If you want to experience Copenhagen like a true local, you must do it by bike; this mode of transportation is an essential part of Danish life, and is an easy and economical way to get around. With 233 miles of bike lanes and designated traffic lights for cyclists, the infrastructure of Copenhagen supports a staggering statistic: nine out of 10 Danes own a bike. Join in by stopping at one of the many rental shops located throughout the city, get fitted for a bike, and queue up this itinerary that’ll take you to some of the capital’s best budget-friendly stops.
Photo Courtesy: @laangie
Start your day with a classic pastry from Skt. Peder’s Bageri. Located in the heart of central Copenhagen, this is the oldest bakery in the city, dating back to 1652. On offer are everything from classic kringles to croissants and freshly-baked bread, all for under 20DKK (about 3USD). Sankt Peder’s is best known for onsdagssnegle (literally, Wednesday snails), ridiculously-tasty cinnamon rolls that are only sold Wednesdays. The bakery sells over 4,000 of these rolls each week and is known to sell out quick, so be sure to snag a bite of this classic Copenhagen treat if you’re in town on the right day.
Snegl, wienerbrød (Danish pastry), frøsnapper (poppy and sesame seed twist), hot apple tart
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If you want to start your day with something more substantial than a pastry, make your first stop Paludan. This café and bookstore hybrid is a great place to embrace Danish hygge and warm up before a busy day exploring. Get there early to snag a table and order their classic brunch: a medley of eggs, meat, pancakes, cheese, yogurt, berries, and muesli with an included smoothie for only 109DKK. For extra cozy vibes, consider adding a chai latte to your order.
Cheesecake, chili con carne, tiger shrimp, coffee, cakes
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A mere two minutes away is Copenhagen’s iconic Rundetaarn (aka Round Tower). Originally built as a astronomical observatory, this 17th-Century tower is home to one of the best and most expansive views of city. Park your bike outside and walk up to the top along the spiral ramp, and be sure to check out the latest events: the tower’s library hall frequently holds art and cultural exhibitions.
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After a five minute ride, you’ll arrive at Nyhavn, the iconic colorful canal that’s pictured on postcards everywhere. If you have the time, opt for an hour-long tour that passes by the famed Little Mermaid Statue (just one glance is all you’ll need), the Black Diamond Library, and more. Even if you skip the tour, it’s well worth the stop before you head to lunch at your next destination.
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Get back on your bike and take in the breathtaking harbor views across the newly constructed Inderhavnsbroen bridge to Christianshavn. This leisurely 10-minute ride is the perfect break before lunch at Reffen, one of the biggest food halls in the city. This bustling marketplace offers a wide variety of cuisines, making it a savvy stop if you’re with a group as everyone can satisfy their cravings without compromise.
On your way to the next stop, swing through freetown Christiania, a self-governing town, separate from Danish rule, that's right in the middle of the city. Take the Nordområdet entrance on the way back from Reffen and ride around the harbor for about four minutes. Along the way, you’ll see carefully-constructed vibrant homes owned and built by its inhabitants. It’s best to explore Christiania by foot, so get off your bike and walk around. The square’s main highlights are the Green Light District, also known as Pusher Street, and the vibrantly-painted Community City and Jazz Club. Grab a beer and sit outside at Woodstock, a bar that boasts live music and some of the best people watching in the city.
Vegan spring rolls with noodles, ice cold melon drinks, fried banana with chocolate and ice
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Get back on your bike for another short 10-minute ride to Kongens Have, a picturesque garden and park that overlooks Copenhagen’s Rosenberg castle. For a quintessential Danish experience, take a short detour to Nettø (MHJG+VJ Copenhagen), a discount grocery store, to pick up a few beers (we recommend Carlsberg, Tuborg, or Somersby Cider) and snacks to take to the park. Copenhagen has no open container laws, so drinking in the park is highly encouraged and is a popular Danish tradition — locals of all ages spread across the castle lawn.
Photo Courtesy: torvehallernekbh
For dinner, bike four minutes to Torvehallerne, also known as The Glass Market. Home to an eclectic variety of local Danish products, this popular market features some of the city’s best produce, meats, and fish. Take your time exploring each of the two market halls before settling down for dinner at one of the many stands. If you want a classic Danish meal go to Hallernes Smørrebrød, a casual eatery that specializes in open-faced sandwiches. To sate a seafood craving, head over to Fiskerikajen for some of the freshest fish you’ll find in the city.
Fresh fish caught daily, locally-roasted coffee, street food, wine shops, flower stalls
Photo Courtesy: geoffrey_james_
After dinner, get back on your bike and head west to Nørrebro, one of Copenhagen’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. Take the main bike path down Nørrebrogade to get a glimpse of the neighborhood. Just past Assistens Kirkegård, Mikkeler and Friends is a Copenhagen institution and a must-stop for every beer lover. Try one of Mikkeler’s constantly-rotating list of collaborative and experimental beers for a taste of Copenhagen’s thriving craft brewery scene and to toast (in Danish: “skål”) to a perfect day in the city.
Rotating selection of draught beers, Mikkeller Spirits, cheese
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