The many canals on this man-made island, which is nestled between Copenhagen’s northern and southern sections, have earned it the nickname “Little Amsterdam” and offer a distinctive means of exploring the region. Christianshavn, a fortified city that Christian IV built in the first part of the 17th century, was first created as a naval base to support his maritime aspirations. The neighborhood served as the location of Copenhagen’s earliest boatyards as well as warehouses for significant shipping companies. Sailors and laborers at boatyards also resided there.
Before the 1980s, Christianshavn was mostly recognized as the location of the “Free State of Christiania” and was seen as being ugly, impoverished, and dilapidated. But during the 1990s, owing to a persistent urban renovation effort, Christianshavn has seen something of a resurgence with neighbouring Holmen, a collection of three tiny islands to the north. The Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbour Bridge), which connects Nyhavn and Christianshavn, has increased foot traffic in the area. The neighborhood, which is primarily residential, maintains its own character despite the increase in attention; residents want to identify as Christianhavners above anything else. While the island’s ancient canal-side homes, some of which date back to the 19th century, have been turned into hip restaurants, smart cafés, and posh flats, the old warehouses still retain their beauty and liveliness.