The Ultimate Eco Travel Guide to Copenhagen
As we all know, Denmark prides itself on its green reputation.
It’s one of the most eco-aware countries on the planet. And its capital, Copenhagen, plans to be the first carbon-neutral city worldwide. This certainly sounds exciting. So, when will you pay the eco-powerhouse a visit?
Here’s our eco travel guide to Copenhagen! The Project Nord offices are situated in the heart of the city, so we’re surrounded by sustainability every day! We’ve compiled a list of all the sites you must see as an eco-conscious traveller!
But first of all, consider how you travel to Copenhagen
It would be short-sighted if we were to start this travel guide without addressing that big, gas-guzzling vehicle most of us travel abroad in - the aeroplane. If you’re coming from a country like the UK, air travel may feel like your only option. But, we all need to take inspiration from our Scandinavian sister Greta Thunberg every now and again. Even if we can’t sail the oceans ourselves like her, there are still things we can do to make travel that little bit greener.
The Eurostar is a great option for people wishing to cut their air miles, especially if they live in London. Once reaching continental Europe, there are lots of rail routes to transport you north to Denmark. The most popular is an overnight stay in Brussels, followed by a train straight to Copenhagen. Even though Denmark’s made of 406 islands, water doesn’t stop the Danes linking up with mainland Europe.
If the Eurostar is a bit out of your price range, why not fly, but make more out of your trip once you get here. Stockholm is only 5 hours by train from Copenhagen. It’s possible to reach Oslo in just over 7 hours. Make your air miles worth it!
Traveling around the city the Eco way
If you do arrive in Copenhagen at the airport, there are loads of fast, eco-friendly ways to get you to the city. If you take the metro or train, you’re only looking at a fifteen minute ride. The bus is another option, though it takes a little longer. Check out this article to find out which transport you should take depending on where you’re staying in the city.
Now, once you arrive in Copenhagen, you’re in for a treat. We’ve mentioned it in so many of our previous articles - Danes are crazy about cycling! And, this is even more the case in Copenhagen. The best way to get around the city is certainly by bike. Take advantage of the vast stretches of cycle lanes and numerous bike rental options at your disposal. Take a look at Donkey Republic and the official city bikes Bycyklen if you need some help.
‘What’s so special about cycling in CPH?’, I hear you ask!
Well, the city’s infrastructure is set up to cater to those travelling on two wheels. So, grab a bike and try cycling around some of these stunning spots!
Copenhagen’s Bicycle Snake
This iconic cycle-only bridge is a landmark for the eco-conscious. Constructed in 2014, the snake transports commuters and tourists alike from Vesterbro to Islands Brygge. There’s something so pleasing about zipping through the air, 7 metres above the beautiful harbour basin. You should give it a go!
Cirkelbroen - the bridge inspired by sailboats
This next bridge was designed by artist and sculptor Olafur Eliasson in 2015. As Eliasson was born in Copenhagen, it makes sense that he’d add one of his stunning, public installation pieces to his own city. This one was inspired by a harbour full of sailing boats. It’s easy to tell why! Cycle over on your way to or from the Bicycle Snake!
Inderhavnsbroen - a bridge with different lanes for humans and bikes
If you check out the beautiful Nyhavn, take a trip over Inderhavnsbroen. It’s a bridge which connects the main part of Copenhagen with the island Christianshavn, the part of the city where the famous Hippie Commune Christiania is situated. The bridge spans over Copenhagen’s harbour and gives riders a great vantage point over the water.
Trains and buses are also easy to use to get you around the city. Just track down a Rejsekort from a 7/11 nearby your station and your fares will be discounted. Taxis are notoriously expensive in Copenhagen. The Danes give you every reason to choose the eco option! Have you read our Danish Sustainability Hacks article? It includes cycling as a brilliant way to cut your eco-footprint and be more sustainable.
Eco Restaurant Experiences in the Heart of Copenhagen
After a long day pedalling around, it’s only right that you treat yourself to some delicious and wholesome food.
Remember, Danes love organic produce. Already, over half of Danish people buy organic food every week. This preference is reflected in the restaurants who’ve set-up shop around Copenhagen. In fact, favouring organic produce is close to becoming the norm here.
I’m sure you’ve heard of world-famous Noma, the two-Michelin-star restaurant serving seasonal produce, sometimes from its own greenhouse. Even if their menu is a little out of your budget, there are many other eco-conscious dining experiences you can enjoy in the city.
