What was once a seedy street down by the harbour now attracts people with lots of bars and restaurants.
Christian V had the branch canal built (1671-73) to connect the harbour with the city centre, so that sailing ships could dock and unload right in the middle of the city. Like now, Nyhavn had two sides: the sunny, sinful side with its colourful houses, and the shaded, decent side, where there was nothing happening. Now you can search in vain for seedy port life, and in summer historic sailing ships moor here. Nyhavn is now known for its bars and restaurants with multilingual tourist menus. But even if you're not hungry, this area is worth a visit. If all the seats are taken, there's always space on the quay wall. You can take your beer with you and enjoy the beautiful view of the boats in the harbour and the brightly coloured house façades in peace. One striking building is Nyhavn 9, a blue-painted house built in 1681. Often wrongly said to have been Hans Christian Andersen's home, the house probably belonged to the harbourmaster. In terms of shape and size, it is this kind of house that defined the Copenhagen skyline before the fire of 1728. As a matter of interest, Hans Christian Andersen lived in houses Nos.18, 20, 67 and 69. The blue house Nyhavn No. 9 bearing the date 1681 was not, as is often claimed, the home of the poet H. C. Andersen. It probably belonged to the harbourmaster.