looking to switch up the pace and soak in the city’s vistas from a classic wooden ship.

Sejlture i København is for the sea romantics, the history buffs, and those looking to experience the charm of the Danish capital in the most timeless way possible.

Yes, it’s a bit pricier and takes a chunk of your day, but for those drawn to the creak of wood and the billow of sails, this is more than a tour—it’s a vivid page of history coming alive beneath your feet.

If you’re ready to slow down and have a unique experience, this is your call to sail.

Key Benefits:

  • A unique 2-hour sailing experience that’s a cut above the typical canal tour
  • A chance to see Copenhagen’s bridges majestically open just for you
  • Limited passenger numbers mean a more intimate and serene journey
  • Experience includes a complimentary beer, water, or soda to enjoy onboard
  • Immerse yourself in the tranquility of traditional sailing
  • Knowledgeable sailor and crew

Price: $60 per person


  • More than just sightseeing—it’s a historical adventure on the water
  • Offers a rare opportunity to engage with maritime traditions and even help set the sails
  • You’ll get picturesque views of the city without the hustle and bustle of the streets
  • Children’s discounts are available
  • A peaceful and slower-paced alternative to motor-powered boats


  • Higher costs and longer duration might not be ideal for all
  • Tickets should be bought in advance due to limited seating
  • Not as frequent as other tours, with set dates and times

Kayak Republic

Bars in copenhagen

Kayak Republic offers a fresh, active twist to sightseeing with their Copenhagen Kayak Tours.

Perfect for team-building or just a lively day out with friends, this tour has you paddling through the heart of Copenhagen, meshing adventure with iconic sights.

With two tours to choose from, the Copenhagen Tour offers a traditional sightseeing experience, while the Clean Up Tour adds an eco-conscious angle, allowing you to contribute to the city’s cleanliness and learn about its sustainable initiatives.

Both end with the option to chill at the Kayak Bar, sharing stories under palm trees.

So grab your sportswear, a towel, and your sense of adventure, and prepare to explore Copenhagen on a kayak tour.

Just remember, you’ve got to be sober, swim-ready, and set for some fun on the water.

Key Benefits:

  • An active and engaging way to see Copenhagen, blending sightseeing with exercise
  • Double sea kayaks for stability, making it suitable even for beginners
  • Experienced instructors guide you safely through the canals
  • Opportunity for an after-tour gathering at the Kayak Bar for food and drinks

Price: $50 per person


  • See the city from a unique, water-level perspective
  • Great for team bonding or making new friends
  • Located conveniently, across from Christiansborg Palace
  • No worries about capsizing thanks to stable kayaks and professional instructors
  • An eco-friendly tour option with the Clean Up Tour


  • Physical activity is required, which might not suit everyone
  • Weather-dependent to some extent
  • No alcohol allowed, so save the champagne toasts for the Kayak Bar afterward

Copenhot Sailing Hot Tubs

blog post about canal tours in Copenhagen
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Imagine drifting through Copenhagen’s harbor, warm and bubbly in a hot tub, with the city’s skyline as your backdrop.

That’s what Copenhot brings to the table—an unparalleled sailing experience where you can soak in a hot tub while floating by the city’s sights.

This 2-hour guided sailing adventure isn’t just unique; it’s the definition of indulgence, Danish style.

Copenhot’s sailing hot tubs offer a slice of “hygge” that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Whether it’s a chill day or the skies are gracing you with snowflakes, there’s no cozier way to sail.

And if the hot tub boat is a stretch for your wallet, Copenhot’s still got you covered with their more wallet-friendly waterfront tubs and saunas.

It’s an experience designed for those special days when you want to treat yourself to a luxurious and different canal tour!

Key Benefits:

  • A private hot tub experience that sails you around Copenhagen’s harbor
  • Personal skipper to navigate and share stories about the city
  • Exclusive and intimate setting for up to 5 people—perfect for a small group

Price: $295 per group


  • Utterly unique way to experience the city, combining relaxation with sightseeing
  • Personal attention from the skipper, enriching your knowledge of Copenhagen
  • The cozy warmth of a hot tub makes it ideal for colder days or a romantic evening


  • At $295, it’s a luxury experience, but the cost can be shared
  • Only suitable for small groups due to space limitations
  • Requires child-free time, which might need some planning for parents

How Does a Canal Tour in Copenhagen Benefit You?

