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What do I need to know before I start riding a bicycle in Copenhagen?

To many Copenhageners the bicycle is their most important means of transport.

Why ride a bicycle in Copenhagen?

Bicycles make up a huge part of Copenhagen's visual appearance and are an integrated part of traffic and the urban infrastructure. When coming to Copenhagen you will see many Copenhageners on bicycles and bicycles are parked at every station and in every street.

Bicycles play a vital role in Copenhagener's everyday lives.

The bicycle is used for all means: for getting to work or school, going out for a night in town, transporting construction materials or appliances, bringing children to kindergarten, or going for a recreational ride.

The bicycle offers a cheap and eco-friendly way of getting around. And often it's the fastest way of getting around in the city.


Traffic rules

In Denmark there are a lot of traffic rules for cyclists. We list some of them here, so you can feel safe when you venture out into the cycle traffic. There are so many cyclists in Copenhagen, so it is important to show consideration and respect the rules.

Official Rules

  • Stop at red lights.
  • Keep on the right side. Then other cyclists can overtake you.
  • Indicate with your hand when you are going to stop and turn, so that other cyclists and road users know what you are doing.
  • You must have the lights on during the hours when light is mandatory. You recognize those hours by seeing that the streetlights are lit. You need a white light in front and a red light on the back. The lights must meet the police requirements, this is often displayed on the lights when you buy them.
  • Only one person is allowed on the bicycle, except for children in a child seat.
  • In Denmark we have a duty to give way, so please show regard at pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and bus stops.
  • At bus stops cyclists must give way if a bus is coming and pedestrians are getting on the bus.
  • Use the cycle tracks and the cycle lanes. Riding your bicycle on the pavement or the walkways is prohibited.
  • In general, be considerate and pay attention to your fellow road users.

The penalty rates for bicycle offences are from DKK 700 to 1000.

Other things you should be aware of as a cyclist

  • The bell means that a cyclist coming from behind wants to overtake you. Many cyclists like to move forward quickly. Therefore you should keep to the right if somebody is ringing his/her bell at you. This is also the case if you are driving side by side on the cycle track. When a cyclist wants to overtake you and rings his/her bell at you, then the cyclist to the left must pull in.
  • Be aware that often there are traffic lights for cyclists. Also, there are many special roads for cyclists, so check out whether there is a faster route to your destination.

You can find a cycle map of Copenhagen at the City of Copenhagens website and download our Selfguided bicycle ride.