Copenhagen is perfect for cyclists with miles of dedicated cycle trails and a culture where cycling to work and school and taking leisurely rides at weekends are all part of the way of life. Awarded the world’s first Bike City by the International Cycling Foundation, it is evident that cycling is the Danish way of doing things. Around 35 percent of people in Copenhagen cycle a collective total of 1.2 million kilometres each day, which is one of the highest percentages in the world. There is a lot to see in and around Copenhagen and, with many of the prominent attractions within the inner city, a bicycle is a cost effective and healthy way to sightsee. Copenhagen has a number of good trails for cyclists that take in some of the iconic sights of the city and is frequently host to internationally recognised cycling events.
In Copenhagen, it is very easy to rent a bike and the local tourist offices keep details of cycle hire facilities. During the summer, Copenhagen has free city bikes for hire, which need a 20 krone coin as a deposit that is given back when the bicycle is returned. For those who get tired or want to cycle a little further afield, cyclists are permitted to take bikes on the S trains and regional trains, but you do need to purchase a ticket for both the bike and yourself.
Although cycling around Copenhagen is a relatively easy thing to do, cyclists should be aware that there are a number of streets where it is forbidden to cycle so they will need to dismount and push the bike. Copenhagen also has several one way streets that cyclists should familiarise themselves with. Cycling maps are very useful and can be obtained from the Danish Cyclist Federation as well as most tourist offices in Denmark.
For some people, taking a guided tour of Copenhagen is a good way to get orientated and to learn about the history and culture of Denmark’s capital city. In Copenhagen, there are guided cycle tours around the city, which can be pre booked. Some tours are themed and feature the more unusual sights of the city, such as some of the architectural design or the green areas that most tourists might not get to explore. Visitors can also travel in comfort by taking a rickshaw guided tour around the city if they are too tired to pedal themselves. Visitors should also look out for the world famous Christiania Bikes, with accompanying front trailers, which are an iconic Danish item. Bicycles can also get to places that a large tour bus could not access, giving a lot more flexibility to planning a trip.
Copenhagen has more than 346km of cycling trails, so there is a lot to choose from. Some of the most popular include the harbour area of Copenhagen, which takes in all the new buildings and iconic sights, such as The Little Mermaid and the Little Gefion Fountain. The Amager Beach Park is also in the area, as is the Danish Museum of Resistance. Other popular cycling routes connect to the National Cycle Trails, such as Trail 9, which includes Vigerslevstien connecting to Vestvoldstien and also runs through Hellerup, Osterbro and the Jaegersborg Deer Park. Another very popular visitor attraction in Copenhagen is the Tivoli Gardens, which are fun to cycle through and also to stop off in and enjoy the rides and restaurants. Some cyclists may wish to take in the Royal Palace in Copenhagen; but, to get the most from the visit, be sure to time your ride to be there for the changing of the guard. Not far from Copenhagen is Hamlet’s Castle at Elsinore, located on National Cycle Route 2 from the capital and a great destination, but one that is also reached by local train and so could be cycled part of the way for those not used to cycling longer distances. Copenhagen has many wonderful museums and historical buildings and some charming places to stop and rest at for a drink. The terrain is perfectly suited to cycling and riding on two wheels is the ideal way to see one of the best capital cities in Europe.
(Image by JamesZ_Flickr)