I’ve visited Copenhagen three times – once while waiting my connected flight to Manchester, then on a work trip when I worked for a Danish company and third time on my own, just because I couldn’t find a place to stay in Amsterdam over the Easter. In a way Copenhagen is not immediately on everyone’s travel list like Amsterdam or Paris is, but even though my trips there have almost been accidental, I’ve grown to love this cool, sustainably thinking city, that is now one of my favourite European destinations. It’s also why I’ve been looking forward creating this map and sharing the Copenhagen experience with other urban explorers.
Copenhagen has a very similar feeling to my hometown Tallinn – the narrow streets and water surrounded fortresses immediately feel familiar, maybe because Tallinn was ruled by Danes from 13th to 14th century and some of the city planning could go back to this era. In my 20s and early 30s I always looked for the exotic places to travel, whereas now, when I’m older I find this familiarity comforting and cosy. To walk along the paved pathways in the dusk, surrounded by narrow houses with nordic style simple fronts, seeing designer lamps and cats on window sills. This is what the Danes are all about, comfort and style without lavish.
With 385 kilometres (239 miles) dedicated bike lanes in the city and even bike bridges crossing the harbour it’s easy to get around on the bike. This is remarkable considering London had about the same length of bike lanes by the end of 2020 (this data may have changed by now), when being a city nearly 9 times bigger in size. This is even better, if you know that you can also take your bike on metro or S-Train outside rush hours or even catch the harbour bus for the price of public transport. All this makes Copenhagen one of the most bike friendly cities in the world and nearly half of the Copenhagen population cycle to work or school.
If you have time in your hands Copenhagen is also a great city to explore on foot and travelling on the public transport network is a great way to get around the city. The travel in Copenhagen area is relatively cheap considering the 3 zone ticket costs around 5€ . The airport for example is in zone 3 and the Greenground Map shouldn’t cover area past zone 5. The tickets are even cheaper with local travel card, although you have to pay for getting one. Depending how long you stay this option may be worth to explore.
As usual the Greenground Map does not show the transport network itself, but it shows where to go! The map connects the parks and interest points to give you the oversight of the city based of its landscape and natural connections, so the Copenhagen becomes an intertwined network of canals, rivers, green paths, nature reserves and coastline. It will change the way you’ll perceive the city and helps finding interest points outside the centre, whether these are forests, hill-tops, beaches or even giant wooden trolls!
The lucky Copenhageners have around 42 m2 of public green space per person (although this may have changed since this report was published), whereas in Paris this number is less than 10 m2. In any way Copenhagen residents have plenty of opportunities to get close to nature as you’re never further than 300 m from a park, waterway or coastline. With free designated camping sites in Greater Copenhagen as well you can also spend a night or two outdoors, if your hiking or biking trips stretch for longer than a day.
If you love art and design just as I do, then Greenground Map has a dedicated line for museums, many of them surrounded by greenery or located near the water. Either you’re into contemporary art or more traditional folk art, you’ll probably find something to match your interest or just have a nice day out in cultural surroundings. And if you’re planning a day with kids, you can take them to a free nature playground or for a pirate style day-out on a beach near an old military fort.
Crowing seems to be in the nature of the Copenhageners and you can find new and older experiments in the city such as this remarkable neighbourhood of round allotments from 1948. But now, when the space is limited, the planting seems to have moved on rooftops, where creative growers have started new era of urban farms with accompanying restaurants. You can also find organic food in Copenhagen street markets, best places to hang out, eat & drink and people spot in the warm late-summer sun.