Copenhagen bicycle etiquette

Anya Jensen27th March 2017

I have posted this before, but I came across 2 accidents this week alone, and I figured that a post like this is more important at the beginning of the bicycling season than ever. So please read along – even if you are a seasoned cyclist – there is still a lot to remember – also for the sake of your fellow cyclist and pedestrians.

If you visit Denmark, you will immediately notice the many thousand bikes everywhere. Copenhagen is a city full of bikes. Everybody rides their bikes to work, come rain or sunshine.

Copenhagen prides itself on being one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the World. More than 45% of all people use the bicycle as their main mean of transportation.It is a very common sight to see little ones strapped to the back of a bicycle, in a cargo bike, or sitting in a trailer type of attachment on the back of their parent’s bike. Children are taught how to behave in traffic, and most bigger roads have bicycle paths for safety.  This city is made for cycling!!

However, if you are a tourist you’ll need to know a few things before you begin. You will benefit from sticking to these simple but important rules of the road – for a safer, and more enjoyable ride. Come along:

danish bicycle etiquette_anyajensenphotography
Danish bicycle etiquette:
  • You ride your bicycle same way as you would your car: If you’re going fast, stay on the outside, going slow, stay the inside – and be aware of your fellow cyclists,  and always look over your shoulder before you pull out; Lots people go very fast on their bikes here!
  • Please do not have a conversation with your buddy whilst biking. Cyclists get rather annoyed if you ride side-by- side – taking up space and slowing the traffic down.  Wait until you get to your destination for the chitchat.
  • Always use hand signals for turning and stopping – alerting your fellow cyclists. A left hand up means that you are stopping. A hand out to the right means you are turning right. A hand to the left means a left turn.
  • Do not have your music so loud you cannot hear what’s going on around you, and keep an eye out for ambulances, buses, cars, and fellow cyclists.
  • Large vehicles have a BLIND spot. Very dangerous. Do NOT ever put yourself in a spot where the driver can’t see you, and always try and make eye contact, or just don’t go. These blind spots are very dangerous.
  • During the darker months be sure to have lights on your bike and reflectors. Your bike has to be visible, and you will get a fine of the police comes along.
  • Do not ever speak on your mobile phone, or send a text message whilst biking. You will get a hefty fine, unless you use your handsfree.
  • OH yeah do remember to lock your bike – especially at night, otherwise, you might be walking home. There are a lot of bikes here, and unfortunately also a lot of thefts!
  • HAVE fun – I know it sounds like there are lots of rules – but they are only here to make you safe. 
  • Happy b
 If you don’t have a bike, don’t fret – Copenhagen has city bikes for rent: BYCYKLEN – and many hotels offer bikes too. ENJOY and go cycling – the city has so much to offer and it’s so pretty, cool, hyggeligt and great fun on a bike.

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