If you are a conscious traveller looking to fall in love with a new city, then look no further than Denmark’s shining capital: Copenhagen.
Denmark is consistently ranked as the world’s ‘happiest country’ and it is easy to see why. Denmark is home to a picture-perfect landscape, has a buzzing food scene, and understands the value of a cosy afternoon with friends tucked away at a local coffee house, or spent plunging into the ice-cold canals before retreating into the warmth of a sauna.
More than that, Copenhagen embodies that elusive Scandinavian sensibility that effortlessly combines innovative design with sustainability. Nature, water, open spaces, green parks and a high quality of life are at the core of Copenhagen architectural development. Even as a tourist, it is clear that Copenhagen is certainly one-step ahead of the rest when it comes to living a happy, low-impact life. If you want a taste of the green-living Copenhagen life, here are a few tips for your travels!
While Copenhagen has great public transportation, including a sleek metro and comprehensive bus system, the city is known for its intense biking culture. With over 390 kilometers of designated bike path, it is a biking heaven for both novice and adventurous cyclists. Thanks to great city planning and biking infrastructure, over 55% of all citizens commute by bike. In fact, the International Cycling Union appointed Copenhagen as the first official Bike City in the world.
In efforts to reduce transport pollution and congestion, many other cities are trying to mimic the eco-friendly biking culture of Copenhagen. Danish Architect and urban planner, Jan Gehl, acts as an official consultant to these cities, helping to map out public infrastructure and biking incentives, even garnering a new term, ‘to copenhagenize’ a city! With tons of bike sharing programs and bike rentals throughout the city, it is easy to blend in like a local and travel by bike. But be warned, they cycle fast!
Copenhagen is filled with incredible food options. The city has more Michelin star restaurants than you can count, but also has great eats for those on a budget! The common theme in many of the restaurants in Copenhagen is an extreme emphasise on using local, fresh and organic ingredients. World famous restaurant Noma has cultivated a food culture throughout the city that pushes the boundaries of Nordic cuisine by encouraging extremely inventive and innovative uses of local ingredients. While Noma is closed, 108 and Relæ offer similarly inventive, impressive, and delicious dining experiences.
For some more causal eats, check out the Street Food Market on Paper Island for some great local treats, or head to Bæst for the best pizza you will ever eat. They make all ingredients in house, including fresh mozzarella daily from their very own small dairy farm! What is more sustainable and delicious than that?
It is extremely easy to find a great place to spend the night in Copenhagen. Over 70% of all of the city’s hotel rooms hold an official eco-certification and many have environmental plans to regulate water use, laundry, housecleaning, waste, energy consumption and more.
Check out the Guldsmeden Hotels for a great selection of small, boutique hotels dedicated to making your stay as low-impact as possible. They are certified by Green Globe, one of the most stringent green certifications in the hospitality sector, and offer a delicious 100% organic breakfast buffet complete with a selection of tasty homemade jams and irresistible cinnamon buns.