Enjoy green living in Copenhagen

4 min read
Photo: Astrid Maria Rasmussen

Explore how Copenhagen mixes its green, eco-friendly mindset with endless fun and impressive ingenuity. Experience how its unique and creative approach to sustainability encodes green behavior in everyday life, making the city more inviting and enjoyable for residents and travelers alike.

The green mindset of Copenhagen is integral to the identity and atmosphere of the city and its commitment to environmental sustainability permeates every aspect of the city and its culture. When you visit, you’ll get firsthand experience of the unique opportunities provided by the city’s sustainable practices.

Explore the city’s well-preserved natural surroundings, such as a harbor that’s clean enough to swim in and cycle paths throughout, as well as nature parks and green spaces. Get inspired by the best green living that Copenhagen has to offer.

Take a dip in the harbor

Photo: Erik Refner

Copenhagen’s harbor is remarkably clean, thanks to a concentrated effort by locals to keep it safe and well maintained. In fact, it’s so clean that one of the most popular pastimes here is going for a swim. Swimming in the harbor is available at quite a few different spots, but Islands Brygge is especially popular due to its convenient location right across from the city center.

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

If you’re not up for a swim, you can opt to explore the harbor by boat. Boats for hire are available throughout town, and you can even book boat tours that will show off the best Copenhagen has to offer from an entirely new perspective, all powered by environmentally-friendly solar power. Starting your journey at the waterfront is a great way to complement the unique perspective Copenhagen has on life and the environment.

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Guided boat tours can be fun, but many travelers are looking for something a bit more individual. So why not explore by kayak? Kayaking through the waters of the city is quite common, and rentals are available all around the shoreline. The city’s Green Kayak allows you to give back while you take a tour of the canals—it’s rented to visitors for free, as long as they collect some rubbish during the trip.

Ride a bike around town

Riding a bike is one of the most common ways to get around Copenhagen for travelers and residents alike. The city is built for cycling, with safe cycle-only lanes throughout the town and several bridges that are solely open to bikes for crossing the harbor. Cycling is a fun way to get around the city and is also the quickest way to reach just about anywhere. Half of Copenhageners commute to work or school by bike, and you can get a feel for what that’s like when you visit.

Photo: Astrid Maria Rasmussen

Copenhagen’s world-leading bike culture extends to carrying the whole family—and the family dog—in a cargo bike, just as much as donning lycra and speeding along the shoreline. Kids and adults alike cycle around town, and you and your whole family can take part in the fun when you visit. Whether you’re looking to head to the shops, see local attractions or just explore the city, cycling is one of the best options available.

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

If you’re planning to cycle, our best advice is to bring flat shoes, a weatherproof coat, and to cycle outside of rush hour. And if you aren’t a fan of two wheels, you still don’t need a car—it’s very easy to navigate the city on foot or by bus, train or metro.

Relax among nature in the city

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

The urbanity of city life often leaves people feeling separated from the natural environment, but Copenhagen does well to bridge the two experiences. You’ll find a variety of parks that offer a green oasis away from busy metropolitan life.

Photo: Thomas Rousing

Within the city itself, Fælledparken is the largest park, with waterways and a multitude of playgrounds, and The King’s Garden is perhaps the most beautiful—a rose-scented Renaissance-style garden next to Rosenborg Castle and the city’s Botanical Gardens. Both are perfect for a picnic on a sunny day.

Photo: Birgitte Rubæk

Right in the center of the city, the Botanical Gardens are a complex of historical greenhouses and home to a variety of plant species, including both domestic and exotic plants. And showcasing that classic Danish ingenuity and creativity, the iconic Assistens Cemetery is used today as a green park and cemetery. The natural marvel has towering green trees that create a peaceful atmosphere in the resting place of legends like Hans Christian Andersen and Kierkegaard.

Photo: Sebastian Himmelstrup