Copenhagen 2021: Copenhagen on two wheels

A 48-hour bike trip straight to the heartbeat of the capital

First, find a bike. Remember, borrowing one from a friend or a host is a gamble. With the journeys we’ve got planned for you, a recently serviced bicycle is your best bet of getting from A to B.

The rental service Donkey Republic takes pride in the condition of all its bicycles and in Copenhagen you’re never more than a short walk away from finding one, as they’re pretty much on every street corner in the capital!

Download the Donkey app in App Store to locate your nearest bicycle, purchase a two-day rental for 139 kroner, and let’s get started!  


9 AM
Rent a bike in the vicinity of Østerbro near the famous Copenhagen Lakes (Søerne). The city’s largest park, Fælledparken, is easy to find and cycling on its paths is legal, making it a great place to practise if you have a few unsure members on your tour. Look up into the sky and you can see Parken Stadium – the national football team and a stop-off for many big music stars over the years.  

10 AM
Once you’re up to speed, cycle down two of the Lakes to Dronning Louises Bro, the turn-off for Nørrebrogade. Later in the day, the bridge will become a hive of activity with a distinctly hipster vibe, but for now your best bet for quality sight-seeing is the Assistens Kirkegård cemetery, which can be found barely a kilometre away (as ethnic flavours drown out the hipster ethos) on the left. Look out for Regnbuen, the LGBTI+ section of the graveyard (N625), which is best accessed via Nørrebro Runddel Metro station. Famous occupants include Axil and Eigil Axgil, who formed the world’s first civil union partnership in 1989, their reward for four decades of loving each other and campaigning. Don’t expect to find Hans Christian Andersen though (unless he is one day reinterred), as he and Søren Kierkegaard are way down the other end near the entrance at Kapelvej 4. Once again it’s permissible to cycle, as long as you don’t go too close to the graves … or the mourners.

11 AM
Continue down Nørrebrogade to the end of the cemetery and head left down Nordre Fasanvej until you reach Frederiksberg Have. Enjoy a walk through the gardens to Copenhagen Zoo. Without entering you can enjoy the elephant enclosure, a remarkable building. The hippo and giant panda enclosures are equally jaw-dropping, but maybe save that for another day.

12 PM
At Sløjfen 6 grab some lunch at the traditional Danish eatery Café Lindevang. Established in 1938, it is one of the most authentic food spots in Frederiksberg.

2 PM
Just west of Fredriksberg is Vesterbro, one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Copenhagen. Istedgade is still home to the ‘red light district’ of Copenhagen, but it is ever shrinking under an onslaught of boutiques and vintage shops, stores selling antiques and knick-knacks, galleries and fancy restaurants. It’s time for some serious shopping!

4 PM
One block away is Halmtorvet, the road that runs alongside Kødbyen, the city’s Meatpacking District, the home of the renowned LGBTI+ gallery and venue Warehouse 9. Greeting you are an array of bars and upscale takeaway restaurants.

Meatpacking District (photo: visit denmark/ Mikkel Heriba)

8 PM
For the best selection of LGBTI+ bars, head to the Latin Quarter, which is easily found a few streets up from Strøget, most particularly along Studiestræde. Before you leave the area, find some time to visit Centrahjørnet (Kattesundet 18), which proudly proclaims itself to be the oldest gay bar in Denmark/Europe/the world. Founded in 1917, it might have a point as the oldest rival we could find, Café ‘t Mandje in Amsterdam, served its first Cosmo in 1927. 

10 PM
Brave souls might stop at Ørstedsparken, which is handily on the way – the most popular hook-up place in town before Grinder came on the scene. Being drawn there is fitting as it’s named after the guy who discovered electromagnetism. 


8 AM
If you over-indulged, we’ve got a perfect cure for the mini jungle rumbling inside your head. But before you head across Langebro, no tour would be complete without a quick visit to nearby Rainbow Square next to Rådhuspladsen, even if it’s just for a signpost pic before it’s over-run come the weekend.

