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The best open-air pools in Copenhagen


In spring and summer, there is nothing better than swimming outdoors, especially under the clear blue skies of Copenhagen. Seek out the latest Danish-designed swimwear and take a break at one of the city’s beautiful outdoor swimming spots

Feature
Sally McIlhone,

When one thinks of Copenhagen’s waterfront charms, the canal-side restaurants and bars of Nyhavn instantly spring to mind. Less well known are the outdoor pools, seaside swimming spots and harbour baths, and local designers have created the perfect attire for outdoor bathing this season.

Discover Mads Nørgaard’s stylish swimwear
Discerning Danes often look to the timeless, high-quality clothing from Copenhagen-born designer Mads Nørgaard. For spring and summer, his signature striped pattern has been applied to a monochrome swimsuit and bikini while a long-sleeved T-shirt in nautically-inspired red stripes is ideal for wearing over your swimwear.

If you prefer a dramatic print to complement your tan, select the red and black leopard print, one of Nørgaard’s favourites from the spring/summer 2016 collection. ‘Swimwear is the definition of summer and we like to turn up the heat with colours, print and stripes,’ Nørgaard explains. The brand also has a selection of sunglasses for the new season: choose from black, grey and tortoiseshell frames with rounded lenses for a retro look.

The Harbour Baths at Islands Brygge
When it comes to summer swimming, the designer has some favourite spots. ‘One of the best things about Copenhagen is that the city is so close to the water, and you can swim in the harbour. For an after work swim in the summer we jump into the water at Havnebade.’

Havnebade (Harbour Baths) at Islands Brygge is one of the most popular outdoor swimming spots in Copenhagen. Opened in 2012, it comprises a diving pool with springboards at heights of five and three metres, two swimming pools and two shallower paddling pools for children. Jacob Christian Schrøder from Team Bade, which manages Havnebade, says that the baths have ‘shaped the spirit of Copenhagen’.

The Helgoland sea baths at Amager Strand
Mads Nørgaard also recommends the sea baths which can be found in various locations around Copenhagen. He’s particularly fond of the Helgoland sea baths at Amager Strand which comprise enclosed areas for swimming in the sea, and are located close to the shore. Dating back to 1913 they have been refurbished in the last 10 years and are known as one of the more peaceful of Copenhagen’s watery wonderlands. Conservative swimmers should take note that in certain areas within Helgoland swimwear is not compulsory so do bear this in mind when choosing where to take a dip.

The unique Kastrup Søbad swimming bath
One of the most unusual sea baths is Kastrup Søbad, located just 20 minutes’ drive from Copenhagen city centre. It features a curved bathing platform (which locals affectionately refer to as the Snail) and diving towers made from African azobe wood, which has been chosen for its endurance as well as for its aesthetic. Kastrup Søbad is open until 10pm for those who want to take a swim under the stars.

Fashionable bathing suits from Henrik Vibskov x H2O
A standout swimsuit is fitting attire for this seaside spot, and we recommend an item from the first swimwear collection by Henrik Vibskov. The result of a collaboration with Danish swimwear giant H2O the four swimsuits feature arty squiggles in a monochrome colour palette or navy prints with pops of yellow, orange, silver and white. Two designs offer a sporty high-neck silhouette and two display a more scooped design to accentuate the décolletage.

‘H20 has been producing iconic swimwear for over 30 years, so when they approached us we thought it would be a fun and interesting project since we have never designed swimwear before, so why not team up with one of the best in functional, high-performing swimwear?’ says Vibskov. When asked the reason behind producing one-piece swimsuits rather than bikinis, Vibskov is charmingly frank. ‘I think that swimsuits are cooler and more modern than bikinis.’

Although Copenhagen might be cool in the winter, in the summer months the only place to be is by the water. And whether you’re stretched out on a towel by a harbour or relaxing on decking stretching out to the sea, you know that you’ll be stylish in the latest Danish swimwear.

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