You might be wondering if doing a canal tour is worth it. I get it. For some, it might even sound a bit boring. But it is a great way to see the city. Here is how it benefits you as a traveler:

Cultural Immersion: Glide past centuries-old buildings and hear stories that textbooks can’t tell, providing a deeper connection to Copenhagen’s history.

Time Efficiency: With a comprehensive route, you cover more ground (or water) in less time, seeing the best of the city without foot fatigue.

Relaxation: There’s a soothing quality to being on the water. It’s a calm interlude in the hustle of travel, offering a moment to breathe and just be.

Social Interaction: Tours offer a chance to meet fellow travelers and locals, sharing experiences and recommendations.

Where do the Boat Tours Depart from?

nyhavn, copenaghen, denmark-4710491.jpg

Navigating your way to a canal tour in Copenhagen is as breezy as a Danish summer day.

While each tour has its unique charm, they all conveniently depart from central spots in the city.

To make it even simpler for you, I’ve whipped up a handy map that pinpoints exactly where you need to be for your maritime adventure.

Just scroll down a tad, and you’ll find a clear layout showing you where to embark on your chosen tour.

Map of Canal Tours Copenhagen

How to Choose the Best Copenhagen Canal Tour for You

Choosing the best Copenhagen canal tour is all about matching the experience to your vibe.

Want a classic, no-fuss tour? Go for a guided boat with a live narrator.

Fancy being your own pilot? A GoBoat might be your style.

If history’s your thing, opt for a traditional schooner.

For something more active, kayak your way through the idyllic canals.

And for sheer luxury, why not a hot tub boat?

Consider your group size, interests, and budget, and you’ll find the perfect fit.

Are the Canal Tours in Copenhagen Included in the Copenhagen Card?

Yes, some of the claasic canal tours in Copenhagen are indeed covered by the Copenhagen City Card. It’s a great perk that allows you to enjoy certain tours at no extra cost.

However, be sure to check the latest details on the Copenhagen Card’s official site or inquire when purchasing, as offerings can change.

This way, you can plan your sightseeing smoothly and maybe even save some Danish Krone for a delightful post-tour treat!

Buyers Guide: How I Conducted My Research

When it comes to selecting the best tours in Copenhagen, I’ve poured over the details with a fine-tooth comb to bring you recommendations you can trust.

Here’s how I did it:

Insider Knowledge: Living in Copenhagen has its perks, including a deep understanding of the city’s pulse. This insider’s view guided my assessment of the tours’ entertainment value and authenticity.

Value Analysis: I scrutinized the costs, comparing them against the local standard to ensure you get the most bang for your buck without compromising quality.

Route Scrutiny: With a mental map of Copenhagen’s landmarks, I dissected the tour routes, targeting those that balance iconic sights with hidden corners of the city.

Unique Selling Points: Every tour has its gems—I highlighted what sets each apart, from exclusive paths to the expertise of the guides.

Drawbacks: Transparency is key, so I’ve also pointed out where tours may fall short, whether it’s in comprehensive coverage, price, or tour length.

Customer Assurance: I considered the level of support these tours offer, from responsive customer service to fair refund policies, for peace of mind when booking.


So there you have it!

Whether you’re a history buff, a luxury seeker, an eco-warrior, or simply in for some good old-fashioned “hygge,” Copenhagen boat tours offer something for everyone.

Additionally, each tour has its unique flair and provides a different lens through which to view the city’s beauty and charm, making it a must for anyone spending a few days in Copenhagen.

So pick the canal tour that floats your boat, and get ready to see Copenhagen from its best angle—the water.

And don’t stop here; for more great things to do in and around this vibrant city, make sure to read my comprehensive city guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Copenhagen canal tour cost?

Copenhagen canal tours vary in price, typically ranging from around 50 DKK for a basic tour to 1,950 DKK for luxury or private experiences.

How long does the Copenhagen canal tour take?

Most Copenhagen boat tours last between 1 to 2 hours, providing a thorough exploration without taking up your whole day.

Can I take a canal cruise in Copenhagen if it’s raining?

Yes, canal cruises in Copenhagen usually run rain or shine, with covered and heated boats available during inclement weather for a comfortable experience.

Do the boat trips run all year?

Yes, the boat trips in Copenhagen generally operate year-round, with some offering heated boats and cozy blankets during the colder months.

The article may include affiliate links, meaning that I may receive affiliate compensation at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Read more in my Affiliate Disclosure.


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