Did you know that 50% of the population commute by bicycle instead og using the car in Copenhagen? And that the harbour water is so clean that you can enjoy taking a bath along the canals or in the urban bathing facilities? Did you know that in Copenhagen there are several buildings, among others, hotels and private residences, which make use of all available natural sources, such as rainwater, sunlight, and wind, to produce energy and make heating, drainage and other systems work? Well, I could carry on by mentioning all the good initiatives that Copenhagen has been taking in these last years. This is all part of the objective of becoming the first carbon neutral city by 2025. In this article you will find some tips for planning a green tour in Copenhagen in order to see some concrete measures with your own eyes. If you haven't planned to visit this beautiful city yet, a green tour could be an idea to start convincing you to do so!
First of all, move on foot or by bicycle in order to really enjoy your stay like a local and feel like you are also participating to the plan that Copenhagen has for its future. If you want to rent a bicycle, there are many options in the city center and surrondings. You are just spoiled for choice, really! What I recommend you, though, is keeping in mind that biking is not a game, and that traffic rules apply. Keep the right on the lane, do not stop for taking pictures on the lane (if you want to stop, go on the sidewalk), do not bike in public gardens and parks, do not use the phone while biking, make a sign to those who are behind you when you turn or stop, and rent a helmet, just in case!
Even though it is not allowed to bike in gardens and parks, you can still carry your bike by hand while crossing them by foot. In this way, you will enjoy the nature even more since you will be able to stop easier for taking pictures, and, why not, laying down on the lawn and have a snack, immersed in the green. There are several green areas in Copenhagen, just take look at your map and choose the one you prefer, depending on what you want to combine it with. My favourite are Ørstedsparken, a few steps away from the market place, and Dyrehaven. This last one is 20 km further north though, but you really cannot miss it, if you are a nature lover!
As I mentioned in the introduction, Copenhagen's harbour has been undergoing a big water purification process, that is why it is a pleasant experience to take a bath along the urban facilities. There are three free harbour baths in Copenhagen: Copencabana (Vesterbro); Islands Brygge Harbour Bath (Islands Brygge); and Koralbadet (Sydhavn). All of them are easily reachable by bike, on foot or using the public transportation. Be aware that they are only open between june and august, but if you wish to challenge yourself in another season, go to the beach (Amager Strand or Svanemøllen Strand are definitely good options)! You will see people ejoying the fresh seawater also in the canals, besides within the public baths, and you are welcome to do so too, but take into account that there are some places where this is not allowed and others where it might be dangerous for you. For instance, I do not recommend you to take a bath in the main canal due to the endless stream of boats. A nice area where you could head to is, instead, Refshaleøen.
Another aspect that you cannot afford to miss is related to the blooming urban farms. Plan a tour in order to dive into the urban agricolture! There are several options in Copenhagen, that is why I am going to give you some inspiration now. In 2015 the Ministry of Environment and Food in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture founded Kongens Køkkenhave (The King's Kitchen Garden). It is located in one of the most central parks in the city, namely Kongens Have. During spring and summer you will see a tiny greenhouse and several potted plants in the park while enjoying the view to the beautiful Rosenborg Castle. In Nørrebro and Østerbro you find two urban spaces: DYRK Nørrebro and Østergro. They are urban garden communities working to spread the message of ecology and a greener city. They are both located on the roof of a building: DYRK Nørrebro on Blågårds School, while Østergro on Copenhagen's oldest car auction house, Nellemann huset. Last, but not least, the world-famous restaurant Noma has recently reopened in Copenhagen, in a new location, with a new concept, surrounded by a urban farm in order to be able to grow its own vegetable and fruit.
Finally, I recommend you to plan a tour in a sustainable neighbourhood. There you will see with your own eyes the several attempts made by architects and engineers to make us enjoy a cleaner and greener Copenhagen. A few examples of buildings to see are: Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Royal Arena, 8 House, The Mountain in Ørestad; the new Copenhagen International School and The Silo in Nordhavn. In any case, you do not need to go far away to be able to see some amazing sustainable architecture, as a matter of fact you will find it also in the city's heart (e.g.the Confederation of Danish Industries, The Royal Danish Playhouse, Copenhill New Incinerator etc.).
Find out more about CPH 2025 Climate Plan here!
If you are planning on visiting Copenhagen, rely on a professional certified guide: send me an e-mail to [email protected] See you soon in Copenhagen!