Gro Spiseri - a restaurant in a rooftop greenhouse
If you’re after an unforgettable experience, take a look at Gro Spiseri, a greenhouse-come-restaurant operating from an unsuspecting, Copenhagen rooftop. Their focus is on organic produce. They even share their location with ØsterGro, the first rooftop farm in Denmark! Gro Spiseri are open from March to January. But, make sure you get your reservations in quick. They serve up at a communal long table and are a local favourite. So, seats fill up fast!
Vandvid - a water-borne dining experience
If you’re done spending your time on land, you have to try out Vandvid. This restaurant, which serves organic, locally-sourced produce, also happens to be on a boat! What’s more, the owners built the boat themselves! They support urban farming and even sell cold, organic draft beer. Never before has a beer been so guilt-free!
Shopping Sustainably in Copenhagen
Denmark is famous worldwide for its sustainable shopping experiences. So, whilst you’re in Copenhagen, why not try out a few of them? Here are a couple of places to stop by to get that local, Copenhagen experience. Its beautiful to think that these places are part of ordinary life here in Copenhagen.
LØS Market - zero-plastic food shopping in Nørrebro and Vesterbro
If you’d like to pick up any groceries whilst you’re in Copenhagen, go by this store! LØS Market is a zero-plastic food shop offering everything from breakfast cereals and solid shampoo, to wine and soy sauce! It has two locations, so you’ll be able to reach one no matter where you’re staying. Its Nørrebro shop is situated on Jægersborggade, a road populated by independent stores. Nørrebro itself is a trendy neighbourhood not far from the city centre. Their other store is in Vesterbro near the Meat Packing District, another popular area for younger people. So, have a stroll whilst you’re there. To make this place even more desirable, everything is also 100% organic. You have to visit!
Thirdhand Vintage - thrift for designer clothes
Copenhagen street-style mixes minimalist aesthetics with a vintage feel. So, make sure you stop off at one of Copenhagen’s many second-hand stores and see what sustainable treasures you can find. Thirdhand Vintage is a great choice if you’re looking for designer pieces. They have an amazing collection which is totally hand-picked. Their garments prove that it’s possible to be both sustainable and chic.
Rosenberg Cph - homeware designed to respect the environment
You may have heard of this brand even if you haven’t visited Copenhagen. As you can tell from the name, RosenbergCph is based in Copenhagen, but has stores in different corners of the world. They produce beautiful, high-quality homeware products which are created in Denmark and Lithuania. Their fine cotton products are 100% organic and they don’t use harmful plastics like PVC and phthalates. Their designs are as beautiful as they are sustainable.
And, don’t forget a sustainable place to stay!
It may only be the place you rest your head, but Copenhagen even offers eco-conscious hotels!
In fact, over 70% of hotel rooms in Copenhagen hold an official eco-certification. Here’s a selection of our top picks, perfect for those of us who want to be responsible, even when we’re on holiday.
The Brøchner Hotels have different ways of keep things sustainable. At least 90% of their breakfast buffet is made up of organic food! They also have special temperature control systems in their rooms so that energy is used as sustainably as possible.
The Guldsmeden Hotels are another group who are dedicated to high environmental standards. And even better, they have a few different locations across Copenhagen. They even have a strict Sustainable Management plan, which you can read on their website. There are no smoke and mirrors here. The Guldsmeden group only want the best for your sustainable stay. 98% and 100% of the food in their kitchens is organic. The remaining are not eco-certified, but will be local and sustainable. All their bathroom products are also organic, supplied to you in sustainable packaging. Check out their website and choose from their 5 sites across the sustainable capital.
That’s it for our eco travel guide to Copenhagen. A tour around one of the most sustainable cities on the planet - what a treat!
What did you think of this beautiful city? And, are there any sustainable habits you picked up whilst here that you’ll take back home with you? It’s so easy to feel inspired when you’re surrounded by Danish culture!
If you’d like a souvenir from your time here, take a look at our Copenhagen poster. As Project Nord is an eco-minded company too, we plant a tree for every poster you buy from us. If you’d like information on our other eco-policies, then check out our Responsibility page. We love doing Copenhagen proud and being part of this green city! We’re sure you will love it too!
Written by Jessica Slater
Images sourced from Pintrest, Upsplash, company’s respective websites, and the Project Nord website.