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Swimming in Denmark

July 26, 2018
By: Katrin Uurman

A summer swim in the harbour

Yet only 15 years ago a swim in the harbour of large Danish cities would have been impossible because the water was polluted to the extent that it posed a health risk. As a result of a long-term effort by local municipalities, you can now swim in the water nearby center of more Danish cities.

Islands Brygge waterfront in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jacob Friis Saxberg. Source:


Cool kids swimming in winter

Throughout the cold Danish winter, a group of 7- to 12-year-olds clench their jaws and dive into the ice-cold water at Amager Beach, just a few kilometers from Copenhagen city center. They are just some of the thousands of Danes who enjoy the popular activity of winter swimming.

Lily Sølvig Wedel Krambeck, 8: “I’m not looking forward to spring because that will be the end of winter swimming.”

There are more than 25,000 organized winter bathers in more than 93 clubs in Denmark. In addition, there are also many that winter bath without being a member of a club. In the past, the average age for a winter bather was 40 years, whereas today many of the new members are under 30 years of age.


Focus Denmark No. 04, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Summer — autumn 2015, available at



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