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Copenhagen by Bike

Explore the city’s buzzy restaurant culture and art galleries.

Thanks in part to a thriving culinary scene, increased flight paths on Scandinavian Airlines, and the hygge aesthetic, tourism to Denmark’s eco-conscious capital has steadily increased over the last decade. Riding to work, brunch, or to pick up groceries is a way of life there and the hundreds of kilometers of cycling pathways are the best way to see the city. 

While most hotels offer bikes, you can also use Bycyklen, a free network of bikes that are outfitted with navigation systems. Below, three ways to pedal around town.

Tour 1: For the foodie

You'll want to begin every morning with a properly-executed, Nordic-style coffee—a lighter brew that highlights the beans’ fruity and floral nature. Bike over to Democratic Coffee in the city’s center; in addition to coffee, the café serves an ethereal almond croissant. Afterward, ride over to Torvehallerne, an indoor-outdoor market with an endless selection of fresh produce, specialty shops, and small restaurants. Don’t miss chef Rosio Sanchez’s namesake taco stand, Hija de Sanchez, for tortillas topped with chicken mole. Bring them to a picnic table and dine al fresco. After exploring the area’s quaint shops, don’t miss an experience at Noma, home to foraging pioneer René Redzepi’s local ingredient-driven tasting menu. This past February, Redzepi reopened the restaurant after a year-long shutter in a new, more spacious home. After dinner, bike back to your hotel along the water.

Tour 2: For the design and art junkie 

Set in Tivoli Gardens’ ancient amusement park, the Nimb hotel juxtaposes opulence with Scandinavian minimalism. The property’s palatial façade and plush interiors make for an Instagrammer’s paradise. In the morning, grab one of the hotel’s bikes and ride over to chef Frederik Bille Brahe’s Atelier September for a healthy breakfast of granola and zucchini jam, and rye bread avocado toast served in a sun-drenched art gallery. Spend some time traversing the nearby streets, which are packed with hip boutiques, like Scandinavian furniture shop Hay House, and homeware shop Illums Bolighus. Later in the day, take a more rigorous hour-long trip over to Arken Museum of Modern Art for exhibits dedicated to artists from around the world, such as Britain’s Damien Hurst. 

Tour 3: For the zen traveler

Bike to Streetyoga in the charming, café-lined Nørrebro neighborhood. Then cycle to chef Christian Puglisi’s trendy Mirabelle for some of the city’s most incredible chewy sourdough bread toast. Post-breakfast, spend the day at Arndal Spa and enjoy a massage, facial, and dip in the peaceful pool. End the day with a glass of natural wine at Baest, a sleek organic charcuterie and seasonal veggie spot. The wood-fired pizzas, made from a blend of local and Italian grains, are not to be missed.

Photos: courtesy of Copenhagen Media Center