Copenhagen, like many of the main cities we have visited, has a low emission zone, so we parked Scooby just outside in a free car park at a marina where we also spent the night. We then cycled about 30 minutes in to town. Copenhagen is incredibly well set up for bikes, even better than Amsterdam! Bikes pretty much have priority, the bike lanes are very well marked and nice and wide, and various locations have free air to pump your tyres up. It’s a fairly flat city which also made it a nice and easy ride, especially for me!
We started our day by exploration Christiania. It’s a small commune of people who squatted and took over a military base in the 70s and have turned the area into a great community neighbourhood, they have their own set of rules and way of life. The residential area is away from the touristy hub and has a very laid back feel with a park on one side and a river on the other. The main area tourists go to has a few bars, bakeries, shops, small art galleries, and the main attraction loads of stalls selling green. You aren’t allowed to take photos in Christiania mainly because of the amount of people selling green. This area has a great festival vibe with music playing, lots of graffiti and art, people chilling in the sun and getting high. I just took a couple of photos on the way out.
Back on our bikes we cycled across the main river and into town. As Copenhagen is right by the sea the water around the city is fresh and, in most places, really clear too. As a contrast from Christiania our next stop was the former palace grounds.
We then had a cycle tour via the main square, to Newhaven (basically a more colourful and beautiful version of the Barbican in Plymouth), along the water front with the modern Opera house on the opposite side and along to (as the guide books described it ‘Copenhagen’s most underwhelming tourist attraction’) the Little Mermaid statue.
Next was this crazy star shaped ‘island’. It’s a rather pretty military area with a moat around it forming its star shape. By this point we needed a sit down so went and chilled in the Kings Park. It was a sunny Sunday so was really nice to just sit and take in the park atmosphere. A few people were playing this game involving throwing sticks at an opponent’s stick to try and knock it over apparently it’s called Kubs or Viking chess; looked a bit like cricket (without a bat) and Boules mixed together. To soak up more park life we also walked around the Botanical gardens.
We then cycled along the canal and to the main shopping centre, getting there about 6pm when all the shops were shut was perfect so we could just wander without the crowds. It had some very touristy shops, high street shops and then further out from the centre nice independent places. Lots of cafes and bars.
Already want to go back and carry on exploring Copenhagen. Really great city with a good mix of beautiful old buildings, modern architecture, cobbled streets and café vibe, community spirit, nice open spaces, great parks and lots of clear blue water. Highly recommend.