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Rent a bike, escape the two-wheeled traffic at the rush hour and choose one of our scenic routes - to discover Copenhagen’s lakes and the harbour.
Copenhagen is, at its heart, a green city and is famous for its strong commitment to bicycles. In an environmental effort to curtail the weight of city traffic, the political mainstay has championed bicycles as a preferred mode of transportation throughout the city.
One of the city’s most appreciated characteristics is that you can go on bike lanes everywhere. Rental bikes with practical GPS screens are available in automated racks all over town, easily hired by use of credit-cards. But beware! The cyclists in Copenhagen ride with entitlement! There a few more dangerous places in Copenhagen traffic than the bike lanes during rush hours!
So, unless you are a seasoned cyclist, try and avoid rush hours and stay well-orientated as you go along. And wear a helmet!
Even better: take a scenic route, which often falls outside the main thoroughfare and offers a more relaxed exercise as well as great views of the city. Among the best are the ones around the harbour areas which criss-cross the harbour basin on specially designed bridges (designed by eminent architects, as and added extra).
One route is to cycle around the city lakes. Established on natural waterways, these four lakes were originally made as part of the fortification of Copenhagen beginning in 1523. They run like a big river through parts of the city and today they are a great recreational area, providing the city with air and a great sense of space, encompassing four different neighbourhoods, all circumvented by both walking paths and bike-lanes.
Around the lakes on any given day, there are people walking, or joggers racing, as well as cyclists weaving in and out of the lanes. The beautiful, tree-lined lakes are very clean and home to a lot of wildlife, especially waterfowl. At two of the lakes, small boats and water-bikes can be rented for excursions out onto the water. There are multitudes of cafes and small restaurants and watering holes along the way, and almost anywhere along this route there are great views of different parts of the city. In the summertime, as you pass Dronning Louises Bro (Queen Louise’s Bridge) you will see hundreds and hundreds of young people, pop-up stalls and self-appointed DJ’s partying along the bridge, enjoying the sun. This bridge has become the place to spend a hot day in the city.
In the south-east corner of Sct. Jørgen’s Sø, you will pass by the Copenhagen Planetarium, beautifully situated on the lake side.
This route by bike, going the full round, is 7-km long (4,3 miles).
Another recommended tour is going along the harbour basin, riding along specially designed bike lanes, with built-in rises and turns, sometimes taking you briefly out over the water. These lanes are designed for cyclist and are fun to ride, offering great views. When going the long way, crossing over the harbour and into the neighbourhoods of Islands Brygge and Christianshavn, you get an additional, deeper sense of the city, and how its proximity to the ocean has influenced its development.
Start the ride at the end of Toldbodgade, and ride across a specially designed bike and pedestrian bridge, Inderhavnsbroen, across to Nordatlantens Brygge. Turn right and ride along the piers to Christianshavn along the canals. From there you can connect via another specially designed bridge, Olafur Elliasson’s Cirkel Bridge to the next harbour pier, and continue, with expansive views across the water to the city proper. After Christianshavn you will be riding along Islands Brygge, and there, by the foot of the imposing Gemini residential towers, you can cut across the harbour basin again, this time over the Bryggebroen, and then over the beautifully designed Cykel slange Broen (The Bicycle Tube Bridge). Arriving on the city side with a direct ride back along the piers to the city centre and towards Tivoli Gardens, the most sensible thing would be to end your ride with a big ice cream in the old garden. This route is roughly 12-14 km long.