Welcome to Svaneke

Welcome to Svaneke – the most beautiful market town of Denmark
Svaneke – the most beautiful market town of Denmark
In 2013 Svaneke was awarded the most beautiful market town of Denmark. 15 towns from all over the country were nominated for the award as Denmark's most beautiful market town and Svaneke won! The Danish Building Culture (Bygningskultur Danmark) arranged the competition, which focused on the historical qualities of the town centre. Svaneke is the most beautiful and well-preserved old town of Bornholm and cherish the original environment.
 
Back in 1975 Svaneke was awarded the European Gold Medal for town preservation and has upheld the original environment and saved the town and its houses from many of the unsuccessful renovations and modernizations, which the combination of wealth and sheer ignorance endowed the rest of the country with. Svaneke has approximately 1,075 inhabitants (2013).
 
Svaneke with well-preserved half-timbered houses
Explore the well-preserved half-timbered houses of Svaneke, which are situated in the cliffs all the way from the harbour. The streets are turning and twisting, also up and down, between the old stone fences. Behind these fences you will find vigorous cliff gardens with for example mulberries and figs. Under the red tiled roofs the walls are limed with the right lime of course, often in a warm yellow colour. 
 
The beautiful light of Svaneke
Svaneke town and the harbour open up to the east and therefore, the morning and the forenoon is the most beautiful time in Svaneke. The sun is low and its sunrays shine towards the multicoloured frontages and green gardens, reflecting their light of the bay and the harbour before they hit the quiet town. 
 

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Lots of arts and crafts in Svaneke
A flood of galleries, glassblowers, ceramics, artisans - some of them with open workshops - make Svaneke to something unique. A particular cosy experience is the trip between the harbour and the market place along the old groove "Brænderigænget". Here, you will find Glastorvet, where a number of craftsmen have created a common environment. Close to Glastorvet you will find Svanekegaarden, which is a cultural centre with a gallery and different music events, lectures, debates etc.
 
Original ideas in Svaneke
Eccentric and original ideas are doing fine in Svaneke. Around the market place you will find for example Svaneke Bryghus (brew-house). The restaurant is situated in the original micro brewery so you can sense the smell and the heat from the process when the local beer is being brewed. Another original idea is also the "Hen dropping lottery", which takes place in Brænderigænget each summer. Play on one of the squares from 1-100 and then you just have to hope, that the hen goes in the right direction! Other good ideas are for example the handmade toffees, the liquorice factory, wine gum, chocolate, ice cream and the sweets.
 
The cosy market place of Svaneke
The market place of Svaneke is the cosy rendezvous of the town with for example supermarket and the bar. At the market place you will also find the Svaneke Sweet Factory (Svaneke Bolcher), where you can follow the production of the tasty sweets made according to old craftsmanlike methods. During the summer, on Saturday mornings, market has come to town - often with fun of the fair or music. And watch out! The horse-drawn tram has a stop on the market place and offers a leisurely roundtrip in the old town.
 
Take a walk around the harbour of Svaneke
Try a walk towards north from the harbour of Svaneke and pass the little house with the memorial tablet on the side of the house. This house was the childhood home of the famous painter Oluf Høst.
 
Go on to Svaneke smokehouse, beautifully situated with its five white chimneys on the north-eastern cliff point by the canons on the old redoubt. Here, you will find many kinds of freshly smoked fish to bring with you or to enjoy at the tables outside. Continue your trip and soon you will reach the small harbour Vigehavn, which is the harbour of Svaneke for small boats. 
 
Svaneke Lighthouse and Hullehavn
A short walk to the south of the harbour brings you past a small natural harbour and out to the former Svaneke Lighthouse. On the opposite side, you will find the small harbour Hullehavn, which is the best bathing place of the town with a rocky beach and a diving board on the mole. In Hullehavn you will also find a small sandy beach for the children and a small café with the name "Hullehavn Shopping Centre". This is Svaneke humour!
 
By the lighthouse you will also find a cosy camping site, the tennis courts, the sports centre, the sports hall and Hjemstavnsbyen (the home town), an old holiday village, which is reserved for the many natives of Bornholm, who live in other places, but like to revisit the island and the family during their holidays. In the southern part of the town, at Møllebakken, the youth hostel of Svaneke, Danhostel, is situated - only a few minutes from the harbour.
 
Midsummer Eve in Svaneke
At Midsummer Eve, on June 23, the people of Svaneke and many natives of Bornholm walk in torchlight procession to the former lighthouse. Here there is a bonfire, community singing and speeches on the beautiful coast area beneath the lighthouse. You can also experience the village fête "Kildefesten", an old tradition of Svaneke in honour of the young candidates for confirmation of the town.
 
The church of Svaneke
The very beautiful pink-washed Svaneke Church is situated high above the town on the unusual sharp borderline between a built-up area and the surrounding fields. The base of the church is from the 16th century and the spire is from 1789. The church itself is from 1881, where a larger rebuilding made the church longer.
 
The post mill in Svaneke and the water tower of Utzon
At the driveway to Svaneke, in the northerly direction, you will meet two characteristic buildings. The old post mill and a bit to the right the modern three-legged water tower, designed by Jørn Utzon, a column symbolizing Svaneke. The water tower was erected in 1952 and is no longer in use, but now a preserved tower.
 
Around the harbour, in the groove "Brænderigænget", and at the market place you will find several cafés, pubs, restaurants and hotels. The youth hostel of Svaneke, Danhostel, is situated in the southern part of the town, only a few minutes from the harbour.
 
The attraction Brændesgårdshaven (former Joboland)
A bit outside Svaneke, you and your family can visit Brændesgårdshaven, an old farm garden, which has been developed into a friendly and gentle playground for children of all ages. Here you will find rowing boats, chair lifts, a large water world, hand-operated toys in large sizes, a zoological park with pets, a cafeteria and the possibility to bring your own lunch basket. 
 

Towns on Bornholm

Travel to Bornholm and explore the island’s many quaint towns.