The cities of the Netherlands are famous for their bicycles. But the Danish capital of Copenhagen isn’t far behind. With the same flat landscape and generally mild weather that the Netherlands enjoys, Copenhagen is a place made for cycling. And local people know that often, traveling on two wheels is the best way to get around this large city.
An astonishing 62% of the residents of Copenhagen use their bicycles to commute to work and school, with the result that almost as many people commute by bike in the greater Copenhagen area as in the whole of the United States, despite the vast difference in population size. Rush hour in Copenhagen sees the streets full of bicycles, not cars, and Copenhagen residents know that cruising on two wheels is a healthier and more environmentally friendly way to make the most of city life.
The first bike path in Copenhagen was established in 1892, and they haven’t stopped adding them since. Now, Copenhagen is home to more than 400 km of dedicated cycling lanes, meaning there’s nowhere in the city you can’t get by bike. All mail in the city is delivered by bike, along with vendors who use cargo bikes as mobile stores to sell everything from hot chocolate to sperm from a local sperm bank.
In this bike-friendly city, you may as well join in. Biking around Copenhagen is easy thanks to the many rental services and bike-sharing apps you can make use of, and it’s an affordable and healthy way to see more of what makes the city so special. Just drop off your unneeded bags at a convenient Copenhagen luggage storage, download a map or an app to guide you through the streets, and check out some of these excellent cycle routes in the Danish capital.
The architectural BIG bike tour
Whether you have a major interest in architecture or you just want to see some of the most striking buildings in this modern city, this tour is a great option. Taking as its inspiration the architectural work of Bjarke Ingels, a Copenhagen-born architect who has made a major mark on his native city, this route covers 22 km through the heart of Copenhagen and reveals some of the most striking modern buildings in the city.
Along the way, you’ll see some of Copenhagen’s best-loved modern buildings, like the floating student housing at Urban Rigger, the artificial ski slope of CopenHill, and the new location purpose-built for Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants. This tour also takes you to the outskirts of the city to see areas of Copenhagen you might not otherwise encounter on a regular tourist trip.
The Harbor Circle
Copenhagen’s harbor has been central to the life and economy of the city since its very earliest days, and visiting the harbor means visiting some of Copenhagen’s most historic and most beautiful areas. This bike route covers 13 km on a circular route that will take you around the always-lively harbor district to see more of what makes Copenhagen tick. And if 13 km is too long to do in a single go, you can break the route up into several smaller segments that allow you to see exactly what you want.
Check out the beautiful canal district of Nyhavn with its colorful houses and excellent bars and restaurants, then make your way past Christianshavn. At the far end of the harbor, you’ll cross the bridge at Slusen and make your way along the other side of the waterway, heading toward the iconic Little Mermaid statue. It’s a great way to see some of the most famous and culturally important locations in the city and get a sense of how the water trade continues to shape Copenhagen to this day.
Tour De France Route
In honor of the legendary French bicycle race’s Grand Depart that visited Copenhagen in 2022, this route retraces the journey that the world’s best cyclists went on in pursuit of the yellow jersey. The route passes by some of the most iconic buildings in the city, which makes it a great choice for tourists. Starting at the world’s busiest cycle bridge, Dronning Louises Bro, the route snakes past the Amalienborg Palace, Kongens Nytorv, and the old stock exchange.
Also showcasing the famous Tivoli Gardens and City Hall Square, the main public square of the Danish capital, this is the perfect route if you want to see some of the absolute must-see attractions of the city. The route brings you back almost to where you started, but along the way, you’ll have made a complete circuit of central Copenhagen and seen a good portion of its most iconic architecture and neighborhoods.
Six Forgotten Giants
For something a little more whimsical – and a great way to see the more natural side of Copenhagen – this 31 km route takes you out to the countryside to see the wooden sculptures of giants made by artist Thomas Dambo.
Starting at the northern edge of the city, you’ll cycle through the heart of Copenhagen to meet giants like Hill Top Trine and Teddy Friendly. The striking giant sculptures make excellent photo opportunities and are a good goal to shoot for as you explore the lesser-known side of this busy city.
Biking around Copenhagen
Copenhagen is easily one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, so it makes perfect sense to rent a bike and explore the city the way the locals do. Whether you’re looking to see more of the most iconic buildings in the city or would rather get out of the city center and see a bit of nature along with some unusual modern art, these and other cycling routes can help you appreciate the city from your saddle. Leave the bags behind and head out for your two-wheeled exploration of the Danish capital.