9 AM
Once you’re over the bridge, take a sharp right down to Islands Brygge and find a spot not covered in broken glass to whip off the improvised cycling gear and jump into the waters blue of Copenhagen Harbour. Technically this is the Baltic, but at the Islands Brygge Harbour Baths heavy netting ensures there’s no danger of nasty intruders – stinging jellyfish are surprisingly common the further you go out to sea. Ask yourself, as you paddle around, how many other capital cities have harbour waters you can legally swim in!

Islands Brygge (photo: visit denmark/ Nicolai Perjesi)

10 AM
Take a quick detour east towards Christianhavn, a small area of islands worth driving around. With freetown Christiania a few wheelies away, you won’t be short of sights to see, but it’s probably too early to visit its LGBTI+ theatre Bøssehuset. From the Opera House to the Playhouse just opposite the waterfront, it’s Copenhagen architecture and design at its finest.

11 AM
If you’re feeling the vibe and like what you see, then keep pedalling all the way to Refshaleøn where you can try out La Banchina or the food trucks at Reffen for an early lunch. Hands down, this is the best street food market in the country, with easily the most exotic line-up. Fuego Street Food dishes up the finest steaks from Argentina, Nomames whisks you off to the streets of Mexico City, and Big Easy packs them in with New Orleans soul food –  and that’s just scraping the surface of the Americas. Don’t get us started on Thrilla in Manila’s Filipino barbecue, the panzerotti at PastaLab and the fried flatbreads at Malawa Truck.

12 PM
Fuel up, because this is the big one: we’re heading to the wilds of Amager. Not only is it a city district, but it is also the name of the entire island and it contains two other municipalities: Dragør and Tårnby. A third of the 96 sq km island is made up of protected nature areas and we’re taking you to the biggest, Kalvebod Fælled (20 sq km). Heading away from Langebro, we challenge you to lose yourselves in the pretty massive wilderness that is Amager Fælled. As long as you keep a sense of direction, you’ll realise it’s mostly flanked by straight roads leading you to the city’s biggest shopping centre, Field’s.

1 PM
Stock up on drinks, and maybe find time for some shopping, but your biggest challenge lies ahead. Continuing in the same direction, head to the Den Røde Port, the gateway to Kalvebod Fælled, and opt for the middle road, Granatvej (where, as the name suggests, they found some unexploded grenades in mid July!).

2 PM
Cycling down gloriously flat Granatvej might seem rather innocuous, but don’t forget that you’re in an urban area. Look to the right and you’ll see  rather futuristic residential buildings, and perhaps the odd bemused local who still can’t believe they ended up living in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. Look to the left and you might spot one of the rare planes landing or taking off from Copenhagen Airport. It’s a lot to take in, but in a nutshell it’s the very essence of Copenhagen, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be so alone you’ll feel secluded.

3 PM
A timely left will take you into the woods. Don’t venture too far as you don’t want to get lost, but if you’ve got camping gear, there are plenty of places to pitch up, along with municipal fireplaces to cook on, as long as you adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

5 PM
On your way back, opt for Bryggebroen as your way back to the mainland – easily found near the corner of Amager Fælled and not further than 1 km from Island Brygge – as it leads almost directly onto the famous Bicycle Snake (see main photo), a mesmeric elevated, spiraling construction with incredible vistas. Or maybe stop off between bridges for another swim at the Fisketorvet harbour baths and have a quick snack at the shopping centre of the same name.

6 PM
You’re back and after two days of exploring you’re finally ready to venture to Tivoli or Nyhavn –  the first two places tourists tend to visit in Copenhagen. If you opt for the latter, perhaps pay homage to the acclaimed LGTBI+ author Herman Bang, whose bust can be found at nearby  Sankt Annæ Plads.

But seriously, why follow the crowd when you can hop on a bike and discover so much more.