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Bike along Copenhagen Harbor on a Half-Day Tour

Bike along Copenhagen Harbor on a Half-Day Tour

Explore Copenhagen on a half-day bike ride. Get from trendy Vesterbro to stately Amalienborg Palace and see Copenhagen’s landmarks new and old along the waterfront between. Just start from the cluster of hotels in the Dybbølsbro quarter, including Copenhagen Marriott, Copenhagen Island, Tivoli Hotel and WakeUp Copenhagen – most of which will offer a bicycle hire service at reception.

Copenhagen has almost 250 miles of bike lanes, including paths and custom-made bridges along the harborfrontCopenhagen has almost 250 miles of bike lanes, including paths and custom-made bridges along the harborfront — Photo courtesy of Nicolai Perjesi / Copenhagen Media Center

With almost 250 miles of bike lanes in Copenhagen (and the city council is planning on introducing still more), there really is no end of great bike routes to choose from. The city has high ambitions to be the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025, and keeping people on two wheels and out of cars is a great way to achieve this status.

Each day around, one-third of Copenhageners cycle to and from work; the busiest stretch is Nørrebrogade, which is now car-free, and Dronning Louises Bridge, where a clicker tells you what number cyclist you are that day.

In April of this year, the City of Copenhagen re-introduced its legendary Copenhagen City Bike loan system with a major upgrade – intelligent el-cycles with a touchscreen tablet and built-in GPS systems that can be hired for DKK 20 ($3.50 USD) per hour, 24/7, 365 days of the year.

On your bike, you really are free to see all corners of the city, including the more hidden ones. Copenhagen’s waterfront makes a great starting point, and what makes the harbor route especially noteworthy is the richness of architectural styles and the layers of city developments ready to be unpeeled, from Renaissance times to present day.

Start your ride from Fisketorvet Shopping Center in Vesterbro. Bike over Bryggebroen, a 620-foot combined cycle and footbridge that connects Kalvebod Brygge in the west with Islands Brygge in the east. The bridge has become a popular place for attaching love padlocks, a trend that has been moving across Europe over the past decade.

On the other side, the first sight you’ll see is the Gemini building. Unmistakable, these converted grain silos have been transformed into ultra-modern apartments.

Cycle past the Harbor Baths (Havnebadet) and the adjacent Harbor Park. Take the time to enjoy the contrast of architecture in this rejuvenated quarter: old warehouses, industrial buildings and postmodern structures.

The spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke, peeking out over the houseboats on Christianshavn's canalsThe spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke, peeking out over the houseboats on Christianshavn’s canals — Photo courtesy of Kasper Thye / Copenhagen Media Center

On the same side of the water, cross under the far edge of Langebro Bridge into Christianshavn, with the golden spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke dominating the skyline. You’ll pass the city’s 17th-century embankments – now a popular recreational space – and then follow the canals.

Turn left on Torvegade at Christianshavns Torv to cross back into downtown over busy Knippelsbro Bridge. If you can find it, drop in at Kayak Bar for refreshments. It’s hidden under the bridge and is one of the city’s hippest – and most secret – hangouts.

Pass Børsen, the magnificent old stock exchange. Cycle along Havnegade towards Nyhavn, stopping if you wish to dangle your legs from the quayside, then head up to Amalienborg and the Danish royal palace. Finally, finish the tour with a traditional Danish lunch in Lumskebugten at the far end of Esplanaden.

Remember that you can return a city bike to a different place than where you took it. Alternatively, you could make this a full-day itinerary by heading northwards to see the Little Mermaid and Amerika Plads, where passenger ships once transported Danish immigrants to New York.

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