Copenhagen: A Cyclist’s Paradise – Exploring the City on Two Wheels
If you come to Copenhagen and do not take a chance to get into the saddle of a bicycle, you’ve missed a lot. Copenhageners love their bikes more than any other way of commuting. With an extensive network of bike lanes, traffic lights designed for cyclists, and special security measures, it’s hard not to notice that this city is meant to be a haven for cyclists. From exploring the picturesque neighborhoods to discovering the city’s landmarks, there’s no shortage of things to see and do on two wheels. So, how do you experience the city’s rich culture and history? Here are the tips that will give you a clue about navigating Copenhagen by bike.
Planning a cycling route
If you plan a cycling route in Copenhagen, you’re in for a treat! Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner, Copenhagen has something to offer everyone. So grab the bike, put on your helmet, and let’s plan a route that will take you on a journey through all the corners of this unique city.
City center route
Cycling around Copenhagen’s city center is an experience like no other. That’s where classic meets contemporary, and old blends with new. So, when you are on a bike ride, make sure you include these spots in your route.
You can’t lose a chance to see Denmark’s center of power — Christiansborg Palace. As you cycle past this iconic landmark, take a moment to admire its beautiful architecture and learn about its fascinating history. You can even take a guided tour to explore the palace’s interiors.
We bet you will want to look at the world’s second-oldest amusement park. Tivoli Gardens is a magical place with beautiful gardens, thrilling rides, and a charming atmosphere—a perfect spot to unwind after a long bike ride. So plan your itinerary so you can stop here at the finish line.
Nyhavn harbor route
No visit to Copenhagen is complete without the Nordhavn route. This is a popular 13-kilometer path with brightly colored buildings, bustling cafes, and picturesque waterfront views to give you a fascinating ride.
Little Mermaid statue
When you take a ride, take a chance to stop by to check out an iconic bronze Little Mermaid statue—a girl figure sitting on the shore of the harbor and recollecting her lost mermaid past. It’s beautiful, unusual, and a little sad.
The Opera House
As you cycle along the Nyhavn harbor, take a moment to admire one of the most modern opera houses in the world. The Copenhagen Opera House is noted for its new forms that give the building a striking appearance.
The Royal Playhouse
Located right on the waterfront at the city’s edge, the Royal Playhouse should be on your bike route in Copenhagen. Its modern, minimalist exterior blends in beautifully with its waterfront location.
Outer suburbs route
Covering around 40 kilometers, the Outer Suburbs route is a great way to get familiar with the city’s surrounding suburbs and green areas. If you’ve been looking for a chance to explore some of the lesser-known parts of Copenhagen, this is the path to go.
To get acquainted with Baroque culture, visit the Frederiksberg Palace. It was built atop Frederiksberg hill by King Frederik IV. Since the 1700s, it has been the home to Danish royalty and other important figures. Be sure to take a guide, and in addition to an unforgettable visual experience, you will learn many interesting stories.
The Copenhagen Zoo
If you’re looking for a fun pit stop during your outer suburbs, route in Copenhagen, and pedal right to the Copenhagen Zoo. Located just a stone’s throw away from the Frederiksberg Palace, you will definitely want to say hello to 4,000 furry and feathered friends.
The Carlsberg Brewery
Head to the refreshing spot of your bike journey—the Carlsberg Brewery. Take a tour of the brewery to learn about the brewing process, check out the old horse stables, and of course, enjoy a refreshing pint of beer at the end. Just do not overdo it because you still need to go and see a lot of things.
Cycling etiquette in Copenhagen
If you are new to cycling in the city of Copenhagen, be aware of the rules to stay safe in dense bicycle traffic. This way, you will ensure your ride is safe, fun, and enjoyable for everyone.
Use hands signals
Remember to hand signal your turns and stops so that other cyclists can anticipate your movements. This way, you will avoid collisions and stay safe during cycling. Here are the basic hand signals you should learn to communicate effectively with other bike riders:
- Extend your right arm straight out to the side to show that you are going to turn right.
- Extend your left arm straight out to the side to hint that you are turning left.
- Extend your left arm downward with your palm facing backward to indicate that you’re slowing down or stopping.
Keep to the right
As you are biking in Denmark, make sure you stay to the right of the bike lane or path. This is a necessary step for ensuring a smooth flow of bike traffic. This way, you let faster-moving cyclists pass you on the left. At the same time, slower bike riders can pedal at a convenient pace without feeling any pressure.
Ring a bell when passing other cyclists
Do you ride faster than other cyclists on your way? You can overtake them from the left side, but make sure it’s safe for all riders. Also, don’t forget to give a friendly ring of your bell when you’re approaching someone from behind!
Don’t block the bike path or loan
Because of the heavy bike traffic, it can be dangerous to block the bike path. When it is blocked, cyclists are forced to swerve into traffic or onto the sidewalk, which can increase the risk of collisions with cars or pedestrians. So it’s better to avoid creating situations that may endanger other traffic participants.
Does it happen that you have to ride a bike in the dark? Make sure you have lights on the front and rear ends of the bike. If you rent one, your cycle will already be equipped with everything you may need for a safe ride.
Finding and using rental bikes in Copenhagen
Where to get a rental bike?
If you do not know where to rent a bike in Copenhagen, here is a list of a few services that you may find particularly handy:
- Bycyklen is an official bike-sharing system that provides electric bikes with built-in GPS across the entire city. Use an app to rent a bike. Note that the rental price includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance.
- Donkey Republic is a bike-sharing app enabling affordable bike rentals in Copenhagen. The app allows you to locate and unlock bikes around the city, and the rental price includes insurance and support.
- Baisikeli is a bike rental service. Here you will find a wide selection of bikes, from traditional to cargo bikes. The rental price includes a lock, a map, and a helmet. For an additional fee, the company offers guided tours and repair services.
- Swapfiets is a preferred bike rental service for those who plan to stay in the city for a month or more. It offers a monthly subscription model for a fully serviced bike. The rental price includes maintenance, repairs, and roadside assistance. The greatest advantage is that the bike will be delivered to your destination, so you do not have to go around the city to pick up your bicycle.
Tips to rent the perfect bike
When you take the plunge to rent a bike in Copenhagen, grab my tips that will help you make an optimal choice.
The bike type
There are many bikes to rent in Copenhagen, including traditional city bikes, electric bikes, cargo bikes, and more.
- Traditional city bikes are a classic and affordable choice for cycling in Copenhagen, but they may not be the best option for longer distances or hilly terrain.
- Electric bikes will help you cover more ground or aid in uphill climbs, but they are pricier than traditional bicycles.
- Cargo bikes are great for families or those transporting large items around the city. They may be difficult to maneuver for regular use.
Bike rent services in Copenhagen offer flexible rent options for everyone who wants to get into the saddle of a bike. You may find daily or monthly subscription terms. Some services offer you to book a bike, while others enable you to get one available in real-time.
Before you hit the road, check the bike for any damage or issues. This will ensure you won’t be charged an extra maintenance fee when you return the two-wheeler back.
Accessories and extra services
Many bike-sharing services offer accessories like helmets, baskets, or baby seats for everyone involved in biking in Copenhagen. Along with a bike and accessories, you may want to buy a guided tour, insurance, luggage storage, or repair services for an extra charge.