The Lakes, Copenhagen are a favourite summer leisure area of Copenhagen, popular amongst locals and tourists alike.
- 1 The Short history of the Lakes in Copenhagen
- 2 The Lakes District Copenhagen
- 3 The Lakes Copenhagen: for who/ for what type of travellers?
- 4 Top attractions to do and see in The Lakes Copenhagen
- 5 Find the best The Lakes Copenhagen hotel
- 6 The Lakes Copenhagen hostels
- 7 Airbnb in the Lakes, Copenhagen
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Related articles
The three separate Lakes are a haven for picnickers, loungers and water babies. But they are also a popular sports location, with biking, walking and jogging amongst the activities that can be completed in the area. In addition, there are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants in the area.
In this guide, we will take you through the key features and attractions, as well as showing you the best places at which to stay.
The Short history of the Lakes in Copenhagen
The lakes were built in the 1500s with the original intention of improving the city’s fortifications and defense system. Later on, they became water reservoirs, connecting water from the bigger lakes and oceans and have since supplied fresh drinking water to the city until the 1950’s when the water was deemed unsafe to drink.
Nowadays, the areas surrounding the lakes are used for many recreational activities such as walking or strolling, cycling, running and for lounging. In the winters, the lakes are also popular for ice skating.
The Lakes District Copenhagen
Situated on the west of the city, the Lakes used to be a river, and were artificially created in order to provide water for watermills. The district is also known as Søerne.
Dams were also created here, so that the lakes could be flooded in case of enemy invasion. In the early 20th century the banks of the Lakes were developed.
The three lakes are called as follows:
- Peblinge Sø. From the word for priest, this lake is named for students, from back in the day when the religious entities were the guardians of state education. Peblinge So (Student Lake) has a reservoir between Dronning Louises Bro and Gyldenlovesgade.
- Sankt Jørgens Sø – literally St Georges Lake, this is the deepest lake with two basins, one located to the south by the Tycho Brahe Planetarium and to the north at Gyldenlovesgade. It has a water depth of 4-5 meters.
- Sortedams Sø – this one means Black Lake. This lake is also divided by two basins to the north and south, the Dronning Louises Bro and the Osterbro, respectively.
Around the lake there are a couple of islands that have become bird sanctuaries.
Locals enjoy spending their free time here in the summer. From lounging around with a good book to catching some midsummer sun, spending time outdoors here is a popular pastime. Just one note – it is not recommended to swim in the lakes.
The locals will tell you it is not as clean here as in, for example, the harbour. If you want to swim in Copenhagen, check out our article on Denmark beaches for some ideas instead. Here, we showcase not only beaches in Copenhagen, but throughout Denmark.
The Lakes Copenhagen: for who/ for what type of travellers?
This isn’t the place for a fast pace. Here, take your time.
- Travellers with small kids will enjoy the space away from the city. Let them explore, perhaps take a ride on the swans.
- Travelling as a couple? Take a picnic with you, or in the winter, take a brisk walk along with a coffee.
- And, if you are on a budget, the Copenhagen Lakes can be enjoyed for free!
The location of the lakes, central to the city centre, makes them easily accessible to the rest of Copenhagen’s attractions.
From here, explore the shopping street of Stroget, explore Indre By, and check out Norrebro. There is a wealth of culture and things to do at your fingertips when staying near the Copenhagen lakes!
Top attractions to do and see in The Lakes Copenhagen
- Grab a deckchair and relax in the summer sun on one of the decks
- Hire a swan and cruise the water
- In May, enjoy the stunning sight of the white blossoms on the chestnut trees
- If a swan is too naff for you, don't worry – there are pedalos too!
- Rent a rowing boat if you want to give your arms a workout
- In winter, you may be lucky enough to ice skate!
- Jog or power walk along the 6kms of trails along the lake
- Grab a coffee and cake and enjoy the views – check out Den franske Cafe
Find the best The Lakes Copenhagen hotel
Let’s check out the best places to stay near the lakes, Copenhagen. Due to the fact that the lakes cover an extensive area, you have a wide choice.
Top budget hotel
Situated right on Sankt Jørgens Sø, the Cabinn Scandinavia is a decent budget option in the heart of the Copenhagen Lakes. It might not look like much from the outside. But the hotel offers every comfort for those who want to explore Copenhagen on a budget.
Here in both the summer and winter months you can get a double room for just €89, and add on breakfast for €12.
Top comfy hotel
For a mid range comfort hotel, the Hotel Kong Arthur cannot be beaten. The stylish Scandanavian decor and beautiful common spaces make this hotel a great choice.
Top luxury hotel
With gorgeous views over the lakes, Manon les Suites is located on Sankt Jørgens Sø. Here, the lush vegetation will make you think you are in the tropics! With a fantastic bar stocked with local beers and an outdoor pool, this is a real treat.
The Lakes Copenhagen hostels
The Globalhagen Hostel
And don’t think this hostel is just for backpackers and students. This hostel is great for families too. In family rooms, kids stay for free! The hostel also sells great coffee!
The Copenhagen Downtown Hostel
There are dozens of other hostels within Copenhagen, just a bit further from the lakes. The Copenhagen Downtown Hostel is a good choice if the Globalhagen is booked out.
Get a decent breakfast in this fun loving hostel, and then return from sightseeing to party in the bar with other guests.
The Copenhagen Backpacker's Hostel
Nearby, the Copenhagen Backpacker’s Hostel is another solid choice. Double rooms with shared bathrooms start at €60.
There is a nice lounge bar here, and the Tivoli Gardens are only a 350m stroll away. It’s rated as a great location. Let us know which of the many hostels in Copenhagen you choose!
Airbnb in the Lakes, Copenhagen
If you are not into hotels, or just want more space, why not get an Airbnb. There are so many advantages to this style of accommodation.
If you are travelling with family and young children, you have the space to relax once they are in bed.
Groups of friends on reunions do not need to separate. And if you like to explore a city in depth, an Airbnb will allow you to shop in local markets and then cook!
Check out this great example of a whole apartment right on the lake here for just €86 per night.
With loads of choice for accommodation by the Copenhagen Lakes, we think this is a great place to stay during your trip. You can enjoy the tranquility of the area but still be within easy access of the city centre.
Sold on the Copenhagen Lakes? Then book today, then head on over to some of our other resources to plan the rest of your trip.
How many artificial lakes are there in Copenhagen?
There are 3 artificial lakes in Copenhagen. Saint George's Lake, Student Lake and Black Pond Lake.
Where are the lakes in Copenhagen?
The lakes are located on the west of the city.